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Doctor Grrrrrrrr and Doctor Ahhhhhhh

I had two medical appointments scheduled today -- one at 1:00 and another at 2:30. You may already have a sense of where this is going.

The first appointment was with my migraine specialist.  She is very particular about appointment times.  In the 14 or so months that I have seen this doctor, she has made it clear that it is imperative that I be on time for appointments.  On the one occasion that I arrived five minutes late for an appointment (due to very heavy traffic), she was quite seriously and vocally UNHAPPY with me.

Today, I arrived for my 1:00 appointment at 12:55.  I checked in with the front desk, filled out the usual paperwork, and was shown into an examining room.  The doctor was sitting in her office, clearly eating her lunch, as I passed by on the way to the exam room.  In the exam room, we waited... and waited... and waited...  There was no indication, based on the sounds in the hallway, of anyone else in the office.  None of the usual noises that go with physicians going in and out of exam rooms.  At 2:00, we gathered up our things, opened the exam room door, and told the appointment scheduler that we were sorry, but due to another appointment, we were unable to wait any longer.  The doctor, popped out of her office, but then popped right back in.  She said not a single word.  Her office staff apologized and made me another appointment, ten days hence.  I was, needless to say, furious.  Smoke pouring out of the ears furious.  There are really no viable options to this one, or I'd be looking for another doctor.

The 2:30 appointment was with my glaucoma specialist.  Yes, I do have a whole stable of "specialists."  Appointments with the glaucoma specialist are hugely stressful.  There is never any good news with glaucoma.  The best possible outcome of any appointment is that things have not gotten worse.  Today's appointment was a lengthy one including a visual fields test and a set of photographs of the back of my eyes.  With all of that done, we were taken in to get ready for the doctor.  Getting ready involves a pretty standard eye exam (can you read these letters?), checks of the intraoccular pressures in both eyes, and then drops to dilate the eyes.  Back to the waiting room to allow the dilating drops to do their thing.  It was probably 20 minutes later that we were escorted back to see the doctor.

Glaucoma specialists speak their own language.  The doctor comes in with an assistant; goes to the computer where he reviews the visual fields results and the imaging results; compares everything to previous data; and dictates all sorts of cryptic notes.  That all takes probably 5-10 minutes.  Then he does his own exam, looking at the backs of my eyes, and rechecking the pressures.  Finally, he declares that everything seems to be "stable!"  Pressures, visual field, and imagery -- all stable!!!!  Whoo Hoo!  Stable is like winning the gold medal in downhill skiing at the Olympics.  I could have hugged him, but no one hugs glaucoma doctors.  It just isn't done.

So.  One totally obnoxious, annoying doctor appointment.   One really good doctor appointment.  What a day.



  1. Ordalie3:44 AM

    It's almost incredible that a doctor who is a stickler for punctuality should be so terribly late. SHE should have been apologising, not her staff.
    If I were you, I'd keep the smoke going out of my ears for the next appointment and make it clear it is imperative that SHE on time.
    You say you've been seeing her for more than a year, which seems to me awfully long for a specialist who is not a shrink; have you noticed any improvement?

  2. I have seen more than my share of docs lately....too many of the Grrr kind!
    hugs abby

  3. nodding in agreement with abby - too many docs that make me go 'grrrr' for a number of reasons

    the joys of growing older eh sue?? Personally I don't like it one little bit !!

  4. No appointments are necessary to see the doctor here. Let's say, my foot is swollen. I go in, the doctor's room has no privacy. There may be someone else consulting him. He has probably got a side-kick (med student or nurse.) He shouts a greeting. I sit down and as soon as he is free I tell him my story.
    He asks a few questions, including how is my wayward son, pokes tentatively at my foot, suggests I make some guavano tea from the leaves of a guavano (soursop) tree. Luckily we have one in the yard. He will probably scrawl out a prescription, which will be difficult or impossible for even the pharmacist to read, let alone me; I probably wont even try to buy the medicine, and if I do succeed in buying it, I most likely won't take any of it.
    I will pay his 200 pesos consultation fee ($4.50) and go home.
    Guavano tea tastes horrible so I don't make more than two brews before abandoning the treatment. My foot swelling goes down anyway, on its own, after a month or two.

    You can tell we don't take doctors and medications nearly so seriously here as people in USA do.

  5. Ordalie2:10 AM

    @Malcolm: Where do you live?

  6. @Ordalie: Philippines


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