A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Knit Blog

Which is that this blog seems to be rather often about gardening as well. And now that I have a new camera which downloads photos differently than my old one (that died a slow death over the last six months), I’ve been “losing” files of knitting photos that were intended to dress up my most recent posts. Quite frustrating, but eventually I’ll figure it out. Hope you’ll stick with me until I get the bugs out of the system.

So yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment to get a referral for physical therapy for my neck and shoulders, which are all knotted up from the amount of time I spend either knitting or at the computer. These are no ordinary knots, either, lest you think I’m just a whiner who wants my HMO to pay for the “luxury” of massages. The deep tissue massage I paid for out-of-pocket a few weeks ago out of desperation left me sore to the touch for three days afterward, but the knots were gone, by golly!

But I digress. Back to the doctor’s office. First, I adore this doctor, and her physician’s assistant is also wonderful. I’ve been a patient of their practice for several years and see no reason to look elsewhere for medical care. However. (You knew that was coming.) Within the last year, my doctor moved to new office space where she evidently has fewer examining rooms. Ever since the move, I – and I assume all her other patients as well – have been kept waiting well beyond the scheduled appointment time before being seen. I don’t mind waiting fifteen minutes past my appointment, but when it drags out to half an hour, forty-five minutes, even an HOUR past the scheduled time, well! That cuts into my other commitments in a big way. My time is worth something, too.

Having come in simply to request a referral for PT, it irked me to pay my insurance plan’s office visit co-payment. It’s like paying a toll to cross a bridge that is not even the bridge you need to cross; but no co-pay, no referral.

This time, I decided to say something about the wait. While I sat cooling my jets in the open reception area, the office reception staff could be heard having (very) personal conversations. One woman in particular discussed her upcoming divorce in such detail you’d have thought the waiting room was full of divorce lawyers and she was trying to persuade one to take her case. Definitely Too Much Information.

When I commented on the long wait, I was greeted with stone-faced silence as if the admin was debating whether to upbraid me for interrupting her soap opera life story. Hmmm… back to my seat and my knitting for another fifteen minutes until I was finally called into an examining room, the Official Limbo of Doctor’s Office Hell. There, I had the pleasure of flipping through a two-year-old copy of National Geographic while waiting still longer to be seen. Finally the nurse bustled in with thermometer and blood pressure gauge at the ready.

“But I’m just here to pick up a referral… I’m not actually sick.”

This was greeted with a frown. What do you mean you’re not actually sick? her look implied. She unfurled the blood pressure cuff as if debating whether to strangle me with it.

Narrowly preventing myself from snarling at her Maintaining my composure with questionable success, I said, “My blood pressure might be the teensiest bit high right now because I’m pissed off about being kept waiting FORTY-FIVE MINUTES PAST MY APPOINTMENT TIME.”

In a supremely passive-aggressive maneuver, she checked my blood pressure, scribbled the numbers in my chart, and declined to enlighten me as to whether my blood pressure was actually elevated or not before slapping my chart shut and leaving the room.

Finally, the physician’s assistant came in. Trained professional that she is, she let me rant about the long wait, the unprofessional office staff, and – oh, yes, let’s not forget the reason for my visit – my aching shoulders. All of this took about two minutes and then, referral for PT in hand, I was on my way out the door. Only to realize that the examining room I had been in backed right up to the reception area, which is hard to figure out because once the reception area door closes behind you, you walk down a hall, and turn left and left again. From the glares and dead silence among the staff in the reception area, it seemed likely that they had heard every word I said to the PA. Guess I’d better stay healthy for the foreseeable future…

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