The Doctor will be right in… ways to pass the time

I’m sure you’re no stranger to waiting for medical appointments. Whether it is in the waiting room to be called back, or sitting in the exam room. Delays happen in the medical system and idle time to me feels a lot longer than if I have something to keep me occupied. After 5 years of waiting 30 minutes after each allergy shot I’ve developed quite a repertoire of things to do while waiting.  I’m waiting to be seen in an exam room I generally get off the table and sit on one of the regular chairs. Of course will hop back up on the table when they need me to but there is no reason I can’t wait in a chair if it’s more comfy.

  1. Knit, Crochet, Embroider, or any other lap size crafting. This is a personal favorite, I really enjoy knitting while I wait and almost always have a small project with me. If you don’t craft you could always learn a new skill while you wait on appointments.
  2. Respond to email or other word processing. Even if you don’t have a good cell signal and the office doesn’t have wifi (many do!) you can compose your responses to send later. Most email applications have a feature to save offline work and send it when you next connect to the internet. Same goes for any paper writing, blogging, or other writing you might need to get accomplished. Break out the laptop or tablet and pen the next Great American Novel.
  3. Watch surf the internet or watch a video. You probably have a smartphone, why not put it to use if you have a connection and enjoy some of your favorite internet haunts. If you don’t have access to the internet look to see if your favorite video service offers the option of offline playback. I use a few that will allow me to download a video ahead of time and then give me 48 hours to watch it after I start offline playback.
  4. Balance your checkbook and write checks for bills. Okay, I may be the last person on the planet that actually keeps a paper check register. If you do your bills electronically same principle, just with tapping the screen instead of putting pen to paper. This feels extra efficient to me since I will generally pass a mailbox on my way home from the appointment and can put the checks in the outgoing mail.
  5. Read a book and/or study. A classic way to pass the time and a perfect backup if you have an eReader or eBooks app on your phone. If all else fails there are probably some magazines sitting around the waiting room to look over.
  6. Use caution about eating and drinking while waiting. Many offices prohibit food or beverages either for housekeeping or food allergy concerns. I usually don’t have a problem with bringing my closed water bottle or a travel mug of tea.

While it isn’t fun to wait for the doctor I realize that I am waiting because they are taking more time with another patient or got a call from the ER or squeezed in someone who is sick at the last minute. Since I appreciate when they do all these things for me I try to be patient. How do you like to pass the time?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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