It took me a while to find a primary care physician out here. (Mostly because I had previously never left RI and was naively convinced that doctors didn’t practice outside of the borders of my fine, tiny former state. Oh, and laziness.)
I made a few phone calls to area physicians.
Ring. “Hello, you’ve reached the offices of [doctor]. Our offices are closed. Our business hours are from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, closed on Wednesdays.”
Open six hours a day? Only four days a week? No way. Picked another one.
Ring. “Yeah? What?”
I hung up.
Ring.. “Hello, Dr. Pompous’s office.”
“Yes, I’d like to see if Dr. Pompous is taking new patients.”
Barely concealed laugh. “You’ll need a referral. Dr. Pompous doesn’t bother with patients without referrals.”
I made a face. Then hung up promptly. Stupid fools. No way to treat a patient, potential or otherwise. What was with these people?
I closed my eyes, ran my finger down the list.
Ring. “Hello? You’ve reached Dr. CT’s office. How can I help you?”
“Is the doctor taking new patients?”
“Yes. Would you like to come in to meet her?”
“Yes. Can I make an appointment for a physical, too? Or do I have to meet her first?”
I heard a muffled sound, as though the receptionist was leaning in and covering the phone a bit.
“Sure. I have to be honest with you – I’ve never had a patient not want Dr. CT.”Sold. I made the appointment and visited with my new doctor last week.
Dr. CT sat me in her big, comfy office and talked about my health. She put her cell phone in her drawer and told the receptionists to hold her calls.
We talked about the big issues: diabetes, fitness, blood pressure, pregnancy (no, I’m not), and my overall health goals. She reviewed my last A1c and told me she wanted to have me under 7%. I laughed and told her I would also like to be under 7%. We talked about steps towards that goal. I watched as she made notes that read, “Type 1 – 20 years. Good health. Big sense of humor. Lives with boyfriend.” We talked about stress. About anxiety. And we touched base briefly about the new Rocky movie.
I felt like she listened. Really listened.
They also hooked me up to an EKG machine, which I had never experienced before. “You’ve been diabetic for 20 years and, even though you are in very good physical condition, we want to make sure there aren’t any unseen issues.”
Appreciating her thorough perspective, I nodded. “So what do I have to do?”
I have never felt more like Frankenstein’s monster in my life. Exposed almost entirely, my doctor and one of her assistants covered me in those sticky tabs and connected the wires. My mind started to race.
“I’m wearing a pump. Will it short out?”
“There’s underwire in my bra. Will I be electrocuted?”
“I feel like Frankenstein’s monster.”
She laughed at the last one, and said, “Well, it’s all over now. See? It was that painless. Everything looks perfect. And now you can stop feeling like Frankenstein’s monster.”
“Can I rip off the tabs and roar?”
She laughed again. “Sure.”
She hummed haunted theme music as she switched off the EKG machine. I sat up, slowly, and ripped the tabs from my body, letting loose with a quiet, but fierce monster roar.“I can assure you – that has never happened in my office before.” She paused. “But I wish it had.”
I’m pretty sure this doctor is a keeper.