78 apple Spring 2013Choose Well
We can do a lot to become betterpatients.
Practising healthy habits is one ofthem. Lifestyle plays a big role in goodhealth and can help prevent manyillnesses such as heart disease, stroke,diabetes and more. The first step ina healthy lifestyle is eating a diet ofvegetables, fruits, whole grains andlean meats and exercising regularly(see “ 50 tips to a healthy summer” onpage 56).
Drinking alcohol in moderationand quitting a tobacco habit can alsodramatically improve your health.
Protecting yourself and those aroundyou by getting immunized can extendyour health year-round and an annualcheck-up with your health-care
How to be a better patient
Help build a trusting relationship with your health-care professional
professional can help prevent majorhealth conditions.
Knowing the signs of majorhealth conditions such as heartattack or stroke can help save lives.
I recommend people keep a list ofheart attack and stroke symptoms onthe fridge or close to the phone soeveryone knows and recognizes thesigns. Keeping phone numbers such asHealth Link, 1-800-408-LINK (5465),near your phone can also help in timesof medical distress. If you think you orsomeone close to you is having a heartattack or stroke, go to a hospital. Havesomeone else drive you.
Whenever you need to see a health-
care professional, it’s important
to practise good habits—good
patient habits help to build trusting
relationships between you and your
health-care provider and facility staff.
Before you go, write a list of any
medications, vitamins or supplements
you may be taking, as well as a list of
questions you want to discuss. Being
prepared will help your appointment
run smooth and your health-care
provider to assess, diagnose and treat
more precisely and quickly.
During the appointment be honestabout your lifestyle and healthcondition—health-care professionalscan help you best when they how youlive. Honesty between you and yourhealth-care professional helps build anopen and trusting relationship.
Also try to listen carefully and askgood questions. Some people takenotes or have someone with them atappointments. It’s good to ask abouttreatments or new prescriptions. Forexample, something as common asgrapefruit juice can interact with somemedications. Don’t be afraid to ask formore information or clarification.
Before your appointment ends, makesure you understand the advice you’vebeen given and are comfortable withany treatment plan.
Your choices can help you enjoybetter health—choose well.
— Kamalesh GangopadhyayKamalesh Gangopadhyay is a retired doctor.
Your choices can help you enjoy better health and become a better patient.