Friday, November 21, 2008

Crazy = Ordinary Day

"Well, since you couldn't manage to make this last appointment on time, I think I'll just have Dr. H call you back herself about whether she'll reschedule. Because the current calendar is booked up for a very long time." So says the curt phone receptionist after I explain that I am going to miss my appointment with the gynecologist. My car has just gone BOOM and sputtered to the side of the road in a hail of coughs and smoke while en route their office.

Crazy is just an ordinary day for a OB-GYN . Running that kind of practice has got to be controlled chaos at best. Pregnant bodies do not always cooperate with regularly scheduled appointments. I keenly recall that back when I was a pregnant body, there were many snafus, dilemmas, and emergencies that led my appointments to be canceled because I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital to trek over to the OB office. As such, whenever I made it to a normal appointment it felt like a victory. I never complained about Dr. H running late -- and there are times she runs extremely late. I was just glad not to be the cause of her lateness. And although I've heard other patients exchange irritated words with office staff at times, I always tried to be the friendly, polite, understanding patient. I didn't want to be the person the staff hates.

I realize that my car breaking down on the way to the OB-GYN office does not fall into the same category as a baby sticking out the wrong end of my uterus, or someone hemmorhaging through their belly button. But it's still completely out of my control. And Dr. H's office is the first call I made (before the tow truck, even) to let them know I wouldn't be there. What else, exactly, did that receptionist expect me to do?

And hey, if it weren't for all THE UNEXPLAINED, CONSTANT PAIN, I'd be more than happy to drop this whole appointment thing like the receptionist insinuated I ought to do. But I don't really think it should be up to her to decide if I get an appointment or not on the basis of her being annoyed with me.

So rather than let it go, for the first time ever, I snarked back at someone at a doctor office.

"HEY ... Do you really think that I enjoy standing next to a highway ... especially when I'm paying for a babysitter just so I could visit your office? You know, I'd say this is even more unpleasant than the pelvic exam I am now going to miss. And it's at least as inconvenient for me as you!"

Silence on the other end of the line for a moment. Then, "Can you see her the day after tomorrow at 3:15?"

So today I'm thankful for PMS. Because sometimes it helps get things done.


Julia said...

Good job!
I can never come up with witty and cutting retorts on the spot. Though I have composed great many "should've saids" in my head afterwards. So I am both impressed and a bit jealous. :)

Rosepetal said...

go Wabi. I have also never complained about the lateness of my OB but have also never felt rushed out of a consultation as she is already running late. Doctor's receptionists are some of my least favourite people. I especially dislike the ones who feel qualified to make a diagnosis and suggest treatment on the telephone without consulting a doctor first.....