Preparing for Your Neurologist Appointment
People who are new to epilepsy often are unsure what to do when they meet with their neurologist. How much information should you share? Are new things that you are noticing related to your seizures? Should you tell the doctor about it?
The answer is a profound yes. You need to provide as much information to your doctor as possible so s/he can more effectively make an appropriate diagnosis regarding your experiences. Whether it be something that other people can see, or feelings that are different, but subtle – or that don’t seem to be very important, you need to share it with your doctor.
What your neurologist or epileptologist is looking for are clues to your seizures. They are trying to determine what happens when you have a seizure? How long does it last? What happens before or after you have a seizure and more. All these clues provide a better picture of what is happening in your brain, and if you are experiencing seizures/epilepsy, or if it something else.
Here is a to do list for you and your family to do before visiting the neurologist or epileptologist – whether it’s your first time, or simply an update to check your medication levels.
(Click on an image for a full-size, printable version)
1. Keep a Seizure Diary.
2. Keep a record of the types of seizures you have. Here is a page for you to describe it separately and place Seizure Type 1 or Seizure Type 2 on the Seizure Diary Page.
3. Keep a record of all medications that you take as prescribed – plus any other medications prescribed for other health related issues. Make sure to include any vitamins or supplements. Your doctor needs to know about everything you are taking.
4. Keep a monthly calendar of your seizures by tallying the dates you have a seizure so you and your neurologist or epileptologist can determine if there are any patterns taking place. For female patients that menstruate, it is also smart to mark when your period begins and ends to see if menstruation has any effect on your seizures.
Questions your Neurologist or Epileptologist will ask you:
Here is a list of questions you can take to your neurologist – and definitely ask any other questions you can think of to help better understand your seizures. The more you ask, the more you know and will be able to better manage your seizures and medications in your daily life. Thanks to the Mayo Clinic for this list of questions.
If there are any forms you need your doctor to complete, the best time to ask them is during your appointment with your neurologist or epileptologist. Please bring them to your appointment with you and make sure to ask them to complete it at that time.
Forms that may need to be completed by your neurologist include:
- Forms for work or school
- Social Security Disability Forms
- Supplemental Security Forms
- Veteran Information Forms