Is it completely absurd that I actually LIKE to go to the doctor? Probably. But hey, I’m weird. I went to my pediatrician until I was 22, and I only stopped because they made me. I would totally still go to her if I could, just like that episode of Friends with Ross and his pediatrician. She knew me and took care of me, even when I would just go in and tell her I was ‘dying’ because I couldn’t put my symptoms into words. It felt like she really cared about my health, and that’s how it was with my other doctors as well, eye doctor included. I went to the same guy my whole life until I moved to NC, and he knew me, and it was easy and safe. I like easy and safe, I’m very sensitive, and I want to feel like people care about me.
Is it completely absurd to expect that when I do in fact go to a doctor that I be treated like a human being, not like cattle?? [Not that I encourage cattle to be treated poorly, I love cows, and would treat them just as well as I would any other person. But, you get the point of the expression, I’m sure.] I had a horrible experience at the eye doctor yesterday, and this is really how I felt. Like no one there cared about me, or my well being, and it left me feeling really sad about the state of ‘health care’. I wasn’t sure what to do with this anger, so I’m funneling it all into this blog post, a vent-y one. Not in the spirit of complaining, but, in wondering why the medical field seems to be evolving into this revolving door of apathy, where everyone is just a number.
I have been looking for a good eye doctor for the past 5 years. It’s so weird to me that I cannot seem to find good doctors nowadays. I had a recommendation from a friend, but instead I decided to make an appointment with a big reputable office in town, hoping that this would finally help me find someone that could really be great. I don’t have huge expectations, really. Kindness would be nice though. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by nice health care professionals?
When I recover and go shopping, I want glasses similar to this fine (cheap) pair I tried on in Urban Outfitters. Yes, I realize how attractive that facial expression is, and how low quality the photo is, but you get the gist. I’ll take a proper photo when I get good glasses and post that!
I’ll spare you the bazillion little details about what made it bad, and I’ll just summarize the highlights. Low lights? Bad things, I’ll summarize the bad things that happened:
The people there just didn’t care. I can’t put it any more bluntly. From when I walked in, to when I walked out 2 hours (!!) later, I only encountered one person who listened to me, and tried to help me. I was tended to by at least 6 people.
The technician did all the work. The doctor came in after, and just double checked her work. He didn’t introduce himself to me, shake my hand, ask me a single question about anything other than the letters on the wall, or even make eye contact with me. He spent 5 minutes with me.
I was all but laughed at for not knowing all the details of my previous prescriptions, and also for having such bad eyesight. It’s never nice to be made to feel small, let alone in a vulnerable setting like a doctor’s office.
My well being was never really taken into account, I was given some incorrect solution to put my contacts in during my exam (it was hydrogen peroxide solution, which is part of a contact lens cleaning kit, but is NOT meant to be a quick lens storage solution like saline. This was a huge error on her part). Afterward, I was left alone, and told to put my contacts back in, then find my way back up front to the contact fitting place (where the only person who was kind to me was waiting). After trying to put my contacts in and being in the most severe eye pain I’ve ever felt in my life, I was lost. Alone, unable to see, and with no one to ask for help. I was crying, because my eyes were in pain, because I was mad, because I felt like they didn’t give a crap about me, and because I had no idea where to go. I blindly stumbled through the hallways, passing nurses/techs/reception people and no one offered to help me, or asked me if I was okay. Again, maybe I’m expecting too much. But if someone was walking around my work crying, and looked like they were in pain, and needed help, I would at least see what I could do. I was at a doctor’s office, not a prison.
The rest of the visit followed suit. Thank god Michael was with me. I wandered into the waiting room, hoping he would see me, and he found me and helped me finish up, and get the hell out of there. Once my contacts are in, I will not be returning. I spent the rest of my evening on the couch with a headache and watery eyes. Good times!
Sadly, it seems like this is a normal day for them. They were unfazed by the fact that I was upset, and more and more doctors that I see are the same way. When did this become okay? We have a nation of people who are unsure about how to tend to their own health, shouldn’t these be the people we turn to? I want to find doctors that I feel comfortable with, that I look forward to seeing. That make me at least feel cared for.
I know that these people are probably underpaid and overworked and have their own problems, and some whiny girl with eye pain isn’t their biggest issue of the day. But that’s the thing. I should be their biggest issue. I want people looking after me who want me to be healthy, and happy, and live a long life. These people were less kind to me than the woman who checked me out at Target last week.
I am sure there are great doctors out there, but I seem to be unable to find most of them. Where are they??
Do any of you have this problem as well? Just being treated as number 4322232, and not a person? I’d love to hear!