Our work together includes but goes beyond finding a conventional medical diagnosis and trying a recommended treatment. We work to find the concert of factors which are likely to have brought about your condition, and address these factors in the safest possible way to reverse them, and subsequently the condition or "disease" that you have.
Any information you jot down about how and when your problem started will be helpful, and any time you spend thinking about the time your problem started, and what events occurred before, will make our visit go smoother.
If you have the time and motivation, put together a chronological history of your illness, its aggravations and improvements, and the various environmental exposures, dietary changes, medications, infections, medical procedures, injections and vaccinations which preceded your illness in the one month to one season period before you got worse.
If you choose, this could be accompanied by a written story of the history of your illness. A full medical history, including major conditions, illnesses, hospitalizations, surgeries, laboratory reports and X-ray reports should also be assembled. Obtain these reports by contacting your physicians and giving them written permission to send the information to you or me. You may have such information faxed to me if you are about to visit very soon.
If you have trouble remembering when you got worse and what was going on at the time, take out your date book, diary, or a calendar and begin by remembering special events such as holiday, vacations, and significant events, remembering whether you had the condition, and what you were doing at the time. Remember smelly chemical exposures, colds and minor illnesses, and other things requested, and begin to list them according to date. Be sure to remember and list exposures at work, change of workplace or job performed, hobbies, sports, house painting and renovations, new cars or carpets, pets, exposures when visiting friends or other worksites, unusual illnesses in friends, family or co-workers, etc. Similarly, make a list of what seems to have been associated with your getting better. This may include different therapies or physicians, medications, herbs, supplements, energy therapy, etc.
Some people type out such a list on their computer, put it in a spreadsheet or other tabulation program, or simply mark it on a calendar and then produce a list from that. The more searching and complete your list, the more we will have to work with in discovering the underlying cause of your illness. What is important is to recall the time-line sequence of events, write it out, and communicate clearly it to me. If there are medications, supplements, skin care applications and makeup you are using, it may be helpful to have those items with you. You can put them all in a big bag and bring them to our first visit.
I look forward to reviewing your information with you as we begin the process of unraveling the cause of your health problems.
Alan M Dattner, MD