Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Just me, ranting...

Last week I went in for my annual eye exam. I’ve been going to the same place to have my eyes examined for the past 15 years, so I’m not exactly a new patient or an unknown entity. I’m healthy, and although like many people my age, I’m far sighted and need contacts to read or see anything up close, my eyes are healthy too, so I've continued to schedule this routine exam, mostly to see if my prescription has changed, with an optometrist (not an M.D.) rather than an opthalmologist (an M.D.), thinking it should be no big deal...

However, when I went in for my appointment last week, Dr. P, the optometrist who usually sees me, was on vacation. Dr. P has a solo practice, so in her absence, her patients were being seen by Dr. V, a locum tenens doc. Locum tenens is a Latin term; it means "holding the place". A doc doing locum tenens is working temporarily in an assigned practice, or, put another way, it’s the medical equivalent of a substitute teacher.

I like Dr. P, but I also liked the locum tenens doc, Dr. V. She was young and apparently new to her profession, but she was very thorough, and asked all the appropriate questions during the course of the eye exam, including whether, as a contact lens wearer, I ever have problems with dry eyes. I said that during allergy season that is sometimes a problem. "What do you do for it?" she asked. I told her that I occasionally use over-the-counter eye drops. Like every optometrist and ophthalmologist I’ve ever known, she disapproved of OTC eye drops, and offered to write me a script for eye drops to be used, as needed, for seasonal allergies. I said that would be great, and thanked her, and didn’t think any more about it until I got home and realized I hadn’t received the script. I immediately called the office and asked the receptionist if she could simply call the script into my pharmacy. She said that Dr. V had left for the day, and that she couldn’t do it herself. She suggested that if I didn’t need the script immediately (and I didn’t) that I could simply pick it up in a few days, when I brought my son Chris in for his eye exam.

I said that would be fine, and today, when I took Chris in for his exam, I asked for the script. You’d have thought I was asking for a prescription for heroin, or some other drug with a street value...looks were exchanged, after which not one but two staff members took my file and went off, down a hallway and into a room, to talk with Dr. P, in barely audible hushed voices, about my request. Eventually, they reappeared, and one of them sniffed "Dr. P is not in the habit of casually writing prescriptions, so she’ll need to call Dr. V and talk with her about this to see whether she agrees that it's appropriate to write a script for you."

Uh-huh. Sure. Whatever. Sheesh! This is a script for frigging EYE DROPS! I don’t think there’s any sort of street value to this item, but what do I know? I could be wrong. I refrained from asking if this means they think I’ve made a mistake, getting my annual mammogram from that guy who does them cheaply on an old Xerox machine in the back of his converted van, parked in the Albertson’s parking lot...


12 comments:

Gannet Girl said...

I don't think doctor's offices understand how throughly and frequently they make people feel like they are practically criminals.

TJ said...

My mom recently was given script eyedrops and they made her eye lashes grow...really grow! They are beautiful...hummm I want some.
Yup, Dr's are so busy covering their butts to protect themselves we often feel like we little beggits! Street value, thats funny ...said as only you could.
LOL
TJ

Paul said...

Sounds like the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is trying to get a rash ointment and comes under suspicion from doctor after doctor. She winds up in a veteranian's office.

Melissa said...

You crack me up!!! I think I got my mammogram at the same place you did!
Lissamom2

G-Man said...

I'd like to send you a cheque for the smile this post gave me:)

Deborah said...

What are you planning to do with the eye drops? Will you stand on the street corner and sell them to school children?

That's cool that the guy in the van comes to Texas too, I thought he was a native of Idaho, and I feel so much better knowing I wasn't conned.

Tammy said...

If you get ALS you get narcotics thrown at you. When you healthy they think your a junkie. They are just covering their butts. Party at my house!

Mamo on a zerox could get you in Hustler. LOL

Chris said...

OMG....you absolutely KILLED ME with that closing. I never saw it coming. Excellent!

I hope you can read this comment without your eyes being too dry. You drug addict, hooked on prescription eye drops....shame.


Chris
My Blog

Theresa Williams said...

I hate it when I get caught up in these little dramas. They make me feel so helpless and, well, dirty! Your piece is so funny; it helps me put it all in perspective. Thanks again!

Adrift At Sea said...

Of course, the current regime is cracking down on all otc medications... You now need to have photo id to buy many common cold/allergy remedies. UGH.

ChasingMoksha said...

Sheesh is right. You are a better woman than I am, because in situations similar to this one, I usually end up asking them if they have a motherfucking problem.

Lisa :-] said...

To me, this looks like some kind of a pissing contest between the two doctors. Just what you need...