Posts tagged ‘appointments’

November 6, 2018

#555 – Medical Intake Forms


Image courtesy of

Whenever I see a new health practitioner, I ask that the medical intake form be emailed to me so that I can print it off and complete it at home.

I do this for three reasons:

  1. I have a fairly detailed medical history and it’s easier to refer to my notes at home.
  2. Dependent on the length of time it takes to complete the form, ulnar deviation makes it difficult to write for any length of time.
  3. I do my utmost to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for my appointments. However, sometimes traffic, or some other unforeseen event, intervenes. If I’m running late (*quelle horreur!), I’ll at least have completed the intake form so that I’m ready to be whisked into the appointment. (Yes, it’s wishful thinking that all appointments start at the designated time.)

People who have a chronic illness such as RA, tend to have a very extensive health history. As a matter of course, the patient should be given the option of completing the form prior to the appointment. We have the technology, so let’s make use of it.

Related posts:


April 18, 2017

#523 – Blood Test Snapshots

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Image courtesy of Billy W.

I’ve always felt that certain blood test snapshots could be “out of focus”. The results could vary, dependent upon what you ate, how much/little you exercised, the type of rest/sleep you had and the stress you were undergoing.

When I go for a blood test, I want to control as many variables as possible. I prepare, just as I would for an exam. I don’t pig out (who me?) in the preceding days and I do as much as I can to manage my emotions.

Someone else agrees with me. I recently read this on page 66 in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris: “It’s important to get blood tests often enough to trend, and to repeat/confirm scary results before taking dramatic action.”

He included an anecdote from Dr. Peter Attia, who explained what happened to his platelet and white blood count after he swam from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. (Yes, you read that right!) They changed from his normal to 6 times normal and 5 times normal, respectively.

He adds,

‘I’ve always been hesitant to treat a patient for any snapshot, no matter how bad it looks. For example, I saw a guy recently whose morning cortisol level was something like 5 times the normal level. So, you might think, wow, this guys got an adrenal tumor, right? But a little follow-up question and I realized that at 3 a.m. that morning, a few hours before this blood draw, the water heater blew up in his house.’

There’s one particular phrase in Dr. Attia’s comment that should become a mantra for healthcare professionals: “follow-up questions.”

As a patient, be proactive. Question. Listen. Double-check. Follow up. The latter one is especially important, as you’ll read on Owner Operator.

Does this image turn your stomach?

If you have had enough of getting stressed by the thought of needles, or by blood tests, I can help. Email me to free yourself from this anxiety.

Related posts:

March 12, 2013

#425 – Missed Appointments

Image courtesy of Mario Servodidio.

Image courtesy of Mario Servodidio.

We all lose when someone neglects to keep, or is late for his/her appointment. Regardless of whether it is a publicly-funded program, or one that you pay for privately, the burden of cost is carried by all of us. Missed appointments throw the schedule out of tune – think of it as a carefully-timed instrument, which serves to harmonize the day.

One person’s tardiness or absence not only throws the practitioner’s day out of synch, but also denies a slot to someone who badly wants or needs the appointment.

Recently, I was horrified to learn that more people than you’d imagine actually don’t show up for surgery! That’s one of the reasons hospitals require patients to be there significantly in advance of their surgery time. When time is money, an empty operating room increases hospital and healthcare costs. It also takes away from those who are anxiously awaiting surgery.

So, please be considerate. Keep your appointments. Develop a system, or use an app to keep you on track with your appointments. Provide adequate notification if you have to cancel.

If fear is causing you to avoid surgery, I can help you with that.

November 4, 2011

Waiting, Wondering and Worrying

If you’re like me, that waiting time can be filled with wondering and worrying, especially if it involves waiting for test results. Your imagination, possibly aided and abetted by your doctor’s “It could be …,” automatically goes to the worst-case scenario – many times, all for naught.

So, how do you quell that propensity to activate the stress response?

As soon as you notice that you are on that roundabout of non-productive emotions, change the way you think and feel.

“How?” you ask.


Recall how you felt when you did something you loved. Remember a loved one. Lose yourself in the moment and do something you enjoy doing. Know how it feels when your heart rhythms smooth out.

But what if your mind wanders off into the murky waters of worry?


Recall how you felt when you did something you loved. Remember a loved one. Lose yourself in the moment and do something you enjoy doing. Know how it feels when your heart rhythms smooth out.

When you worry, it’s like you’re practising – endlessly – for an event that will never occur, and if it does, you will have very little say in the way it takes place. So, if you’re going to practise, why not practise stress undressing techniques.

Zsuzsanna Kilian, thanks for the image!

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