Cold Monday


It is a cold Monday in November here in Northern NJ.   It had been warm enough on Saturday to sit outside for a bit, but this morning, even in the sunshine, it was cold. 

This morning I sat in my car for over thirty minutes waiting and it was cold.  I wasn't wearing a winter coat (I'm going to need to pull that out for my trek to the office on Wednesday), but I did have a heavy sweater and turtleneck.  (I believe the first turtleneck of the season...for many years that was my winter "uniform" a turtleneck with a sweater over it.) I was parked in the sun, but it was still cold.  I turned the car on a couple of times, to get the heated seat "reheated" and once it was warm, I would turn it off.  But my hands were cold. (Heated steering wheel I believe is on the list of things that I will look for in my next's time to take my comfort seriously as I get older.) Perhaps I should have worn gloves, but that would have made turning the pages of my e-reader impossible.  I never expected to be sitting in the car so long and so I wasn't prepared for the cold this morning.

Why was I sitting in the car for so long?  I am glad you asked.  This morning at 7 AM my husband had an appointment at the doctor's office.  He wasn't seeing the doctor, he was just there to get his quarterly bloodwork done and will see the doctor (actually physician's assistant since the doctor he has been seeing for the past few years [since our long time physician retired from what was once a practice, but is now a conglomerate of medical professions and businessmen looking to make as much money as they can without putting in too much effort.]) on Thursday morning.  (I won't wait around for that.) The whole process should not have taken that long...right?

His appointment was at 7, so we pulled in a few minutes beforehand.  In the past I might have gone even a little earlier, but we have found that the office doors are not open until a few minutes before the hour and I didn't want him waiting in the cold.  The office was open and he had to wait for the two people in front of him who were checking in with the one lone receptionist to be finished.  (Apparently patient #1 in line had a long story to tell; and he told it over and over again, as my husband was "lucky" enough to hear.)  When he was finally done there (it was already after 7), he was sent to the downstairs lab (there is also an upstairs lab) where he waited and heard patient #1 tell his story to someone else who was waiting.  The actual lab was closed (again it's after 7), but after a few minutes a lone technician arrived to start the process.

Husband then had to wait for patient #1 to have his work done.  Patient #1 had to tell lab tech his story (which my husband has now heard at least 3 times) as the lab tech does her job.  (Very slowly according to my husband.  Maybe she hadn't had her coffee yet?  Neither my husband or I were caffeinated yet.)  About the time that patient #2 was finally in the chair, lab tech #2 arrives, juggling several coffee cups.  (But the arrival of coffee did not speed up the process according to hubby.)

Meanwhile, 25 minutes have passed since I saw my husband go into the office.  I am getting cold (and needing coffee) and I am wondering what is going on.  Is everything okay?  Was there an incident in the office?  I texted, but got no answer.  I was on my third text at 7:32 (yes I was looking at the clock on the dashboard) when he finally came out.  He was annoyed and I was frozen.

I should have known better than to wait.  It really makes no sense to go home.  Next time I'm going to tell him to schedule the lab appointment after 8 AM because that's when the coffee house, which is in the same complex opens.  I could sit, enjoy a latte, and be warm.  As we all have (sadly) learned (but try to forget) when it comes to medical practices, appointment times mean next to nothing. I know I'm going to sound like an old woman (I guess I am), when I say that I miss the days when healthcare was more personal.  When your doctor really knew you.  (Until he retired, I had the same physician since the late 1970s.)  When your time AND the doctor's meant something.

But we know those days are gone.  It's not about medicine, it's about corporations.  It's not about time, it's about squeezing as much in as possible.  It really needs to change, but...

I'll end this cold Monday rant so that I can go call Quest Diagnostics and find out why they are charging me over $300 for lab work that was done last month for my physical.  Seems like they didn't even attempt to work with my insurance company so...

It's a COLD Monday.


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