friend of mine has a saying along the line of… “I’d rather be pecked to death
by ducks than to…(fill in the blank). Well, when it comes to going to a doctor’s
office the saying goes for me as well.
I don’t mind going if there is
something wrong with me, but when it’s just a routine examination you can picture
me as less than cooperative. First off, you have to get in line to get on their
schedule, which in some case takes weeks and weeks. Then when you get there you
have to go through the same old drill time after time and fill out more of the
same old papers you’ve filled out each time you went to visit. Why you have to
write your name, address, date of birth and phone number on each page… completely
mystifies me. By the time you get to be over the age of fifty you can bet your
file folder is about two inches thick with the same information over and over
I try to arrive early in the eternal hope that the doctor is running
ahead of schedule and that I can get out sooner. In this case I have made the
wrong choice. Today is not going to be one of those days. This is the post office
and the grocery checkout lines on July 4th wrapped up in one. There are five people
in the waiting room and they have all signed in with the name of my doctor and
their appointment time is well before me.
This doctor wants a urine sample.
You know the drill, do your thing in the little cup then stick in the little door
which I guess is on the other side of the laboratory. My fears are further confirmed
when I see five urine containers already in place. I can tell this is not going
to be a good experience.
Everyone looks up as a nurse comes to the door
and announces a name, the mood darkens among the rest of us still sitting as if
we’re playing musical chairs and waiting in anticipation for the music to stop.
No sense in trying to read any of the magazines since they are all over two years
old. I don’t need to read about the upcoming election in 2008 since I am well
aware of the results. Same thing with copies of old People magazines, since the
celebrities have all changed partners several times over or have gotten fat or
lost a lot of weight or gone to jail, again.
The door opens and a nurse
calls my name, I feel a sense of relief and anticipate that things are starting
to once again move forward. I am soon proved wrong.
The magazines in the
examination room range from a five year old copy of Readers Digest (large print)
to something called Prevention and another called Parenting. Somehow Dr. Spock
isn’t relevant in my world any longer. At this point in time I have been in the
doctor’s office over an hour past my scheduled appointment, not counting the time
I arrived early. I count the number of floor tiles which takes up about two minutes
then I switch to the ceiling tiles which eats up another whole minute or so. I
sense myself becoming impatient. I try to play games on my cell phone but the
battery dies while I am playing something called burst the bubble so that option
goes out the window.
After sitting in the examination room for an hour
I open the door and walk out into the hallway, you would have thought I was about
to enter the Oval office or something, nurses come out from all directions wanting
to know what I am doing. I tell them I am trying to find out what is going on
and how much longer will I have to wait.
I am told by a nurse who looks
like a former Nazi prison guard that the DOCTOR is busy and will get to me as
quickly as he can. She places a lot of emphasis on the word DOCTOR. I suppose
this is to intimidate me as if I didn’t know what his title happened to be. Hello
lady I know it’s a DOCTOR’S office…I made an APPOINTMENT to be here.
about fifteen minutes another nurse comes into the room and tells me that the
doctor (not so loud this time…probably bad nurse ..good nurse technique) has been
delayed and would I wish to reschedule for some other date. I say no, I’d rather
get this over this afternoon or at least before the sun goes down as I hate driving
in the dark.
My sarcastic remark sails over her head and she retreats
and closes the door a little harder than normal. More time goes by and now I have
been in the office a full two hours. The Nazi nurse returns and announces that
the DOCTOR will be in to see me in a few minutes and that I am his LAST patient.
I have no idea why the comment about being the last patient was made, since I
assume that someone is the LAST patient everyday and today I just happen to be
it. Or maybe they have a room full of people who missed being the last patient
and are stuck in some form of medical limbo or purgatory awaiting redemption.
By whom or how I have no clue.
door opens slightly then closes then reopens again and there in a blazing aura
of white glory is …..the DOCTOR. My fifteen minutes of fame are about to begin.
As usual, nothing is wrong with me except my rear end hurts from sitting in a
plastic chair for too long, but that will pass.
I leave the office the lights start turning off behind me and I walk out in the
waning sunshine determined never to repeat this process again.
my heart I know I’m lying …..it is what it is.
© Peary Perry
Comments go to email@example.com
From North America - September 30, 2009 column
in 80 newspapers
Online Magazine |