Friday, May 26, 2017

When Fast Feels Slow

When I saw my doctor recently, she said that she wanted to have me do blood work, since it had been a while, and that fasting would be best--ideally for 12 hours. Ugh. But given that my cholesterol has been questionable before, I can see the need, so I didn't fight her on it. Of course, I also didn't get to it right away--fasting sucks and I hate it and I was in no hurry. However, I decided to get it done today. Or, rather, I decided yesterday to get it done today; nothing to eat after 8:30 last night.

My doctor belongs to the MGH network, which has offices all over the place, and she said that I could go to the lab at any of them, so I saw no need to go to the one where I see her, which isn't all that far away, but is on a major rush-hour-drag route. I found one that was much closer, and went this morning, arriving just before 8:30, when the lab would open. A woman started to check me in, and who's your doctor? Uh-oh.

It turns out that their lab is only for patients of doctors there*, and they couldn't do mine. But there's another office, ten minutes away! They can do it. Sigh. Did I mention I hate fasting?
*Which their website does not say. I checked when I got home.

Back into the car, address into the GPS, drive, park, go in. The first place was a little neighborhood storefront, this one was a big hospital-like building. The lab was just inside, and I went right in. Instead of having a person at the desk, they had a take-a-number system, like the deli counter at the grocery store.
So you take your number, then write on a clipboard what time you took it, and you wait. My number was 44; the now serving showed 37, though there were only two people in the waiting room. (Plus, a few minutes in, someone brought a person out who was done, and it turned out one of the people waiting wasn't a patient.)

I waited for about ten minutes with no apparent progress of any kind, except that that patient and another one left.

A woman came in, and instead of taking a number, she waited at the counter looking for an employee. A man came in shortly after her and kind of hovered, waiting to take a number but not wanting to cut in. Eventually the woman got hold of an employee and started talking about the test she was supposed to have today and the test she was supposed to have tomorrow, and the man took a number and sat down.

While the woman was still being helped, another employee passing through the back saw the man sitting down, greeted him as a friend, and then took him on back. Excuse me? I was here, and I've been waiting about 15 minutes now, and you have this whole elaborate system and you aren't using it? Did I mention that I'm fasting?

I stood up and went to wait behind the woman, and when she moved away, I asked the employee there, was I supposed to be dong something else, because I'd been waiting and then he just got called in, and she said oh, sorry! And brought me back to get started.

And I understand that there could be reasons why there might be a problem with the system, but I suspect it might be that The Powers That Be installed it, and the on-the-ground personnel don't like using it, and that is so very annoying.

At least from that point it went smoothly. She took the blood without fuss (on her part) or pain (on mine), and I was able to leave. I stopped at Panera on the way home to get something to eat and drink, which never tasted so good, I tell you, and finally got to sit down and work.

AND, about an hour after I left the lab, I got an email with the results, so that was part was impressively fast. (Everything looks okay to me, but we'll see what the doctor thinks.)

I am so, so ready for the (long!) weekend now. Even with this dismal weather.

(Eleven days from now, I'll be in Florida, and it will be 90 degrees. Can't wait...)


Post a Comment

<< Home