Before I left I had been passed off to 8 people. I felt like more like a hot potato than a person.
1. I was greeted at the entrance by a woman who asked me why I was there. She took me to the Walk-In Clinic. I was going to make a joke about how ironic it was to call it a walk-in clinic but I knew it would be lost on her.
2. I was called to the desk of a young woman who got my personal information. She was very pleasant but I didn’t like having to tell her all my personal information, including my Social Security Number, in an open space that anyone could hear what was being said.
3. I went across the hallway to another desk where my insurance information was taken as well as my $25 co-pay. This woman was also very pleasant. We talked about her daughter and my purse and I would have to say she was the one person out of 8 who made me feel more like a person than a widget on a conveyor belt.
4. Some guy who I’d seen take people into his cubicle and then escort them back to where the doctor was. He took my temperature, asked me about my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 (sitting it was zero, walking it was 4). Then he asked me my height and weight. This guy was also out in the open so anyone close by could hear my answer. The irony of it all is on his desk was a pamphlet about patient privacy rights. This was also where I got my new name “This One.” While talking to me about my personal information some woman walks in and starts talking to this guy. She says “I’ll take this one back.” He says “You can take this one?” She says “Yes I’ll take this one.” This was where Mary vanished and This One appeared.
5. The lady who gave me my new name takes me back to x-ray. Now I have a bad knee and it hurts to walk so she walked very quickly ahead of me, never even noticing that I was having a hard time keeping up. Oh the compassionate care was overwhelming at this point.
6) X-ray lady came and took three pictures of my knee. She made me do things that hurt but I guess that’s what they have to do to get a good picture. She then took me back to the room where the doctor would come in.
7) The doctor arrives. He is very professional and young. He asks me a few questions and then has me get on the exam table. He starts squeezing my knee and as I scream he says “Does that hurt?” “YES and stop it” was my reply. Not learning my lesson he did the same thing on my other knee with the same response but I added “I didn’t come here to get hurt.” He wasn’t amused. Then he showed me digital x-rays on the computer which was actually kind of interesting and I wish I could get a copy of them. I have arthritis in both knees. I knew that, but it was gotten worse. He used some words about ligaments and cartiliploiegievmainals (or something like that) and suggested I have some physical therapy to strengthen them. He also told me to lose weight, but I knew that was coming. All in all he was a nice, stern, professional guy who apparently likes to inflict pain on old ladies. He left the room and said he would bring me a form to take to the physical therapist.
8) Guy with the form comes in. Tells me I’m free to go. I always like it when they say that because I was always free to go but apparently they think they had the power to keep me there. And to use the word “free” in a medical environment is also rather humorous.
So, all in all, it was a clean, sterile environment with clean, sterile people and it ran like a machine which I guess is why I felt like I was on a conveyor belt. And they did a good job. I was told what was wrong and the doctor told me a number of different options available. I can’t complain about the end result.
I guess this is the future of medicine. It is cost effective and efficient and we are its widgets.