Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You might first discuss your symptoms with your family doctor, but he or she will probably refer you to a neurologist for further evaluation.
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to arrive well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Ask a family member or friend to come with you, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor may be limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. For Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Will this condition go away, or will I always have it?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend for me?
- What are the possible side effects for treatment?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Do I need to follow any activity restrictions?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Do you have symptoms all the time, or do they come and go?
- Does anything seem to make your symptoms better?
- Does anything make your symptoms worse?
- Does anyone in your family have similar symptoms?
- Have you or others in your family had genetic testing to confirm the diagnosis?
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/charcot_marie_tooth/detail_charcot_marie_tooth.htm. Accessed Jan. 10, 2013.
- Facts about Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and related diseases. Muscular Dystrophy Association. http://www.mda.org/publications/facts-about-charcot-marie-tooth-related-diseases. Accessed Jan. 12, 2013.
- Aminoff MJ, et al. Clinical Neurology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=66. Accessed Jan. 9, 2013.
- Patzko A, et al. Update on Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Current Neurology Neuroscience Report. 2011;11:78.
- Patzko A, et al. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and related genetic neuropathies. Continuum Lifelong Learning in Neurology. 2012;18:39.