I love modern medicine. I truly think it’s nothing short of miraculous what we can cure these days. I think doctors are highly trained, caring professionals, and I have no problem trusting them with my life. That being said I hate going to the doctor.
It’s not because I get anxious about what the doctor may find. I have no fear of needles, shots, tests, blood, anything like that. Mostly, I can’t really figure out how to go to the doctor. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
For most of my life my mom made all my appointments, drove me there, paid the co-pay, and filled prescriptions. The fact that I managed to get a primary care physcian is a major victory. But I always forget what time the office opens, and I can never find the phone number (which means I shamefully trot over to my colleague’s classroom to get the number which she of course has saved in her phone, being a mother of 5 children). Then I call, and I waffle on the phone with the poor receptionist. And when I go I need to fill out more paperwork and never sign in the right places or quite enough times. Inevitably, I walk the wrong way when they tell me to walk to the room at the end of the hall. Oh, the break room with all the vending machines? Seems like an odd place to wait, but ok. No…it was the room all the way down the hall. The one for patients.
By the time I actually see the doctor, I’ve easily made 8 mistakes. Today was no different. My doctor is at a medical complex, which means that instead of following the signs, I just blindly went in every other office on the first floor. Then I couldn’t properly interpret my insurance card. Then I weighed myself holding Middlemarch and my purse, saw my weight, panicked, and asked to get weighed again. I can never breath like a normal person when the RN takes my blood pressure, so it’s always a little too high for normal. Turns out I have a sinus infection prolonged by incessant running instead of resting (I was a little excited to have been that hardcore, since usually I will drop everything at the slightest sniffle). The doctor bade me a fond farewell and walked out. And I just stood there. Just stood there hanging out, like the country bumpkin that I am not. He walked back in five minutes later to let me know that he’d called in my prescription, and I should go to the pharmacy and pick it up. I think I muttered something like, “Wow, you can call in prescriptions these days? Times are a changing.” He’s a grandfatherly gentleman, and I’m a pretty young-looking 26. I clutched Middlemarch and fled in shame, once again having been tried by the system and found wanting.