How to Get Loved Ones to the Dermatologist

The past few months have been rough for our family. We had to put our beloved dog down, were in a car accident that totaled my vehicle, and have a loved one with a lot of needs related to being elderly. Additionally, our home has had continuing issues that we never anticipated when we bought it a couple of year ago. This never dissuades me from doing important things like seeing the doctor, but it does affect how family members prioritize their “to do” list.

New location means new dermatologist

I have been trying to get two in my household to see a dermatologist since we moved to Long Island during the pandemic. Melanoma runs in both sides of the family and I am always eager for folks to get checked. With changes of location come changes in doctors, and trying to find a good dermatologist can be a challenge, even though I have found one myself.

I like my dermatologist and have recommended him several times to my family. Even with gentle prodding, I have not been able to get anyone to call his office to set up an appointment. For various, good reasons, it just didn’t happen. One person just has been swamped, busy with caregiving, and the other had already set up an appointment for some time in the new year with a different doctor who was “in network” with our health insurance.

Making dermatology care a priority

A couple of things changed the equation and the outcome.

First, I asked one of my family members to join me at my last appointment just before Thanksgiving. I like the idea of having another set of ears and eyes in the room to help me with my own prevention. The dermatologist immediately asked if my family member had a dermatologist. “Not, yet” became, “yes”. On our way out of the doctor’s office, an appointment was made. Check off the list.

My other family member was having some skin issues unrelated to skin cancer and had visited an emergency care with limited results. I asked if I could call my dermatologist and got an appointment within a day. My loved one had a good experience and received a clean bill of health and a thorough skin cancer check. Check off the list.

Two appointments made for family members with a history of melanoma in the family and I really didn’t have to cajole, beg, threaten, or otherwise emotionally manipulate in any way. How did this happen? It happened just by having good lines of communication with my family. It happened by including them in my journey and being available in their time of need.

Making an opening by good communication

They know all about my skin cancer issues. It has never been about giving them better or more information. It has never been about sharing my story and struggles. It was about being there and bringing them in my life  Don’t get me wrong, when I saw an opening, I made sure to give my two cents. I wanted to smooth the way for them

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