I had a recent check-up. You know the annual one where you feet don’t go in stirrups.
Last year I had one with the same guy. He seemed a little quirky, but not so much that I regarded him as anything but a trippy little doctor dude. I’d had the same doctor in Nashville for 6 years, so perhaps I overlooked his odd behavior because of my own nerves. We did blood work last time, and I fasted. We discussed my knees at length. My general health. He addressed my concerns as I brought them up to him. I remember feeling a bit awkward in the fact that he asked very few questions and I had to do what I felt like was “over-sharing.”
Today? Today was freakin’ banana-cakes, people. We’re talking totally crazy-pants. Granted, I got there 5 minutes late myself (I had no idea traffic would be that bad at 3:30 in the afternoon!), but then had to wait 40 minutes to see the doctor. I had just finished a rather challenging level of Angry Birds when he finally walked in.
We discussed Angry Birds for what I felt was a little too long. We talked about my knees and my back, like we did last time. He spoke of some exercises I could do to strengthen them. The same exercises he mentioned last time. He even printed them out, like last time.
I brought up checking my kidneys with some blood work since I take an anti-inflammatory on the regular. But then he dismissed what has been an annual test for me since 1998. So I pushed back for it. It made me very uncomfortable because he was treating the discussion like it was a joke. In fact, everything had a punch line. Of sorts.
I have some new freckles on my legs that concerned me. My dad has had a ton of skin cancer thingies cut off of him, so I’m hyper-aware of any new speckles on my already freckly, sun-ruined skin. He looked at them and told me it was nothing he could cut off, though cutting them off would make him some money. From the insurance companies.
So now, you can color me creeped out.
This was supposed to be an annual physical. I remained dressed.The doctor touched both of my knees and had me bend them so he could feel the creaky joints underneath while we discussed my meniscus. He didn’t look in my eyes, my ears or my mouth. He didn’t thump on my chest, smoosh my innards around or listen to my heart beat. He didn’t ask one single question.
He refilled my anti-inflammatory, had them take some blood (aren’t I supposed to fast?) and sent me on my way.
My insurance covers the visit, but you can bet yourself some money on what I’m going to do next:
- Find a new doctor.
- Pay for another annual exam out of pocket if need be.
- Attempt to interview a doctor as best I can before I step foot into their office. Why should I or my insurance company pay a shitty doctor for shitty service? Who is to say I can’t interview them first? Sure, I can find stuff on the interwebs, I’m sure. But there’s nothing like making a quick phone call, right? Why should I wait for 40 minutes, have my insurance pay for that appointment (what, about $150 or so?) if I can make a quick phone call, get a vibe and possibly avoid the crap I had to put up with today? Oh, and I had to leave work early too. Race across town for the appointment and then sit in nasty crosstown traffic afterwards? No, no, no, no, no. No on all accounts.
- That was a long #3.
So I’m leaving my doctor. For failure to communicate. I wonder if I should send him a “Dear John” or if a silent disappearance and request for records will suffice?