Apparently this is my new doctor's office now. Very Interesting.
I experienced my first Tel-Med appointment today. I don't know if you have done this yet. It's kind of wild. Since it was my first time doing this, it was a little rocky at first. I had some of that anxiety around wanting to do correctly (read that as perfectly) something I had never attempted before. That's natural enough. They clearly tried to make is as easy and straightforward as possible.
Here is how it went. At a pre-arranged time and date, a nice lady at the doc office called me. She asked me some very ordinary basic doctor office questions, the sort that usually I would be filling out on paper in the office waiting room. Then she emailed me a link to connect with their office.
Anticipating ahead of time, the speaker and camera were already on. Cannot have a video appointment without them. I already had my email page opened so I gave it a moment or two and then, when nothing came in, I refreshed the page. When nothing came in again, the nice lady sent the link again. I refreshed again. We did that little dance 6 times. Not joking, 6 times with no link arriving. While we, unsuccessfully tried to connect, we chatted a bit to pass the time. Finally, I shut down my email altogether and opened it again. And there it was.
There I was in a little box at the top of the page. Now it was just a matter of waiting until the doctor was free. I am accustomed to waiting in doctor offices so that's not a problem. At least while I was waiting for this doctor, I was fully dressed. Frankly, a nice change.
I hummed a little hum while I waited. I talked with Tim for a few minutes about this'n'that, I considered my finger nails and wished I had a nail file nearby. I fiddled with things on the desktop and debated what I was going to make for dinner tonight. Suddenly, there he was. My doctor, right there on the screen!
We exchanged hello's and then got directly to the matter at hand. I like that. No dinking around. Just get to it. Direct and to the point. It took no more than ten minutes. And ultimately was simple enough. But, weird nonetheless. The video connection was less than ideal at least what I could see. I have no idea of how I appeared on his end but he was a little fuzzy. That can be problematic for me because I rely somewhat on my eyes to understand on what people are saying, especially if it hey are saying thing I didn't expect to hear or if they have an accent. In this case, both things came into play. Occasionally the doctor would say something and I would have to think about what I thought he might have said before responding. The pause, while brief, must have been unsettling for him because then he would start talking again. But by then, I had finally figured out (I hope) what he was saying and had begun to respond. So once in awhile, we were talking over each other. Awkward.
But it's done. I have had my first Tel-Med appointment so if and when I need to have another, I will be a little more comfortable with it. I will already be aware of the possible pitfalls and I will be prepared.
But here is my scorecard for the experience over all in case you wondered:
Things I didn't care for:
1. The fuzzy video making it hard for me to read faces/lips/expressions and so forth
2. Because we were on video, the person on the other end can see my house! I know we are not supposed to judge people on superficial things like messy bookcases in the background, but we all do it.
3. Just that bizarre feeling of living in a Sci-fi book or movie. Ever since the pandemic started I periodically have that feeling come over me.
Things I did like:
1. I didn't have to drive there. Always a bonus with me
2. It was very convenient. Just before the call started, I was filling the dishwasher. It was a better use of my time.
3. It kind of harkened back to the old days of medicine where doctors always came to the patient, not the other way around.
4. I didn't have to wear a mask.
5. Home Court Advantage. Always a plus. Doesn't everyone feel more at ease in their own space?
6. I didn't have to get on the scale at the doctor office!!! (big bonus there)
Over all it was fine. It got the job done. There were more positives than negatives. I wonder if, when this whole Covid thing is over if we will go back to the way it used to be or is this just how it is now?
I guess we will find out.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.