Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Trip to the Doctor

I have a doctor’s appointment today. This time it’s just a routine visit to one of the many specialists who are building their retirement nest eggs by keeping me up and moving under my own power. Although you cannot help but experience a little anxiety (wondering what they will find this time), I really don’t think there will be much to this visit.

I will go in, sit in a waiting room with 15 other people (some of whom will be exhibiting signs of illness which make you want to wear a mask over your nose and mouth and wait outside) for 45 minutes or so. I will then be taken to a hallway chair where a nurse will weight me, check my blood pressure, irritate me by asking my date of birth and reminding me of how old I really am, ask me if I am in any pain (I always say yes and ask for morphine –it hasn’t worked yet but I try anyway) and finally escort me into a tiny “examining room” where I am left to wait for another 30 minutes with nothing to do but read one of the dog eared “Ladies Daily Journals” published in 2008.

My doctor will eventually knock on the door and ask to come in (I’m always tempted to say no just to see what would happen), we will then discuss the results of my most resent blood tests (have you ever noticed how; as you get older, doctors seem to relish ordering tests that involve somebody sticking a hole in you with a large needle?). We will then talk about a good television program or football game and within 15 minutes I’m sent on my way. They then send a bill to the insurance company for $225 for an office visit and schedule me for another routine visit in 6 months when the whole thing starts again.

Multiply that experience by the number of doctors I get to see as I get older (nephrologists, oncologists, surgeons, cardiologists, etc…ad infinitum) and you get a pretty good idea how I get to spend a lot of my time as I start my ‘golden years’.  It also explains one of the reasons our health care costs in this country have gotten out of control. 15 minute Office visit: $225 dollars, Lab tests: $175 dollars –and that’s for the “routine” visits.

Well, overall I guess I cannot complain too much. Seeing doctors more often is just one of the prices of getting older, and, as they say, it’s better than the alternative. So today I’ll content myself with watching the expressions of the faces of the other patients when the nurse calls my name and I walk through the door dragging one foot behind and doing my imitation of Quasimodo.

Ya’ll have a great day….

Live Long and Prosper...

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