You went to the doctor and heard the news you were not prepared to hear; you been diagnosed with a serious illness. While thousands of people are diagnosed with serious conditions every day, it’s never something anyone expects to hear about themself.
Now that you have, you’re probably wondering what to do. Receiving a serious diagnosis can be very challenging and confusing. There are many things requiring your attention and it’s difficult to know where to turn and when.
Caring for yourself at this time should be your top priority. Taking the necessary measures to ensure optimal physical and mental health as you embark on your new healthcare journey is key.
Take a look at some of the things you can do once you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness.
Determine your medical care.
Depending on your diagnosis, you will likely begin your medical care journey right away. This includes any necessary tests, labs, and appointments. Talk to your doctor to decide what types of appointments you’ll be needing in the near future. Create a plan, get any referrals or lab orders, and make your appointments. Getting a jump on your medical care is the first step in the right direction.
Find the right care team.
After your diagnosis, you’ll probably find that your doctor isn’t the only person who is going to be caring for you. Most serious illnesses require an entire care team, including various specialists and physicians who are highly skilled and experienced in certain areas. Your doctor will likely refer you to one or more specialists who will be able to help you in their area of expertise. Start searching for the right specialists in every area you’re referred to. Create a care team of experts that is right for you and your illness.
Consider a second opinion.
Not everyone decides to get a second opinion, but it’s usually a good idea. Even the most experienced doctors have gotten it wrong on occasion. When it comes to a serious illness that will likely require heavy treatment and lifestyle changes, getting a second opinion is often the best decision. Ensure that you have the right information about your illness before starting treatment and making changes.
Research typical treatment for your condition.
After getting your second opinion, it’s time to really embark on your health journey.. Research your illness and get an early look at the most common and most effective treatment options. Arm yourself with knowledge so you’re ready to talk with your care team and get started on the best treatment out there.
These steps are just the beginning. There’s more you need to know and do when you are first diagnosed with an illness. Set yourself up for a safe and healthy care journey. Learn everything you need to know about what to do after you’re diagnosed with a serious illness by downloading 7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Facing a Serious Healthcare Problem.