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Getting Real

As I've gotten older, I'm less understanding about the waiting involved with office visits. Though I know that a 2:00 appointment, really means that the doctor will see me 2:45ish, waiting still irritates me to no end. I mean, if the doctor wanted to see me at 2:45, why not just schedule the appointment for then? As grateful as I am for the out-of-date magazines that they supply in the waiting room, I can usually think of a thousand places I'd rather be and an equal number of things I'd rather be doing.

It's tough being a patient. But you know, I bet it's tough being a doctor too. I sure wouldn't want to be putting a tongue depressor in people's mouth and smelling their breath all day-and I don't even want to think about the other places they have to routinely poke and prod. As frustrating as insurance companies are to the patient, the frustration doctors must experience must be multiplied by as many patients as they have. And then there's the visit itself. I can only imagine the pressure they feel to diagnose and cure a person's problem in the limited time allocated for the appointment. And most of us don't actually help, do we? The doctor walks in the room and asks, "So..." she pauses to glance down at the chart for a brief moment to see what my name is, "Mr. Wilson, how are you doing?" My response is always the same-"Fine."

If I'm fine, what am I doing in the doctor's office? The deception doesn't stop with the initial response, often I find myself downplaying symptoms instead of really giving the doctor what she needs to help me. So the office visit takes longer as the doctor has to be a detective to solve the mystery as to why a man that is doing "fine" is in her office.

Which might explain why 2:00 appointments are really 2:45ish, and definitely explains why a person that hides their problems from people that can help them is more likely to keep them.
 

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