Keeping Your Bearings

“ Seeing all these specialists, I feel quite lost. Who can put me in the picture? ”

The examinations, treatments and tests pitch you into an unknown world and bring you into contact with many new people. You may not keep track of all their specialisms, roles and vocabulary. Furthermore, you find yourself repeating the same information at each new appointment. It’s normal to feel lost. To keep your bearings, it is important to touch base frequently with your treating doctor.

  • Your general practitioner or treating doctor remains your first port of call. He or she knows you best and can contact other colleagues with additional information if you so wish. He or she will keep you in the picture throughout your treatment, giving you information on the illness, the roles of the various specialists and the methods of treatment. Don’t hesitate to give your GP/treating doctor’s name to the other doctors and ask them to forward the information about you to him/her, for further explanation to you later on if required.
     
  • In hospital, you have two designated contacts: a doctor in charge of your treatment; and an allocated nurse. Together they monitor your treatment and keep you informed. You can ask them any questions you may have.
     
  • By offering you a listening ear and providing literature, the support organizations are a valuable source of information (see List of resources).
     
  • Finally, books on your specific illness may also prove useful. The Health Documentation Centre holds many books which it lends out or keeps on the premises for reference (lire la List of resources).