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Paying To Sit In Waiting Rooms

Let’s take a moment to sit back and picture the last waiting room you were in.

You walk in, there’s probably some inconsistent signage directing you to these new “self check in kiosks” that no one is using. There’s sort of a line, maybe? Suddenly someone who really has no reason to be cranky this early in the morning yells “I can take you down here”…

Maybe you’re lucky and you’re in a smaller waiting room. You let the lady behind the glass know who you’re here to see. They ask you a question or two. Hand you a form to fill out and let you know that someone will be with you shortly…

Or you spend 15 minutes standing at the counter as they run through questions extremely slowly. They can’t even locate your appointment on the schedule. They give up and decide to just put you on the schedule… then they proceed to take multiple forms of identification and in the time it takes them to input your name, you’ve successfully filled out all the paperwork as you wait.

Now, in this time they’ve checked in 3 other patients as they’re assisting you…

Finally you can pay for your copay and your ID’s are returned to you.

Funny, today they had 2 IDs, and I guarantee my name is correct on those, except on the receipt my name was “Alexandria Thompson”

They even took the time to have someone double check all my information and passed the IDs along with it and yet still both my first and last name were spelled incorrectly…

I’m not even going to think about the fact that I’m not new to this chain of medical facilities and I should already be in the system.

So, now I sit in the waiting room.

After being called back, I’m stuck with a nurse who doesn’t really say much and won’t even make eye contact with me.

She spent half an hour inputting my information and couldn’t understand the list of medications that I provided to her.

After she left, my doctor wouldn’t arrive for nearly half an hour.

It feels like I spend more time in doctors offices and waiting rooms than I do anywhere else (with the exception of my bed) and yet these offices are extremely uncomfortable.

I mean, two days ago, sitting at the minute clinic in CVS, I wanted to die. The waiting area is in the regular store and the music was blasting. The wait time was ridiculous even with me checking in before driving 40 minutes to get there.

By the time I got in to see the physician, I’d been waiting for over an hour, I’d dealt with a lady who decided to paint her toes in the seat next to me, and had to explain to countless other people how to check in… all with a roaring migraine.

Insert babbling physician who spent a solid 20 minutes apologizing to me for the fact that I have migraines. I wasn’t even in the clinic for anything migraine related… I needed my birth control shot. And yet she wouldn’t let up. Her voice was loud and high pitched. The lights were brighter than ever, and when she saw I was on the new migraine drug she wanted me to tell her all about it…

I was thrilled to leave and escape to a bed in a dark room.

Come back to today, and my head isn’t throbbing throbbing, but the aches are still there.

The new doctor finally got in to see me (I’m guessing they had double booked my appointment slot) and she spoke at a million words a second. She rushed through my medical history and every time I’d start talking about a concern, she’d speak over me. I’m not one to give up on asking for what I want, but wow, it just wouldn’t stop.

Now, let’s be honest, the only reason I was in to see her was to get a referral to my old neurologist who I see Wednesday. However, that doesn’t excuse this behavior that has become so normal in medical facilities.

Last time I checked… I’m the patient, and I’m the reason all these doctors get paid so well. So shouldn’t they be listening to my concerns?

I understand general practitioners don’t understand migraines. I would never expect them to. But, I still deserve to be treated with respect, do I not?

Medical professionals seem so entitled.

I can’t even get a smile from the nurses, heck they won’t even strike up a conversation… Do you hate your job that much?

I’m getting really sick of spending so much time waiting to be seen, sitting in waiting room’s designed to fit the most people, but accommodate the least. I mean, I feel like my money is being spent holding my chair in the waiting room, rather than getting actual medical attention.

There should be dark waiting rooms.

There should be separate spaces for individuals who are sick. Someone with an autoimmune disorder shouldn’t be in the same waiting room as someone with the flu.

There should be designated quiet spaces. Someone with anxiety shouldn’t be next to noisy kids. Someone with a migraine shouldn’t have to get sicker simply because its one large space.

And god dammit there needs to be a no perfume and no scents policy in all places that serve as a medical waiting area.

So many things are wrong with waiting rooms. Even when you’re transferred to an actual room in the back. It still isn’t too great.

I shouldn’t be able to hear everything happening in the rest of the facility.

But the people who work in these places no longer care about the people who are being seen. It is so incredibly obvious and its painful. And it needs to change.

To say I’m disappointed with today wouldn’t be fair. I got what I asked for – lots and lots of blood work for tests ranging from celiac to blood pressure issues to who knows what else.

I discovered that my right arm is pretty much done giving blood, so I got to get poked a few times to even have blood drawn.

Thankfully, blood being drawn hurts much less than the epi-pen nightmare that is my Aimovig injection… more on that to come another day.

So, now I wait for those results. Fingers crossed I’m not gluten intolerant. I really fucking love bread.

Now, I prepare for Wednesday.

Thankfully, I know this neurologist, so to be quite frank, I 100% intend to just talk over him and tell him exactly what I would like. Because I don’t have to take bullshit from doctors I’m paying to see.

A.

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