Thursday, February 18, 2010

YCM's Tips: Painfree doctor appointments

One of the most hectic days that I can possibly have as a single mother is doctor day.

Finding time off to get to each doctor's appointment, coordinating the distances between doctors, requesting time off, filling (possible) prescriptions, calling for consults...
it can be a pain in the ass (especially if there is a shot involved). But, I have found a few ways to simplify doctor day for my family (MIB, my mother, and myself):

  • My doctor is one stop shopping: being a single mother means having very little time to spare for many things. So having a doctor that can take care of my gynecological, general medical, and pediatric needs is a life saver. I can schedule an appointment on the same day for both me and MIB and spend about an hour tops at the office. If your doctor isn't a one stop shop, call your insurance provider and see if there is a doctor who can provide everything in one spot.

  • Night owl: on Wednesday afternoons, my doctor's office is open until 7pm at night. So just in case I have a mountain of things to do at work or I don't really have any more time to take off from work, I can schedule my appointments for after 5 pm (when I get back into the city after work). Also, this is great for days that I might have to take MIB to a consult at another doctor's office that has "normal" business hours.

  • Keep doctor's within the same network: because of certain issues my daughter has, I have to take her to different doctors based on specialty. But my doctor is a member of the local medical college, children's hospital, and another local hospital and is able to usher me to doctors within the network and close to his office (for the most part) as well. This is great because many times I don't have to schedule night owl appointments with him if I have a consult earlier in the day because the specialty doctor's office is in the hospital that is only 3 minutes away.

  • Dollar Tree: yes I love the Dollar Tree. Especially for their appointment books. I don't have the money for fancy Blackberries or $100 leather bound date books so I hit up the Dollar Tree for their cheap but effective appointment books. I am able to keep track of all of MIB's, my mother's, and my appointments and doctor's office's numbers and addresses. Also, I keep track of my period in the same book (red dots for the beginning and end of my period) to give to my doctor when it's time for my yearly Pap. It's a monthly book with plenty of room to list all appointments, play dates, birthdays, and any other information I need to put in there. Plus, it's not even a half of an inch thick and fits very easily in MIB's diaper bag when I don't want to carry my purse or bag.

  • Be prepared: self explanatory. The night before I have doctor's appointments for the family, I get all of MIB's things ready: toys, books, snacks, training paints, baby wipes, paperwork, appointment books and any other necessity go into her diaper bag. I also get her clothes together, touch up her hair, and a bath the night before so the next day all I have to do is give her a small wash up, throw a few ribbons in her hair, get her dressed and then leave the house. This saves me a lot of time on doctor appointment day and keeps me from having a migraine.
*Image from Dr. Mike Mandela

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