Tuesday 23 November 2010

Chopped liver

So, I am not 100%. I have some medical problems. But the specialist doctor I am seeing assures me that it is nothing fatal. But still, it is serious, and I need to spend time on my health (we all do for that matter). We take better care of our cars than we do of our bodies.

I have been to so many doctors in the past 18 months and it is starting to drive me a bit crazy. But, I need to listen, and they are the best in the land.

I am currently busy with a very nice doctor, a hematologist, who is trying to figure out what is going on with my iron levels and my liver.

I go and see this new doctor a few months ago, and when I get there, I am told that the doctor is running late, and I tell them I have to be at the airport in a few hours to fly to London, so, by some small stroke of luck, they manage to "squeeze" me in. Phew!

But then, a month or so goes by, and I need to go back to the doctor. And this is where this short story begins. I am told the doctor is running late, because of an emergency she had to attend at the hospital earlier that morning, and that all the appointments are now running late. But it is 4 pm, and I have a 6 pm meeting which I could not miss, and the traffic after 5 pm is going to be intense. So, I ask the lady behind the counter how long she thinks it will be. She tells me, with a very uninterested vibe, that she can't say. I ask her to take a guess. And she looks at me and says "Could be an hour, could be more." Now I have a dilemma. Do I wait and cancel my 6 pm meeting, or, do I leave and make another appointment? My health is in need of attention, and I had to wait for weeks to get this appointment - this is not cool. So, I ask this lady again why she didn't call me to tell me that the doctor was running an hour or so late, and she looks at me and goes "I am too busy to call everyone." I was not impressed, to say the least!

What am I? Chopped liver?!

I ask her, "Oh, so I am not busy. Only you are busy." She is not happy with my defiance and says to me "What is the matter?" I tell her that this is going to hurt me a lot if I miss my meeting later. And she goes "The doctor had an emergency this morning. Please understand." I tell her that if I don't make my meeting later I am also going to have emergency on my hands. But she is not interested. I tell her that it is not fair, and she says to me with some kind of smirk "No one else seems to have a problem waiting." Well, perhaps they are all unemployed or something. I tell her this, and she goes on and on about the emergency again and says to me "If it was you in the hospital and you needed the doctor for an emergency then what?!" Now, hang on, I am as sympathetic as the next person, and an emergency is an emergency, but why couldn't this arrogant gate keeper simply phone me and tell me that there is a delay. You know, a bit of professional courtesy, just in case I happen to have a job, or something. Are the only people seeing doctors unemployed, with nothing better to do? What a crock of shit!

I remember the wisdom I have learnt from business. About the genius of the AND verses the tyranny of the OR. Yes, the doctor can look after emergencies and they could let me know. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

So, I finally saw the doctor, and I asked for a doctor's note, so that I could explain why I was late at my meeting later. The doctor laughed and said that they should have called me. Ah, some justice prevails.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker