Thursday, May 5, 2011

Waiting Room

I've arrived at the conclusion that doctor's waiting rooms are the most uncomfortable places in the world. An increasing number of them have televisions blaring--usually on a channel that features one of those "tell all your personal, private business" programs. If not, then it'll be set on the twenty-four hour news channel.

Inevitably, the room is either too hot or too cold. The exam room is always freezing. The bathrooms are down the hall, around the corner, and up a flight of stairs. You just know if you go to the bathroom, they'll call your name, skip you if you're not there to answer, and you'll end up waiting longer.

And the forms they ask you to fill I the only one who wonders who designed them? One of the questions on the form I filled out yesterday asked about medications. They wanted the dosage and how long. How long what? How long have I taken medication for that particular condition? Or how long have I been on that dosage? What???

A few weeks ago I filled out a form at another doctor's office. The instructions for a list of conditions--Check all that apply. Apply to what? There was no explanation. Did they want to know if I've ever had these symptoms/conditions? Or if this was a recent problem? I'm sixty-one years old. That's plenty of time to have an entire raft of symptoms/conditions.

Eventually, they called my name, took me back to a tiny room and weighed and measured me. The technician instructed me to stand on the scale facing her. Was that so I didn't drop dead from shock when I saw the number? Ten more pounds. It was enough to make me consider walking out of there from the get-go.

But no. If I stuck it out, I'd be done for another year. So I removed my shirt and bra, slipped on the gown (open in the front) and joined my fellow sufferers in another small waiting room. And waited. And waited. And waited.

By then I needed to go to the bathroom again. You guessed it...down the hall, around the corner, up the stairs...and of course they called my name while I was gone. And then took four more patients before they called my name again.

By this point I was sweaty (very warm waiting room) and very conscious of how my unsupported boobs were sticking to my chest. Ugh. Stuffing the gown in the crease, I tried to...pat the skin dry.

The technician was a lively cheerful woman who chatted with me in a friendly manner while she pushed and pulled my boobs like they were so much silly putty before smushing them in the machine. "Hold your breath!" Beep, beep, beep. "Okay, you can breathe now."

Flatten 'em one direction. Flatten 'em the other direction. I'm having hot flashes and she's cheerfully smushing the boobs again.

Finally we're done.

Please. Let me out of here!

Until next time.



  1. My average wait time is one hour. But if I'm late they want to charge me a fee. They should give me my co-pay back for the doctor being late.

  2. What I dislike about doctors' waiting rooms is that you might be going to see them for something not involving germs...but the room is full of germs so you might catch a cold!

  3. Oh yeah. And if you're really short, the mammogram equipment isn't quite low enough, so you're standing on your tiptoes while they smush and say "don't move." Love that part.

  4. Imagine how much more fun it is if you have a thing about being told to hold your breath. Then you can spend all that time anticipating it.