There are any number of reasons for me to find a new doctor. Oodles. If I really put my mind to it, I could go on for days and days...
Just off the top of my head, there's the fact that she runs a small practice and really has more patients than the office hours can accommodate. She's usually triple-booked and the wait time can be lengthy.
She has a family of her own and is committed to being a mom. It's first and foremost. This means that she may decide to cancel appointments during school vacation week and reschedule them for the following week. Not only does this mean I have to take a sick day in order to take care of my regular appointment, but that she will be even more over-booked and that the wait time will increase exponentially.
The parking lot is small and, with all the stupid (and still falling) snow we've had this year, finding a place to put even a smallish SUV is tricky. I found myself having to use the handicapped spot this morning, then having to watch the lot like a parking stalker for a new spot to open up so I could race out to move my vehicle. I don't like using handicapped parking. I'm not handicapped.
The drug reps are everywhere and their sharp suits make me feel frumpish. Especially on days when I don't feel well and have pretty much just rolled out of bed to make the appointment and am looking not so sharp.
There is also the humiliation factor that is born out of responding truthfully to the New Nurse Who Doesn't Know Me All That Well when she asks, "How are you?" I may have said something along the lines of:
I am sickly...miserably so, in fact. I feel like tiny elves have insinuated themselves into my joints and are currently pounding away with their wee, little hammers. My sinuses are throbbing and my ears are popping. I hate my life and everyone who crosses my path. And, since all those path-crossing people are sicker than me these days and have fevers to prove it, I am not getting the sympathy I feel is due me. They're all, "wah-wah, I'm so sick and my temperature is over 100 so I don't have time to coddle your non-feverish, whiny self so go away. This means is that no one is telling me I should go home and eat popsicles which is really all I want to do but I can't if no one tells me this is the best course of action so here I am without a fever but with lots of hammering elves and I am not happy...not happy at all. How are you?
I'm supposed to be able to go back and face her again after that? Really?
And then there's the whole thing where the New Nurse Who Doesn't Really Know Me All That Well And Was Unprepared For How I Be told me that she'd send the doctor in right away. She didn't. Or if she did, the doctor was busy attending to one of The Fever Folk and I wasn't really a priority. Although you'd think that my crazy rant might have moved me up the list a bit. Even if it was only to perform some sort of mental status check...
But, for all that, there are more reasons to stay. The receptionist is amazing and knows each patient like a best friend. She'll ask after the cat and admire your Waiting Room Sock. That New Nurse has a pretty darned good sense of humor and was smart enough to not weigh my whining and just coming off vacation self. That was a pretty good call. The chairs are comfortable enough to allow for lounging and wielding knitting needles of varying lengths. There is no Muzak pumped in and the clocks aren't hidden from sight. We all know where we are and how long it's been since we got there. We are considered responsible enough to handle the wait like adults and without distractions.
And my doctor, once she is finally able to make her way to my little corner of the Waiting World, knows me. She knows me well. When I launch back into my rant, she hears what she needs to hear. She does not argue with me when I say that I want my "preemptive cocktail." She also knows exactly what that means and will be writing the prescription for Zithromax and a codeine-based cough medicine before the words are even out of my mouth. She and I both know that waiting for the fever to manifest is just asking for trouble. The doc is on top of her game. I don't even bother using yoga breathing to hide my chest wheezing anymore when she's listening to my lungs. She know my game. She's willing to play along, though. And I appreciate that.
But the main reason for staying on the patient roster of the doctor with limited time and parking is this: She tells me to stay home, take my soothing yellow goo as needed and to rest. Fever or not. Then she places the final piece in the prescription puzzle...
She orders me to, "Relax on the couch and knit something."