Skeleton staff
Thursday August 25th 2011, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Knit,Lupus

Don wrote about having to wait from 3:00 to 4:20 for a doctor to show up for his appointment, which I imagine is a long wait when you don’t knit.

The one time I got stuck waiting for an hour and a half, years ago, I knew going in that I was going to be one of the last patients of the day; I imagined all those extra moments adding up throughout the shift as that good doctor would have been taking his time not so much by the clock but as each patient needed him. I knew from experience that he would do so for me, so I certainly didn’t mind if he did it for others. I came prepared.

And so I sat in the exam room in my paper gown, yarn in hand, and waited.  And waited and waited. And waited some more. You know, it was getting to be a bit much, though, especially since I hadn’t heard any voices going past in a goodly while.

Finally, I peeked out into the hall and all the lights were turned off! Except the emergency nighttime ones! (It was winter.)

I knew it had been awhile, but– ! I called out loudly into the dark, empty hallway, feeling foolish. No response. Finally, I ducked back in the room and pushed the emergency call-nurse button, figuring if anybody answered, great, if not, well, they’re sure not charging me for this appointment!

A nurse came rushing in about 15 seconds later, very apologetic. The doctor had been held up at the hospital, hadn’t they told me? No, but I could imagine a cardiologist could end up spending a lot more time with a patient there than he had planned on.

The doctor himself finally came in about two minutes after that, embarrassed as all get-out. I was just relieved that I hadn’t been entirely stupid sitting there alone unknowing as the building had emptied for the day, quietly knitting away, glad to have an excuse to get some progress made on the thing instead of anything else needing doing just then. I showed him the work in my hands, tiny needles and fine laceweight, and nodded to the pound cone of soft merino (a gift from Karin, thank you!) that I was working from: see? Thousands of yards left on that. I had a long, long way to go before I ran out of things to do.

You know that if I ever bring a cone to his office again he’s going to burst out laughing and start teasing me that I hadn’t had to wait *that* long this time!

13 Comments so far
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your story made me smile as I remembered waiting for my ob/gyn doctor. When he finaly came in he asked me how late he was and I held up my knitting and said “a sleeve and a half”. We both had a chuckle.

Comment by pat Flores 08.26.11 @ 2:07 am

Reminds me of the time I went in for my 6 week postpartum appt many years ago. Breastfed my new daughter minutes before I was called into the exam room. Waited for the dr so long that it was time for her next feeding and when he finally came in HE HAD THE NERVE TO COMPLAIN I MADE HIM WAIT SO I COULD FEED MY BABY!!!! I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say. If it had happened now I would have given him a real good piece of my mind!!!

Comment by Jody 08.26.11 @ 7:13 am

Once I finished an item in the back waiting and held it up when the doctor came in. He never made wait again.

Been evacuated. Up in Philly. Will write more later – after I find a yarn shop. Guess what I forgot?

Comment by afton 08.26.11 @ 7:27 am

Prayers flying for all those on the East Coast and inland, too. One doctor who saw me knitting told me that if I was going to knit in his waiting room, he thought he should get a pair of socks. I told him, fine and then told him the going rate for socks–equal to his hourly rate of pay.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 08.26.11 @ 7:42 am

Good grief. I imagine your heart was in your throat when the lights were off… Glad you weren’t locked in there all alone after all!!

Comment by Channon 08.26.11 @ 7:50 am

I understand that doctors can be held up and are unable to hold to a rigid schedule. What was ticking me off was that NOBODY SAID ANYTHING! If doctors typically run late at that time of day, then they should revise their scheduling times!

At VA, when ‘my’ doctor finishes with me, then a regular VA doctor comes in(for what reason I do not know). Then I’m supposed to check out. One time the VA doc was very late, and I left on my own. It was after 5 p.m., and the checkout desk was closed. Tough luck!

Comment by Don Meyer 08.26.11 @ 8:21 am

That’s terrible,I had my own experience with a army clinic , stirrups , and everyone going for lunch.Being young and scared didn’t help. I’ve changed clinics because I think when things are slow , hardly anyone around ,I don’t need to out in the bight light when I have a homicidal migraine.Sitting in the waiting room, like that makes me want to leave them a present of what happens when expose to too much sun.

Comment by kristy phipps 08.26.11 @ 10:59 am

We have a doctor like that, and like you, we know she is more than wiling to give us as much time as we need, and the other patients deserve that, too.
(But i always bring my knitting!)

Comment by Diana Troldahl 08.26.11 @ 2:27 pm

yes, we too love having a doctor that will give us the time we need regardless of how long it is — but it has also taught me to try to be either the first patient of the morning or the first one after lunch when scheduling appointments!

Comment by Bev 08.26.11 @ 2:36 pm

I, too, have a kind and patient doctor, and consider any wait to be free knitting time. Several years ago I headed out to a quilt show on my motorcycle. Unfortunately my bike developed an electrical problem about 3 miles away from the show. My rescue guy was on his own jaunt a few hours the other way. I was hesitant to leave my bike in the apartment parking lot I’d managed to coast into, and knew it was too heavy and crazy to try to push it 3 miles down a busy street. So. Had to wait. With nothing to do. I hadn’t brought any knitting since I “just” riding to the quilt show. Now, knitting comes along on every ride.

Comment by DebbieR 08.26.11 @ 2:47 pm

Something similar happened to a friend of mine years ago. She went for a prenatal checkup and waited, and waited… when she finally looked out the door the office was dark–everyone had gone home! Without checking all the exam rooms first. Not a good way to develop a trusting relationship with your MD.

Comment by india 08.26.11 @ 6:23 pm

I think you have the right attitude, appreciating that sometimes another patient may need a few more minutes, sometimes there is an emergency going on. I might have felt a bit put out when my ob spent almost no time with me while I was in labor, but I was sky high over our healthy baby and didn’t give it much thought. And later I found that the reason he wasn’t with me much was he was attending to a much tougher case, one in which the baby didn’t make it. We rarely know the whole story.

Comment by twinsetellen 08.26.11 @ 7:20 pm

see my FB post today.

Comment by Tola 08.29.11 @ 9:39 am

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