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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blogging and waiting.

How much do I love waiting at the doctor's office, filled with anticipation for the invasive examination to come*? How much did I roll my eyes when my husband hit forty and whined about the man version of this happy event? So what? I've learned to close my eyes and think of England. He can, too. His doctor, a close friend and tennis partner, sees most of the men's tennis crowd at our club, as far as I can tell. Quite the "racket." Get it? Racket? Ha! One of the guys, when he reached forty, announced he would need a new doctor...or a new friend. I have no idea what he decided.

The reason for the long wait at every single doctor's office in the world eludes me. If it happened once or twice, I could understand, but every time? Maybe they could schedule less appointments. Just sayin'. A few months ago, I had to leave this office after waiting for an hour, because there were still two patients ahead of me. When I asked if my wait was the norm, the receptionist offered a cryptic explanation, "Well, she has a lot of elderly patients." So, do they take longer? If so, why not schedule longer appointments for them? Just a thought. Or was she assuring me that future waits would not be so long, as the elderly would die and leave more time for me? That's not nice. I'm considering sending them the childcare bill for my wait time. Or bringing the children with me. On second thought, maybe that would be cutting off my nose to spite my face. Or, sans metaphor, bringing small children to a pelvic exam to spite the doctor and being forced to answer a thousand questions in the car on the way home and paying for therapy years later.

The only entertainment is some guy talking on his cell phone. There are signs forbidding the use of cell phones. I love flagrant disobedience. I think he just said, "I didn't know our Suede was pregnant." Is he talking about leather or that guy on Project Runway? Neither of them could possibly be pregnant, so I hope he gets in to see the doctor first, because he needs serious education. I wish he would start telling jokes or something. It is now thirty minutes past my appointment time.

Wow. Someone just left with a toddler. That's brave. And some other dude came out after a mere ten minutes. If appointments only take ten minutes, why am I still here? Cell phone guy is now texting in silence. Oddly, I miss the chatter. I have to go to the bathroom. Cell phone guy just got summoned. Now there is no entertainment whatsoever. I really have to go to the bathroom.

In addition to the universally ignored cell phone sign (who can go that long without a cell?), there is another, more encouraging sign. "If you have been waiting more than 30 minutes, please see front desk." I can see it from here. Last time, I fell for the prank and approached the desk, only to be mocked. Should I try it again? Should I? Here we go...


I take back all of the above, at least the complaining part. I like my doctor. When she takes extra time with me, it's all good. We had a long conversation about what is either my very bad personality or a slight chemical imbalance in my brain. She recommended a lot of options (including an herbal one!) and actually explained them. She suggested asking my husband to tell me if my personality was particularly bad at certain times of the month. That won't work, because he pretty much thinks I'm a b*tch all the time, and claims to like that. I had her narrow it down to the top three and asked the question everyone wants to ask:

Will any of those make my weight go up or my sex drive go down, because I cannot afford that sh*t.

So she suggested another one: Wellbutrin. I took it thirty minutes ago. I swear I feel better, but I am highly susceptible to the placebo effect, which makes me a good beauty product reviewer. So, um, I'm on head drugs for the first time in my life. Y'all let me know how it's going, m'kay?

Namasté, y'all!

* To be honest, I don't hate it as much as I usually do, because the internet magically appeared on my laptop. Note to doctors: Your patients might be more inclined to wait without complaint if you would just pony up for wi-fi. And don't go crying to me about how much y'all's malpractice insurance costs these days. I've seen your house. Y'all still making bank.


MT said...

WiFi would be manna from heaven in those desert-like waiting rooms.

Those are my top questions, too. Because if those are the side effects, I'll just find my own workaround, k?

Oh, and I took my toddler to all my prenatal appts when I was hatching #2. No choice -- she had, I dunno, like 8 or 9 DumDum suckers each trip.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

I'd bet you $50 I used to go to the same doc. You'd be surprised to know that all practices are not run that way; I sure was. I am in and out of my new internist in less than an hour -- even with a work-in appointment.

Anonymous said...

My wife is a family doc, she'd love to schedule more time for the older patient who takes longer, but she gets paid less for a medicare visit than for someone than insurance, so that doesn't happen. It'd be great if doctors could bill for the time actually spent, but when you have insurance companies and the government dictating how much you make, you fill the schedule and whatever happens, happens. The good news is if national health care hits, you'll have a little practice for the waits that will come.

CarolinaBlonde said...

Alas, I am a legal drug dealer. I also medicate the depressed and anxious. So, let me know if that wellb. is not cutting it. Mine can actually make you loose weight and increases your sex drive. How do you like them apples?

As fancy as the houses are, docs don't get reimbursed for jack these days. Seriously. No matter what anyone thinks of the promise of universal health is the insurance companies that stick it to us and the doctors. They dictate everything these days.

Wi-Fi in the offices. I heart my blackberry. I visit abt 10 docs offices a day and two things I can't live without are hand wash and some form of internet access.

Answer: Yes, They do double (and triple) book.

My advice. Always schedule early AM appts. It may be a pain the the ass, but at least they have not had a chance to get behind. Old, young, rich, poor: some patients take a LONG time. Technically they are supposed to only discuss one item with the doc per visit, but usually it is oh my back, wait I also have a tummy ache, and my belly button is caving the way can I get some Cialis.

And truthfully, sometimes it is worse than that. You have a lump - may take a patient/doc visit a bit longer. Understandibly.

Anonymous said...

keep us posted on the wellbutrin. my husband just started taking lexapro and we're both very anxious. it'll be nice to be able to watch the results in others while i'm watching him, too.