25 April 2011

So frakking anti-climactic!

After a week of trying to reach my doctor...

She was off the Friday that I called, so her medical assistant left a message saying she'd relay the message, but my doctor would be out the next Monday as well, at which point the medical assistant would be off for the week. Though assured someone was covering the medical assistant's voicemail no one returned any of the three messages I left last week.

My first message was rambling and kind of nervous, a recap of what I'd said on Friday with some new facts.

The second, simple and direct but I think I said "few" instead of "a couple" for how many questions I had.

I should point out here that at my last appointment, my doctor encouraged me to call if I thought of additional questions after I'd read up a bit.

Thursday, I actually called the front desk but got the most deft blow off ever as the receptionist assured me someone was checking my medical assistant's messages and someone would get back to me.

Here I should point out that phone calls stress me out: making them, getting them, leaving messages, or the agonizing waiting for someone to call back. This has been fucking with my sleep is how stressed phone calls make me. I don't mind a short simple call when I know what to say or chatting with certain people (as long as they're not totally preoccupied with something else), but this is another tier of preoccupation, continually trying to find the briefest, clearest set of words to convey my meaning. No doubt it doesn't help that doctors stress me out too.

I wrote down my questions and eventually typed them out to get a better order for them. If I could just get 5 to 10 minutes, I'd be set.

Actually the longer this went on, the less I cared about getting certain questions answered. I prioritized, I streamlined. I knew I had an appointment mid May during which I could hit any straggling queries.

On Friday, I left my third message: brief, simple plus impassioned plea for someone to get back to me.

No one did, so after 5 PM (but really 6 due to wishful thinking), I did my best to chill out for the weekend.

One good discovery is that though I've been distracted from working on my shop lately, it turns out that if I can get over that initial hump to start, working on it provides an excellent distraction from phone call nonsense.

Today, I hoped the medical assistant would be back though her voice mail message made it seem she'd be out until tomorrow. I was so disheartened when I heard her vacation message that I hung up before it was over.

What to do? Call the front desk again? I really had to psych myself up to call and leave another message: brief, simple, and "hey, I've been trying to reach her for a week..." Think I managed to stay impassioned without sounding too pissed off.

Do I think I have a right to be pissed off? Oh yes. But I'm not trying to antagonize these folks. I just want to move forward.

So...after a week of trying to reach my doctor, my phone lights up with their number at a quarter to five. I grab a pen, glance at my typed out notes, answer, and... it's not my doctor. On her behalf, I get scheduled for another appointment so we can go over things.

TWO WEEKS FROM NOW. If an appointment opens up sooner, they'll call. ha ha ha.

I really hate health care.

What's worse is that I also kind of hate myself. I'm 37, why am I not over my quasi phone phobia already? And since I know that the stress it causes isn't good for me, why can't I just let it go?

I was thinking of this earlier when I read Sizzle's post Disjointed Self-Perception today. She wrote about weight and body image, but I just kept thinking: it's always something.

Go to your happy place is a phrase that comes up in tv and film, a way to cope with difficult situations. I swear I tried to come up with one, but I kept finding flaws in them. A beautiful meadow with a blue sky would set off my allergies. The beach seemed hot and I burn easily. A cabana then? Is that where I'd really want to be? Heading to the fictional, I thought of Rivendell, beautiful and serene among the trees and waterfalls. But also cold with all its stone. A wooden treehouse then? Around here, I gave up. I knew I could set my own conditions like no sunburns in my happy place but I just wasn't finding anything helpful.

For now, I'll try to remember how ridiculous all this is, that it is worthy of laughter.

(Forgive me if this is a bit ramble-y, I needed to get it out of my system.)

A year ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 22


  1. We have things we wish didn't bother us, don't we? I actually was a lot less attached to outcomes and less prone to spiraling when I was meditating regularly. Hmmm. I should get back on that train.

    Hope things work out with this. I would be super frustrated!

  2. We certainly do, and I've got plenty more! ;)

    I've been off my regular yoga this past week which has a little bit of meditation to start and end. Sure that hasn't helped either. Indeed time to get back to it.

    It is frustrating, but once I've done what I can (reasonably) do, I get much less stressed out. It's basically out of my hands for a bit now, otherwise known as the whatever stage.