Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A letter to my Endocrinologist

Dear Dr. Adrianna,

Boy, we've known each other for a long time, haven't we? When you joined the practice I had been going to since birth, it was perfect timing. There I was, a 14-year old with a major thyroid problem, and a family doctor who had run out of ideas for how to treat me. I was lucky enough to start seeing you just as you began practicing. We didn't know it at the time, but you would become quite popular in the years to come.

You were not afraid to take quick and decisive action, even with a person as young as I was, and my quality of life has improved dramatically because of it. Plus I get to tell fun stories about the Christmas when I was radioactive. That geiger counter and I kept the family entertained through many a long winter's night.

As I got older, I came to appreciate all the one-on-one time you spent with me. When you walk into that room, you sit down like you're looking forward to a conversation with a friend, and we talk about all sorts of things, not just my medical issues. I now know how rare that is.

So your nurse is a numbskull who I can't stand (as a person, OR as a nurse). That's not really your fault, right? And I only have to put up with her for a bit before and after the appointment. It's you I'm really there to see.

And so it takes over 6 months to get an appointment with you. As long as things are going ok I only need to see you once a year, right?

And so you only work 2.5 days a week. I can rearrange my schedule once a year, can't I?

And so I moved over the mountain and your office is now quite out-of-the-way.

Except that it's all becoming not OK.

Whenever I call to get an appointment or a prescription refill or a lab slip, I am on hold FOREVER, and then I'm always treated like an idiot by the secretaries, who are all definitely God's gift to the medical community.

And sure, last time I called for a lab slip nothing happened for a week, and when I called back again your numbskull nurse sent it to my old address (which shouldn't even be on file there anymore), but I finally got the slip just barely before my baby was out of the developmental time period when it's SO important to closely monitor thyroid levels. That counts, right?

But when numbskull nurse called me last week after hours so I couldn't call her back, then called me again bright and early Monday morning, then called me AGAIN today to say she still hadn't gotten my lab results, I started to get annoyed. When I apologized and said that my OB was supposed to have sent the results to them and that I would talk to them about it in person at my appointment tomorrow, and numbskull got SNIPPY with me and said "Well make sure you do, because Adrianna has been waiting since June for these results", I kind of snapped.

You mean you guys are getting irritated about waiting for lab results? Like I get irritated having to wait 6 months to get an appointment with you? Like I get irritated waiting weeks for my lab slip to show up so that I can get the blood tests that you are now hassling me about? Like I get irritated waiting an hour past my appointment time to finally get called in to see you? Like I get irritated waiting on hold, waiting at the lab because you guys won't draw my blood anymore, dealing with your nurse, basically doing everything it takes to see you just so that I can get that half hour with you each year?

I'm afraid if you guys are getting irritated with me because my OB messed up and after I have promised to correct it at my earliest convenience, I am going to have to forget about our good rapport and tell you to stick it WAY up there.

I am going to find a new endocrinologist.

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