So the message on my voice mail went something like this: "Hi there, Kim. This is Sandy from Dr. X's office. I've noticed that from your records that it's been awhile since you've been in for a cleaning. In fact, it's been three years. Are you with another dentist? If so, let me know and I'll stop calling. If not, we'd really like to see you...."
And that's how it goes. No dentist for three years (yes, gross I know and I am surprised that I don't look that the poor person in the picture above). No physicals in a little over two years. No mammogram in two years. Can't remember the last eye exam (early 2000's?) and the "womanly" exam, maybe a few years back (I think but can't remember). I was supposed to get an MRI on my back (missed the appointment). Had to cancel with an acupuncturist three times (can't remember why I booked an acupuncturist in the first place). This is me: Autism Mom who misses and struggles with appointments. And mightily.
Here's the rub: I have insurance coverage. I can actually go and take care of myself. I also have caregivers, now and again, that can manage my PDD son (however, this tends to be spontaneous and frankly, if I get an "out of jail" free card, I certainly don't want to be sitting in a dental chair having my teeth scraped).
How do you solve this problem?
I mean, when I can secure a caregiver, or attempt to book an appointment during school hours, my worry list comes out. Here it is:
Will my child throw such a tremendous fit, that I won't be able to leave?
Will that child refuse to go with the caregiver I've selected? Then the fit.
Will the child cause such an uproar at school that the school will call wanting me to come get him?
Will I be so stressed out that I won't remember the appointment even though I've received reminder calls and texts and that I wrote it down on the calendar?
And, my friends, all four of these things have happened to me, regretfully. A lot.
There was a day were I used to take care of those things. Yes! My son is eleven now, but we never got a diagnosis until eight, and then things really got flared up at age nine. But before that, I could go and do (unless my only laziness or selfishness got in the way, but that's ME that sucks, not autism that sucks).
So, I've declared May APPOINTMENT MONTH (and unofficially Autism PARENT Awareness month)! I am planning even as I write!
Of course, advice, tips, and tricks, well, they are always welcome. Needed. Okay, help! How do the rest of you get this stuff done?Kim Thompson is the blogger/moderator/founder of Gritty City Woman (a mash up of all things gritty and womanly) and is a contributing blogger for In Your Neighborhood with The Tacoma News Tribune newspaper.