Friday, February 20, 2009

The doctor will see you now...well, maybe later

I think one of the hardest things a Christian has to decide is when to be confrontational. Of course we should be confrontational when confronting sin. But what about those other situations that seem to pop up in our lives with regularity?

I had a busy morning planned out for today. Leave the bus lot 30 minutes early (and lose half-an-hour's pay) so I could be at my orthopedic's office for a 9 AM appointment. I figured it would be quick because all I needed was another elbow cortisone injection. Then, I would meet up with Carole and Macie and head over to Garland for a 10:30 app't with a floor tile guy. We planned to be back at the house a little after 11:30 for lunch.

Well, I didn't get called out of the waiting room until 10:07, exactly 67 minutes late. The assistant walked me past the doctor who was standing at a counter, writing something in a patient's folder. As we approached the doc, the assistant asked me how I was doing. In a voice loud enough for the doctor to hear, I said, "Well, y'all are 67 minutes late and I'll have to cancel a 10:30 appointment, but other than that, I'm doing great." A few minutes later, a tech x-rayed my elbow and he also inquired as to how I was doing. I told him. Then he correctly put me in my place by saying he was sorry, but that this wasn't his fault. For the first time in many minutes, I started to cool off.

Later, I was escorted to the observation room to wait on the doctor to see me. I noticed there was a Bible over there by the stack of generic magazines. That caused me to wonder about how to handle a situation like this. The doctor clearly was doing his patients a disservice by over-scheduling - you know, booking 3 patients for each quarter-hour so that you start off behind and the mess grows exponentially the rest of the day. But do I confront him? Is it always the Christian thing to do to avoid situations like this? I decided that I had already made my feelings known once to him - when I had walked behind him. I opted to not to say anything and wait and see if he came in and apologized.

He didn't. He was cheery and caring, asking all sorts of questions about the swimming activities that have led to me getting tennis elbow in each arm. The best I could figure out was that he was that he was going to take the high ground...but not apologize. I got the shot (did I feel him sticking it in unnecessarily deep?) and that was that. As another assistant escorted me out, he apologized quietly for the time I had lost.

These are difficult situations for me. For one, I hate confrontations. Two, I never seem to know WWJD. Would He demand a high standard of behavior for all with whom He interracted on a daily basis? Or would He be pleasant and smiling regardless of the circumstances? I'd love to hear how you handle situations like I faced today.


Brooke said...

Is he always an hour late seeing you? He's a doctor and things do come up. He may have been giving extra attention to someone who desperately needed it. He may not even know that he's running that late - just seeing patient after patient. And, he may not have heard your complaint - his mind being elsewhere. I typically give the person the benefit of the doubt.

Tim Perkins said...

We raised a wise daughter.

Jenny said...

we sure did


Lynn Leaming said...

I generally just give myself three hours for a visit and don't try to schedule crunch around my time. You may not have been as aggravated if you had not been having to watch the clock. Like Brooke, I don't tend to mind because I am often the patient that doesn't want to be rushed and appreciate a doctor who genuinely seems to be paying attention and attempts to answer all my questions. Sometimes that takes longer than other times. If I want him to give me that quality time, I can't complain if he is giving it to other patients. Just my two cents worth.