How to see a doctor without leaving your house

Confession: I hate going to the doctor.

I hate going for myself, and I hate going for my kids.

Somehow, it’s always an ordeal. Getting the appointment is a pain, and trying to work it in during the doctor’s office hours often means a kid missing school (or taking the whole brood.) Sitting in the waiting room feels like germ central, and it’s never as smooth or efficient or timely as it seems like it should be. We love our pediatrician but the wait time can be a drag. As a result, I have become the mom whose mantra about doctor visits is, “Do we need an ambulance?” If the answer is no, we’re probably staying home.
Lest you think I am a completely neglectful parent, I DID take Karis to urgent care last month when her finger swelled up to half it’s size because of an infected hangnail. A hangnail!  We had to wait for hours in urgent care over a hangnail.

Honestly, I am just as bad with my own health stuff. I turn to Google MD way more often than my own doctor, because it’s faster and easier. Of course, it’s not always correct, and can also lead to some wild, anxiety-provoked self-diagnosis. Like last week when I was sure that my allergies were nasal cancer.

So . . . yeah. A convenient doctor option would be good.

Enter American Well, an amazing service that I had no idea even existed (and that I sincerely think will change the way I approach our health care.) It’s an online health service that allows you to see doctors, dieticians, and even social workers from your home computer. Your daughter has an infected hangnail? You can dial up a doctor from your living room while she’s in her pj’s and the other kids are watching a movie.

It’s a brilliant solution for busy parents, and they can even call in your prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.

I gave it a try for myself, because I wanted a second opinion on my lingering insomnia issues. It was surprisingly easy . . . I completed a quick health profile, and then had the option to enter what kind of issue I was looking for help with. I typed in sleep and got numerous options. From there, I had the choice to make an appointment or see one of the doctors who was available right then. I chose that option, and I LOVE that option. There were about 10 doctors that were standing by . . . no appointment needed. Apparently, they have doctors available 24/7, every day of the year.

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My doctor was great – very personable and professional. She shared some tips with me (not all Melatonin is created equal!) and took notes for me as well. All physician notes from your visit can be shared with your primary care physician if you designate. And some insurance companies are beginning to cover telehealth visits for the same or lesser co-pay than a traditional in-person visit. Since we have a high-deductible plan and basically pay cash for doctor visits, this is a really affordable option for us as well. I’m pretty sold on American Well,and anticipate using it for most of my healthcare going forward.
If you are interesting it trying it out, I’ve got a free visit to give you! If you enroll by the end of April (as in, in the next couple of days) you can use the code RAGEAGAINSTTHEMINIVAN for a free visit any time in the next year. You don’t need to enter the code when you sign up, only when you actually have the visit. The coupon will be good for a year when you need a visit.

If you try it, you’ll have to let me know how you like it!

This post was sponsored by American Well, but my enthusiasm about seeing a doctor in my pajamas is all my own.

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