We’re one month into 2018 and I am happy, and frankly pretty proud, to say that I have crossed my big New Year’s Resolution off my list. Not only was it really easy and relatively pain-free, it was also super healthy. No, it wasn’t something like running for five minutes consecutively or committing to trying one workout class. This was something that was actually good for my long-term health.
I went to the doctor.
Well, I went to a bunch of doctors. Four, to be exact. The dentist, dermatologist, gynecologist and general practitioner. Knocked out appointments with all of them in one month. Done and done for 2018 (well, except for the dentist … committing to that six-month check-up).
Ever since having Blake, I’ve avoided the doctor. I think all the OB-GYN appointments back-to-back with Reese and Blake gave me a little bit of PTSD. Just the thought of sitting in a waiting room listening to people loud talk about their VERY personal problems was enough to make me put it off. Seriously, the amount of incredibly private life detail people share over the phone in a waiting room is disturbing. Do they know other people can hear them? Do they care? It’s all too much.
Then there’s the worry that it’s been too long so surely it’s going to be bad, especially at the dentist. Not to mention the hassle of scheduling. There’s always an excuse even if it’s just the catch-all of “I’m so busy,” or that random meeting whose importance is amplified when it comes to squeezing in a doctor’s appointment. Plus anytime I take my kids to the doctor, I feel like since I have to be there too, it should count for me too. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Basically, if there’s a way to avoid going to the doctor’s office – I’ve tried it.
I’d love to say it was my mom’s nagging encouragement that finally got me to follow through but in actuality it was seeing a couple stories about really young women finding out they had cancer that lead me to make it a priority. Seriously, it’s frightening to hear that someone who looks so healthy and fit could have a life-threatening illness. As important as it is to workout and eat well, it’s just as important to regularly check-in with the doctors.
So the first week of the year, I put down each individual appointment on my to-do list and I scheduled them all at once. Just ripped off the band-aid. No excuses. And when they asked me when I wanted to come in, I picked their soonest available opening. No procrastinating, no letting something “pop-up” that I had to do instead.
This time of year isn’t quite as busy so it’s a great time to knock it all out.
My biggest tip: ask for their first appointment of the day.
If it’s the first thing you have to do in the morning, you’ll be less likely to bail. You’ll also end up spending less time in the waiting room. When you’re first up, you don’t have to deal with the delays that can build up in the afternoons. I scheduled most of my appointments at 8:15 or 8:30, went directly from drop-off to the doctor and was on my way to the office by 9:30.
If getting in to see a specialist is tough, ask for a newer doctor. They usually are more apt to take on new patients plus their schedules may not be as booked up.
Tip #2: ask for them to call you if they have a cancellation.
If you can pick a doctor who is relatively close to where you work or live, you can ask them to give you a call if they get a last-minute cancellation. You’re not committed to saying yes but if you end up being free, it’s an easy way to jump the line.
Scheduling appointments back-to-back or on a Friday is another good option if you have a busy schedule. But honestly, there is no meeting more important than your health.
More than the personal pride in actually following through on my resolution, is the relief and knowledge that I’m in generally good health. No more worrying if that mole is okay or hearing Drew nag me about getting my teeth cleaned (he is a freak about dental hygiene). I also feel much better knowing that if something were to come up, I have a general practitioner I can call. Plus, I have all the blood work information to fill out those health surveys on my insurance. Not sure why this gets me jazzed up but it does. I know, nerd alert.
I know that health insurance is a privilege and that so many people don’t have access to seeing a doctor so if you do have that ability, you should definitely capitalize on it. My insurance covered the entirety of my wellness checks so the only bills I was stuck with was my co-pay at the dermatologist and whatever they charge me for my four (!!!) fillings. Yes, I had to get four fillings. My sweet tooth is real.
This post is a little different than my normal routine but I wanted to let you all know that resolutions don’t have to be so complicated. You don’t have to commit to eating leafy greens at every meal, or running a marathon or removing every ounce of clutter from your home (although I would love to cross that off my list). You can commit to making little changes and setting attainable goals. Or you can just commit to going to the doctor. I promise, it’s good for you.
If you’re in Louisville and want a recommendation on any of the doctors I go to, just email me (email@example.com) and I’d be happy to share their contact information!