Taking Medical Tests at Home Would Be a Nightmare for Busy Moms

blood pressure testDid you ever go to a doctor that seemed a little distant and remote? Well, in England, doctors are about to get a lot more remote. Literally.

They’re unveiling a pilot plan that allows patients to take certain medical tests at home and upload the results so doctors can remotely monitor their patients. Awesome, right? No more waiting for busses, looking for parking, and spending an hour and a half in the waiting room so you can do a five-minute test. Instead, you can do it all in the comfort of their own home.

Except they haven’t taken one thing into account: Often the homes of most busy moms are no where near as clean and organized as a hospital or doctor's office. In fact, if my doctor monitored me in my home, she’d either call 911 or have me committed.


I tried to imagine what it would be like to hypothetically take certain medical tests at home -- with my kids running around at the same time -- and here's what I think would happen:

Blood glucose:

This seemed easy enough to do at home and much better than sitting around the hospital for four hours as I slipped gently into a headachey coma.

Hour 1: Drank the foul orange soda.  

Hour 2: Took to my bed. Found half a cereal bar squirreled away by my daughter Abby during nap time.

Hour 3: Slept through the blood draw and the kids' pickup from their play date.  

Hour 4: Ate entire contents of the Costco-sized Oreo megabox that I had hidden in the back of the pantry.  

Result: Blood sugar was so high, Starbucks began selling "Amy’s Blood Lattes."

Blood pressure:

This is a great one to do at home because many people get a false high reading at the doctor’s office due to “white-coat syndrome.” I strapped on the cuff and went about my business as it took my BP every 15 minutes.

Reading No. 1: The reading is off the charts -- maybe because it occurred just as I discovered that nobody had put paper in the bottom of the compost container. Must start over.

Reading No. 2.: Oops. Again, just coincidentally, it happened just as I was putting the laundry in the dryer and found a soggy disposable diaper exploded all over everything. Reading off the charts. Started it over.

Reading No. 3: Oh. Oh dammit. COME ON. I thought I’d be calm this time because my two girls were so quite, but just as the cuff started filling, I walked into their room and found they had unrolled an entire dental floss roll and handcuffed themselves together with the miles of minty string.

Reading No. 4: Nap time. Cuff went off just as I was nursing Abby down while Penny cuddled against us. Hospital thought I had died and sent an ambulance, which found me snoring and blissed out on oxytocin.

Result: Paramedics climbed onto couch with us and fell asleep.

Semen Analysis:

If we could do this at home, it would save a lot of time, though my husband would miss the “special room” at the doctor’s office -- the ultimate man-cave, seriously. So we tried it. Well, we tried to try it. We wrote it on the calendar, we made appointments, but I kept falling asleep before we could get to it. Oh my god, we’re turning into one of those couples. Oops, my blood pressure cuff just went off!

Result: We just started couples counseling.


Couldn’t do this one. My head wouldn’t fit in the oven. Believe me, folks, I tried.

Exercise electrocardiogram:

Perfect! Why go to a doctor’s office to sweat and work out if I can just do it at home? I snapped the nodes onto myself and started doing one of the TV workouts.

Result: It says I just sat on the couch and the only part of my body that moved was my jaws because I was eating granola while watching the pilates lady. This test is such a liar!

What would happen if a doctor did medical tests in your home?


Image via Big C Harvey/Flickr

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