reading time:  5 minutes  tags: emotional

Nothing is simple in the way that it used to be. Small barriers to achieving daily tasks can balloon into full-on frustration. Accumulated stress leads to burnout, and during a period of adjustment, that's the last thing we need.

I've noticed clients reach their maxed-out "burnout" level during 3 primary environments: eye doctor clinics, hospitals and over-the-phone encounters - I'll discuss each of those below.

Self-awareness becomes essential during these times, not to mention having strategic approaches to communication that will help you cultivate patience. Let's talk action plan. 

Eye Doctor Clinics & Hospitals

Vital Information

When walking into an eye doctor's clinic or hospital, whether it be for a check-up or surgery, the impersonal atmosphere itself can be off-putting. 

Your past experiences will inform how you anticipate this visit unfolding, and will no doubt stir up some feelings. The key here is to have a checklist to anchor you during the visit:

Check-in: This is a period of (usually) some waiting around, and a good time to gather information. Once you've sorted through the paperwork and documentation, make sure to attend to these items:

  • gather business cards of each doctor that will be seeing you - ask for Large Print
  • prepare questions to ask your doctor that relate to your vision
  • make a list of your current medications
  • have all glasses, contacts and magnifiers organized

During Your Appointment: Take a few deep breaths, and be prepared to ask the questions you've compiled. These will help ground you and ensure you get your questions answered. Be sure to clarify the appropriate follow-up process, and what's expected from you in terms of your eye care responsibilities at home. 

After Your Appointment: Collect your new appointment and follow-up information (prescriptions, referrals, etc.) from the receptionist in LARGE PRINT. I cannot emphasize this enough. If it isn't large enough, don't be shy to let them know. If they aren't able to print a larger copy, ask for a hand-written large version. 

Over-the-Phone

Know when to Hang Up

Perhaps you are on the phone with a paratransit service trying to coordinate a ride, or on hold with a non-emergency number attempting to be connected with a person (and not a robot). 

Frustration can build, and fast. This is especially amplified if you are outside or away from home. I have a few techniques for bypassing this unneeded stressor.

  • Press "0" - this surprisingly works extremely well... even if you were given the option, you'll most likely get connected with an operator who can transfer you to a real person
  • Put your phone on speakerphone and start attending to an alternative task. This is a very helpful diversion I've used with many clients. 
  • Get a callback number or leave a voicemail. In most cases, you are probably calling when EVERYONE is trying to call too - if it can wait, try to call the following day at a different time of day. 

Dialing in Backup

It's always a good idea to have a member of your natural support team accompany you on medical doctor visits. They can help keep you calm, supplement your list of questions and offer emotional support. Over the phone stress is usually handled on your own, but if you haven't had success in being connected with the service you need, an advocate can help you. Let me know how I can help.


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