Well, In short we found one. But it was not a treat to deal with. And since I had become very ill rather quickly – AGAIN ( dam I hate getting old) , I had to get this resolved NOW.
At the beginning of the year I started out defining our needs. First I wanted them to be reasonably close if possible, though that was not the highest priority.
Sex was not really a consideration, for a doctor I mean (BSEG). My first priority was that they be considerably younger then us, so that I would not have to do this again. I didn’t want someone who was likely to retire before we die.
Second was the attitude of the first person I speak to when I call. After all, you don’t just have a relationship with the doctor. You also need a great relationship with the people who answer the phone and take your blood pressure, and hand the check to. You want to feel good about going to ‘visit’ these people when you don’t feel good. I will confess it here that when I don’t feel good, especially when I am in pain, I am not a pleasant person to talk to. Just ask the local ER people of late. I do a Jeckel and Hyde ( not my real names) thing. I go from being Mr. Jovial to “That grumpy ass over there”( sometimes My name is Grumpy ass).
We also didn’t want a TEAM Office. I wanted A Doctor, not a random pool of who may be available to see you.
So I spent some time early in January going through lists of Doctors who accept my insurance. I can tell you the list of those within a 15 mile radius was quite long. Once I ruled out the Older guys, and too distant guys, the docs who have satellite offices, (if they are That dam special that they feel they need to have double rent fees and are only in My area on Tuesdays and every other Thursday, well I just don’t feel ‘worthy’ of them – knowwhatImeanvern?), I made my short list. But I didn’t do anything further.
The reason I didn’t persue this as soon as I should have is the Physicians Assistant who was in our previous doctors office had told us where she was likely going to be working soon, and My wife was pretty adamant on following her to that office. So we were pretty certain that at least for now we would be ok. WRONG.
Well about four weeks ago I had my checkup for my cancer and was pronounced still clean. Great news. But within 48 hours I got very Very ill, with horrible chill spells and no interest in eating. I spent most of the next 2 days sleeping. so in my short periods of being awake I began making some calls to get me a Doctor quick. Thinking I could count on getting into the new office that the P.A went to I called them first. I verified that Amy had indeed gone to this office I was told that someone would call me about getting in to see her shortly. Within about 15 minutes that promise was honored. However I was told that they can’t take us. Period. No reason offered, no concern for my immediate health needs. Just “Sorry Charlie”. That sounded rather fishy.
“Well , I never”.. huff huff……….. Were we that bad? That tends to knock the crap out of a person self esteem.
So I went to my short list. On each phone call I told them that I was quite ill, and that our previous Family Doctor of many years had recently shut down his office, and we have no family doctor. I did not find much sympathy, I can tell you that. It seems that in many offices they do not understand why they are there, and they have a job to serve their customer. Health “professional” indeed.
The first one I called was an office that had just been set up, and was quite close. They had just sent out a flyer that they were open to new patients. When I called I swear it took 45 seconds or more just to get through the greeting. “Thank you for calling the Springfield regional hospital office for wellness and health and sick people who need doctors, in Springfield, this is the satellite office of Dr. Jumpin G. Hoseaphat , our hours are from when I feel like it to when we get tired. How can I help you”. after giving this young woman my short story and that I was quite ill and need an appointment I was told ” Well since you would be a new patient there are several forms to fill out and we would not be able to get you in for 2 or 3 weeks”.
YOU GOTTA BE FREAKING KIDDING” I screamed inside. I politely thanked the snitty little girl for her time and hung up.
STRIKE TWO! This was not going to be easy. I am sitting in a chair feeling like I had been in a train wreck and didn’t really have the patience to do this but I had to. The reason I had to make these calls is this particular morning Sooper Nana was at our Dentist for a couple of hours have some major work done. Our Dentist by the way is a superb individual.
After two more calls to preferred prospects, and getting pretty much the same snitty, unsympathetic attitude from the young girls who answered the phone ( do all girls under 35 sound like high school debutantes? ), I tried a doctor referral service phone number that one of the hospitals had. I was hoping to get some real input, but all I got was a couple of names and phone numbers. Now the woman whom answered the phone was real nice and all, but for petes’ sake ( my name is not Pete) , I can throw darts as well as she was. I was getting no where.
It suddenly hit me that one of our kids did not use our old family doctor. They had been using someone else. I just didn’t know who it was. So I Pinged ( ping is the sound my Blackberry makes when I get a text, as in “verify range to target, one ping only”) Sparky to see who they had been using. He sent me her name and where their office was so I looked it up.
Hmm. only been practicing about 4 years, was in an office of 3 other doctors, but it was as close as our old DO. and I needed one NOW. So I called. I did my song and dance about our situation, and this very nice woman named Shirley ( may be her real name, I didn’t ask for her ID) asks me for my email so she could send me the new patient paperwork, then asks if I can be in there at 11AM the next day. “I will be there with bells on. Thank God for you Ms. Shirley, Bless you.”
I went to the appointment, did the obligatory insurance card and paperwork and was very quickly escorted in to a room. A friendly nurse did the usual temp and BP and questioning, then left the room. In less that 5 minutes Dr. Tracie Bolden ( is her real name- I did check credentials) came in , looked over the paperwork, and listened, I mean she LISTENED to my story. She was very warm and understanding, gave me no grief, and took care of my situation.
Halaluya! We have a Family doctor. I did not realize how much stress this was putting on us until I had this resolved.. WHEW!
Words of advice. if you ever find yourself suddenly in need of a new medical professional, do NOT put it off. When you need one You need one NOW. you don’t want to go through a situation like this.