Chronic Illness? Chronic Appointments?

When you live with a chronic illness, you are no stranger to the often crazy-making, it-seems-like-a-full-time-job, far-from-fun-dance that is a necessary part of life.

*Huge sigh* You've just found out that you have another (stinkin') appointment! When you have RA, be prepared for the Appointment Tango – you'll want to master the steps that can be every bit as intricate as the real Tango.

Here are some tips to help you move more gracefully through a dance that will last your whole life.

Your calendar is your friend

I developed RA long before there were apps to keep me on schedule. There were no dings, nor pings, reminding me that I had an appointment with my doctor, rheumatologist, lab, x-ray, physical therapist, or occupational therapist, so I developed the habit of consulting my little black, green, red book. (Each year, I changed colors.)

Check the calendar on Sunday to see what appointments you have scheduled for that week. Then, daily, look to see what is on your calendar for the next day. This way you have a fail-proof way of making sure that you keep your appointments.

Click to continue reading Managing Your Appointments with RA on HealthCentral, where I address the following areas: Transportation, Coordination, Adjust Your Attitude with a Little More Altitude and The Visit.

2 Replies to “Chronic Illness? Chronic Appointments?”

  1. Hi Marianna,

    Thank you for providing such helpful tips when dealing with frequent doctor appointments. They are quite applicable if you are fortunate to be able to only go to your doctor(s) infrequently!

    I especially like the suggestion of calling ahead to find out whether your doctor is running on time (or rather how far behind he/she is in terms of the schedule). This is indeed a common issue with most medical appointments and if one can reduce the waiting time, this not only saves time but it makes the whole visit more pleasant and less stressful.

    I also tend to bring along a book to read (or some work to do) so that I don’t mind the inevitable wait… and instead that time becomes rather enjoyable (or useful) time 🙂


    1. Hi Dorlee,

      I’ve had mixed results with the calling ahead tip – it all depends upon the clinic/doctor, but I thought I’d throw it out there as an option.

      I know a a lot of offices now have that ubiquitous box – aka television. I think what you and I do – books or work – is quiet and thus, respectful of the other patients who may be struggling.


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