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Saturday, October 1, 2016

When is a 10 o’clock appointment not a 10 o’clock appointment?


September is well gone! Here are some tidbits.

For the last year our overzealous family doctor has Laura followed for thyroid nodules. The endocrinologist, of course, will never spring her until the day there is no annual follow up appointment made. I don’t care one way or another. The annual appointment was last Wednesday, at 10 a.m. At 10:45 I went to the front desk to cancel and never reschedule. The doctor had yet to put in an appearance. I passed her in the hall, and I told her the lateness was not excusable.

She informed me the schedulers had put Laura in a diabetic appointment, not an endocrine appointment. She could not explain the difference, only that 45 minutes was the time she needed to spend with the previous diabetic child. She could not explain why a 10 o’clock appointment was not a 10 o’clock appointment. I have all the orders for next year, but have yet to make the appointment.

Laura came through the door the other day, stopped dead in front of the thermostat and took a picture. I walked over to look. The indoor temperature was 69. (I’m not waiting late enough today for that!) “It’s an inside joke, Grandma. You wouldn’t get it.” I told her I think I was fourteen, too, when a girlfriend explained 69 to me.



I have a cedar chest that was my grandmother’s. It’s at least one hundred years old. Back in the early seventies I could not look at the black, crackled finish any longer, had it stripped and refinished its natural cherry color. Let’s move past that to the story. It’s been in my bedrooms since the sixties, doing its blanket holding job.

When we hung the little black shelves in my room, the chest was the handiest step stool, and Laura hopped up, and slid straight back, as the chest lost one of its carved front feet. Today I said we would repair it. My plan was wood glue and a couple of very long screws. But, on examination, it will be a professional job. The foot had wood blocks inserted in part of its construction; one of two screws no longer could be seated.

I explained the problem and my Plan B to our local hardware store fellow. He agreed the wood was too dry to be repaired by an amateur, and since I considered the chest on life support, he’d sell me what I needed, extreme glue and a wood clamp that would open at least 14”.



The real kicker is, my brother had a wall of wood clamps, every length. But, the old house is almost empty, under contract but still closing. So, I had to buy a wood clamp to add to the tool box repertoire I expect some grandchild will find of use.


33 comments:

  1. Good to hear the house is in the process of sold. Great before winter descends. That is a long wait at the doctor's. I wouldn't have been happy either.

    Betty

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  2. I was always on time...it was expected....and first started getting raised blood pressure at the French attitude to time keeping.
    However, at least it got me in practice for Costa Rica.

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  3. Ahh wood clamps we have a collection too, I must admit sometimes very handy but always a long search to find them.
    Always a long wait at my GP, I take a good book but if a it is a long wait at a specialist then I am cranky .
    Merle..................

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  4. Chuckling at Laura thinking that you wouldn't understand 69. I was older than 16 though. Quite a bit older.
    I hope that the chest can be repaired.
    Yay for a house under contract. Fingers and toes crossed.

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    1. And sigh on the doctor's timetable. Ours charges people who are late to appointments, but offers no discounts for their own tardiness.

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  5. With current bed shortages, many hospitals have to put patients in beds head to foot? Is that the 69 joke? Those clamps are always very handy - someone will find a use.

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  6. Uuugghhhh, doctors who run late. My own family doctor is always on time, but I used to go to a chiropractor who routinely ran 45 minutes to an hour late. I don't like the assumption that their time is more precious than yours. -Jenn

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  7. I was much older than 14 before I knew what 69 meant (I was kind of slow about the naughty stuff). I have a cherry cedar chest--not one hundred years old but almost forty. One evening a palmetto bug appeared over the fireplace, much too high for me to reach. Willy Dunne Wooters leaped up, landed on the cedar chest with his right foot, smacked the bug, came down on his left foot, and the bug fell down dead. The cedar chest survived without any injuries, as did WDW. My mother had a cedar chest that would probably be close to one hundred years old, but I don't know what happened to it. As for the doctor's appointment, woe woe woe because I think your experience is quite common. I was fortunate to find a new doctor about a year ago. He's prompt, but kind and attentive. His assistant seems to take a lot of the load off of him by dealing with the details. She told me that when I call and the people who answer the phones ask if I'm returning a call from her to simply say yes so they put me through to her voice mail and then leave a detailed message to explain what I need. She's taken care of me every time I've called. I've thanked her for going the extra mile. She always says, I'm just doing my job. A lot more people need to do their jobs. If a scheduling mistake was actually made, then someone should have come out to apologize to you and explain what happened. If the doctor can't do that, then she needs to find people to work for her who can handle the details. I worked in a doctor's office at one time (medical assistant but also helped check in patients). I wouldn't have tolerated a patient being allowed to wait that long without looking into it myself. We all need to take responsibility in our jobs, as you so well know because I'm sure it's something you've always done.

    Love,
    Janie

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  8. Joanne
    As someone on the other side of the exam table I can tell you that we didn't/don't, i'm retired, the delays any more than you and other patients.

    But what, in a 20-30 minute visit are we to do, when we find the patient is in kidney failure, have a valve murmur we'd not heard before, see ST changes in the EKG? The appt is up, we advise them to get to an ER, wish them luck?

    So, next time you get pissed at the doc for his inconsiderate behaviour, maybe also look at the health care system you the american people have set up. The insurance companies you support with monthly payments.

    If I have a doc, which I do, he thought of me once as a mentor, is late for an appt, I figure he's doing something more important.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  9. Hari OM
    That's a nice post of all things 'daily' and not so much... and a smile or two, to boot! Happy weekend. YAM xx

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  10. Glad the house sold. Every single time I strip a piece, I say never again. Then to add insult to injury, you have to fix it. Aye yay yay. Glad you spoke to the doctor about the lateness.

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  11. So glad to hear about the house under contract. Great news!

    Here one can wait hours for a doctor's appointment. Forty-five minutes would be good. Here, health care is free but it takes time to access.

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  12. I am used to waiting anywhere from zero minutes to over an hour, depending on the kind of medical person I am seeing. Family doctor usually at least fifteen minutes. Has your house sold, then? Good news.

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  13. Those doctor appointments drive me crazy. If I had a ten o'clock appointment and was not there on time the doctor would charge me anyway. No justice. I find it amusing that teenagers think us old fogeys know nothing about the things that make them giggle. After all we were never that age and if we were that stuff is all things they came up with.

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    1. We have occasional conversations about this. She has no idea how funny she is.

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  14. That is one of the reasons I just don't go to the doctor anymore. That waiting is ridiculous. And there is usually never a need for it. They just want to cram as many people into an hour as they can so they can make more money!! And then everyone sits in the waiting room waiting......I graduated from high school in 69 so heard that joke many, many times.

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  15. 25 years ago I went to a doctor who would make you wait up to two hours to see him. Besides young families, he had a large geriatric business and tended to each person in a very caring manner. He would spend as much time talking to them as he did attending to their maladies. Everybody loved him because he cared deeply about his patients. I hated the wait, but he was so kind, I couldn't get mad at him. He gave up his practice when managed care came about because he wanted to work by himself and not be part of a large practice. He also couldn't go by their rules of only giving less than 10 minutes to each person so he packed up his bag and retired. I heard, though, that he continued to visit the nursing homes to see how his old patients were doing. He died recently and the church was full of people who loved him. I remember paying him $15 or $20 for a visit, now they won't see you until you show them your insurance card.

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    1. That was my very first doctor, Dr. Borland, who took care of five generations of Noragons. One of his very first cases was amputating the leg of my husband's grandfather, and he retired to die when my youngest daughter was five or six. No appointment required, you just went in.

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    2. I liked the old days of not having to make an appointment to see the doctor. Anything up to two hour waits were the norm but at least a doctor would always see you and you didn't have to speak to a dragon receptionist to beg to see a doctor and abide by their petty rules of when calls will be taken for emergency appointments.

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  16. Oh we are so used to waiting 45 minutes or longer for doctors here, esp. specialists who are terribly overbooked and probably because there is a shortage of them. I do not know what 69 means and I hate to say my age, lol. I love your cedar chest. They are great for linens and extra blankets.

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  17. Dear Joanne - in the hilarious books of Virginia Ironside (e.g. "No! I Don't Need Reading Glasses!") it is a running gag that youngsters think they invented some funny lines, or made a deeply new discovery (as 69) unknown to the world before :-)

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  18. It's rather reassuring to see that youngsters are still quite ignorant in the ways and deeds of their elders!

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  19. The last time I went to my dentist I had a 2 0'Clock appointment, the first after lunch. I was there 5 minutes early. I saw them laughing in the canteen, modern all glass dental surgery like a mini hospital that has won design prizes. Everything visible except the clinic rooms. They came down from the canteen along the see-through corridor, and entered the clinic room. I expected to be called in. I waited, and waited and eventually at 2.20 pm I was called. I asked for an explanation when no apology was forthcoming. The dentist gave me a look of "how dare you question me" and did not speak except to look puzzled and annoyed with me. I explained my appointment was for 2pm. Still he said nothing. I have never been back and I had been a patient there for 20 years.

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  20. I'll wait 40 minutes. after that I get antsy. my time is important too and I have other things to do. glad the house sold. and isn't it always the way...you don't need something until you get rid of it.

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  21. I agree that there are legitimate reasons some waits at the doctor's office can be long. But if the time goes past 30 minutes, I appreciate someone apologizing to those waiting and given an explanation. Is that so hard? Most of our doctors run an efficient practice, but some - not so much. It takes a lot to upset me, but once I was asked to come in ASAP, and then waited over an hour... and yes, I left - and when I did, a gentleman who had also been waiting long gave me the thumbs up!
    And my daughter has my mother's cedar chest in her guest room. It has been stripped and re-stained many times since 1930.

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  22. Haha I love that inside joke about 69, too.

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  23. I do hope the chest can be repaired and continue doing its job.
    Does Laura have a thyroid problem or is the checking just part of an annual check up?

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  24. Doctors surgeries are so quick to threaten charges if WE are late...
    As they say of buses, We run for those who wait, not wait for those who run....

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  25. I once asked a friend who was consistently late if her time was more important than my time. Had to smile about Laura's, " You wouldn't get it "

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  26. Kids! They think they invented all this stuff. Don't they know WE did? I enjoyed reading about how you took the doctor to task.

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