Monday, January 19, 2015

Patients Sometimes Get Better. You Have No Idea Why, But Unless You Give a Reason They Won't Pay You.

I love the pediatrician I have found here in Sunland. He is close to our house, is very polite and knowledgeable, and I can get a hold of him during emergencies.

Drek has also found a good doctor, but I have yet to find one I like...or can even stand.

The first week in October I switched doctors and made an appointment with my new one. The soonest they could get me in was...January 15. Three months away.

On Christmas Day I came down with a fever. It stayed with me for the next 48 hours. I was coughing, I couldn't breathe, I was miserable. I looked up my symptoms on the internet and was fairly sure I had pneumonia. The internet also informed me that if I still had symptoms in a week, I needed to see a doctor.

So, one week later when I was still coughing non-stop and couldn't breathe, I called my doctor. After 20 minutes on hold I asked for a sick appointment. They didn't have any. They said to try again tomorrow morning, when they "hand out" sick appointments for the day.

So the next day, three seconds after they opened, I called again. After being on hold for 20 minutes I was informed they were out of sick appointments, and to try again on Monday.

So on Monday I called back, and history repeated itself. This time I was angry and told them I needed an appointment. They said I could come in as a walk-in, but there were only two doctors that day and they couldn't give me an estimated wait time.

I got in the car with Alexa and drove over to the office. I arrived 40 minutes after they opened. I knew right away which building was the doctor's office because, to my horror, there was a line stretching out the door, down the street, and around the corner. The people in line were lying on blankets, dressed in was like a scene out a Doctors without Borders commercial. I got in line, and waited 30 minutes before I could sign in. Once I did, I asked what the wait time was like. She answered there were seventeen walk-ins ahead of me. SEVENTEEN. With only two doctors, I knew  I would be there long after Ash needed to be picked up from school, long after Alexa needed a to go down for a nap, and far exceeding my lung capacity.

I asked if I could somehow schedule a sick appointment for later that week, and she said yes (you can't do it over the phone but you can do it in person) but I had to wait in another line. After waiting in that line for 10 minutes, I realized there was no one at the computer, making the appointments. So I left.

A week and a half later I went in for my previously scheduled appointment. The doctor was frazzled and hurried. When I explained my symptoms I could almost hear her saying "talk faster." She listened to my lungs, informed me I had viral pneumonia, was almost recovered, and therefore she wouldn't give me anything. She then left before I could ask any more questions.

The whole appointment, waiting room and all,  took less than 45 minutes. I was on hold for longer than that. Why aren't there any good female family doctors in Sunland?