Wednesday, September 26, 2012

There's a Reason Why They Call It "The Waiting Room"

Although I hate to be there so early, I try to get an appointment first thing in the morning whenever we need to see a doctor.  Because if you have an afternoon appointment, you'll be waiting much longer than you want.

Of course if you showed up at the time you would actually be seen, they wouldn't see you, but they'd still charge you for a missed appointment!

Once we waited to see the neurologist for four hours in that tiny little room.  The only thing he had for reading material was a few books on Poland.  In POLISH, very few pictures, too.  I had to be restrained by the time he came in to see us.  At $787.00 a visit, I would think he can do a little better than that.

A couple of weeks ago, it took an hour and forty minutes to be seen for a check-up.  And not even a thorough one, a-"how are you feeling, are the meds helping, ok see you in a few months..."-appointment. 

I've learned to pack a large drink, snacks, and a book whenever I have to see someone because I'm going to be there a while.  Don't make any other plans that day either.

It never used to be like this, I honestly don't know if it's Obamacare as people keep telling me, but whatever the reason:  STOP IT!

Today was a prime example.  I had to drop off papers for the doctor to fill out.  That's it.  Drop off papers.  Leave.  He knew they would be coming, no surprise, leave them with the nurse, and go on about my day.

I arrived at 12:05pm, and was told by a receptionist everyone goes to lunch from noon to three.  

I was floored, "Come again?"  
"Twelve until three, " she calmly said again.

In my head a barrage of profanity over how absurd a three hour lunch was wanted to spew forth, but  I tried to get a grip on my verbal filter, it was pretty slick.  So my first thought was I would have to come back tomorrow, then the lobby full of people registered in my brain.

"I just need to see one of the doc's nurses, just to pass along paperwork."
"You can leave it here," she cheerily informed me.  Not a chance would I risk losing this with incompetent hand-offs & inboxes then having to start over.  So I looked at her and said very succinctly, "I'll wait".

Well that completely threw her and she said she'd go see if anyone was still around and hadn't left yet.  I waited twenty minutes standing there at her desk. I think she hoped I'd give up.  When she eventually came back (by the way the nurse's desk is fifteen feet away through a door) she told me the one I was really looking for was on the phone and it would be a long while because blah blah blah..."  

Yeah, I stopped listening. I started to leave, but dug my heels in and I said it again, "I'll wait".

And I did.  

My back began to ache from the hard seats, one foot went numb, I developed a headache from the ridiculous lobby toy (the ones where kids release a ball and it rolls through a series of loops, ringing bells and carrying through twirling things until it starts all over again, on it's own), I went through my emails on my phone, played four games, texted a few people, menu planned for the rest of the week, made out a grocery list, organized my wallet, cleaned out my purse, picked a thousand pet hairs off my black pants one at a time, wondered how many grey hairs formed while I sat, watched a caterpillar go through it's life cycle into a butterfly, listened to my body start eating it's own fat cells, counted the dots in the vast ceiling, learned to meditate, wrote my will, learned another language, all before I put on my sunglasses to doze off, two feet numb now.

If they thought they could wait me out on this one they had another thing coming!

An hour and fifty-two minutes after I arrived, ten pounds lighter and a little dizzy from dehydration and malnutrition, the nurse came out, I handed her the envelope, told her what it was and we parted ways.

Heaven only knows how long I would have waited if I had an actual appointment!

No comments:

Post a Comment

My Zimbio
Top Stories