Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. You'll likely be referred to a doctor trained in nervous system conditions (neurologist) for further evaluation.
Because there's often a lot to talk about at your appointment, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
To make the most of your appointment, write lists of important information, including:
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Bring a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For myasthenia gravis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What is the most appropriate course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
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 first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Myasthenia gravis fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/myasthenia_gravis/detail_myasthenia_gravis.htm. Accessed Jan. 18, 2013.
- Myasthenia gravis. Office of Women's Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/myasthenia-gravis.cfm. Accessed Feb. 4, 2013.
- Bird SJ. Clinical manifestations of myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2013.
- Allan W. Pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 6, 2013.
- Bird SJ. Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2013.
- Rubin DI. Neurologic manifestations of hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 6, 2013.
- Rubin DI. Neurologic manifestations of hypothyroidism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 6, 2013.
- Bird SJ. Treatment of myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2013.
- Bodamer OA, et al. Neuromuscular junction disorders in newborns and infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 7, 2013.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Jan. 28, 2013.
- Bird SJ. Chronic immunomodulating therapies for myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 7, 2013.
- Bird SJ. Thymectomy for myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 5, 2013.
- Limmer KK, et al. Minimally invasive and robotic-assisted thymus reduction. Thoracic Surgery Clinics. 2011;21:69.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Myasthenia gravis: A guide for patients. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2003.
- How can I provide emotional support for a relative who has MG? Myasthenia Gravis Association of America. http://www.myasthenia.org/LivingwithMG/InformationalMaterials.aspx. Accessed Feb. 7, 2013.
- U.S. News best hospitals 2012-2013. U.S. News & World Report. http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings. Accessed Jan. 25, 2013.
- Crum BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 1, 2013.