Friday, December 28, 2007

Doctor's Visit

I arrive at 3:35 for my 3:45 appointment, sign in and take a seat next to the water cooler. Four other people are in the small waiting room and I'm immediately glad that I chose to sit on that side of the room, as the smell from the lady directly across from me is almost overpowering. A man and his wife are sitting in the corner, two people I slightly know but not well enough to start up a conversation with. Another man, just a bit older than me, is wearing jeans and boots and reading pamphlets. Fifteen minutes pass and the only activity is from the women behind the sliding glass window at the receptionist's desk, as they talk among themselves about their lives and the coming Christmas holiday. Someone comes out of the back. Since there are only three examination rooms that means one has just opened up and they should be calling me back soon. Another person enters and checks in, sits down two seats from me. After five minutes more the nurse pokes her head out and calls "Roy". The guy with the boots and the new guy both stand to go back. They look at each other for a second and the new guy says "You're Roy too?". Boots Roy goes back and New Roy sits. Ten minutes go by and another patient checks in, a pretty girl who sits beside Smelly Woman. She realizes her mistake quickly, and keeps her head turned away from the woman, looking out the window. Fifteen minutes later Smelly Woman goes to the bathroom, which is right there in the waiting room. I lock eyes briefly with the pretty girl and she rolls her eyes as if to say "Can you believe that smell?". I give a slight smile and look at the floor. Everyone can hear the woman pee and wash her hands, as there is a vent right above the bathroom door through which any privacy is lost. The couple by the window are called next. It's about 4:25. A big guy comes from the back and waits by the reception window. The doctor comes to the window and explains what medication the guy is to take for his high blood pressure, for confidentiality's sake it's something that should have been done in the examining room, not where the whole waiting area can hear. I was glad I wasn't coming there with a case of VD or something. Smelly Woman's daughter comes in and says her brother is hitting her. They've been waiting in the car and are getting antsy. Smelly Woman gets called next and the pretty girl gets a magazine and moves to a chair by the window, away from the lingering odor. At 5:00 I get called back and have my blood pressure and pulse taken by the nurse who says the doctor will be right back to see me. Thirty minutes later the doctor knocks on the door and comes in. He looks to be the age of my eighteen year old son, and the last time I was there he had acne - seriously. This time his skin looked clearer. After talking to me and examining my elbow, which was the reason for my visit this day, for about three minutes total he sent me to the reception desk for my prescription. It was 5:40 when I walked out of there into the now-darkened outside world. I was just glad that my insurance will pick up the $80 tab for the two hour wait and three minute visit.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Tim,

Your details in this piece of writing are fantastic -- you really capture the misery of such an infernal wait! Hope your holidays are going well!

10:49 AM  

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