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I would take a list of questions that I had created before the appointment to ask the doctor, but I found it hard to write down everything the doctor was saying. Trying to simultaneously concentrate and understand hard news was challenging. It was also difficult to remember everything that was discussed in my appointment due to the long words and procedures I was not familiar with.
Because of this, I decided to start taking a tape recorder to my appointment. You can also use a phone or camera to capture everything that was said during the appointment. I would go back and listen several times to fully comprehend what took place during the appointment, and I could also replay it for the doctor and ask them to explain in further detail.
This easy and simple hack helped me dramatically. Take a tape recorder to your next appointment too!