Every now and then I’ll talk to a friend who mentions a medical appointment like it’s an unusual thing. They’re going for their yearly checkup or they only go when they have a problem, which is rare. It’s hard for me to imagine that life. I try to remember back to a time when I only went to the doctor occasionally, but I think I was 10 at the time. And it made me wonder, just how many appointments do I have each year?
I had no desire to go through my calendar and count them all, so this is a bit rough. I did a search for “Dr.” in my google calendar and for “PT” because that’s how I enter my physical therapy appointments. I searched my brain for any other entries that might have been entered differently (there are at least a few). I left out non-appointments, like stopping by a lab to get blood work done. Searching only in 2015, I came up with 42 appointments. 42!!!
If you have weekly appointments, this probably doesn’t sound like much. But if you see a doctor only once a year to refill your birth control prescription, this probably sounds like a huge number. And it is.
42 appointments is a lot. That’s 42 days I couldn’t schedule anything else. 42 times I had to plan my day around a medical appointment. 42 times I had to schlep down to an office, sit in a waiting room, talk to someone about my personal medical health. How many minutes, hours, days have been spent traveling to and from appointments, sitting in waiting rooms, waiting in offices, talking to people who may or may not be able to help me?
How much more time that isn’t included here was spent making appointments, rescheduling appointments, calling doctors, emailing doctors? How much time was spent tracking down medical records, taking notes, organizing notes, filling out release forms, sending records to other doctors?
How much time was spent thinking and worrying about these appointments?
The numbers are huge and discouraging. But I’m doing what I have to do to ensure the best health possible for myself.
What about you? How many appointments have you had this year? Take a guess, and put it in the comments. After all, there’s comfort in community.