When slow care reduces stress

It has been a while since I’ve written on this blog, in part because I’ve been writing about my adventures in Nova Scotia over on my GoingEast travel blog. Mostly I have been writing about various hikes and other features I’m discovering as I explore my new home in Bridgewater Nova Scotia.

Healthcare is very different here. I got notification of my follow up oncology appointment by a letter in a the mail – yes they still use paper mail here.

Initially, my bone density scan was sent to a hospital a little further away than were I am currently living, in part because at the time it was ordered I had no idea where I would be living. Now that we own a home in Bridgewater, I had to phone and leave a message with my oncologist to get the scan reordered in Bridgewater. I didn’t get a follow up phone call or any acknowledgement of my message. I just got a letter in the mail two weeks later with the time and place of my appointment. That too was interesting, as it just said Fisherman’s memorial hospital. It didn’t say where Fisherman’s Memorial Hospital was – it just gave the title (it is in Lunenburg – I’m glad I looked it up because I thought it was in Bridgewater!).

What is interesting is none of this is stressing me out. I feel like I don’t have any urgent health concerns, so the lack of urgency is OK. Maybe that is something that is actually better – in that yes, in the US I would get faster service, but that service made me feel like I was in need of faster care. That my health needs were urgent. Now, when I was going through cancer care, my needs were urgent. But now, they are not. And now, I am comfortable with that lack of urgency. It has actually reduced my stress level.

I don’t have a family doctor yet. I have added myself to the list, but have not yet had an urgent need for one. There are drop in clinics, and because of Covid they now have appointments. I hope that they stick with that model as it is so much more convenient for everyone, and healthier for everyone as you don’t have a bunch of sick people stuck in the waiting room together for hours on end waiting for their time slot. Know that option is available has also reduced my stress levels. Overall, I’m a lot less stressed about healthcare.

One thought that I had a few years ago was the need to create a quick two page health summary – one that is much easier for a new doctor to scan and get the key points that might affect my care. I now have a more urgent need to create such a thing. Since I need to bring my medication list to my bone scan appointment, I’ll start by creating something for that appointment and go from there. The goal is to have it before I need it.

Do you have any special tips for helping speed up the process when you are seeing a new care provider?

Feature image by me – a portrait of a leaf.

  • Becky

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