Some things are hard when you move after being in a community for a long time. It's hard to find groups of new friends. Going to a new hairdresser is a huge leap of faith. But sometimes finding a new doctor is one of the bigger challenges out there. I was pleased when a doctor I didn't know agreed to be my family general practitioner.
It's been four years now. I've been lucky enough to not need many doctor’s office visits in that time, just routine sort of stuff. On those visits I noted how very laid back my newbie doc guy was. On one occasion his office was dusty, and obviously needed a good clean. I made a remark about it, and perhaps it took, because I haven't noticed that on any infrequent visits since. He always looked sloppy. At times like that a deep sigh welled up in me, a wistful wish that I could be seeing my Mr. Almost Perfect doc instead.
You feel like a non-person...
Dr Sloppy didn't remember me, except from my notes. He didn't make eye contact with me, which seemed totally bizarre, and quite unfriendly. He'd avert his gaze to the computer, turn his back on me, sit on his little wheeled stool, and type whatever I said. One time I insisted he share it with me. I had the feeling he edited it as he read. In three years he never reminded me I needed a checkup. or to have blood tests. I don't like either, but Dr Almost Perfect would have been on my case about that.
Hand washing was not his strong suit either. Doctors would be amazed at what some of their more pernickety patients notice. But you often get plenty of time to look around an enclosed room when you're waiting for them to enter; you know, when you're ushered into the examination room, and then nothing happens for 15 minutes? However, although I felt uncomfortable at each sporadic visit, as soon as I left I forgot about these things until the next time. I did grumble though to my dearly beloved. “ Uhhhhhh,” he said.
“I'm leaving this guy,” I reported to dearly beloved. “Can't take this any more.”
“Uhhhhh” he said.
Isn't she lovely?
First thing Monday, I called the office and firmly requested to have an appointment with a female doctor. She turned out to be beautiful and caring. She told me she’s always late because her main treatment is to listen while patients speak. She examined the bulge and swelling in my groin area very carefully, and was able to reassure me I hadn't actually bust any stitches. She advised how I could ensure the best result for myself by not doing too much too soon. Best of all, she agreed to be my family doctor.
She had one condition. I was to make a half hour appointment so that we could talk and she could know all about me. “Otherwise,” she said, “how could I possibly help you?” Dr Sloppy had one half sentence on my computer record. That's who I was to him.