Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Doc

When you change jobs one of the most joyful experiences (not) is dealing with the various insurances and benefits. It appears that that our new (improved) disability insurance requires that I undergo a physical, and be checked by a "registered" doctor.  Some time last week I got a call from the completely unintelligible Russian admin of our insurance agent who I originally thought was trying to sell me a goat, but turns out, was telling me that a doctor would call and set up an appointment.

So I was not too surprised when the doctor called me on Sunday and asked me if he could come check me out as early as possible on Wednesday.  I asked if 5:30am was too early, he said yes, so we settled on 6:30. Dr. R. arrived promptly at 6:30 yesterday. He is an aging hipster wearing a ponytail and some workout clothes. He was quick to tell me does not usually do this but is helping out a friend. He unpacked his bag of tricks on the dining room table and produced the blood letting needle with which he was to take a sample of my precious life force. I explained to him that I have small veins and that usually the experienced nurse at the Kupah is the only one I let near my inner arm. He assured me he was experienced and has done this at least once before. Yulya, the nurse at the Kupah, who is the only one I trust to come near me with a needle once told me that doctors are by far the worst at taking blood.  They have no idea or finesse when it comes to finding the perfect vein. She is excellence. Dr. R. was not. He first grabbed my right arm, poked around with the needle for abut three minutes while I had to hold myself back from slapping him while clenching the edge of the table so tightly I left imprints of my fingers in the wood.  He could not find the vein.  "Strange", he muttered to himself, "I can see it, but I can't get any blood". I insisted that he change arms, and things went much smoother.  I still can't bend my right arm easily and have a huge purple bruise where he went exploring.

I started to really lose confidence when he took out the EKG machine and sat down to read the instructions. "It's a new kind of machine, and I have never used one before. You take the readings and then call the company and transmit the readings over the the phone. I think......" Hmmm. So he sticks the tape for the probes on me, presses the machine in the three relevant orientations, all the while checking the instructions and counting the beeps. This truly taxed his limited multitasking ability and the muttering increased. Finally this task was over and he called the control center to send my results. Not good enough they said.  So we did this again.  And again.

Now I am usually an extremely patient person (right!), but I had not eaten since noon the day before since I had to fast for 12 hours for the blood tests, and had got caught in a very serious techoarchaeological argument at the university the night before and so missed dinner. So I was a tad snappy. I did not bite his head off, but clenched my jaw so tightly that I nearly bit through all my fillings. Luckily all that was left were some forms, which did not take too long.

Of course, I was caught in traffic for 45mins on my way into work, as his promised 20mins took more than an hour, but that is a different complaint.

1 comment:

oliviao said...

Beware of doctors without offices!(except ones that work in hospitals)