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Specialist visit tips

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    Specialist visit tips

    We are really only seeing a specialist for asthma and allergy. However, I get flustered on almost every visit. I'm wondering if anyone has tips for successful visits. The trouble is taking 3 kids. The place is an hour a way and these visits are 40 mins a PIECE (and 2 have to go). So, we are looking at the 1 hour drive, waiting room time, then at least 80 min for talking to the doctor (some pulmonary tests and allergy testing are done as well). I feel like my husband needs to join me, because he sometimes questions my relays of what the doctor said. It's better for him to hear it for himself. So, we have to take all 3 kids. I usually bring notes, but find by the time we have left that I forgot to ask 1 or 2 of the questions (even though they are right there on the page!!!).

    The real problem is keeping the kids quiet, refraining from asking a million questions while the doctor is talking, or quite literally, jumping around the room....(or pushing things, etc). They are getting older, but they have a hard time not talking......By the time we are done, I'm mentally exhausted. After 1 visit, I simply just called the nurse and she helped clarify things for me.

    I thought this wise group though might have some tips for getting through these appointments and not leaving confused/flustered/mentally exhausted!
    Christine

    (2019/2020)
    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

    #2
    Re: Specialist visit tips

    That is a big load! How often do you go? Is it feasible for your husband to either go with you or keep the one child that doesn't need to go for you? When we do big visits I try to have someone keep the other kids, especially my youngest.

    But if that isn't possible, for the ride - audio books and planned snacks that are already portioned. Maybe some type of incentive for being quiet during the actual office visit part, like getting a donuts or something. That might work for my older two but it wouldn't help my youngest. A brand new game on an ipad or a new video downloaded to an ipad? Something novel to make it entertaining. Make your list with big bullets with spaces in between each question and check them off after they've been covered.

    Be very forgiving of yourself and know that calling the nurse to clarify is likely pretty normal.
    Susan

    2018-2019
    A (10) - Barton, R&S math 3, SC 3
    C (9) - Barton, R&S math 2, SC 3
    G (5) - Simply Classical C

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Specialist visit tips

      Following to hear other people's tips. I need them too! Nathaniel's newest trick is opening the exam room door and escaping. This has led to a new rule for appointments: the doctor leaves first.

      One thing I have done to get through all the questions is to write a brief list on the thin paper on the exam table as I wait for the doctor. I check them off as we discuss. One of our specialists loves this because he knows how much time I need that day right when he walks in the door.
      Wife to Rich - 27 years.
      Step-Mom to DS age 33 years, 30 years. Mom to DD 26 years old and DS(s) 23 years, 22 years, 21 years, 17 years, 3 years.
      Grandma to baby girl due June, 2016.
      Began homeschooling in 1992. Graduated 6. Use a mixture of curriculum for DS (Senior year '16-'17). Use SC for 3 year old.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Specialist visit tips

        I do dentist, doctor, midwife, library, grocery, craft store, Yankee Candle Company and Bath & Body Works trips with four children in tow. (Which is the long way of saying, "I am never alone".) So I hate to say I just grit my teeth and get through it.... but really, I basically just grit my teeth and get through it.

        *Make sure everyone has eaten and gone potty before you leave home for the office and vice-versa
        *Save screens for the actual exam room (a little playlist of children's songs on YouTube goes a long way ... unless your appt center has terrible wifi -- been there!)
        *As stated before -- take a list of questions to ask
        *give everyone a predetermined job -- my daughter was in charge of turning on the doplar ar my midwife appts; my older son was in charge of putting the jelly on my tummy; my younger son got to turn up the volume, etc. For "sensitive visits" I hired a sitter.
        *leave your older kids in the waiting room if possible -- my kids are just fine watching the TV at the dentist and playing with the provided toys while I get my teeth cleaned. The staff knows us and will come get me if anyone gets unruly.
        *pray -- a lot
        *practice practice practice -- I DREADED these types of outings when my kids were a bit younger, but now that we are practiced at it, it's not (usually) such a big deal.

        EDIT:
        Determine BEFORE YOU GO consequences for misbehavior. If my daughter is talking too much for the dr to converse with me, she sits quietly on the floor in the hall on the other side of the closed exam room door. SHE HATES THAT. But it enables us to speak. Think of creative consequences. Make a list. Make sure your kids know the score before you all attend visits.

        Good luck!
        Last edited by Anita; 03-10-2017, 01:21 PM.
        Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
        Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
        Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
        Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

        “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
        ~Pope St John Paul II

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Specialist visit tips

          Originally posted by Anita View Post
          I do dentist, doctor, midwife, library, grocery, craft store, Yankee Candle Company and Bath & Body Works trips with four children in tow. (Which is the long way of saying, "I am never alone".) So I hate to say I just grit my teeth and get through it.... but really, I basically just grit my teeth and get through it.

          *Make sure everyone has eaten and gone potty before you leave home for the office and vice-versa
          *Save screens for the actual exam room (a little playlist of children's songs on YouTube goes a long way ... unless your appt center has terrible wifi -- been there!)
          *As stated before -- take a list of questions to ask
          *give everyone a predetermined job -- my daughter was in charge of turning on the doplar ar my midwife appts; my older son was in charge of putting the jelly on my tummy; my younger son got to turn up the volume, etc. For "sensitive visits" I hired a sitter.
          *leave your older kids in the waiting room if possible -- my kids are just fine watching the TV at the dentist and playing with the provided toys while I get my teeth cleaned. The staff knows us and will come get me if anyone gets unruly.
          *pray -- a lot
          *practice practice practice -- I DREADED these types of outings when my kids were a bit younger, but now that we are practiced at it, it's not (usually) such a big deal.

          EDIT:
          Determine BEFORE YOU GO consequences for misbehavior. If my daughter is talking too much for the dr to converse with me, she sits quietly on the floor in the hall on the other side of the closed exam room door. SHE HATES THAT. But it enables us to speak. Think of creative consequences. Make a list. Make sure your kids know the score before you all attend visits.

          Good luck!
          I, too, take my children everywhere I go! I was just asking, on these out of the ordinary, long appointments, if anyone had tips that have set them up for success. I know many moms here have long drives to their multiple specialists, so I was seeking that advice. Yes, I grin and bear all the other circumstances where I take my children with me as well and they are not usually a problem.
          Christine

          (2019/2020)
          DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
          DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
          DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

          Previous Years
          DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
          DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
          DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Specialist visit tips

            Originally posted by howiecram View Post
            I, too, take my children everywhere I go! I was just asking, on these out of the ordinary, long appointments, if anyone had tips that have set them up for success. I know many moms here have long drives to their multiple specialists, so I was seeking that advice. Yes, I grin and bear all the other circumstances where I take my children with me as well and they are not usually a problem.
            I totally understand, Christine. Sometimes "enough is enough", too. Your sanity and temper might be worth the cost of a mommys helper on these outings. Or schedule one (or two appts) instead of three at a time.

            I look back on so many decisions I made in years past that I thought (at the time) were not worth the money to hire a helper. Now I look back on some of those and go "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!" We are human. We have limits. Part of being a good human means knowing where your limits are. If this cycle is pushing you over your limit, get someone to help you. Imagine describing this situation to a (non MP/SC stranger). Would they say, "Better you than me! I could never do that!"...? Then get someone to assist. Take care of YOURSELF. Or you won't have the stamina to take care of those babies.

            EDIT:
            Pardon -- "two have to go". Sorry, I scanned over that!
            Leave one child at home with a sitter. And only schedule one appt at a time, and then at least two weeks apart. In other words -- pace yourself. They get the care they need, you don't lose your mind. Worth it.
            Last edited by Anita; 03-10-2017, 02:28 PM.
            Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
            Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
            Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
            Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

            “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
            ~Pope St John Paul II

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Specialist visit tips

              Originally posted by kimrankin View Post
              Following to hear other people's tips. I need them too! Nathaniel's newest trick is opening the exam room door and escaping. This has led to a new rule for appointments: the doctor leaves first.

              Too funny. This reminds me of years ago, "Michelle, only the doctor is allowed open his cabinets."

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Specialist visit tips

                For those ultra-long days, do you have anyone who can stay with the ones who do not need to go to the appointment? It is sweet that your husband will come with you. It would be nice if you could find a mom/grandma at church, if not a relative or neighbor, who could keep one or two of your high-energy children.

                If not, then maybe this:

                On really long therapy/doctor days, we worked in a playground afterward. This allowed me time to sit and think (i.e., process everything I had heard, jotting notes if needed), and it let my children run off those stuck-in-my-carseat-then-double-stroller-then-stuffy-doctor's-office wiggles. The fresh air helped everyone before we headed back home. Even today, we plan some kind of outing after the dreaded stuffy doctor's office.

                If all else fails, as Anita implied,
                Never leave home without incentives and consequences firmly in place.


                Let us know if you discover anything that helps next time! As with all of this, I know you will figure it out.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Specialist visit tips

                  Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                  For those ultra-long days, do you have anyone who can stay with the ones who do not need to go to the appointment? It is sweet that your husband will come with you. It would be nice if you could find a mom/grandma at church, if not a relative or neighbor, who could keep one or two of your high-energy children.

                  If not, then maybe this:

                  On really long therapy/doctor days, we worked in a playground afterward. This allowed me time to sit and think (i.e., process everything I had heard, jotting notes if needed), and it let my children run off those stuck-in-my-carseat-then-double-stroller-then-stuffy-doctor's-office wiggles. The fresh air helped everyone before we headed back home. Even today, we plan some kind of outing after the dreaded stuffy doctor's office.

                  If all else fails, as Anita implied,
                  Never leave home without incentives and consequences firmly in place.


                  Let us know if you discover anything that helps next time! As with all of this, I know you will figure it out.
                  Our appointment is April 12th, so really I am planning ahead! A few things have changed since our last visit (a year ago) so I'm hoping that just another year will help! I always choose the 1:20 appointment, because we have lunch in the car and the doctor is always on time, since it is the first appointment after lunch. (although this office is particularly good about staying on time) In addition to the 2 (40) minute appointments, my son has to get his blood drawn for the allergy level test. (thankfully, only him now, my daughter is old enough now that doc says she will not outgrow) This can take an additional 1-2 hours, depending on the wait time for the lab. I asked about going home and just doing it locally, but doc said no.... Anyway, yes it is a long day. Hubby happens to be on vacation, so I'll see how he feels about going or staying home with the youngest! (I was going for first available appointment as my daughter's once easily controlled and maintained asthma is a bit out of wack right now.) I was perfectly willing to bring all 3, myself, but again just thought I would ask if anyone has some "in the trenches" success stories!
                  Christine

                  (2019/2020)
                  DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                  DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                  DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                  Previous Years
                  DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                  DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                  DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                  Comment

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