pediatrician visit

Mama Jamz, running late as she often occasionally is, gets dogs outside and watered, baby fed and bathed and in a fresh diaper, diaper bag stocked with bottles of formula and spare outfits and diapers and pacifiers and whatnot, tumbler of hot tea in the car, and is off to the doctah!, about 40 minutes away.

(Now, in my defense – I can hear you sniggering, Daddy J! – I’ve been doing a LOT better with the on-time-for-appointments thing lately.  Like, I’m USUALLY right on time for them.  REALLY.  Dinner dates and parties, on the other hand, are a completely different story.)

I would have just been 5-10 minutes late except that the doctor has moved to the new medical array of buildings and, even though I’ve been there once before, I didn’t know where I was going.   (Directions are NOT my strong suit.)  I ended up asking a UPS man which building my pediatrician’s group was in and arrived (according  to their clock) seventeen minutes late.

Receptionist: (having asked for our last name, sighs dramatically and looks at her watch) You’re about 15 minutes late.  Your appointment was at 10:45.

Mama Jamz: Yes, I’m sorry.  I couldn’t find the new building you all are in.

Receptionist: Well, I don’t know if the doctor can see you, but go ahead and sign in.  (Nurse approaches.)  She’s here, fifteen minutes late.

Nurse: Ordinarily, we cancel the appointments if you’re fifteen minutes late.

Receptionist: She said she couldn’t find the building.

Nurse: (irritated)  You should have called to let us know.

Mama Jamz: mulls over her options and their likely consequences.  She could

A. Tell those cows just how bitchy they are being, and how if she ONLY had to ever wait fifteen minutes to see the doctor, she’d be THRILLED, and that she’d eat her shoes if the doctor was sitting idly back there wasting his valuable time just waiting for her arrival, and that she’s had to drive forty frickin minutes to get there after getting a two month old ready to go and they COULD be compassionate and cut her some slack, or at the very least be less power-trippy about the whole thing, plus her frickin cell phone has been broken for the last week.

Which would likely result in

B. Said cows telling her that actually the doctor will be unable to see her

Which would likely result in

C. Mama Jamz losing her shit, using multiple examples of foul language, gathering up her stuff and storming off, and then having to find a new doctor who takes her insurance and would see Rainbow immediately, which makes her tired to just think about.

Mama Jamz: (avoiding eye contact) So.  Should I just go sit down?

Receptionist: (to Nurse) I guess you can just take her back there, and if he won’t see her, she’ll just have to leave.

Mama Jamz: turns and walks to a seat before she utters anything she might regret.  Waits five minutes to be called back.  Then waits ten minutes to be seen by the doctor, after he finishes up with the patient before her.  Works in one little jab to the nurse, which likely went unnoticed: when the nurse tells her to please wait in the little room for the doctor, she calls out (rather loudly) OH I DON’T MIND WAITING ONE BIT.

And for the record: Rainbow is indeed a hoss of a boy.  He weighs 15 lbs. 5 oz, which is what the doctor said is normal weight for a 4-5 month old.  He’s off the charts for weight, and is in the 90th percentile for height.  The doctor said that he will likely REALLY want to eat solid food in a month or so.  And also that he looks perfectly healthy and great.  🙂

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meghan Cobble
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 12:03:17

    Okay, I gonna vote. I would have mouthed off.

    I am not really an aggressive person, but am passionate about this.

    I am seathing just from your story. If I could count all the times that I was early or right on time to a doctor appt. and then have waited for up to 2 hours to be seen.

    We waited 1 hour 15 minutes for Casey’s 2 day after his birth check up…I had to nurse him 2 times becuase he was hungry/fussy.

    So your 15 minutes is nothing compared to the countless hours they have other patients wait which I don’t think is pre-dominiantly due to other patients being tardy, but more realistically because of their OVERBOOKING!


    ,mac 🙂

    p.s. Thatta way, Rainbow…I think you are ready for some porkchops!!!

  2. Jackie
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 13:23:54

    On the way out, I would’ve told them that my being 15 mins late makes up for the 5 or 6 or so hours over the years that I waited for the doctor. (Oh & fyi, I’ve probably waited 40-50 hours total over the years or more myself

  3. Auntie Sue
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 14:56:30

    You showed remarkable restraint. If it were an appointment with someone who NEVER keeps you waiting, maybe it would have been appropriate to apologize and grovel some. Doctors? No. No wonder so many people have high blood pressure when they go to the doctor. Reading old magazines in a tiny room probably causes 90 percent of it.

  4. Suzanne
    Apr 29, 2009 @ 03:55:03

    The same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I was taking a friend’s child to the pediatrician (friend is a widowed dad) and could not find their office. Because I was FIVE minutes late they bumped us to the last appointment slot. They made a sick little boy wait for over two hours.

  5. KatieC
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 14:28:31

    They were really, really rude! I would have said something to the doctor, and noted that the next time I witnessed/experienced such rudeness that I would report it online (I live in Chicago, and we can rate doctors on and Angie’s List). I understand their policy, but they could have been polite about it! Grrrrrr.

  6. thisbumpyjourney
    May 02, 2009 @ 21:31:56

    Yeah, it was the rudeness that got my goat. I understand they’re a business, that they need to know whether patients are present to be seen (even if they end up waiting an hour or more) and that they wanted to wrap things up before lunch. And I get that they need some kind of policy about cancellation of appointments after a certain amount of time.

    I have this naive notion that we’re all on the same team – doctors, nurses, receptionists, parents – the make-sure-the-children-are-healthy team. Like, these people should *want* my baby to be treated, right? And if a parent brings their child in too late to be seen – like, if it’s just impossible – it would be nice to have the receptionist explain that she’s very sorry, but this lateness policy exists, and she hates it that I’ve driven all this way with my baby, and she will check with the doctor to be sure, but it’s likely that I’ve missed the appointment, and for future reference here’s the policy all spelled out.

    As opposed to the whole tsk-tsk, you screwed up thing these women had going. Being polite about it would actually make me want to be on time for future appointments, while the rudeness just makes me want to switch offices.

    I’m thinking about switching to the nurse practitioner who opened up shop about ten minutes away. Not convinced that that’s how I want to go – I like the idea of a team of doctors, and if my doctor is out for some reason I’ll see another one – but it would rock to not have to drive so far for child healthcare.

    Meghan, that’s appalling, and annoyingly common, too, isn’t it? Gah. And Suzanne, that’s just beyond the pale. It makes you wonder why they are in the business of providing health care to children, you know?

  7. Trackback: 6 month checkup « love, loss, and rainbows

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: