Hello! So this Sunday I thought I would talk a bit about what I put into my bag for going to a Doctor’s Appointment. I have these quite frequently and over the past few years I have learned what is good to take and what isn’t. I hope this might help some of you for your next appointment and give you some ideas of what is good to take with you.
I have a journal that serves as a bullet/art journal so the day or two before my appointment I can start writing a list of all the questions I have so when I get there I don’t forget anything. I also sometimes write a list of all the new symptoms I have and want to discuss. Even though I am feeling those things, it is easy to forget them when there are several new symptoms happening at once (I’m going to blame that on brain fog).
A Water Bottle
This is always important for if I get thirsty or especially if I have medications that I need to take while I’m at the appointment.
Werther’s or Hard Lollies
Sometimes if I’m nervous about an appointment I start biting my nails, which is my go to nervous habit so sucking on a hard lolly or lozenge like Werther’s can sometimes reduce the tension in my mouth a bit and stop me from biting. Sometimes I do end up picking at my nails with my hands but at least it helps a bit.
I take a little bag with a couple of bandaids, all the meds I need to take and some hair elastics just so they are all in one place when I need to find them. It also has a few tissues, lip balm, and some hand sanitizer. Band-Aids may sound strange but when I’m nervous about an appointment I pick at my nails and the skin can get really bad so I cover them with a Band-Aid to stop myself.
My phone is a godsend for appointments. It means I have something to concentrate on and play around with when I don’t actually want to concentrate. I can have a look on Instagram and upload some things to my story, I can check my cats on Neko Atsume, or play one of various games with levels where you have to tap on the screen and make things pop and move (you know the ones: candy crush, temple run, angry birds. Mindless, but addictive). I can also listen to music or a meditation tape if I need to zone out for a bit.
Headphones go hand in hand with my phone for listening to music, meditation or watching videos.
Forms and Information regarding the appointment
These are important, as often you need to take referrals, lists of medications, or records of past medical histories. Knowing your height and weight are also good if you are possibly going to be prescribed medications. My mum usually is the one to carry these around so technically they are in her appointment bag not mine.
If I’m seeing a new specialist who won’t have access to my hospital file I take a list of all my medications so that they know what I am already taking if they have to prescribe anything new. However, if it’s at the hospital, they generally have all that information anyway.
I often take a mini colouring book and pens as well as the book I am currently reading. The pens are especially good for filling in forms or adding notes to my journal. I also take the iPad so I can do puzzles and games.
This is for paying the bill, or perhaps going to the hospital café while you wait. I also duck into my hospital’s gift shop because they always have lovely magazines I can’t get anywhere else.
What to wear
I generally wear nice but comfortable clothes because you never know how long you will be sitting for. Also shoes and clothes that are easy to take off are good if a doctor needs to examine any part of you and get you up on the table. It’s awkward sitting there unlacing your knee high boots and having to shuffle down your skinny jeans looking like your dancing so your doctors can get to your stomach or legs if he needs to.
A cardigan or jumper is also good because hospitals and doctors clinics can get freezing, even if it’s the middle of Summer outside. Don’t skip this because I have forgotten one so many times when it’s been hot but when I got inside it felt like Antarctica!
Sunglasses for driving and if you wear reading glasses those are good as well for in the clinic.
Basically, if you’re waiting for an appointment, giving your hands a nice massage with some good smelling cream can be a fun thing to do while you wait.
It’s good to be able to keep track of time when you are parking and waiting for your appointment (and it’s kind of fun to see how late the doctor will be)
I know this might seem like a really long list but sometimes doctors really can take hours so it’s best to have everything to keep you busy! I hoped this helped some of you and maybe gave you some ideas for what to take the next time you have an appointment.