Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Appointments

I don't understand why I need to make appointments to see a doctor. They certainly don't seem to honor them.

I went to see a new doctor on Monday. I called several weeks in advance to make my 3pm appointment. I even supplied my insurance information prior so that I wouldn't have to do that in the office.

I arrived about ten minutes early. Walking into the office, I saw four employees standing around behind the counter. One was on the phone. There were no other people in the waiting room.

"I have an appointment," I said. to the three people who didn't seem to be doing anything.

One of them motioned to the person on the phone. "She'll get you checked in."

Because you're so busy. I sat down and waited. Finally the person on the phone hung up and gave me the paperwork I had to sign. I was told I'd be called in a few minutes. I waited.

Waiting...

At 3:20 I was finally called. I walked past several empty rooms wondering why we were going all the way to the back of the office and why one of these rooms wasn't perfectly suitable and why it had been so long.

In the room, the nurse took about five minutes to ask me general questions--this was my first appointment with this doctor and they needed my history. Several extreamly personal questions later, I was told to undress and assured that the doctor would be there soon.

I waited.

And waited...

and waited...

and waited!

At 3:45, I was still waiting. What was going on? What was taking so long? I thought about opening up the door and asking, but I was in a gown. Is that the plan? Do they keep you naked and trapped for some dark purpose?

Just as I was formulating rude comments to accompany my rant out of the office, the doctor finally came in. No appology for the wait, just getting down to business. Five minutes later, I was getting dressed.

I waited 45 mintes for 5 minutes of time. WHY? Why is it that doctors can never seem to keep appointments? If the office had been busy, I could at least understand but there was NO ONE ELSE THERE! Why is my time so much less important and worse yet, why does every doctor seem to do this? Why do we as patients put up with it?

Because we're stuck. We have no other option and none of us are bold enough to make those rude statemtns we're all thinking about. Next time, I'm going to call and rather than make an appointment, I'm going to ask when I'll actually be seen--that's what I'll show up for.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Visa

A big adventure is on the horizon! Nick is moving to South Korea...next week! While it's all very exciting, the entire process has been frustrating. A lot of "hurry up and wait". The biggest hurdle (so far) has been in obtaining a work visa. You can visit South Korea without a visa for up to 90 days, but they kind of expect you to have a return ticket. We've been unsure of a lot of things from the start, but when things got moving, they moved fast. In a matter of days, we've received a start date, itinerary and airline ticket from Los Angeles to Seoul. Ready to go, right? Not so much...

We live in Phoenix, not Los Angeles. And still no work visa.

More waiting...

Less than one week before his expected start date, we're told that we should have a visa number by the end of the week. Then, we need to visit the Korean Consulate...in Los Angeles. We have to convert the visa number to a real visa (whatever that means). At this point, we're contemplating our options. Do we drive to Los Angeles, spend a few days, drop Nick off at the airport and the girls and I drive back (six hours in the car with two little girls...not my idea of a good time); Have Nick fly there and back in a day (on Friday) and fly out again on Sunday to catch his flight to Seoul; or chuck the whole thing and go back to normal life (not really an option). But we can't really decide anything because we still don't have the visa number...and it's Thursday.

Finally, we have news: still no visa number. We should have it later today which means we can contact the consulate and ask if there's any way we can get the visa in one day (not likely). Or, we can delay the start date and change the flight to Korea (extremely expensive and, in the words of our contact "the most painful"). Finally, we can book a return trip with every intention of cancelling it so that he can go on a tourist visa and plan to visit the Korean Consulate in Japan or China.

What?

This is what confuses me most. He's not going to Japan or China. He's going to Korea. Why would we need to visit Japan or China to get a Korean visa? In any case, this is the option we're now pursuing. I have no idea what will happen next but it's sure to be exciting.

Anyo hashimnika! (Ok, so that's actually hello and not good bye or anything that might seem logical to end a post, but not much has been logical at this point and it's really all I know how to say...other than turtle, car and banana.)