A Full Planner

Don’t get me wrong — I love my mom to pieces, but for the foreseeable future, it looks like I’m going to be hauling her back and forth between doctor’s offices.

And I’m NOT happy about that.

The human body, as we all know, has gazillions of different parts. Any of those parts can malfunction at any time. All of those parts periodically need examination by a member of the medical profession.

Therein lies the problem.

Rather than making an appointment for a “complete physical,” local doctors seem to want to “piece-meal” a person’s care. You know, check heart on one day, do lab testing on one day, check female parts on another day, etc. As of today, we’ve got nearly ten medical appointments scheduled in the coming two months. What’s up with that?

What if auto mechanics decided they’d work on our car’s transmission on Monday, brakes on Tuesday, muffler on Wednesday, and so on?

It doesn’t make sense, and we’d never stand for it!

Nor do we let our accountant do the expenses portion of our taxes on one day and the income portion the following week.

Brighter minds than mine should have long ago developed a plan for performing medical check-ups on humans.

Take Mayo Clinic, for example. There, a patient in for a physical exam will check in the day before the exam; they receive a note card with their appointments all listed, one following the other, for the next day.

You might be poked and prodded from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but hey, at the end of the day, it’s ALL done. Who wouldn’t like that? Talk about efficient!

My poor Mom, on the other hand, who still isn’t driving, must depend on me to chauffeur her back and forth to an appointment here, the lab there, eye doctor here, dentist there.

Inconvenient? Sure, for me and for her.

But doctors don’t worry about how their patients are going to get to an appointment. Nor do they care how many people are inconvenienced.

You know, it’s easy to feel put upon when you work out of your house. Nobody seems to believe you’re working if you’re not dressed to the nines and commuting to and from an office downtown.

Same goes for writing.

I’ve long tried to schedule everything (like taxiing my mom and running errands) on one day or maybe two; that way, I have the rest of the week open for my work and my writing.

But the medical profession, I believe, is out to thwart that.

And I’m really NOT happy about it!

Any thoughts or advice you care to share?

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12 thoughts on “A Full Planner

  1. No solutions but I will offer sympathy to both you and your mom. It really is awful and I think the worst part is not having any idea of how to fix it. . .we are powerless to a broken system— /

  2. I don’t know what the answer is. And the sad thing is, it’s the older generation that is spending the most time in medical offices. And it’s harder for them to get around. My mom doesn’t ever feel great even on a good day. She can still get herself to and from her appointments, but it’s draining for her to have to be running to them all the time. You’d think the American medical system could figure out a better way.

    • Thanks, Terri, and I agree. I shudder at the thought of Socialized medicine, where everybody gets the same poor care from an over-worked, small group of doctors; however, forcing old people to spend their “golden years” shuttling back and forth among doctors isn’t much of an improvement.

  3. My parents went through the same thing with my grandma. It was exhausting to run her around to all the specialists. I hope you are able to squeeze in some writing time (and time for yourself) because it will do your soul good. I wish I had answers…but I’ve got nothing.

    • You’ve got empathy, Janna, and I appreciate that! Somehow, it seemed easier to squeeze in writing time while I was shuffling my son between lessons and sports practices when he was little. Maybe because I left the learning up to him, maybe because he didn’t need me to listen like my mom does. But I’m glad I’m here, rather than trying to handle this clear across the country!

  4. I hear you. I try to plan days with no activities except writing but inevitably there’s always something. Like my dog who always needs to be walked every day. Why can’t just once he hold it in and skip a day, so I can write? But all those doctor appts on different days? Now, that is annoying. Good luck with that. If you have an iPad, you can do what I do, I take that everywhere and use it when I don’t have access to my computer. I have a word app called Pages on it, and it helps me write anywhere. Like while I’m waiting at the car wash, or waiting in a dark theater for the movie to begin, or waiting in the doctor’s office, etc.

    • Good suggestion, Monica — thanks! Yes, our pups can be demanding, can’t they? (And with yours being royalty and all, well, you know!) I try to take something with me to write on, but too often, I have to go into the exam room with her and listen to make sure she’s got everything straight — she gets nervous and tends to close her mind to instructions). Oh, well, it is what it is.

  5. take a notebook along… you’ll have a ton to write about as you wait… someone, somewhere will be blessed by it… remember it’s only a season…. went through it myself 10 years ago… Mom and Dad are gone now… there are days I wish I could be taking them somewhere again

    • You have a beautiful blog — I’m honored you stopped by mine. Thank you for putting this all into perspective. While we’re immersed in the busyness of being the “sandwich generation,” we don’t have time to ponder what life will be like when our parents are gone. That’s probably true for all ages (kind of like when we’re busy raising young children, we don’t realize what life will be like when they’re in college or off making their way in the world). I appreciate your taking time to be a voice of experience for me!

  6. Debbie, I think the problem lies in the fact that the medical field is not working on preventing illness, but instead, on prolonging life. It’s no longer about how to keep us from getting sick in the first place, but instead, how long they can keep us on a ventilator. I saw my father drained mentally, emotionally, and physically over having to be driven routinely to four different specialists. What the cardiologist managed to fix, harmed his kidneys. If we went to the nephrologist and he made adjustments to the medication, the cardiologist was pissed. If he had a throat infection, we had to go to his general practitioner because the other specialists thought it was beneath them to prescribe something for that. It was a nightmare. The sad thing is that the primary caregiver becomes exhausted rather quickly, not to mention, frustrated and impatient. I only hope you have someone else to help you through this process. If you don’t take the occasional break, it’s draining. I hope you and your mother get through this without too much effort.

    • Ah, Bella, nothing like the empathy of someone who’s been there, done that. Thank you, Lady, for your wise words! I saw how drained my mom became when she was the primary caregiver for my dad, who suffered from a variety of conditions including esophagus cancer. I’m fortunate my mom is actually in pretty good health and most of these appointments are “well baby checks,” for lack of a better term! Haha!

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