Doctor visits are very important for you and your familes health. Don't wait until you are sick to see your Primary Care Provider. Regular checkups when you are well can help keep you well.
Visiting Your Doctor
A primary care provider can:
- Make sure you and your children are up to date on your or your child’s immunizations (shots)
- Check your blood pressure
- Check your heart health
- Suggest tests for certain conditions
You should take the following items with you when you go to your doctor’s visits:
- Your Texas Benefits Medicaid Card
- Aetna Better Health ID card
- Immunization (shot) records
- Paper to take notes on the information you get from the doctor
When you have a condition, your health care provider will work with you to set up a treatment plan. The plan will likely include several actions. For example, it might include medications, changes to what you eat or exercise. It might also include ways to find emotional support.
To feel more healthy and in control, do your best to follow your treatment plan.
Talk to Your Doctor
To make the most of your office visits, try these tips:
- Make a list of things you want to talk about, including new treatments. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Jot down what your doctor says.
- Keep a diary. Describe changes in your condition and in how you feel. Bring the diary to office visits.
- Ask about other health services, such as dietitians or physical therapists.
- Ask if complimentary care, such as acupuncture or herbs, might help.
Take Your Medications
Learn about the best way to take your medications. These tips can help you:
- Ask your pharmacist if there are certain foods you shouldn’t eat while taking your medication.
- You may need to avoid taking drugs you buy over the counter, such as aspirin, as well as vitamins and herbs. These may not work with your medication.
- Read labels. Take your medications only as directed. Don’t skip doses. Don’t stop taking your medications unless your doctor tells you to.
- Tell your doctor if you are bothered by side effects. There may be other medications you can try.
- Store medications properly. Some are affected by heat or light.
Your Feelings Are Important Too
When you’re coping with a health problem, it’s normal to feel “down” at times. Sometimes you may feel quite sad or depressed. Some medications can affect your mood too. If these feelings don’t go away, be sure to tell your primary care physician. Depression can be treated.
It’s OK to share what you learn about your condition with the people in your life. Think about inviting family members along when you attend a support group meeting. This will help them understand more about your condition. This way, they can support you too.