‘I don’t have time for that!’
This was the answer I received from the doctor I was seeing yesterday, who was seemingly unable to complete my request. After being made to feel rushed and a complete inconvenience during our entire two minutes together, I was abruptly ushered out of the room to finish with the clinic nurse.
I’m having a week. Let me backtrack.
Some soreness crept up on my wrist over the course of last week, and by the end of the week I decided I had to get it checked out. It was the weekend, I couldn’t get in with my own GP, so I made an appointment at a relatively new practice that’s close to home. Plus, I’ve been on the hunt for a good doctor around the place.
The clinic itself was pretty modern. I was easily able to book an appointment online and there were a range of services, delivery options and timeslots available. The premises were relatively new, the decor was fresh and there was even a check in counter that I didn’t register until watching others use it. Oh, and I made a bit of a fool of myself trying to open the automatic door with a wave of my hand over the sensor.
After waiting close to an hour for my appointment, I explained my conundrum to the doctor. After telling me that we need to get on top of this, I was given a referral for an x-ray, the possibility of a needle was mentioned and I was abruptly sent on my way.
I didn’t think much of this place, but then again perhaps there was nothing to discuss until we had a x-ray and ultrasound results to look at. I only really went back to discuss those radiology results yesterday. In hindsight, it would have been better to copy them into my GP instead.
I was really looking for some advice on a course of action, and whether I’d be able to safely go back to work. Radiology had encouraged me to book in for a cortisone shot to ease the inflammation in my wrist, which must have been the needle my doctor had abruptly mentioned. But it felt a bit premature. Especially given that I was sore, but not in pain. I didn’t know a lot about it, either, as well as it’s impact on my diabetes.
But my whole follow up appointment yesterday felt rushed. We discussed another option to the shot, which I learned would ultimately take longer to recover. When I began to discuss a plan for returning to work, I got the message loud and clear that I was wasting this doctor’s time.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a lot from a bulk billing clinic. I get that they’re busy, and I get that they’re operating on a quick turnaround.
But I only wanted my ten minutes I had booked to discuss my one issue. I don’t think I was even in there for five. I don’t think it’s a big ask for a healthcare professional to listen to and answer my questions and concerns. I certainly don’t think it’s a big ask to be treated with the same respect that I treated this doctor with, and not like I was wasting someone else’s time.
Language matters. Language bloody matters.
I was left with two courses of action, but unfortunately not a lot of information about them. Thankfully, I went home and talked with my own tribe.
With a bit of consultation with Dr Google, I made a decision.
This doctor definitely won’t be a part of the follow up.