Thursday, November 12, 2009

Orthopaedic Surgeon's Office

Yesterday, I had my appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon regarding my hip and the increasing pain I am having lately. I appreciated how quickly they could get me in. This is the same orthopaedic practice that I took K to when she fractured her foot. I need to say that I hate this clinic's business model. It is assembly line medicine at its most annoying. It is kind of run like a hospital, in that you check in first in a central location, then you check in again in the department where you are going to be seen. There is so much needless redundancy (is that redundant?) just in how you check in. But this practice, which is near Fashion Island, seems to be the only game in town as far as our PPO goes.

So I go to the central check-in location, and am in the middle of being checked in when this obviously rich woman (with a king-sized sense of entitlement) walks up to the desk and interrupts the woman who was checking me in, and the woman stops what she is doing with me and starts to help her. I let this go for about 30 seconds, and then I spoke up. The woman "helping" me had the audacity to say that she could do two things at once. I insisted that she get back to helping me and let the other woman wait her turn. She got really snippy with me after that. She finished up printing out my paperwork, and sent me on my less than merry way to see the doctor. In the meantime, after I had spoken up, the other person working at the desk was free to help the entitled hag, and somehow she got checked in quicker than I did. And since she was there to see the same doctor that I was, she got in first. GRRRRRRR

The department I was see in yesterday is called "Adult Reconstruction". What am I, a building? Yes, I know, artificial hips are a reconstructive surgery, but I hate being referred to as an "Adult Reconstruction" patient. Seems so very impersonal.

I check in at the desk in the department, and then went to sit down in a completely full waiting room. Two seats away from me is this man, talking loudly on his cellphone about very personal family business, going on and on about how the burden has fallen on him, how his sister has mismanaged her money, and whether Medicare or Medicaid were going to pay for some skilled nursing facility, etc. etc. etc. It was quite annoying. There was a man sitting between the cellphone guy and I, and he was quite annoyed with it too. During the course of this conversation, the call got dropped three times. The third time the call got dropped, the cellphone guy said sarcastically, "Oh, I love AT&T."

I said, loud enough for him to hear, "Oh we do too!" Which elicited a chuckle from the annoyed guy sitting next to me. Cellphone guy redials the phone, and finally gets up and goes out into the hallway to have his conversation. After he is done, he comes back and gets into a conversation with his son, who was there being seen for something, going on and on about how President Obama is a socialist. I was so glad when they called my name to get out of there.

One of the things I really needed to get done while I was there yesterday was to fill out the application for a California handicapped parking placard. I have a handicapped parking placard from Minnesota, but it expires next month, so I need to replace it. When I got brought back to the exam room, the nurse saw that I had the form, so he filled it out and obtained the doctor's signature for me. Somehow I expected it to have to beg for the permit, and that it would be harder than it was.

I had x-rays done, and the doctor came in. He wanted more views so he sent me for more x-rays. Then he did some range of motion tests. He said my x-rays looked perfect but since I am in increasing pain, he wants me to get some more tests run. I really like this doctor, even though I hate the clinic he practices in.

As I was leaving, the woman who "helped" me check in initially was "helping" someone else, and this person was getting really annoyed with her, and she was really not being very helpful.

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