OK, so a trip to the hospital might not make for great date or a fun girls' night out. But it can be incredibly helpful to bring a buddy with you to the hospital. Ask a family member or friend to take you, or meet you, at the ER as your "healthy buddy." This role is for someone who can and will help advocate for you if you're feeling too unwell to do so yourself. This person will ideally also be ready to listen and record the details of your visit, such as questions and answers, tests, diagnosis, new medication list or schedule, and any follow-up notes. It's not a light responsibility, so make sure it's someone you trust to handle your personal information.
Be aware that some emergency departments may limit the buddies a patient can have, though, as space can be tight. This is not the time to invite your whole tribe along; limit yourself to just a +1 to keep from adding to the chaos around you.