|Follow-up Number 1|
The first hour came and went and several patients were called back to be seen, but not I. At about 4:15PM the front desk lady called me up to ask if I'd prefer to see the associate.
|Follow-up Number 2|
No, I would be patient and wait, as would another woman who had seated herself right next to me. I guess she decided that my stating I'd wait to see the surgeon was invitation for her to engage me in conversation about the surgeon.
For the next 45 minutes I was entertained by this woman who was a long time "fan" of this "best orthopedic surgeon around." I heard the stories of ALL her surgeries from the both knees to the both shoulders, to the back surgeries. I heard about the other "not so good" surgeon that her daughter saw and who misdiagnosed her ... and how Mom INSISTED the daughter come to see Best Surgeon who performed the same tests and found the LIFE threatening tumor that was causing the daughter's pain.... suffice to say, by the time they appeared in the doorway and called my name, I had a strong urge to tell the doctor his number one fan was in the waiting room. (I didn't)
While I found her entertaining, it did not escape me that she was one of these folks who has "done everything," and "lived to tell the story." One of the stories that struck me as particularly strange was prompted by her cell phone ringing. She took the call (assuring the caller she would try to make the funeral at 6PM but the doctor was running late). When she finished the call, she apologized for the ringing phone, assured she had now set the phone to silent mode....and she felt compelled to tell me that she'd had the ringer turned up because she had trouble hearing it when she was driving the car.
I don't know why I even responded, but I did, with, "I try not to answer my phone while I'm driving," to which she immediately responded, "Oh that doesn't bother me! I'm a fabulous multitasker! When my son was a baby, I used to drive the car, eating a hamburger, drinking a soda and NURSING my son....WHILE I drove....I drove thirty years for a living (school bus driver) and am a VERY GOOD driver.....talking on the cell phone while I drive is not a problem for me!"
Obviously, I had no comeback to this... She explained that her son is in his mid 30's so she's been multi-tasking while driving for a LONG time. Of course, two or three of the surgeries she had just explained (in nauseating detail) were the result of vehicular accidents, but I didn't want to push THAT rope. And my mind was suddenly possessed by this woman, stuffing her face, nursing her baby and DRIVING in traffic. Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't sound like talent -- it sounds like irresponsibility.... still she is clearly PROUD of this "talent."
At 5PM they called me back to see the surgeon. I was happy to go, as this overly friendly woman had reminded me of why I rarely engage strangers in conversation. Those who are "comfortable" talking to me, a complete stranger, are, more often than not, very self absorbed and seem oblivious to the possibility that others might not share their viewpoints. They share them in a loud tone, as if to gather an audience.
I saw the surgeon, and I chatted with him a while...I know why he is always behind...he is absolutely willing to take time with his patients. He liked my progress, concluded I need to continue with the physical therapy, prescribed a new topical anti-inflammatory, told me he wanted to see me in four weeks, and off I went. I can only imagine his last patient of the evening would keep him a long while....she told me she was seeing him as a follow up for her knee, but that her elbow was now giving her problems and she was going to ask him about that....
As I drove the hour home from the appointment, I couldn't shake that vision of the mother eating, nursing and driving.... and I realized what REALLY bothered me about it. We are spending bazillion tax dollars writing and passing laws to prohibit TEXTING while driving, when we already have on the books the laws against distracted drivers. Texting while driving is just another example of distraction, as is talking on the cell phone.
When we were driving to see my daughter in Madison, VA a few weeks ago, we actually witnessed a driver, in the fast lane, driving with his feet while he texted away....no he was not maintaining his speed, yes he was holding up faster traffic..... and I'll just BET he was one of those self described "GREAT drivers" and "GREAT multi-taskers." I would have to beg to differ, and though I did not see the woman from the doctor's waiting room actually driving, I'm thinking I'm REALLY glad I was long gone before she got out of her appointment, and dashed off to make that funeral....
|Highway Home (taken a month ago...not by me while driving!)|
|Only 11 more miles|