A Postponed Physical and the Resulting Questions

“Molly, we’re calling to inform you that your 10 A.M. appointment for this Thursday has been canceled. We still aren’t taking patients in the office and we won’t be rescheduling you until April. Please give us a call back so we can set up a new appointment time.”

I listened to the voicemail twice before it sank in that my primary care doctor’s office was calling me to postpone my annual physical.

Why, exactly, did it get postponed? And how do I feel about it?

My doctor’s office called me two days before I was scheduled to come in…leaving me to also wonder why such short notice of the cancellation?

Well, I can only theorize the answer to the first question. I’m certain that my doctor’s office is absolutely overwhelmed with phone calls and appointments…and they’ve probably been like that for the past year or so. I’m guessing that they’re only keeping appointments with higher-priority patients that absolutely need to be seen…someone like me, a pretty healthy (discounting my diabetes) and younger individual, is likely not very high on the list of patients they want to see. Plus, even though I know they’re doing virtual appointments for medical questions as they come up, there probably is no purpose in doing a virtual physical because there’s only so much they can do via video call. So I get the postponement, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

My annual physical is the doctor’s appointment for me, the one that I have each year that I know won’t be a total waste of time. Each year, I get my blood work and urinalysis completed at this appointment, as well as an EKG to monitor my heart. I also get to go over any general health concerns I have with my PCP, who is very thorough when explaining things to me. During this particular visit, I’d hoped to talk about (what I believe to be) the stress-induced hives I’ve experienced in the last month, but now it sounds like I won’t have the chance to do that until April.

But I’m also wondering…when I go to the appointment in April, will I receive my COVID vaccine then, too?

I messaged the doctor’s office to find out and learned…nothing helpful:

I believe by that time you should qualify for the vaccine so you should be able to get it. This of course depends on if the state has given us the vaccine. We will know soon about that and will be sending information to all our patients. 

Uhh…according to the multi-phase vaccine plan outlined by the state of Massachusetts, I should be eligible for the vaccine prior to April. (But quite frankly, the whole phase plan has been a bit of a hot mess. I’m just glad to have 2 out of 4 immediate family members vaccinated at this point.) And the “if” there? Definitely unsettling.

I have so many questions: Can they postpone again in April? When will they be able to tell us more information about the vaccine? Do they think that it’s safer to wait in April because there will hopefully be more vaccinated individuals overall then? Or are they actually worried about vaccine distribution and don’t want to clue anyone into that?

So I feel not-so-awesome about having to wait three more months to check in with my PCP. I take my overall health very seriously, not just my diabetes. One thing has everything to do with the other. However, I do have a virtual appointment with my endocrinologist in a few weeks…maybe that will be the health check-in that I’m desiring?

I’m not banking on it, but I’m hopeful.


5 thoughts on “A Postponed Physical and the Resulting Questions

  1. That is OK a doctor office scheduled an appointment for me today without asking. They just decided February 18 at 9 am was my day and time. Go figure. I called and they said yes we scheduled it for you, is it a problem? Well yeah it is I said. Hmm well you can reschedule, we will call and let you know when it will be. Wait what? Well you know. Thy had hung up.


  2. I find that odd, Molly. I keep seeing commercials encouraging people to not avoid the dr.’s offices. Is this clinic location the same bldg. I used to go for allergy shots? I have a new allergist now, and I’m getting MUCH better care. I had to renew my driver’s license yesterday. The real ID requires a vision test, and I went through the ringer just trying to reach the eye clinic in that bldg. I must have called 20 times, and I kept getting bounced around and sent to the wrong people. . That location has a patient advocate named Tammy. I ended up speaking to her when I got tired of the frustration. She is helpful. If that is the location of your dr., I think it might be good to call her.


    • It’s a different clinic, but you’re right, I keep seeing those commercials everywhere! So that makes it even stranger that the appointment was pushed back several months. I’m glad to hear you’ve found a great new allergist!


  3. On Monday I was told because of T1D I’d need to start dialysis. If you’ve thought T1D could make you feel wretched, add uremia to the mix. Problem is that also because of T1D I also suffer from horrific GI complications (uncontrollable, explosive diarrhea and focal incontinnce). Now imagine sitting in that “mess” for hours while your blood goes through a machine? The plan WAS to get a colostomy before dialysis, but the next available surgical consult is April. It’s going to be a long winter for m, too.


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