Saturday, July 21, 2012

Doctor's Office

The other day I went for a routine doctor’s visit.   I arrived at 10:30.  The lady behind the counter told me I was 30 minutes early.

“OK” I said.  I am always early for doctor’s appointments.  It seems that if I was late for an appointment it would mess up everything for the rest of the day,  like dominos.
I was the only patient in the waiting room. There should be no problem, I thought – in and out quickly.

From the exit door emerged my old school friend Walker.  After about 52 years of not seeing Walker we got to see each other last Sunday at the Marietta Campground Meeting  After 52 years; then seeing each other twice about 4 days apart.   
A talkative casually well dressed elderly man arrived.  He wanted to talk to the lady behind the desk about who has the right to see his medical information – and who gave anybody permission?  He had a warm smile on his face the whole time.  Then he wanted to see the nurse,  he said she would know what he is talking about.  By thlis time I picked up on his last name, it was one of the most prominent names in Marietta.
I think the lady behind the counter said she would let him talk to a nurse, just to get him  from keeping her from working. I suppose.  She told him to have a seat and the nurse (by name) would see him shortly.  He sat across from me and we chatted.

At 11:00, the time for my appointment, a Latino lady came and signed  in.  The lady behind the desk told her she was 30 minutes late.  She did understand English, but I take it that she thought she was at least there now so that was something.  She sat beside me and I spoke to her and she politely spoke Spanish to me.  Either of us knew how to talk to the other one.

The nurse opened the door and called the elderly prominent old fart’s name.  He followed her inside talking away in his smiling gentle way.  I think the old fart just wormed himself in on my appointment.

About ten minutes later the nurse opened the door and called the Latino lady in.  Another one knocked my appointment up some minutes.  I was thinking about what just happened, the two extreme ends of the local social food chain delayed my appointment almost 90 minutes. I was fuming to myself. Damn! I slipped through the cracks again! This is symbolic for what many people consider America’s biggest problem, the middle man carries everybody’s load.

Finally the prominent old fart casually came out with the nurse and he was still talking – he was using his cane to make gestures with. She jokingly told him he had better watch where he pointed that thing, she’ll jerk it away from him and use it on him. He apologized and said he didn’t mean anything by waving his cane around, he used it to talk with like some people use their hands. That embarrassed him, putting him on the defensive, and about that time he saw me still sitting where I was sitting when he wandered to the back with the nurse. He said, “You still sitting here? I demand you take this man now, he was here when I came in!” I think he was just changing the subject to put himself on the offensive.

And the nurse took me back and on the way back she jokingly asked if I had been busy.

I replied, "Busy waiting!"  By her expression she knew what I was talking about.

After my doctor’s visit and I was leaving through the outer lobby I saw the prominent old senile old fart was talking the ears off a cute outer office receptionist.  Little young cute receptionists like that are old-fart patient magnets.

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