Don’t Procrastinate Scheduling Necessary Doctor Appointments!

By on September 10, 2014
calendar with doctor appointment written down

By Melodee Currier –

Have you ever noticed that you spend more time thinking about what you need to do than it actually takes to do it? You can spend days anguishing about making a phone call, when in actuality it will probably take you less than five minutes to make it. Not only can you cross it off your to do list, you will feel so relieved after you take action.

Les Brown, the motivational speaker and author said “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” That is so true! It doesn’t matter what you need to do – make a phone call, exercise, visit the doctor, go back to school, paint, write, lose weight — all it takes is the first step.

I wish I could get back all the years I’ve spent playing mind games with myself, especially relating to making medical appointments. The entire process causes major anxiety for me starting from the moment I get the thought that I need to make an appointment and increases in intensity to the day of the appointment. During the time leading up to making the call, I get the “what ifs” and become immobilized. Eventually I will call, but scheduling it is always laced with my many boundaries.

First, I don’t want to schedule near a holiday or vacation in case there’s bad news. Even scheduling after a holiday or vacation is not the best time because I will spend the entire time worrying about the pending appointment, like a looming dark cloud. When scheduling a doctor appointment I feel I need to check dates and calendar for other possible looming conflicts…I really dread making the commitment by making the appointment.

I won’t schedule on the 13th of any month (I’m superstitious) and will only make a morning appointment so I don’t have to spend all day worrying about it. I want to wake up, shower, get dressed and out the door. No time to think.

If I have more than one medical appointment to schedule, I wait until the first visit is completed before I make any other medical appointments.

There is one more ritual. I read inspirational articles I have collected in my Inspiration folder as often as I need to help alleviate my anxiety. The latest article “Doctor’s Appointments Without Anxiety” speaks directly to me and calms me. It’s anxiety medication without the drug.

When I was in my teens, I once mentioned to my father that I was fearful of medical appointments. I will never forget his response — “They’ll have to shoot you!” which was his New York way of telling me not to worry.

Even scheduling a teeth cleaning gets me jittery. I do make necessary appointments, however, like mammograms, and won’t let a little anxiety stop me. It may take longer than it should for me to get up the nerve, but I still make the appointments.

I recently scheduled my ten year colonoscopy. As you can imagine, it took me several months just to pick up the phone and make an appointment. My courage came after I had a shift in perception during an Aha! moment. I had been thinking about two medical appointments I needed to make, when it suddenly became clear that I have wasted a huge amount of time playing mind games with myself about this. I realized it was a false sense of protection. So I made a promise right then that I would not waste another minute worrying about medical appointments and tests, but will call for an appointment at the first thought that I need one.

True to my promise, I have three medical appointments this month. They are scheduled before and after our vacation and near the holidays — and some aren’t in the morning! I’m not checking the stars to see what’s in store. But I will say a prayer that all is well and take action to live a healthy life.

Mind games can be used to sabotage yourself or to reach your goals. When I quit smoking over twenty five years ago, I felt a pain in my back and got concerned it was something related to my smoking. I immediately put my cigarette out in the ashtray, said “THAT’S… IT!” and never had another cigarette. I have reaped numerous benefits from that one decision. Besides the obvious ones, I haven’t let the “I have to quit smoking” thoughts rent space in my head for the past twenty five years.

The next time you hear the scary “what ifs” try to take over, switch them to fearless “what ifs.” “What if they find something wrong.” becomes “What if they don’t find something wrong.” or “What if they catch something early.” Peace of mind can be yours with just a quick flick of your mental switch. It’s your choice.

You can read my published articles on my website




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  1. Denise Mitnick

    September 15, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Loved this article! I just scheduled several appointments that are overdue: dermatology,gyn,annual physical & a haircut to make me feel good! A long healthy life is the best gift I can give to those I love—starting with me!

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Don’t Procrastinate Scheduling Necessary Doctor Appointments!