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How often do you see a doctor?

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    It took me a while to figure out my medical center. Before retirement I used to get "Annual Physical" which included blood test, etc. After retirement the same thing began to cost me significant co-pays. When I discussed it after my Medicare kicked in I was told to ask for a "Medicare health review" (you can look this up online); not sure the exact name. I had one of those before realizing it was a total waste of my time. It was all on a two page questionnaire with my doctor asking me somewhat useless questions then filling in the blanks. I got a copy and could see what a waste of my time - with lobby waiting, meeting doc, waiting, waiting, it was about 2 or more hours. I have decided to only go in for required medication refills; or when I have medical problem. No more routine yearly check-up.
    I called the office and requested the time of day my doctor is least likely to have me wait up to one hour. The answer was first AM appointment or first appointment after lunch. Then they tried to schedule me 2nd after lunch (same phone call) and I declined and chose a date two weeks later for my appointment. I had to explain to them that I can't be there so long as I can no longer use their bathroom: "Why not, it's fully accessible". Me: I can't transfer to toiet. "Oh, ok."
    This whole past year has taught me to be much more pro-active with my medical office, questioning many things, especially my needs when I visit them.


      P.S. Yes, lynnifer: inability to get weighed, ever, at doctor's office; when I could no longer transfer to a table that lowers to about 4" higher than my wheelchair seat, they now put me in a tiny chiropractor room that has table even with my chair seat - that's the good part, but requires doc and nurse to practically crawl over me to get around the table.


        Originally posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
        For someone 7 years post injury and stable, once a year should be enough. What does the doctor do during those visits? In some cases there is a need to closely monitor for side effects of drugs but you should know about that if there was. Most practices around here have a nurse practitioner doing Rxs for non-pain meds, supplies, etc. My primary care physician just pushes a button on his laptop to generate my prescriptions when I am in for a visit. For routine Rx renewal that is all handled by my pharmacy and his NP.

        What insurance is paying for all those visits?
        I agree. Once a year visit to physiatrist/pain management doc for a med check/blood work and any equipment scripts I need, and once a year to urologist for a scope and Botox, is my schedule.
        "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

        "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty


          I would encourage everyone, SCI or not, to get regular check-ups that include screening for health problems that can go undetected and which need to be managed early. This includes some labs that include screening for anemia, liver and kidney function, a lipid panel, fasting blood sugar, and PSA (for men). Men should also have a prostate rectal exam annually after age 40. Women need their Pap, pelvic exam, and mammograms as recommended. Everyone should have a colonoscopy at age 50, and then every 10 years thereafter (every 5 with a significant family history or findings on a previous colonoscopy).

          Many health problems are more difficult to diagnose in those with SCI, which may mean that the disease process is quite advanced before signs and symptoms appear.

          If you are in the USA, there are fairly new ADA regulations about access in physicians' offices and clinics. Remember that enforcement of the ADA only occurs with people impacted negatively complain to the provider, and then, if needed, to the DOJ. Stand up for yourself and others with mobility disabilities regarding access to health care.

          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


            I have been on a quarterly schedule to my GP since 2005. My pain-med's have control of my schedule for the most part. Not included visits to various specialists, Heart, Urologist, are yearly visits. I have survived Prostate Cancer, and two stents in my heart, besides a scary Atrial Fibrillation event, and 5 UTI's, and various other maladies. I also had my cervical spine fused quite recently. C-3 thru C-6 we will see if this relieves the multitudes of pain I have been taking the pain med's for. My Medicare plus gap insurance picks up the tab. I do pay for a very good Medicare Gap insurance plan (my 20%) Previously before I retired I was on a semi yearly check up schedule.

            I have always had a good health insurance plan. Even when I was not employed by a large company or by my Union membership, but owned and operated a Dairy Farm and a member of a dairy cooperative and paid my family's Health Insurance out of my milk check, and I kept up with my Health Insurance, something that I tried to impress on my children as they grew to adulthood.

            I survived Prostate Cancer just because of semi yearly checkups. The Doctor noticed my PSA had jumped but the rectal exam got his attention very quickly. I was borderline stage 3 and both my previous PSA and my last rectal exam showed nothing. The big problem with this cancer is it has/had no symptoms or rather I had none.

            I really have no clue how my cervical spine became damaged, I have worked at physical work all my life but I do not remember any single traumatic event that might have caused this problem. Unless there was a cumulative way to account for this, like falls or the like. I did get the "bends" but that does not account for this damage.

            I believe that at about your mid 50's and on, perhaps a semi yearly check up is prudent.