Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Doctor Season

We've sprung forward, there's a bit less chill in the air and I know that soon I will be spending most all of my valuable free time in waiting rooms reading six-month-old issues of Golf Digest. You see, it's Doctor Season, which is how we refer to the phenomenon that occurs semi-annually when it seems as though every single person in our family is due for a check-up, or dentist visit, or orthodontist appointment or needs to see a doctor for some reason or another, all around the same time. I suppose I should rejoice in my health insurance plan and the availability of excellent medical care, but as anyone who's been to a doctor's office lately surely knows, it 's just way more fun to complain about it.
Every six months I need an FAA medical exam for my job. I also go to my OB-GYN every six months. Same with the dentist. All three children see the dentist every six months and since they all have birthdays in December, they all need their annual check-ups around the same time. This month, all of these appointments fell in March (Yes. It takes three months between the time I actually call and when I get the appointment. [Two-Do List]  Usually, Doctor Season gets spread out over a couple months. Even by combining all three of the kids' wellness checks into one visit this year, we had seven appointments in March. Seven. Do you understand now why I'm cranky?

The voicemail reminders the doctors' offices leave are indeed handy and I imagine they save the doctors a lot of frustration (And although I did received one, I still somehow managed to forget to go to my dentist the next day, but that was in December. Have I mentioned in this paragraph that all three of my children have birthdays in December?) I prefer the automated reminders to the "real" ones, because I'm pretty sure all the nice ladies who leave them took their voice training with the CTA. With the volume up full blast and my calendar in front of me, they still have me questioning the name of the doctor, the time of the appointment, even the names of my own children.

And another thing. They now tell us to arrive fifteen minutes early, "to fill out paperwork" or some such. Do they think they're tricking us? Does this really change the behavior of those people who are always, always late? Those of us who make it a point to be on time to these things are really very annoyed by this type of antic.

To add more insult, now some of the offices are starting to say threatening things in their voicemails, like, if you cancel without giving twenty-four hours notice they're going to charge you fifty-dollars. I would love that opportunity. Along with my remittance, I would send them a bill for every wasted minute I spent in their waiting room.

As we were getting ready to leave for one of our appointments earlier this month, my son Ethan asked, "Why do we have to be there fifteen minutes early?"

"So we can wait forty-five minutes, instead of thirty," came my reply. But what I was really thinking, was "So I'll have the opportunity to get through last October's issue of Men's Health, as well."

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