Friday, October 12, 2012

Trip to the Doctor's

After the fateful trip back from Arizona, it became increasingly clear that something was not right with my throat. Recently, someone on the trip got diagnosed with strep and I'm pretty sure they passed it off to me. As a teacher, and a science guy at that, I felt it necessary not to inoculate the rest of the school with a pesky little bacteria. I, for the first time in over 2 years, made an appointment to see my doctor.

Here's the thing about visiting my doctor anymore, I'm not sure he actually works there. I got to see a physicians assistant, who is not an MD but still on orders of magnitude smarter and more learned than I. As I reflect on the experience, I can understand why people just don't like to go. Here's a breakdown of the events:

-Leave work and commute to doctor's office. Forget the exact location, drive right by, attempt to turn around but get blocked by traffic, finally make it to office. Elapsed time- ~12 minutes

-Enter doctor's office, greet nice woman at counter, check in, and receive a clipboard of stuff to sign. Elapsed time- 2 minutes flat

-Fill out forms and sign. Elapsed time- 38 seconds

-Stand in line to turn in my forms behind a woman who is not a patient but a friend of the nice lady behind the counter. Finally hand in my form. Elapsed time- 4 minutes 09 seconds

-Sit and wait in the aptly named 'waiting room'. There is only one other person in the room. Make awkward conversation and learn that he is also not a patient but waiting to drive home his wife. Finally get called into the inner circle. Elapsed time 3 minutes 22 seconds

-Get weighed in on a digital scale. Kept on shoes, belt, pants, work keys, car keys, wallet and phone (and I still weighed less than my scale at home). Elapsed time- 51 seconds

-Enter room and begin to undress. Look around for robe or gown. None obvious. Open various cabinets and drawers. Still no alternative clothing. Finally come to conclusion that I am getting my throat checked and probably won't turn and cough. Re-don my clothes. PA finally enters room after I am full clothed. Elapsed time- 6 minutes (allotting for some nudity error)

-Explain situation to PA. She takes vitals. BP 118 over 80. Pulse rate= 58 bpm. PA looks quizzically at her watch. Rechecks watch and tests again. Now down to 56 bpm. She asks, "Do you workout?" I assume she's asking because of my incredibly muscular wrist muscles. "They've been like that since just after puberty." "Yes," I respond. She walks over to computer and types in vitals. Elapsed time- 3 minutes 37 seconds

-She leaves room and returns with 2 throat swabs. She apologizes in advance for my discomfort then proceeds to jam them done my throat. It feels like she's trying to swab my lunch. Perceived Elapsed time- 42 hours 17 minutes 4 seconds. Actual Elapsed time- 4 seconds.

-She writes a prescription for antibiotics and sends me on my way. Elapsed time- 1 minute 16 seconds

-I go to the counter to pay. The update all information since I moved. I pay co-pay. I ask for a detailed receipt as I can claim my copay against my Flex Spending Account but only if I have a detailed receipt and not a credit card receipt. She tells me that she'll print one. Apparently the in-office printer is broken and she needs to pick up the copy downstairs. Which means that she needs to go outside, around the building, down the stairs, into another doctor's office and pick up print job. She returns, checks computer, says, "Opps, forgot to press print." Then leaves and returns. Elapsed time- 23 minutes and some change (emotions kept me from accurate time keeping in this instance)

-Drive to local pharmacy. Hand in Rx. Elapsed time- 4 minutes 41 seconds

-Wait for pharmacist to pull box off of shelf, slap on a label, and put medicine in bin. Elapsed time- 18 minutes 24 seconds (they predicted it would take 20 minutes so I guess I should be happy)

-Drive back to my workplace and get ready for the afternoons coaching session. Elapsed time- 8 minutes 58 seconds

I was late to practice. I am still trying to pinpoint why.

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