In Defense of the Dr’s Office

A typical examination room in a doctor's office.

Image via Wikipedia

I had to go to the Dr yesterday. Nothing serious, just your usual yearly thing. I had put it off for 3 years so I figured I guess it was time to make an appearance.

My appointment was scheduled for right after my husband was off from work. Any other day he would have been home in plenty of time, but of course yesterday he got out really late and by the time he got home it was 15 minutes until my appointment. This is an issue because the new office is 30 minutes away.

I jumped in the car and raced at the speed limit to the doctor’s office hoping I would only be late by a few minutes. Of course on this day traffic was horrible, so I called DH to ask him to call the office and let them know I would be there ASAP.

I finally get there 20 minutes after my appointment time and apologize for being late. The girl at the desk says to me, “It’s ok. Dr. T is running late anyway.” Oh, good. I won’t be penalized like some doctor’s do when you are late to an appointment. I have to fill out paperwork all over again since they had updated all their stuff when they moved offices since the last time I was there. This was fine since apparently I had plenty of time. I turn the papers in and get out my crossword puzzle book I keep in my purse just for these situations and just enjoy the nice quiet of the office (I was one of only two people waiting to be seen.)

An hour goes by and I am thinking that I didn’t put anything out for dinner for DH or the kids. I text him to see if he wants me to reschedule since it didn’t look like I was going to be seen any time real soon. He texts me back saying it is up to me but can’t believe I haven’t been seen yet. It really doesn’t bother me since it was quiet other than the news on the TV. This was the first time I had experienced quiet like this in weeks. I go to the desk to ask about rescheduling anyway and the clerk tells me that I am next if I just wanted to wait. I go back to my crossword.

After a little more time more people start to show for their own appointments. There are multiple doctors in the office so it doesn’t surprise me at all. These people must be the ones that come right after work. Being an OB/GYN there are a lot of preggos and small children now and I can’t help but be grateful this is just a yearly for me and not a baby visit.

Finally I get called back. My weight and height taken and history taken again (apparently they went 100% digital and had to have all my stuff re-entered). Then I sit in the exam room. This is always the boring part. I always wonder why they can’t just put a TV or pipe some music in there or something. I wait.

After a few minutes (no clocks so I am not sure how long I waited, but I don’t think it was very long) Dr. T comes in and apologizes. I tell him it isn’t a big deal (because to me it isn’t) and he keeps apologizing saying that he hates it when he has and emergency because it just makes him behind in his appointment and he doesn’t like to be running late. I tell him it was ok (again) and say that he is a doctor, he was just doing his job. He again apologized and said that he had been in my shoes and that he is just really, really sorry I had to wait. It was almost as if he didn’t want me to accept his apology. LOL I am sure plenty of other people give him a hard time and it must be difficult to accept someone who is willing to just blow it all off.

What I wanted to tell him was that I REALLY didn’t mind. Really. As a parent I am always having to meet someone else’s needs. Having to make someone dinner. Check homework. Change diapers, etc. It was actually NICE to be able to sit in a room where my only responsibility was to just be there. No one tugging on me or constantly talking in my ear. Just be and wait for my name to be called. I didn’t say these things because it would have taken up time and he was already behind and obviously upset about it so we went on with the visit.

2 hours after my appointment time I am on my way home and call DH to feed the kids nuggets or whatever else they want and we could forage when I get home. I would be too late to really cook anything “good” so tonight would be whatever we could find. When I got home, Dh said he couldn’t believe it took so long and I told him that I really didn’t mind and why. He thought for a minute and agreed. I told him if there were kids there that were screaming and carrying on…they weren’t MY kids and I wasn’t responsible for them. I could sit there and do my puzzles without being hounded.

So, the point of the story is..the next time you are in the Dr’s office by yourself (especially if you are a parent) and you have a long wait. Be grateful. It may be the only few minutes of quiet you get for a while.




Filed under General, Inspiration, Life

2 responses to “In Defense of the Dr’s Office

  1. I feel the same way! It’s rare that I go to the doctors’ alone, but when I do, I almost pray that the appointment will be late (and if I get the doctor I want, it invariably IS late because he always runs over time due to the fact that he actually talks to and listens to his patients, taking the time to discuss everything properly without putting on pressure to rush through things – he’s awesome!). I always take a book and happily read till I’m called.

    Of course, if Xan is with me, I want to be in and out as fast as I can so he doesn’t get al lnarky, but generally he’s happy to play with the toys they have there, so it’s usually no bother at all. 🙂

    • I have been lucky in all my dr’s take their time too and I almost never get frustrated for waiting. If they are late on their appointments it probably means they take the time to actually talk to their patients…and that is a good thing. My ENT is the best…I can always hear him in the next room talking to his patients and it goes a long way to making someone feel heard.

      Besides, the way I see it is that you should never schedule a dr’s appointment before anything else since you never know how long you are going to wait.