Monday, October 17, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait

I heard two interesting doctor stories in the last week.  One was from a colleague who had a check-up scheduled for late in the afternoon.  She was taken back to the exam room and proceeded to wait for about 30 minutes.  As soon as she got concerned that she was forgotten about she walked to the door to peek her head out.  Just as she opened the door the doctor was grabbing her chart from the door pocket.  OK, I guess he was just running a bit late.

The next story comes from my dear mother.  She had a check-up scheduled at lunchtime.  The nurse took her to the exam room right away.  Then 45 minutes pass and no one shows.  She needs to get back to work and it's pushing 1:00 by now.  She gets dressed and walks out the door.  There was not a nurse outside the door nor a receptionist at the desk to inquire what was going on.  My mom was pretty angry that this happened.  While she was on her way back to work the office figured out that she was AWOL and tried to contact her.  They called the office (no answer as it was still lunchtime), her cell phone (no answer because she was not in the mood to talk to them), the house (no one was home), and finally my father.  He told them he didn't know where she was and it was curious that they didn't know either.  Way to go, Dad.

She has not called to doctor back to schedule another appointment, yet.  I betcha she'll give them an earful next time she goes in.

Fast forward to today.....

I took the morning off for a doctors appointment. 10:00 was a great time. I got the kids off to their usual morning spots and even had a bit of time to run to Target.  I arrived at 9:45 to allow for any paperwork updates. I had all of that completed by 10:00.

I should have known something was up in the office when a lady in the waiting room asked how much longer she'd have to wait. They said not much longer, and 45 minutes later was her not much longer.

Tick, tick, tick goes the clock

At 10:40 I ask the receptionist if there's a chance I could be out of there by 11:15 so I could get to another appointment.  That appointment was going to be surprising M at school for a lunch date.  The lady pursed her lips, squinted her eyes at the clock, and then shook her head No.  Grrr, I had not told M about the lunch date so I chalked it up to a missed opportunity.  I thought about rescheduling for another day, but I already took the morning off and could hear the receptionist making appointments for the middle of November.  Double Grrrr.

I finally made it back to an exam room at 11:10.  Blood pressure, scale (yikes!), and the usual questions from the nurse were done super fast.  I asked how long I would wait for the doctor in an exasperated voice.  "It shouldn't be too long."  I've heard that before.

While I waited I checked Facebook, my Twitter feed, played some Solitare, downloaded the Tetris app, started this blog post...

Then I got the dreaded battery warning for 10% left.  Damn, better conserve energy in case this is a long-term stay.

Seriously, the clock read 11:48 when she walked in.

I walked out by 12:03.  Really?

Can't wait to go back next year.


  1. I went on Columbus day and my appointment wasn't until 1:30. i had to fast that whole time and then had to wait even more for them to take blood. The doc came in at 2:15 and then the nurse and receptionist proceeded to interrupt him 4 times. I didn't get out of there until 3:30. Had to stop for McDonald's on way home because I was so hungry. Lucky my blood was already taken and it didn't affect my cholesterol. Doctors stink!

  2. The lack of compassion for the time you had to sit in a flimsy gown. Geesh.