When you have ADHD, it is easy to forget that your ADHD is just one part of you. All of your time can be spent thinking of ways to manage your unwanted ADHD traits and leave no time to take care of the rest of you, including your physical health.
Taking care of your physical health is extra important when you have ADHD as statistics show that people with ADHD are more likely to have stress related illnesses, be overweight and develop diabetes than someone without ADHD.
ADHD symptoms can cause problems too. Procrastination, fear of picking up the phone or feeling ashamed that it has been a long time since your last appointment are just a few reasons why it can be hard to book appointments.
This is why once a year it’s good to have a health overhaul! This is where you take care of all your health worries, as well as routine health appointments that might have been forgotten.
This time of year is perfect to do your health overhaul because the New Year brings with it a fresh energy and there are lots of visual reminders on the web and magazine stands to focus on your health.
There are 10 steps for your health overhaul:
1. Mentally Scan Your Body
Do a mental scan of your body from head to toe, and write down which doctors you need to visit. Here are some examples of doctors that might be on your list:
- General doctor (for an annual check-up)
Include your own special health needs, for example, a podiatrist for your feet, a dermatologist if you have any worries about moles, etc.
Your list might include alternative practitioners, such as a chiropractor or acupuncturist.
If you haven’t visited a health professional for a long time, don’t feel guilty or ashamed. It’s better to visit now and address the problem head-on than to feel bad about yourself every time the thought pops into your head. I went to see my chiropractor for the first time in 5 years and both him and the receptionist were very happy to see me. Yours will be too!
2. Facing Resistance Head On.
Often resistance to booking an appointment comes from a few reasons.
Not having the telephone number nearby.
This is an easy fix. Hunt the number down and write it next to the doctor’s name.
You don’t like your doctor
If you have a doctor that you don’t enjoy visiting, whether it’s because the receptionist is rude or the doctor’s style doesn’t resonate with you, it’s time to find a new one. Ask friends, family or coworkers for recommendations. Or, if you have one doctor or health professional you like, ask them for a recommendation.
3. Making Time
Appointments do take time away from your usual daily activities. Before making the call, look at your calendar and decide what days or time of day is best for you, such as lunchtime or right after work. It’s probably not a good idea to see everyone in one week – you will be worn out! However, you could make a personal goal to see one doctor a week until you have seen everyone.
4. Pick Up The Phone!
Now it is time to phone. Schedule 30 minutes when you can phone each number on your list. If you hate using the phone, the first call will be the worst. However, once you have made the first call, you will feel elation/relief and the next will be much easier.
5. Write Down the Time and Date
Write down the time and date of your appointment into your calendar so you don’t forget it.
6. Go Prepared
Once you have your appointments scheduled, start to jot down the questions you want to ask each doctor. This way you don’t have to rely on your memory when you are face-to-face with your doctor.
Take something with you that is fun to do in the waiting room. A book to read or a sudoku puzzle, whatever is fun for you. Waiting times can be long, so have something interesting and compelling to ward off boredom (which is agony when you have ADHD).
8. Follow up
After your appointment, there is often some follow up action, perhaps another appointment in a month or going to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. Whatever the follow up action is, do it right away.
9. Book Now
If at all possible book your next appointment. For example, if your next check-up is in 6 or 12 months, book it before you leave the doctor’s office. This prevents long delays between appointments.
10. Keep Your Receipts
Keep your receipts safe! You might be able to claim your visit on your health insurance or include them in your taxes.
Great job! You are all set for another year!!!