7. Notebook and Pen This may seem obvious, but it's important to take notes throughout an office visit. If your doctor mentions an unfamiliar term, get him to spell it out. Don't hesitate to push for clarifications. At the end of every visit, request a verbal summary and write it down. Before you leave the exam room, review what you've written about your treatment plan; if there's anything you don't fully understand, ask again.
8. Friend or Family Member Having someone with you can provide crucial moral support. But it's also a valuable means of ensuring that your doctor addresses your most important questions. A friend or relative may not be able to sit in during the physical exam, but he or she should be welcome when you and your doctor discuss diagnosis, testing or treatment. That's when a companion can remind you of your primary questions and concerns, act as your advocate if you're not satisfied with the answers and take notes so they can help you follow through on the next necessary steps after an appointment.
9. Your Smartphone There is always some downtime during an office visit. Use it to look up more information about what your doctor has told you from trusted resources like the National Institutes of Health's Medline Plus . It's also useful to have your phone on hand if it carries your calendar so you can schedule follow-up visits and screenings. (And, of course, games, emails and websites can distract you from boredom if your wait is particularly long!)
( MORE: Could Your Distracted Doctor Harm You? )
Medkits are available from a travel doctor or you can ask your local doctor to make one up for you. What you require is dependent on where you are going, what you are doing, and how long you a planning to stay.
Med kits usually consist of general medication for headaches, stomach aches, inflammation, nausea, diarrhea, rashes, and also include pain killers. They usually come with bandages, band aids, iodine, and latex gloves.
A quality medkit will also include a booklet for quick self-diagnosis and treatment if professional help is unavailable. Additionally, you can take water purifying tablets and sterile needles (to ensure sterility of equipment in the unlikely event that you are hospitalized).
Flashlight: Many of the best Amazon jungle tours are located far from civilization and lack a constant supply of electricity, especially at night, so take a flashlight with spare batteries . Some extra batteries will also impress your spouse or family if you’re lucky enough to find a battery operated room light.
Mosquito Net: Most quality lodges in the Amazon Rainforest will come with a mosquito net as standard in the bedroom, but to make sure you don’t get caught out, I advise purchasing your own mosquito net . They also come in handy if you get caught out in the wild unprotected (speaking from personal experience).
Toiletries: If you can find them, we advise bio-friendly toiletries to cause minimal damage to the pristine wilderness. You may decide to go camping and end up washing yourself in the pure river water.
Additional: Our final suggestions are a daypack or small backpack, binoculars , and a camera or camcorder for observing the abundant and diverse wildlife.
If you have an interest in photography, you don’t even need to take a camera on our photography tours as all gear hire is included.
Is there anything else you would find useful to take? waterproof bags ? waterproof camera? An insect-proof bubble? Leave your comments below for other ideas.