Friday, June 8, 2012

My Doctor Wants To Break Up With Me

I went to see my Neurologist yesterday. I HATE going to my Neurologist. Once upon a time her office was near the suburbs, as in near my house, now it’s in Oakland. I HATE driving to Oakland. For me, it’s the equivalent to driving in Pittsburgh. Pedestrians and one-way streets everywhere, so if I miss the damn road I’m supposed to turn onto, I have to go in some kind of circle to get back to where I should’ve been and considering I’m clueless in Oakland, I’m never sure if I’m making the correct circle.

 The other thing I hate about seeing my Neurologist, and it’s also ironic, is that I see her for migraine headaches and by the time I’m done driving thru Oakland, making circles and parking, I end up with a freaken migraine and just want to turn around and go home for a nap.

Yesterday, I got in early, my appointment being at eleven-thirty, but I arrived in the office at eleven-twenty. I am late for everything, except my doctor’s appointments (amazing huh?). The board outside the receptionist’s window read that my doctor was ON TIME.


 It lied.

I sat until NOON before I got up and tapped on the reception window and when the receptionist came over, I said, “I’ve been sitting here for half an hour, is there a problem?”

 “Oh, let me check,” She replied sweetly, and I wanted to gag. Oh, let me check! I wanted to slap her! What the hell do receptionists do? Play computer games?

 When she returned, she told me, “She’s with a patient. If she’s not out in five minutes, I’ll see what’s keeping her.”

I sat back down but not before saying into the air, “Maybe I should send them a bill for MY time.” The husband and wife who were also in the waiting room laughed. I guess it was funny because what doctor would actually pay me.

At twelve after twelve, I was called back to the examination room. By this time, I was beyond pissed. Once in the examination room, my doctor made a very big mistake. She asked me how I was doing. Since she asked, I laid it out in terms a distracted texting teen wearing headphones could understand—

“I’m really ticked. I’ve been waiting forty-five minutes so you better make this real quick, because I have somewhere else to be!” I knew I shocked the living daylights out of her, but I thought, too damn bad. I’m sick of doctors thinking it’s a-okay making us patients wait but if we’re ever late, they make us reschedule and if we ever forget and don’t show up, they will bill us! They do all this and we take it and take it PLUS we PAY for it with smiles on our faces because no one ever wants to rock the boat. Well, I ROCKED THE DAMN BOAT!

“Your appointment was at eleven-forty-five so you weren’t waiting forty-five minutes,” she told me as she began typing on her computer keyboard. 

“My appointment was at eleven-thirty and yes I was waiting and THAT is WRONG. My time is as valuable as yours. The board says you’re on time, it LIED and I sat there.” 

 “Your appointment was eleven-forty-five,” She argued the appointment time but not that she was wrong in making me wait or that the damn board lied. 

“They told me eleven-thirty but that doesn’t even matter, it’s quarter after twelve, so I waited a half an hour regardless!” 

“Well its only twenty-five because we just spent five arguing.”

 “Seriously you’re going to try to spin this? Even if you dont want to count our arguing time, I still waited over twenty-five minutes. If I was late, you’d make me reschedule! I should bill YOU for the time YOU made ME wait.”

 “Maybe you should reschedule you’re visibility upset.” 

“With good reason. This is ridiculous. And NO I will NOT reschedule. It takes me an hour to get here. Let’s get on with it. I’m fine!” I took a deep breath in and let it out. 

After all THAT, it really was five minutes of arguing, I have no clue where she got the first five minutes. I guess it could’ve been me having shocked her. Anyway, we proceed with the appointment. She asked the usual questions, blah-blah-blah. At the end, get this, she told me since there hadn’t been any changes in the last two years I could see if my PCP would fill my prescriptions then I wouldn’t have to drive an hour to her office.

 I feigned pleasantly surprise but knew it was her way of breaking up with me gently. If I was an insecure person, I might be really upset and stalk her cry. However, I’m actually glad she suggested that and truthfully I can’t blame her. This was the second time I got loud with her and my family said I’m intimidating when I’m loud even though I wouldn’t hurt a fly. Well, actually I do hurt flies, I kill them, because they deserve it. The filthy pests. 

In all honesty, I would rather see my PCP. At least she won’t tell me my headaches are going to last, oh, FOREVER! Yeah, last year headache-doctor-lady told me I would probably have my migraines for the rest of my life. I didn’t take too kindly to that. Then yesterday, I got quite snippy because I had to wait forty-five minutes because I am counting from the appointment time that they told me when I made the appointment LAST year! And no Im not counting arguing time, if I count that, I waited fifty minutesIll give her a pass on that since I was involved.

In the end, I did hug her and apologize. I didn’t want her to get a PFA have nightmares about the raving menopausal patient. 

 Maybe I should wear a warning sign— 

Do Not Make Me Wait 
Do Not Piss Me Off 
Do Not Do Anything I May Not Like 

I’m Menopausal!

Just feed me lattes, let me nap and Ill try to be less snippy, less loud, less intimidating

Just kidding! Not on the lattes and naps! Just the less stuff!


  1. This would be funny, if I hadn't experienced the same damn thing several times. I never expect doctors to always be on time (they really do have emergencies or unplanned interruptions) but there's a limit to my tolerance. Three times of having to wait more than 15-20 minutes and they're fired. Doctors often overbook, even scheduling two or three patients at the same time! Screw this.

    Re those damn migraines. I was misdiagnosed with them for over 40 years of pure hell and a multitude of doctors. I'm kind of curious as to what type of pain you have. I used to be hospitalized for five days at a time and always, always doped up so much I couldn't function and got a hangover to boot. I rarely had auras and nausea before the onset - just afterwards from the meds, which put me to sleep but didn't stop the excruciating pain that went on for several days.

    Turns out that what I have is a type of migraine but is actually occiptal neuralgia and there are NO meds that help. In fat they seem to make it worse. They present themselves as two extremely (bringing me literally to my knees) pains shooting up the back right side of my neck and head - one followed very quickly by the other. It feels like someone is jabbing a very sharp serrated knife into my head while twisting it and I can't tolerate combing/brushing my hair or even having someone touch me anywhere near that area.This, of course, is not the classic symptom of a migraine, so if yours is classic, none of this helps. I realize that. But I have found that the one and only thing that stops this horrendous pain is to lie down with a hot water bottle, not a heating pad, under that side of my head. I don't know if this would help in your case but it's worth a try. There seems to be something healing/soothing about that warm moisture. My mom had migraines and the hot water bottle treatment seemed to help her. A simple old-fashioned kind of treatment.

    Anyway, I feel for you because, classic or not, they hurt like hell.

  2. Pamela, my friend, you and I have a very similar personality in the way we say what we feel, and say it LOUD. I'm the same way when I get PISSED.

    And quite honestly, I applaud you for telling it like it was because it's the truth...

    "I’m sick of doctors thinking it’s a-okay making us patients wait but if we’re ever late, they make us reschedule and if we ever forget and don’t show up, they will bill us! They do all this and we take it and take it PLUS we PAY for it with smiles on our faces because no one ever wants to rock the boat. Well, I ROCKED THE DAMN BOAT!"

    A-MEN and ALLELUIA! 

    “Well it’s only twenty-five because we just spent five arguing.” 

    OMG...I would have bitch-slapped her!

    See, doctor's believe that because they're GOD, that their time matters most, and we just have to WAIT.

    I. DON'T. THINK. SO.

    "In the end, I did hug her and apologize. I didn’t want her to get a PFA have nightmares about the raving menopausal patient. "

    You're much better than I, because I wouldn't have apologized.

    GREAT vent, Pam! You got adrenaline going!!!

    Have a great weekend, my friend.

    ((((( You ))))

    X ya!

  3. HA!!! I had a very similar thing happen with my spine doctor just last Tuesday. After we had our little spat, I was so angry that when he went to get something or someone I just left and have already found a replacement through referrals from friends. I loved your post. Dealing with medical issues is hard enough and then the waiting oh.... the waiting.

  4. I wish I had the nerve to yell at a doctor like that.  My neurologist makes me wait an hour at times....but I love the guy! 

  5. I've never had a Dr. break up with me, but I've broken up with a few for that very reason. There is nothing more disrespectful in my book than making a patient stick to a schedule you're not willing to stick to yourself. My new PCP has a clever way of getting around this, the nurse will come get you promptly from the waiting room (like within a couple of minutes of checking in) but then you cool your heels in the exam room for a half hour....grrrrr.

    PS...I'm so glad I'm not the only one who needs a warning label! :)

  6. Leslie, I know there are emergencies and unexpected what-nots, but THIS office is known for being notoriously behind. One time I was there a doctor was behind three hours (according to the "board") and a patient was waiting! I would've "fired" him and found another.

    I'm fairly certain I have migraines (even though they start with neck pain then it whips up to my head and into my eyes) because I take Imitrex injections and as soon as I take the injection, it goes away. I'm so fortunate because prior to the Imitrex (even the pills) nothing helped. 

    Lately, they are getting fewer and farther between and I really believe they are menstrual related and having missed 4 months of periods (almost 5) I'm crossing my fingers that I'm on my way to having none which MIGHT mean NO more migraines! 

    However, I did miss 3 periods before then got 2 in a matter of 3 weeks. Menopause is NOT for sissies, eh?

    Thanks for telling me about that occiptal neuralgia as I've never heard of it before so I did look it up to see if I "had it" and I don't think I do, but I will mention it to my PCP as I'll be seeing HER from now on! lol. She and I get along fabulously and I don't think she'll break up with me as we've been together almost 15 years now! ;-)


  7. Ron, you and I are alike. I've always been "loud" and I get accused of yelling all.the.damn.time. It really ticks me off. Because If I were yelling, I would break an eardrum. 

    However, I'm wondering, when you're loud, do you get accused of being a dick, or a bastard? Because when I assert myself, I'm a bitch. THAT ticks me off too. I don't think women who assert themselves should be bitches. But hey, I will wear that bitch badge with pride! No one is gonna walk all over me!

    Yea, I did hug her and apologize. I'm such a damn softy. That's what my husband says. I'm a bitch but my BIG heart makes up for it. I think I posted about that when I interviewed David. And headache-doctor-lady said I could see my PCP from now on, so I won't have to see her anymore, which is good, because we never did "click". 

    I hope your weekend has been fantabulous!


  8. Rebecca, Good for you for leaving! I think more people should assert themselves and find other health practitioners. Maybe THEN they would think twice about making us wait. 

    OR work their scheduling like a hair salon. How many times have you waited at a hair salon? I NEVER wait. It's their scheduling. They know how long each appointment is going to take (because they ASK you what you're having done) and they block the allotted time in their book. 

    Yes, medical issues ARE hard enough and we should be treated with the same respect we show them. Period.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope to see you again!

  9. "
    However, I'm wondering, when you're loud, do you get accused of being a dick, or a bastard?"

    OMG...yes! All the time! And like you, I really don't care because there are too many people in the world (both men and women) who never speak up for themselves, and then walk around going, "Woe is me."


  10. ROFLOL! 

    I know exactly what you mean! However, if they complain to ME about it, I TELL them they should've said something! 

    I'm an equal opportunity loud-mouth and speak my mind across the board!

  11. Maureen, I'm VERY assertive and have never had a
    problem saying what's on my mind.



    I used to love my Neurologist, but he left to
    run his own Headache Center. Now I have doctor-headache-lady, and we never “clicked”.
    Not that I wouldn’t have told the first one I was displeased. But his
    personality was a lot different than hers; she’s snooty. As if SHE knows ME
    better than I do. That is a bad way to act towards me. No one knows ME better
    than ME and you will NOT get away with treating me like that.



    Anyway, there is a way to assert one’s self
    without yelling-- I do it. However, I get accused of yelling then too.



    Glad you stopped by, I was getting worried about
    you since you haven’t posted in a while. Hope you’re doing okay.

  12. Grammy, oh that waiting in the examination room is just as bad! wth?! 

    My PCP has never made me wait more than 10 minutes. She the best! And my gynecologist. She's awesome too. This is the first time I waited more than 15 for headache-doctor-lady. SO glad she broke up with me! 

    Since you need a "warning label" too, maybe I should make some t-shirts! I need a warning label more often than not lately.


  13. I would break up with my doctor over that.  My doctor is always on time, but he is skinny and makes me feel fat every time I go to see him.  He doesn't even try to hide it.  He will poke my stomach and say "lose some of that".  We have not broken up, but I think we need to see other people. 

  14. Bill, seriously, he pokes your tummy!? I'd poke him back! Maybe in the eye! And say, watch it buddy! But then HE wouldn't be able to SEE other people ;-)


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