Gosh if you are anything like me you probably hate going to medical appointments. I mean I used to like them but hearing one too many tell me that my tests came back “normal” or that nothing has shown up has honestly left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. So I made a list. A list of items you NEED to take to a medical appointment. It won’t stop the tests from coming back showing absolutely nothing or the doctors looking at you in disbelief but I promise you it WILL make you feel a little better! If that’s possible with a chronic illness!
I hate being unwell. I think when you have a chronic illness it simply gets to a point where it’s like “Ok I am done already! Can I just have ONE day of feeling good!” Ya know?
1. Appointment letters & Cards
If you are going to a hospital or clinic appointment then this is absolutely essential. It has ALL the information you need on it including the name of the clinic and the doctor you will be seeing. I like to keep my appointment letters in a little pouch. This way I can pack it up the night before and I know that EVERYTHING I need will be at hand during the appointment when I may be flustered, or feeling anxious.
You could also include any other relevant documents you need such as upcoming appointments at different clinics.
If you make the appointment by phone or in-person make sure to add it to your calendar IMMEDIATELY. I also ask for a confirmation letter to be sent to me in the mail if possible so I know I will have it to hand. This will make sure you have it in your diary so you won’t forget if a letter or appointment card disappears
If you are super disorganised you can take a picture of the letter on your phone and email it to yourself with the date of the appointment in the subject line for easy finding later. This way even if the letter disappears you will definitely have all the necessary information to hand.
2. List of diagnosed conditions and any allergies
I made a list a few years back when I was being passed from pillar to post through the hospital system. You simply jot down the names of the medical conditions you have and roughly when they were diagnosed and by whom.
I don’t have any allergies but this is a good time to note them in case you can’t speak for yourself. Examples include penicillin etc which may be commonly used.
You can then include this list in your clear pouch if you use one or simply keep a note on your phone.
3. Current medication list & The medications you may need to take during your appointment
This is actually one of the most important items you NEED to take to a medical appointment. When I collect my prescriptions there is usually a green list of my medications and the recent dosages. This is so handy for keeping to hand when going to appointments. Even though may medical systems can access each other it can be a quick and easy way to let medical professionals know what medications you are currently on.
I take so many pills each day sometimes I feel like I would rattle if I was shaken. When you are heading to a medical appointment it can be useful to ensure you have at least the next 2 doses of your meds with your in case you need to stay at the hospital, clinic or surgery or if there are delays in your appointment. Trust me there is nothing worse than missing a vital medication – I know I feel absolutely terrible and it takes a few days to get me back on track again.
4. Self-care Items – Water bottle, hand cream and lip balm
Sitting around waiting can be boring as hell. Make sure you bring a water bottle or cup so you can keep hydrated. This can be essential for taking medications. As well as super handy if you have to provide a urine sample. For hydrating you not use it as a sample pot!
A couple of Berocca in your purse can be a saviour for giving a little energy when diluted in water for giving a little energy boost or pick me up. Drinking water has to be provided free of charge so don’t be afraid to ask for your bottle/cup to be filled.
I never used to carry earphones. But there are so many apps and such available on your phone these days they can be really useful. You can listen to podcasts, music or audiobooks. My son loves his headphones as they help him drown out noise and stimulation which is great too. They can be charged up quickly and usually, the battery lasts for ages. I love these ones here (and so does my son!)
It’s the times we live in, unfortunately. A mask and hand sanitiser are a necessity no matter where you go to. I absolutely HATE the provided hand sanitiser and much prefer to use my own. It is less drying and smells gorgeous! I love this one from Cuticura at Boots.
My mask is one that I made myself using a free pattern from the internet. I love that you can choose your own fabrics etc and that there are lots of mask patterns out there. Don’t sweat of you cant make one. Buy one from a local shop or artist to help support the local community.
What would you put on your list of items you NEED to take to a medical appointment?