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The Doctor Won’t See You Now

September 30, 2010

This is what I love about the doctor’s office: The never-ending wait.

You get there and have to first wait in a waiting room with bad magazines, things having to do with homemaking and crafts, gardening and baking. I am not sure why they subscribe to these magazines, or where they have even learned of such magazines. Why not the mainstream ones? Was there a study somewhere that people will calm their nerves in a doctor waiting room by 20% if they are learning how to make a cupcake that looks like a spider for Halloween? Then you are sent in to a cold exam room for 45 minutes before the doctor actually arrives. I am not sure why they call it an appointment, when it should in fact just be called a window. The cable company calls it a “window” from 10-2 or 4-6, which most people have a problem with. But the truth is, they are honest. Why don’t doctor’s offices start calling it a window.

“Hi Darcy? Please arrive on time at 10 am, your window for your appointment is  10 am- 2pm. No, no sorry, I can’t tell you the exact time, or even a ballpark time, but you should be there for when the door opens.”
Sometimes I think about bringing things to keep myself occupied as I will be there for hours. It’s a good thing I switched to Verizon because T-Mobile used to never work inside doctor’s offices. Sometimes I envision myself bringing gorp ,you know, that trail mix hikers bring on long camping trips to sustain themselves for days. That fruit and nut mix? Would it be odd to show up to my next doctor appointment with a flashlight, a canteen, a bag of gorp, a pillow/neck rest of some kind, possibly a Snuggie? Would they be offended if I had a pizza delivered as I was waiting naked in the exam room?
“What? it’s been two hours. I got hungry. And I’m fresh out of gorp!”
In fact, I’d like to have visitors. I would like Bear’s babysitter to bring him by so he can visit me at the doctor’s office.
“Mommy, why are you staying here so long?”
“I’m sorry honey, it’s my window. I will be home as soon as I can. Thanks for drawing me this picture. It’s beautiful. I’m going to hang it up right here next to my exam table”
Maybe I can have friends deliver balloons and stuffed animals to my bedside, wearing little stuffed animal t-shirts saying “Come home soon!” That would be nice.

Here is the question I have for all of you, because I am just wondering if we all think the same, or I am just a little weird. When left in a doctor’s office, are you sometimes tempted to give yourself an exam using their equipment? Do you sometimes want to take that thing they use to look in your ears, and stick it in your ear really quickly? Maybe use a tongue depresser and give yourself a throat culture. When the nurse came in, you can hand over the cotton swab and say “run this for strep will ya?”
The only reason I don’t do that, is because I am sitting practically naked, freezing, wrapped in a makeshift gown of some kind sitting on loud crinkly paper. The paper, by the way, is pretty much there as an alarm system. They can hear that paper all the way in the waiting room. I imagine the receptionists (who are always lovely mind you, and by lovely I mean, not nice) to have a walkie-talkie system,
“I hear paper rustling in room 4, I think she is up and taking her blood pressure. Send someone in there to check it out. Yeah. Just say you are taking her weight.”

On one occasion I waited so long, I was temped to make a beard out of cotton balls so when the doctor walked in I would have a long white beard.
“Yea, I didn’t have beard when I came in 4 hours ago. Huh.” As you shrug your shoulders.

The exam usually lasts 20 minutes and as you are getting dressed and leaving you see other people waiting in their rooms as you walk down the long hallway. You give a consoling glance, knowing they have a good three hours ahead of them as your doctor has only entered one of the 4 filled exam rooms.

So there you have it. Next time the cable company tells you to be home from 10-2, instead of getting annoyed, you can say thanks. Thanks for being honest and giving me a window.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2010 7:53 pm

    oh my goodness i feel the some way!

    i do not enjoy setting an appointment for 10 am and not being seen until after lunch. can they give me one of those restaurant beepers? when i’m up it vibrates? better yet make it 15 minutes advanced so i have time to get back to the doctor’s office.

    • October 4, 2010 8:07 pm

      yes! the pagers would be an excellent idea! Thank you so much for reading, and thank you for your comment!

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