5 Reasons to Bring A Health Buddy With You to the Doctor

by GregP_WN

Do you remember the “Buddy System?” You’d get paired up with a pal at school and then help each other out. It’s still a great idea, even when it comes to healthcare.                       5 Reasons To Take A Health Buddy To Doctor

A lot of medical settings present a cold and sterile atmosphere, and it’s easy to feel a little bit intimidated—especially when you’re fighting cancer. First, your world was turned upside down when you got your diagnosis; now you’re expected to hold it all together while you feel uncomfortable, and may be depressed or angry. Why go it alone?

Having a “Health Buddy,” (usually a loved one or a close friend,) with you at doctors’ appointments is a smart thing to do for several reasons. Your Health Buddy can:

1) Remember things you may have missed
It can be hard to focus on what the doctor is telling you, so you may not remember everything covered in your visit. Your Health Buddy will most likely be able to clearly remember key points         Take Dad To Doctor To Help Remember

2) Drive you to and from the appointment if you’re not feeling well
There’s nothing more unsettling than realizing you’ve almost rear-ended the car in front of you because your thoughts were off in another direction. It’s comforting to have a friend or loved one drive you to and from appointments. Many towns have medical transportation services if you need them, so give your municipality a call!                                                   Ride To Doctor

3) Ask questions you may not have thought of
Your Health Buddy will probably think of questions about your cancer treatment that are different than your own. This is because his or her experiences are different from yours, and they will most likely have a different approach.                                                                                          Ask Your Doctor Questions

4) Take notes
At doctor visits and chemo appointments, your attention is being drawn in a million different directions. Having notes to refer to afterwards is a huge help and can make your next visit/chemo treatment easier.                                                                                                                                Take Notes, Don't Forget

5) Help you to feel less anxious
There is something calming about having a friend or loved one with you as you face what can be “the Great Unknown.” A little hand-holding goes a long way!                                    Snoopy Doctor

Many people undergoing cancer treatment complain about having “chemo brain,” which is a legitimate concern. During those times, your Health Buddy can be your greatest ally.       I Have Chemo Brain What's Your Excuse

Be sure to choose the right person, though. You don’t want your Health Buddy continually interrupting or talking over the doctor. Also, your Health Buddy should be patient and shouldn’t mind spending time with you in the waiting room. And once in a while, it wouldn’t hurt if your Health Buddy dressed like a pirate.                                            Captain Jack At Doctor's Office

If you don't have a family member or friend who fits the bill, reach out to your local spiritual center or ask the doctor if he or she can recommend a patient advocate to help you. Also, listed below are a number of resources you may find helpful in getting the support you deserve on your cancer journey. And as always, you can reach out to others at The WhatNext Community to see who they asked to be their Health Buddy. 

Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes

American Cancer Society

Road To Recovery - Rides to Doctor/Treatments by The American Cancer Society

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