Glass Pineapple Can’t Stop Complaining

I went to see the ENT on Thursday and told him I couldn’t breathe through my nose and one side of my face hurt. He said I might have an infection and gave me more antibiotics. I do feel a little better today (Sunday), but basically I have been going to work every day and then coming home and going straight to bed. The antibiotic is Avelox. It makes me queasy and shaky. Let’s see, any more complaints?

Yes! The doctor said, take these antibiotics and then I want to see you again in two weeks. But when I dutifully took my piece of paper up to the check-out desk, the check-out woman was on the phone, grilling someone about something they were supposed to send to her. I stood there for a while, then she motioned for the paper. She then waved me away and whispered, “Call if you need us.” I said, (not whispering, since I wanted her to hear me over the person on the phone,) “I’m supposed to come back in two weeks.”

Still on the phone, she looked over the paper, and shook her head. But if I wasn’t going to come back in two weeks, I wanted to see the doctor again immediately, because that brought up a lot of questions I hadn’t thought to ask, like: Will I ever be able to breathe again? If I’m still in pain 6 months from now, is that normal? So I was stubborn. “The doctor said he wanted to see me in two weeks.”

She continued her phone conversation, then finally ended it with the words, “All right, I’ll tell my husband.” That doesn’t sound very work-related to me. Even if she were married to one of the doctors, I think she’d call him Dr. whatever during a business call. Anyway, then she could talk to me and she said, “There’s no indication here that the doctor wants to see you again.” I didn’t know what to say, so I just repeated, “The doctor said I should come back in two weeks.” She said, “Sometimes that happens in the course of conversation…”

Sometimes what happens, doctors say stuff they don’t mean? What? Or is See Me In Two Weeks code for This Patient is a Pain Get Rid of Her? The woman looked at me, I looked at her. I felt like a dummy, but I couldn’t think of any other way to put it, so I said for the fourth time, “He said he wanted to see me in two weeks.”

“Well,” she said, “if you feel a need to see the doctor, of course I will make an appointment for you.” Okay, I get it. So long as I admit that seeing the doctor is just some silly notion of my own, not a serious idea of the doctor’s, I’ll be allowed to return. Fine. Whatever works. So on July 29 at 8:30am, just for a lark, I’ll be back.

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2 Comments on “Glass Pineapple Can’t Stop Complaining”

  1. Sue Says:

    I recently went through a similar situation with the secretary/gate-keeper at the headache specialist’s office. When I saw him for a consult, the last thing I asked him was whether I would be able to return if I had further questions or wanted a different treatment than what he had suggested. He said, ‘Of course, come back any time.”

    A month or so later, I called the office and the secretary said (and I quote): “You can’t come back here!” Uh, WTF?

    1. I live in Canada. I pay taxes. That alone assures me of another appointment.
    2. The doc said to come back anytime.
    3. My family doc has left a standing referral to this specialist.

    I wrote a letter. Or, more accurately, a sh*t-gram, letting this doc know what’s going on in his office while he’s seeing patients.

    It just occurred to me that the beastly secretary might be his wife. That would actually make me laugh. A lot.

  2. glass pineapple Says:

    Gate-keeper, I like that term. If I think of the office staff that way I’ll arrive at the office prepared to do battle. I just think I could do better fighting these people when I’m well, instead of when I’m weak and sickly. It all seems out of whack, somehow.


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