That other disconcerting answer

“Hmmm, I’m going to send you for some additional tests, and I want you to go see a specialist when the results come back.”

I just got back from an appointment with my doctor.  It was a huge victory in itself that I didn’t  cancel and reschedule the appointment (as I usually do), but right now I’m kind of wishing I did.

Still, the fact that she feels I need to go for further tests says there may be something significant which I should try to address while I can. Yay being proactive, right?  Ugh.

Let’s change the subject.  Let’s talk about my doctor, or at least her office.  This was my fourth appointment going back to last February.

In early Feb 08, I went in for a routine annual check up.  I’d called to make an appointment, and I was told to come in at 11 AM on Monday the whatever.  I did exactly that, only to find out my appointment was not in the books.  Grrrr.  So I rescheduled, for a week later.

A week later, I arrived, and sat to wait for my rescheduled appointment with the Nurse Practioner. I waited approximately 45 minutes beyond my scheduled appointment time. I spent that time listening as the secretarial staff gossipped about the various patients who called in. One caller in particular was concerned because her daughter had been diagnosed with mono, and the mom wondered if she should be doing anything special to avoid getting the disease herself.  After reasuring the caller with phony friendliness, the secretary and nurse practioner commented “what a ridiculous question! what is she doing, French-kissing her daughter?”  Um, personally, I didn’t think it was that stupid a question, and when you have questions like that where should you go for serious, judgment free information?  Ugh, I had no desire to share anything with these people… but I was only there for an annual checkup.  Still, I made a mental note to find a different doctor to go to.

Finally, my appointment came and went.  I sat a total of 70 minutes waiting for 5 minutes of attention from the Nurse Practioner.  She sent me for some routine blood work and told me to call when I had completed the tests.

A week later, I called for the results and was told I needed to come in.  GASP!  Why wouldn’t they just say everything’s fine on the phone, right?  Well… I stressed for a week, then went in to wait for nearly an hour before the Nurse Practioner told me  everything was fine.  Soooo frustrating.

Today, I had 10 AM appointment. I sat in the waiting room for 50 minutes, and another 20 in the patient room, but this time I met the actual doctor.  I like her.  For how frustrated and ready to snap I was, she actually had me laughing a little as I left.  This is a pretty impressive thing given the potential result of these tests.  But, at the same time it was a good thing for her staff because I came out looking for a prescription my wife had called for when I first arrived.

“She didn’t talk to me.”

There are only 2 clerical staff, so if it’s not one, it must’ve been the other (and it was) but clerical person #1 couldn’t be bothered to make that connection.  So I restated the request.

“She should’ve called it in.”

“She did, at 9:45.”

“Well, she didn’t talk to me.”

Picture 15 more minutes of this, the smile had faded from my face as I was getting frustrated that Clerical person #1 would not simply talk to person #2.  Thankfully, the doctor intervened.  And I was finally free to go.

Ugh. I don’t want to go for these tests.  Yes, it could be that they find nothing.  But, if they show what I suspect they will, … well, I don’t know what exactly will happen.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman


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