Doctor Shopping

I have two very swollen knuckles. They’re very tender, and my range of motion is limited. I made an appointment with a rheumatologist as it’s been two years of discomfort and pain.

Yes, two years. I guess I thought it would stop hurting?

Today I had an appointment with a specialist at 2pm. At 2.40pm when I was still in the waiting room I asked the receptionist if I could reschedule for another day. He was very apologetic and swore up and down that the doctor never ran late. We went back to a cubicle where a lady was tapping away on the computer, and she was going to schedule my appointment, she said she was too busy, and the receptionist and I were to find an empty computer where he could do the scheduling for us.

He found one and entered today’s appointment as a “patient cancellation” and then asked me which day would be convenient.

I stood there, trying to imagine which day I’d like to return and pay another $10 to park, and wait, and wait some more.

“I think we’re not a match.” I said. And left as politely as I knew how.

There are a half dozen highly regarded rheumatologists within walking distance of my home. It’s good to have choices.

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  1. good for you. nothing worse than disrespect for your time.
    now take care of that! 2 years, jeez, you would never do that with one of your kids, honey!

  2. Hell yeah it’s good to have options. When I had to see a Rheum last year, I couldn’t get into one LOCALLY for over 3 months, even with a referral from my family doc!!!!! At the time, I didn’t know what was wrong with me other than being in intense pain in my swollen joints all over my body. And to think about living like that for 3 month??? I seriously felt hopeless.

    I called the nearby metro area and the soonest anyone (on out plan) could do was 3 weeks. Crazy, huh?

    (FTR, 5th Disease in kids, annoying and inconvenient. In adults? I wanted to die.)

  3. I once had to wait over an hour in my gyno’s waiting room. Then, after disrobing, I sat in the surgical procedure room for almost two more hours. I was pissed because a) I left work early and clearly didn’t need to, b) no one came to check on me during this entire period, c) it was really cold and I had no socks. I really did not want to reschedule since the doc was going on vacation (and I really wanted my IUD removed – TMI, sorry), so I sat there. Turned out that he had an eptopic pregnancy that had to be treated with chemo and the consults are crazy long. My appointment lasted 5 minutes. I am not switching doctors since he apologized profusely, but I will always be the first appointment of the day going forward. Lesson: There is really only so much you can do to entertain yourself on a BlackBerry when you are half naked in a surgical suite.

    • Yikes.

      The OB is a different kind of doctor, and we all know that they will have emergencies. I love mine because they call when they’re running more than 30 minutes late. Which makes me love them all the more. Unfortunately they cancel on me a lot. I’m told that babies like to be born when I have my bi-annual exam.

  4. yo mama

    Drs need to know when their office managers can’t manage appointments…but drs need to keep an eye on their office staff to see that this doesn’t happen. I have walked out of many offices for the same reason. This is not a one horse town. However, I always call the dr and tell them why I will never come back. Some care, some don’t. Medicine in this country…..ugh!

  5. Love it!!

    I detest the way the doctor’s offices are “managed”.

    If you are interested, you might want to research Turmeric for your pain. I use Turmeric Force and I love it. I have a relative who is a hair stylist and was having to cut back at work because they could barely use their hands the arthritis is so bad. They started using Turmeric Force and the pain went away and now they are booking more days instead of less!

    Good Luck!

  6. Like Danielle, I always schedule first appointment of the morning. I hate getting up early – but I hate waiting more.

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