Going to my mold specialist is always overwhelming. It’s an hour of being told so much information at such a fast pace that I don’t have enough time to process what is happening. That being said, I’ve come up with a system that has worked out very nicely.
First off, I always go into the appointment with a typed up sheet of all my symptoms and any questions I may have. I use a notes app on my phone to write down random symptoms that come up, so when it’s time to write a list of everything, it’s all there on my phone. I print two copies, one for me and one for my doctor, so we can both be looking at the same thing. It’s easy to become overloaded with all this new, life-changing information, and walk out of the appointment with none of your questions answered. By having it written down, it makes it easy to check off each point as we talk about it, so by the end I know I’ve gotten through it all.
I also bring any lab work or test results that I’ve received since our last appointment. I’ve learned to always bring a copy, even if you think the doctor should have it too, because things get lost or shuffled around the office, and it’s just safest to bring your own if you have it.
Another vital document I bring is a typed up list of every single medication I’m currently on, as well as the dosage. I like to put it in alphabetical order so it’s easy for my doctor to scan through. This is so important because I have multiple doctors, and each of them put me on different supplements and medications. It’s essential that all my practitioners know everything I’m taking so they don’t prescribe something that would interfere. It’s also just very handy because instead of using up valuable time explaining all the things I’m taking, I can just hand my doctor the list and he can see for himself. After the initial inputting of all the meds in the word document, it’s quite easy. I label it “Medications I’m on as of [insert date]” so that before each appointment I can just alter the date and add or subtract any meds that have changed since my last appointment. It’s something that takes almost no effort on my part but makes a huge difference in the appointment.
The last thing I bring is a blank notepad. After each mold appointment I usually walk out with 4-5 pages of rapidly scribbled notes. There is just so much information to take in, and there would be no way to get it all without writing it down. It’s important to write every single piece of information: how the medicine is spelled. Where to buy it. What time you take it. How many times a day you take it. What dosage. If it can be taken with other meds, with water, or with food. If it needs to be taken on a completely empty stomach or after a meal. Ramping up on it? If so, how slow/fast?
As the patient it’s my job to ask these follow up questions. It’s of no help to me to arrive home and see in my notes “take bentonite clay,” with no explanation. It’s fine to ask the doctor to slow down or repeat something. I am the patient. I am the one who needs to be able to understand my medication protocol. I also like to record the sessions so that if I do miss something, I can go back and listen again.
I am very lucky in that I have two extremely supportive parents who want to come to my appointments with me. It is so helpful to have them there, because even though I’m the one doing the talking and the note taking, I have two other sets of ears to hear what the doctor is saying. On the drive home we debrief from the appointment and try to help each other understand what was said and what we have to do for the next phase of treatment.
While the information is still fresh in my mind I like to go through my notes from the appointment and re-write them in the form of a checklist. By doing this I am able to see if I do in fact have all the information I need, or if “take bentonite clay” was the only thing I wrote down for that medicine. After the checklist is done I often have a few questions that need to be answered, so the next step is calling my doctor’s office and leaving a message with those questions. After that, I go through the checklist and order all the meds, call all the new practitioners my mold specialist wants me to see, and after each one, check it off the list.
Next I need to come up with a timetable. Often I’m ramping up on meds, and so I need to be reminded every few days to go up to the next amount. I have all this information in my checklist, but now it’s time to put it on my phone. There are two places it needs to go: my medication reminder app, and in the reminders section of my iPhone. If it’s really important to remember to do it on a specific day, there are times I’ll put it on my calendar app as well.
If I’m starting a new medicine but I’m not ramping up, then that’s easy. I just put it in my medication app, setting the times I need to be reminded at, and I’m good to go. If I need to start a medicine at a certain dosage for now, but ramp up on it, then it needs to go in my medication app as well as in my reminders section, so Siri can remind me on certain days to change the dosage in my medication app. This whole process takes some thought and it can definitely be confusing, but once everything is inputted into my various apps, it becomes a lot more clear.
For those who prefer audio over text, I’ve recorded myself reading this post here: