Visiting the Doctor

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So, after a year of trying to make my cholesterol problem go away by ignoring it, I decide to finally get my prescription of Zetia refilled. I call up the clinic to ask about a refill, and get told that I have to go and see the doctor again. This isn’t terribly surprising to me, so I go ahead and schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, the first appointment available is in two months. Fine; I just hope that I don’t have a heart attack between now and then.

Two months go by, and my appointment is a week away. Unsurprisingly, since I don’t schedule myself out two months in advance, the day and time has become inconvenient, but not impossible. I call up and try to reschedule; sure, no problem, we have a time available two months from now. Ok, I say; I can deal with the inconvenience. I have to give some blood before the appointment, which is also inconvenient, but whatever.

I show up this morning 35 minutes early for my appointment. They always say to show up half an hour early, for reasons that continue to mystify; why not just schedule it for thirty minutes earlier? I dutifully wait thirty minutes until the time of my appointment. I then wait another thirty minutes. As I get up to complain, they call my name, and a nurse escorts me to another room where I wait for another twenty minutes.

Finally my doctor walks in, and we chat for about fifteen minutes. Happily yet inexplicably, my cholesterol level has come down to “dangerously high” from “Check again; are you sure you’re still breathing?” Nevertheless, more Zetia in my future.

Altogether, it was a wholly unremarkable visit to the doctor, but for the fact that I’d seen SiCKO a week before. I find now that I have become utterly intolerant of health care inconvenience, especially anything associated with my insurance. Sure, I might have had to wait as long in Canada or France (although the prescription would probably cost less), but that’s rather the problem; if you’re going to sell the US system based on convenience and short wait times, then it should be convenient with short wait times. It shouldn’t have taken me two months to get my prescription refilled, when both myself and my doctor knew that there was no other plausible outcome. By the end of the hour long wait, I was seething and ready to walk out, a state I doubt I’d have been in were it not for the Moore film. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s almost certainly his best, but be prepared to become more irritable on a regular basis.

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