It takes 2 months to get an appointment with our doctor; much longer if you want an early morning appointment. We were told to come back in April for a follow up but the soonest we could get a morning appointment was June. We settled for an afternoon appointment so that we could stick to the regular cadence for her exams.
I had a meeting at work that was scheduled to go until 4 so Matt drove Avery to the appointment and I met them there. I knew it wouldn't be a problem if I was 20 minutes late because we have never been called back that quickly in the 2+ years we have been going to this doctor. So I wasn't surprised at all when I got there at about 4:25 and they were still in the waiting room.
We remained in the waiting room until 5:10 when the nurse called us back to the exam room. We laughed when she apologized for the long wait since it was perfectly normal for the scheduling team at that office to be completely inept. Frustrating, yes. Unusual, no.
The nurse did the sight test and told us that Avery's sight had improved since our last visit, which was exciting news to us! Then she told us that the doctor would be in to see us in a few minutes. That was at 5:25 pm.
At 6:10--more than 2 hours after our appointment time--I thought Matt's head was going to pop right off of his neck because of all the steam coming out of his ears. I figured it might be a good idea to go to the reception station and find out how much longer we should expect to wait for the doctor. When I went out there I saw the doctor standing at the desk with his back to me. At the same time, Avery called out to me from the room asking when the doctor was coming in. When he heard that, he turned around with an obviously shocked look on his face.
And that's when he said that he had no idea we were in the exam room. Everyone else in the office had gone home. HE HAD HIS JACKET ON and was also getting ready to leave.
Since I could tell from the look on Matt's (now very red) face that he wasn't going to say anything nice, I quickly responded to the doctor before Matt had a chance to. I told him that we had been waiting for more than 2 hours and that it was 1 hour past our 3 year old's normal dinner time. I couldn't believe that the nurse (and everyone else in the damn office) had left without letting him know we were in there.
He responded that 3 year olds are quick to get "ants in their pants" so he was sorry to leave us waiting for so long. "ANTS IN THEIR PANTS?" Really? I think we passed the "ants in their pants" stage at about 4:30, thankyouverymuch. I don't think you get to act so blasé about something like that WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR JACKET ON to go home. The man was leaving the office. If I hadn't gone out there to ask how much longer it was going to be, we might have been locked in the office.
I couldn't believe this had happened. I was so angry that I just wanted to leave but we had been there over 2 hours and there was no way I was leaving without finding out what was going on with Avery's eyes and what the next steps in her treatment plan were going to be. Of course, I was also wondering if I should even be listening to a man who didn't even realize that we were in that room the whole time. Luckily Matt just sat quietly because I knew what was running through his mind and it was nothing I wanted Avery to hear him say.
The doctor did her eye exam and told us that we can begin weaning her off the patch each month so that by June she won't need to wear one anymore. He wants to have her vision checked again in 4 months. I can't imagine going through this again in 4 months. I certainly don't think I can be nice about the way that office is run anymore. There have just been too many bad experiences with his staff and this is most definitely the icing on the cake.
When he finished he told us that we will not be charged our co-pay for the visit. I guess picking up the $30 tab was his way of apologizing for his staff's mistake. I laughed and shook my head, "thanks, I think." I mean, there was no one there to take the money and the computers were all shut down. I don't think we could have paid even if he wanted us to.
I guess I should just be glad that we weren't locked in the office. I'm still shaking my head over the experience. This wasn't exactly the way we wanted the whole "free health care" thing to play out.