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Are you scheduling routine med appts like mammograms right now?


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This is a post and run (kind of like dine and dash), but I will come back to check answers later!

I'm due for my annual screening mammogram--it was during the week of Thanksgiving last year. But I find myself reluctant to go in and have it done just now during the winter Covid surge. My dd had a blood draw this summer and the lab is on the same floor where I get my mammogram. I noted then that they were checking in everyone, whether lab or mammogram, with one long line in a fairly crowded waiting area. The mammogram center does have a waiting room off to the side, but I would have to be in the main room with everyone for checking in, and depending on the line could be 15-20 minutes. I'm tempted to wait until spring, but maybe go ahead and schedule it now to make sure I don't skip this year entirely. I'm curious if others are going ahead with regular appointments at this time.

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Kind of depends on how the facilities are handling them, I think.  I had a mammogram in October.  The facility had changed its procedures so that there was much more distance between people - I never sat next to anyone - there were no lines.  It seemed very safe.  I had blood drawn last month.  We sat in the car until we were called in.  Again, seemed very safe.  YMMV.

 

Anne

 

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I had a mammo over the summer. You called when you arrived. You wore a mask, you waited in your car till they were ready for you. I went to the waiting room where there were like 3 other people (very large waiting room probably chairs for 50 there) where I was immediately checked in with the receptionist. I sat for like 3 minutes in a chair till they called me back to a room. I never saw another patient after that point.

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I had my teeth cleaned last week but it had been cancelled by my dentist 3 times and it had been almost a year at that point.  They put in air purifiers in every bay and were being very methodical  with precautions.  In fact, it is my understanding someone with covid came through (reason my appointment was cancelled last time).  They shut down a few days to have everyone tested and no one got covid so they clearly are doing something right.  

But both me and my kids are due for a few things I feel comfortable putting off.  My 20 year old was supposed to have his wisdom teeth removed  in the spring and they have not called back to reschedule.  He is not having problems with them at all so we wait.  My husband has all his and hasn't had issues so I'm not super excited about doing it.  Some more routine stuff too.  I may try and get my kids in for a dental cleaning in January if we're on the backside of this surge.  

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Yes and No. My mammo is in January and I hope it's not cancelled. Many elective procedures are being rescheduled.

I did go in for a skin screening earlier this month and am glad I did because one biopsy came back as carcinoma. Luckily, I was able to get in for Mohs surgery almost immediately and can relax knowing that (for the time being) I am cancer free.

For the screening, everyone wore masks and I was the only patient there. For the surgery, everyone was masked and temps were taken when we registered, the waiting room was set up to maintain social distancing, and my DH was allowed to be with me. I felt completely safe. I did isolate for 5 days pre-surgery and have yet to see anyone outside my pod post-surgery. 

Edited by The Accidental Coach
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I just went two weekends ago. I go on Saturdays and it is its own breast cancer/mammogram center so they don't have many people. I didn't see any other patients.  I waited in the little dressing room until they called me to bring me to my mammogram (instead of in the waiting room).  Everyone was masked.  

Edited by cintinative
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Yes, but my doctor's office (which is in a very large medical office building) has people screening you when you enter the building.  They enforce social distancing everywhere (except for the elevator which did make me nervous so I waited for a less crowded one).  Masks are strictly enforced and worn by everyone - staff and patients.  So in that environment, I felt comfortable getting lab work and taking care of even routine medical care.  But I have a respirator that I reserve especially for medical appointments - nothing is getting past that thing!  (It's an N100 mask). 

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It depends on why you are going annually.  If you aren't particularly high risk, I don't think it's generally considered necessary to do an annual screening.  So I would pospone at least until summer, when many illnesses (including Covid) are likely to be less prevalent.  But if you are high risk, then I'd probably go ahead and do it.

I was thinking to go do mine over the summer, but I never got around to it.  At this point, I will probably just wait, unless I see any symptoms.

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My mammograms are done at the cancer center every 6 months and all my other routine appointments/blood draws are also there. They try to make sure there is more than enough space for people to be seating or standing apart. 

We have not been to the dentist for our routine cleaning since that’s not an emergency and we are in a COVID hotspot region.

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Absolutely.   I just had a friend whose mammogram this fall detected cancer (not felt by self exams).  She ended up with a double mastectomy as it has spread a tiny bit.

If she had waited for her mammogram, the outcomes for her would likely be very different.   

She is very covid cautious but said that mammogram might have saved her life .

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That’s a tough call I think bc I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with the way your facility is handling things, but likewise, a mammogram isn’t a routine thing I like to delay (unlike say, dental cleanings or something). I did have my mammogram this summer, but the facility had me wait in the car and then when I entered there was not a single person in the waiting room. I only saw the front desk person and the person performing the mammogram. Maybe you could call and ask if waiting in the car until it’s time to walk directly into the room is possible???

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I have been and will keep scheduling every appointment I possibly can for myself, my dc and my mom. We have a few things left in December (2 wisdom teeth removals, dentist visits, etc.) and I will sigh with relief when those are done. I would not put off a mammogram or well woman check for sure.

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Thanks all. I like the idea of calling to see how they are doing things now--they may have changed their procedures since the summer. The mammogram area itself is always empty--just me waiting, just the tech and me, and usually I check in at the counter in the mammo area, just me. It's just the check-in I saw this summer that's making me nervous, but maybe that's different now or maybe they can help me figure out a time that's not busy.

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I did delay routine dental care, but I did not delay my mammogram. I wouldn't say I felt comfortable about it all, but I felt less comfortable not having one. 

I would hate the procedures that you describe, though. Maybe you could get a first of the day appointment. I'd wear a really good mask. 

edited: I should add that my mother had breast cancer. Maybe I would feel differently without that additional risk factor. Your situation may weigh out differently. 

Edited by sbgrace
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No routine medical appointments for me.

I am not comfortable with the high frequency of mammograms and have no family history for any cancers, so I would not hesitate to push back a year or two. I am also not going to the dentist since I have no issues.

I would only seek in person medical care for an acute issue, and even then try to get it done via telehealth if at all possible

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The only thing we’ve canceled are dentist appointments. Those bother me more since we can’t mask. None of us have problem teeth though so it feels fine to do so. I actually have a follow up gyn appointment, first was this summer, in two weeks. Not looking forward to it but I feel it is more risky to put it off than the slim chance I get Covid for going. 

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Yes. I tried to schedule in time for December (when I should go), but appointments are behind, so I'm looking at February now. 

This, IMHO, is important -if you were of the age for a baseline, maybe I'd wait a while, or if I were many, many years older, I might skip, but otherwise, no. 

 

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I skipped my mammo in April, but I have been every year (for years) and the year prior (2019), I had my routine mammo and an ABUS (for the first time).  They called me back for an ultrasound and I was cleared.  So...I felt a little better about missing.  I will be waiting until next summer (2021) for my mammo and will change where I typically go, which sees patients for all kinds of xrays and mammos, to their facility that is further away, but only handles mammos and other breast screenings.

We have skipped dental appts this year as I feel we are most vulnerable during those.  We did decide to go back to my boys' orthodontist visits because the virus isn't going away and they won't get out of their braces if they don't keep going.  They went in July and October and we all felt really good about the measures they were taking.  But...one of my boys is supposed to go back next week and I'm planning to cancel.  I don't like that cases are rising here and my doctor's office posted on their FB page a bunch of pics of a retirement party at the office.  I wasn't happy to see the pic of everyone huddled together for a group photo with no masks on.  

We all skipped our routine eye exams this summer (we all wear glasses and/or contacts), but we will go next summer for sure.  I did have to go to an urgent eye appt this month and was sent to a retina specialist.  I go back to the retina specialist next week for a follow-up.  I felt pretty safe in that office, but the doctor is off this week and I'm worried he is hanging around extended family or whatever (travel) for Thanksgiving.  I'm a little nervous to go back in, but I have to.  I praying I don't need eye surgery when I go back.

 

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I hadn't been to the dentist in a year because they cancelled my March preventative appointment. However, in October I had a crown fall out with significant pain. They were able to schedule me the next day to have it replaced and to have x-rays and a cleaning which I felt that I needed because I had another tooth wasn't feeling right. Sure enough, the other tooth needed a filling. So I got it all done.

I decided to delay my mammogram which was due this month. I've had ten years of clear ones and no family history. 

I also decided to delay my annual eye exam, and my annual skin exam at the dermatologist. 

I go in for blood work and a doctor visit twice a year because of blood sugar and one medication I'm on. I'm not going to skip that. I chose to schedule a 7am appointment when the facility is supposedly clean from the night before and only two doctors are on duty. Even prior to COVID, I liked those appointments because almost no one was there. 

I think you have to be wise about it but everyone is a little different of course. 

Edited by G5052
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44 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I am reluctantly seeing one practitioner, but I am in and out in 15 minutes, they are careful, and they are keeping people away from each other. I switched to this practice because my other one would not take the same precautions. 

I've been surprised at the people not taking precautions. Like, my dentist installed separators for the rooms, but was still using her waiting room 😞 . 

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6 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I've been surprised at the people not taking precautions. Like, my dentist installed separators for the rooms, but was still using her waiting room 😞 . 

Gosh, I don't know of anyone in my area using a waiting room. The norm is that you call them when you arrive, and then they call you to come in. 

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We did appointments over the summer. We had all been due for dental cleanings in March--finally got them done in July. Did that blood draw and an orthotics appointment for disabled dd (plus telemed for an annual follow up for her). We even had youngest's wisdom teeth out, thinking the situation would only get worse (which was true). But I could not have done a mammogram then because I'm just hitting the one year mark now. I've done I guess 14 years now with no problems so I might just wait a few months.

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35 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I've been surprised at the people not taking precautions. Like, my dentist installed separators for the rooms, but was still using her waiting room 😞 . 

I don't have any issues using my dentist waiting room.  I have never had anyone else there even before COVID

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If you go, make sure you wear a super good mask. Research the best kinds you can, for instance, 3 layers of cloth, or 2 layers with a filter in between.

And then wear safety glasses so your eyes are protected as well.  The ones that look like these lie flush against your face.  

And I’d go as soon as possible if you can. The numbers are only going to go up up up from this point until spring.

Or put it off until summer.

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No, I'm not. I decided to delay any routine medical appointments after reading this interview with Dr. Fauci.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/how-fauci-5-other-health-specialists-deal-with-covid-19-risks-in-their-everyday-lives/2020/07/02/d4665ed6-b6fb-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html

He said he would advise his wife or daughter to wait on a routine mammogram.

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1 hour ago, G5052 said:

Gosh, I don't know of anyone in my area using a waiting room. The norm is that you call them when you arrive, and then they call you to come in. 

Same. I've had mammo, all my kids had dental exams, I had a dental exam, and we've had dr visits for all the kids. They've all had no waiting rooms.

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I have a routine in-person visit tomorrow. I want my doc to see my new varicose veins  and talk about swelling ankles. Also getting a mammogram in January. But I am older than most of you and need to keep on top of stuff maybe more than some/many folks here. I've had a couple of blood tests recently too. I would not risk breast cancer to avoid Covid. But around here all the medical facilities are taking great precautions. No waiting rooms in use. I had an eye exam in September as well.  

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Are you kidding? I can’t even get my puppy into the vet right now for a well check shots visit because Covid is passing so fast and furious in my area. 

Seriously. My puppy is due for shots and I had an appt 2 weeks ago that they called and canceled bc their staff was down 50%. They also have a 24/7 hospital and boarding house - staff is typically 20 employees + the 4 vets.  
Now they are just closed period. There’s no one to staff it. If your pet is literally dying, someone who is asymptomatic will let you drop your pet in the entry, leave, then they can come get it from the entry.  Or they will do a very expensive emergency house call to your garage/patio/backyard - no in-house visits.

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I have a lady bits checkup and a pulmonologist visit later this month.  They’ve been scheduled for 4-6months.   
I will go to them if I can but the numbers are getting so bad that I wouldn’t be surprised if they cancel on me.  I really hope that doesn’t happen with the pulmonologist bc it takes months to get in even before Covid. 

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I'm due my yearly gyno visit. The kids are all due dental cleanings. 2 kids missed their yearly well child visit. 🤷 Unless it's an emergency, we aren't going. I know for a fact the kids dentist and pediatrician view the virus as no big deal, so I'm guessing they aren't personally being safe so no way. Locally the positivity rates are at 15% last I checked.

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