6/06/2008

Doctor Visit



Yesterday I went for my semi-annual checkup to my primary care physician. You get the idea it’s time when you don’t get any refills on your prescriptions. That always irritates me for some reason. My checkup always seems to fall into a time frame when I can least afford to go to the doctor. Of course, not going to the doctor, when you are in the middle age range, is playing with fire. With that in mind, I made an appointment.

I guess one of the reasons I always hate going to the doctor is just sitting there waiting. I’ve mentioned before, I have very little patience. Three things I hate waiting for most are; 1. Waiting on my car. 2. Waiting at the doctor’s office. 3. Waiting in line at the bank. Why is it parents let their children run wild in the doctor’s office? I’ve never understood that. Invariably, they fall and get hurt. Guess what happens then? Screaming for about 10 minutes. When they do that, I feel like screaming too…at the parents. Why do the doctor’s staff overbook patients? I can’t tell you the number of times I have been ready to walk out the door at a doctor’s office. What really irks me are patients arriving after I do, going in to see the doctor before I go. One time, the desk personnel just didn’t pull my records because they didn’t see where I signed in on the register. Talk about furious, I was fuming about that.

After a good hour wait, I finally make back to the promised land; a back room where I would continue the waiting game. I get to look at magazines that seemed only slightly out of date. I was looking at May issue of Time Magazine with an article on Senator Obama. After reading the first paragraph of Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, barring a miracle, I had to quickly flip back to the front cover. It was May 2007. Putting down the magazine, I start looking around the room to occupy my time. I see a small framed picture that you could pickup at a flea market for about a dollar. It was a simple picture of a wheelbarrow. I thought if I have to wait much longer, they may have to carry me out of here in a wheelbarrow. I saw an assortment of stethoscopes, blood pressure things, and a large tube of KY jelly. I wanted to hide that KY jelly for some reason. And why are those back rooms always so cold? No matter the time of year, it’s always freezing back there. I hear the doctor laughing in an adjacent room. I’m thinking what could be so funny when you have so many patients lined up outside and in rooms? Nurses running around dropping papers at my door, walking by saying “it’s time for my coffee break.” Sometimes, when I have been waiting in those back rooms a bit too long, I get the idea they have forgotten about me. I’m paranoid about doctor visits, I know.

Doctor finally comes in (after my waiting for 30 minutes or more), asks how I’ve been, what I’m up to. He’s a nice guy. I’ve been going to him for about 20 years now. We just do the usual small talk. He’s all business which is what I like. Do the usual things during a checkup, open your mouth…say aaaaah, ear check, listen to my heart, lungs, etc. Then he tells me I am doing good other than the BP being a little on the high end 140/90. But, as he knows by now, that always happens to me any time I enter any kind of medical facility. Even if I’m just taking someone to the doctor, my BP goes up.

Then it’s on to another room to get blood taken to check the old cholesterol. More waiting…and waiting…waiting. It seems I have spent a full third of my life waiting for something. It’s disgusting to me. Finally get into the room and this is when the fun begins. I have very small veins and nurses always dread to see me come into the office for that very reason. I’ve always been a “three stick person.” They refuse to go over three sticks. Luckily, I was only stuck once today. God must have felt pity on me over my misery.

So, go to the cashier to pay co-pay and she tells me my co-pay is $25.00. I say, no, it is not. It is $15.00. We argue for about five minutes until I take out my BCBS card and call them myself. It was $15.00. She was PO’d. I don’t usually argue with people. I’m an easy going, laid back kind of guy. But, I will stand my ground when I know I’m right. So, I give her the co-pay. Total cost in time and money; 2 hours 15 minutes, $15.00.

As I go back out into the waiting room, kids are still running around, screaming, people arguing at the front desk about their appointment time, insurance, blah, blah, blah. What a great morning it was. I simply can’t wait to do this again in six months.







2 comments:

Have you ever thought about if you added all the time you spent waiting for something, especially the things you detest, i.e. your car, doctors office, your lady shopping for clothes, how much of your life you have spent? What would you do with that time if you could regain it in a lump sum? Good post, hope your cholesteral works out!

James I was thinking that very thing in the back room Thursday of the doctor's office. Combine that waiting in with sleep, and you really only live your life about one-third of the time. Subtract work time from that...aaaah, I'm not going to go there. Thanks for the best wishes.

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