Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mother Bear

As owner/director/founder/chief bottle washer of this blog, I get to write about whatever I feel, and today I can feel a rant coming on...

My middle fella had a fall yesterday, he's a staunch kid so the tears although heartfelt quickly stopped although the pain in his wrist didn't.  After a broken night and guilt at settling him back to bed with a good slug or two of panadol rather than taking him to the hospital, he woke up to the same pain.  We'd plans to go to a beach where the kids jump off a high net enclosure into the sea, I saw one jump, then one slow tearful climb up the steep ladder and I knew time was up.  We headed to the nearest medical center.

There's a feel about those crowded walk in centres.  Mine starts as I'm parking the car and I see others doing the same, my fast walk turns into a sprint followed quickly by a shrill "run" to the kids to run ahead of other potential patients to minimise any of the unavoidable lengthy wait.

We made it in ahead of the others and I surveyed the heaving waiting room.  My heart sunk.  This was not going to be a quick process.
And it wasn't.  I knew we'd need to see a doctor, get an x-ray, then head back to the doctors, and with only 15% battery life on my phone and two of my sons, I knew we were in trouble.
Then he called our name.
He was in fact the slowest doctor in Sydney, possibly Australia.  I'll give you an image, an older gentlemen with a classical radio station playing and his hands behind his back.  he may have been wearing a bowtie but my disappointment clouded my vision.  Nothing was going to happen fast with this doctor.  No, we were in for The Long Haul.
After a slow exam, when he dissed my son's injury (at that point I wanted a severe fracture to justify the waiting time but then medical centre waiting rooms seem to have that effect on me), we headed off to X-ray, where we were told to take a seat BEFORE handing in our forms.  I know that I could only relax when my form and my son were in the queue, so I flatly refused and hovered willing the receptionist to hurry her lengthy phone call.  I gave dagger looks to anyone else who approached the counter.  I was not giving up my spot in the queue.  No sir.  And of course a friggin trainee was on.  Of course, and by now the phone battery was down to 8%, if we weren't careful the boys would also have to resort to reading Womens Weeklys from 2010 or Boating Magazines.
We were spat out from the Xray room and told to wait outside the doctor who'd see us.
I have a finely honed sense of order and who's turn it is next, I vigilently watch people queuing and know where I am in the order.  His room was empty, and as I tormented the receptionist about where he was (possibly the bathroom was her answer), I saw him meandering along with his hand placed on a elderly patients back.  I think this doctor had a patient type and my sand covered boys and their frothing at the mouth mother didn't match it.
There was another family also waiting for their xray results, who had come in after us but got seen before us.  White fury.  And then he dawdled out to the reception and called out a name, a family of about 15, all stood and entered his room.  I'm guessing they were all having full medicals.
We waited, we waited, the boys put their ears to his door, they may or may not have kicked the door.  One tried opening the doors, but my eyes were averted in compliance at that point.
I suggested that we scream "fire" to hurry them along, but I could see that the boys liked that idea so shut it down.

The huge family exited his room.  I knew that we were going in next.  This was a non-negotiable.  I pulled my shoulders back - game on.
He walked out.  Then walked back in and closed his door. I waited ready to pounce.  After hours minutes, he walked out and wandered over to reception.  The receptionist who I'd hassled, motioned in my direction to him.  He looked disinterested and continued chatting, and laughing, slowly.
And then it happened.
"Mr Chapman?", he called out.  And like an enraged bull, I charged.
"I think we're next, I've been waiting some time with my two young sons I think Mr Chapman can friggin wait, surely he understands the queue system and just because you don't like me, Mr Chapman has unwittingly created a queueing crime and jumped" He looked down his nose at me and my too short shorts and my sand speckled feet, as we walked in to his room.
And the result, a bad sprain and joyously we headed to the attached pharmacy for a treat for my patient boys, and their mum.

The end

Postscript: This is not a picture of our doctor, we weren't on photo taking terms by the end.  

1 comment:

  1. The medical system in Australia is screwed. I had breakfast with a couple of women who work for the Queensland Health Department. We're having massive staff cut-backs (probably due to a childish 'up yours' by Campbell Newman to the federal government) but on the other hand there are plans afoot to rebrand the department. Which means thousands spent on graphic design, new paperwork, signage and uniforms. What's the priority here? It's certainly not the sick people.