The Other day I made a list of all of my physicians, as I did this it dawned on me that I have 13 different doctors! I mean I knew that I had a lot, but 13 seems a little extreme, even for me. This leads me to my next point.

As if juggling appointments, maintaining medications and remembering all of your special directions as per your doctors isn’t enough. They insist on making your life as complicated as possible.

1.) You call, then you call at least five more times before you even get your appointment setup.

2.) You realize that the only upcoming appointment they have available for you happens to be on the exact day and time as one or more of your prior commitments.

3.) You get to the doctors office right on time and you assume, oh good I’m on time, it shouldn’t be too long before I’m back to my daily plans. NOPE, wrong, the doctors office has another agenda. They’ve decided that your time means NOTHING and that your world revolves around their schedule. An hour after waiting in the packed, loud, germ infected waiting area , they call your name. You practically leap out of your chair while stumbling over all of your belongings as you gather them up. You follow the nurse lady to another desk where the woman behind asks, “Can you please verify your birthday?”After whispering your birthday to her so no one else hears you, she instructs you to sit in a different waiting area because they need to get some blood. NO ONE told you about this part, they didn’t warn you that you would have to basically undress so the 13 year old lab tech could go on an endless search for a promising vein. For a good ten minutes of vein searching, your hand and arm begin to go numb and turn blue due to the plastic tourniquet that’s pulling and pinching your skin. Oh but wait, the best is yet to come. The 13 year old lab tech then proceeds to stick you with a needle only to find out that your blood has decided to go on strike that day. So she tries a couple more times before finally realizing that she needs to call an advanced  nurse for help. Ten vials of blood, dizziness and six Mickey mouse band aids later you go to ….Yep you guessed it, another waiting area.

By this time it’s been at least two hours and you begin to accept the fact, that your are going to be there all day and that pretty soon you are going to run out of things to read and interesting people to stare at. At the three hour mark they call your name again, but this time you are not enthusiastic and are moving at a glacial pace. You finally make into the room, you know the white, cold, smelly machine filled rooms that make you want to run the opposite direction. The nurse lady hands you a KING size, sheer, feather-lite sheet/robe and instructs you to take EVERYTHING off and put it on. So there you sit shivering being teased and taunted with every foot step in the hall and every time the nurse peeks in to remind you that the doctor is in fact there and should be in, in a few minutes.  We’re not done yet, next they feel it is absolutely necessary to send in a medical student to collect all the medical info for the doctor.  95% of the time these so called “medical students”  end up asking me how to spell my medication, and proceed to ask me the definition of the disease they are treating me for. 

After a day of anticipation the door fly’s open and the doctor appears, suddenly the person you were so eager to see,  becomes the last person in the world you want to see. With a quick look at your chart and a 30 second exam he says, “ok, well everything seems fine, I would like to see you again in six months.”  He gives you your papers and suggests you make your next appointment at the desk on your way out.

At the end of all of this you are left thinking, “Are you kidding me? I waited ALL day to hear you say, come back in six months!!!” A month later you get your mail just to find out that your insurance changed the day of your appointment so subsequently your visit wasn’t covered.

The Bill:

-Ten vials of blood $1,000

-One KING size sheet/robe $100

-Lab fees $1,000

-Hearing your doctor say, “Everything is fine”  PRICELESS

I have had plenty of these experiences in my life! I want everyone to know that even though it can be extremely frustrating, I still appreciate everything all the doctors and their staff have done for me! I wouldn’t be here without the help of these truly amazing people.

Natalie Curry