Helpful Hints

An Appointment Survival Guide

Doctors appointments can be anything from exciting to downright terrifying. We’ve all had that one appointment. The doctor is running an hour late and has life changing news. You sit there anxiously awaiting the results and they have nothing new to tell you. No, just me? I’ve had several of these appointments and I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences. Here’s how I survive doctors appointments…

  • Bring Distractions

It may be a book or an app on your phone but prepare to distract yourself. Zone out and let yourself forget where you are. There is always someone who is running late. Chances are you’ll be waiting at some point during your appointment. Even if you’re tapping your foot and your mind is pulling you back into thought, it’s worth attempting to focus on something else.

  • Bring Someone Along

This may not be applicable. You may like your space or everyone could be busy but for me, having someone with me is an asset. It calms me down. I can express how I’m feeling in a safe and controlled way. They can help me by sharing stories or taking my mind off the current situations. It’s always nice for after the appointment, depending on the news, I may need a shoulder to cry on. On the bright side, you may also have someone to celebrate with if the news is in your favor. 

  • Have a snack

I’ve run into this situation many times. I always forget a snack when it comes to appointments. I tell myself it’ll only be an hour max. Then they order testing or a new specialist and suddenly I’ve been there for six hours with no end in sight. Pack a protein or something that will hold you. Especially, when you’re at a hospital. Your only options are overpriced snacks that were not well prepared. 

  • Mentally Prepare Yourself

It’s difficult to do this. Sometimes the outcomes are grim but it’s important to prepare yourself for any outcome. Whether the appointment is disappointing because the doctor wasn’t well prepared or they told you news you didn’t want to hear. Don’t let yourself get blindsided, although sometimes it’s unavoidable. Let yourself be vulnerable to, share your fears with your doctors. They will most likely sympathize or even empathize depending on their past experience. 

  • Take a Deep Breath

It’s going to be scary. There are times where things will be downright terrifying. Take a deep breath, everything will be okay. Even if you get the worst news possible. It isn’t the end of the world. The definition of your life and mindset doesn’t change because of a doctors opinion, even if they’re right. You decide how you handle the news and what you do with your life. Breathe in and breathe out, repeat that for at least 6 breaths. That’s all you have to focus on.

Overall, preparing for appointments can be a guessing game. For me, often I get news when I’m least expecting it. It’s not always right and it’s not always wrong. It is what it is. There are things you can do to make the experiencing less anxiety provoking and more enjoyable but it won’t take away all your nerves. That’s okay. Be anxious, let yourself feel upset or joyful. Don’t doom yourself to a fate that hasn’t been decided. Like I said, just take a deep breath. Everything will be okay!

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