It's always amused me how those not frequently frequenting doc's offices complained about their wait times. "If the appointment is at 9 a.m., then I should not be sitting in the waiting room much longer after that," the argument often goes. My response: "You obviously haven't spent much time in doc's offices."
Well, today was a case in point. I still found it ridiculous, even recognizing how much I sounded like those I've been amused by. Today brought a hospital visit for needed bloodwork at the lab, and a thyroid X-ray. All in all, this should've taken 20 minutes - max. No such luck. As I've been accustomed to visiting a small county hospital and doc's offices that have been able to perform these procedures, my judgment on wait times are off. Significantly. My visit entailed going to a large, multi-faceted hospital in a booming are on the southside of Indianapolis. This meant being directed to five different spots, numerous check-in windows, and a half-dozen waiting room areas that equated to a combined 2-hour experience. The immediate welcome lady in the first seconds inside the building should have been a sign of things to come - she directed me to the surgery checkin desk, after showing her a prescription and noting my need for the "clinical lab." After she directed me to the wrong "not pre-regestered" window, the next woman directed me to a third person who couldn't confirm my appointment (made by my endo a week ago) and had to call her office. This meant waiting. Going to another window. When that didn't yield results, I decided to forego the x-ray and head to a recognized, smaller lab in the nearby professional building on first floor where endo's office is located. More waiting. Finally getting to speak with someone, this woman informed me that I'd "missed" my earlier x-ray appointment and that I needed to go to the hosptial area. Arguing didn't work, and thus I was escorted by yet another snowball/er, elderly woman, back to one of the first areas I'd visited. This time, she managed to find the file and checked me in.
More waiting. Then, got the much-anticipated name call. Along three other people. We lined up, and were escorted down a maze of hallways to...to... yep, you guessed it: ANOTHER WAITING AREA! Two others were already seated in the smaller room with chairs. We all laughed about the waiting mystery and proceeded to start investigating the newest round of magazine selections. Finally, the procedure came. Had to lie on the rock-hard bed for the 10 minute scan. Of course, the gooey jelly substance smeared on my neck found its way to the inside of my dress shirt collar.
Leaving, the woman who'd escorted me through the maze began leading me toward the strategically hidden exit. I informed her on the way about my needed lab work for A1C and urin test, which confused her and said I'd have to go somewhere else. Figures. That all led to more waiting in yet another room, this one with a TV, before getting summoned 20 minutes later. A young, teenage-aged lab girl tried to get blood, but had to stab both arms before succeeding. My once-great veins have gone and become not-so-good, it seems. Of course, her comment to me while seeking a blood-worthy vein: "Have you eaten or drank anything today?" Hmmm... fasting....No comment.
As a result of my morning excursion, the entire day was off. This of course is a deadline week, so that only complicated the day even more. Getting to work, 27 emails graced my inbox and three voicemails were waiting. Most needed some type of attention, whether it was the delete button or a response. Very intense day. But, at least the tests are done. Now, I get the suspense of waiting to hear the results and what my latest A1C is. Just glad the wait doesn't involve traveling to the hospital.