Here’s what happened yesterday…

Teddy woke up with an earache, pain in his jaw, a sore throat and pain in his chest. If it had been just one, two, or maybe even three symptoms, we probably would have dosed him up with Tylenol and packed him off to school with a pat on the back and a see you later, kid. We’re not mollycoddlers in our household. (Nicholas will tell you about the time he had an appendectomy and days later the doctors wouldn’t let him leave the hospital because they felt that his pain was not yet under control. I dispatched him on a Bhutan Death March around the nurses’ station to prove to them that he was fit enough to leave. He shuffled, stooped over like an old man around that desk while I whispered, “Come on, Nicholas, straighten up, faster, faster, FASTER)! So, ANYWAY…Teddy’s four symptoms seemed to warrant a trip to the doctor’s office.

I called my office to let them know I’d be a little late and took Teddy to the family medicine clinic.  I tried to get him registered as a walk-in, but the people at the registration desk told us that we should go directly to the clinic to get the appointment. At the clinic they told us to come back in an hour for the first available appointment. We paced the halls of the hospital for half an hour, sat in the cafeteria for another twenty minutes, and optimistically returned to the clinic ten minutes before Teddy’s appointment.

We sat. And sat. And sat. I grew old sitting there.

Twenty minutes after his appointment slot, I went up to the front desk to ask how much longer it might be. The woman behind the desk told me that he would have been seen already, but for the fact that  I hadn’t registered him.

“But I did try to register him, and they told me to come directly to you. Remember? You made the appointment for me?”

“But then after you made the appointment with us, you should have gone back to register him.”


Another forty minutes later we were led back into the inner sanctum. As I’m sure we all know, this is just a ploy to make you think that you may actually see a doctor in this century.

After another lifetime of waiting, the doctor came in to examine Teddy.

He checked Teddy’s ear…Ear infection, surely, I thought….Nothing.

He checked Teddy’s throat…Of COURSE! Strep. It’s gotta be strep throat…….Nothing.

He checked Teddy’s lungs…Aha! Pneumonia. It must be pneumonia……….Nothing.

Is it very wrong to be bitterly disappointed and maybe even just a teensy bit pissed off when you’re told (after a total of three hours of waiting around in a germy hospital) that your kid does not have a raging ear infection, strep throat, or pneumonia and is, in fact, in blooming health?

OK, just checking.

Tomorrow: Fall Roundup, Part 2

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