So it’s 10:00 PM, and I really should be: a) sleeping because I get up at 6 to theoretically have a little quiet time before I wake up the kids (this little spot of quiet time ended when we got the puppy). or b) reading my new literary addiction (literally, it’s like crack): The Sookie Stackhouse vampire books. They are to Twilight what HBO is to NBC, and I am totally hooked. I can blaze through a book in a weekend if I try hard enough.
Anyhow, I’m a little giddy because tonight I went to the Collin County Veterinary Medicine Association meeting. It was about marketing, and Kyle, the speaker and also one of our product reps featured our clinic website (www.planovets.com) and my little blog! There it was on the big screen shown to a group of 70+ vets. It’s the closest thing I’ll probably get to famous. Little ol’ me, on the cutting edge of marketing. My husband does call me a marketing person’s dream, but it’s mostly because I tend to be a sucker for sales pitches.
That was the highlight of an otherwise crappy day. My morning got blown because one of my favorite clients came in with her little Boston Terrier. He was drinking and peeing like crazy. One look at him revealed a huge, ugly, awful corneal ulcer (hole in his eyeball) that went almost all the way through. A glucose test diagnosed him with diabetes. The pot belly he sported along with his ravenous appetite and breed strongly pointed to Cushing’s disease (overactive adrenal gland, yucky endocrine disease, not much fun to diagnose or manage). I saw this dog a month ago and he was fine. All of a sudden it was like he got struck by lightning 3 times. He had 2 definitely complicated, expensive, time consuming issues (the ulcer and the diabetes) and one probable one (Cushings requires multiple additional tests to diagnose). If he had Cushings, that makes the diabetes harder to manage and both diseases make the ulcer hard to manage. All this to a single mom who is working and going to school and taking care of her own mom too. It was just too much, and after much deliberation she made the difficult decision to euthanize. Here she is, crying, and Gabby (the dog) is licking her face trying to make her feel better. Broke my heart. But it’s best for Gabby in the long run.
Meanwhile, my 8:30 appointment is fuming because I’m an hour late seeing her. The front desk was swamped and didn’t effectively communicate to her why we were running behind. She ended up storming out before I could talk to her.
One of the things I love about our Hospital is that we have the luxury of 30 minute plus appointments to spend time with our patients. Sometimes (well, a lot of times) 30 minutes isn’t enough time and we have to give more. Particularly when sick patients and life and death decisions are involved.
It’s a double edged sword, we make one client happy while making the ones in the lobby mad. The poor receptionists get the brunt of it, the mean looks, the verbal abuse. I understand why human doctors offices have those glass windows. I can empathize with the angry people, God knows I hate waiting in doctors offices, my time is valuable. However, I also hate feeling like the doctor was rushed when she is finally in that room with me. My OB/Gyn is always running late. I usually don’t get out of there in less than an hour, I sit there, naked in my stupid paper gown, trying to cover up my rear end, fuming and listening to her laughing with someone in the other room. But then she finally makes it into my room (usually when I’m about to storm out and reschedule) and she sits down and starts chatting and it’s like visiting an old friend (albeit while sitting there trying to look intelligent wearing a paper gown with your butt hanging out). She’s been my doc for 10 years, and she’s worth the wait.
One of the worst things about angry waiting clients is the location of the clinic bathroom. We have one bathroom in the whole place and it’s located right behind the receptionist area. If I can shoot through the last exam room, I can zip into the bathroom undetected by the waiting people. However, if the rooms are full, I have to do the walk of shame down the hall where I avert my eyes from the waiters. I feel like they’re judging me, thinking : how dare she pee when we’re all out here waiting for her! Or worse yet, what if they’re wondering if I’m going #2? I know that’s a little neurotic, but it’s embarrassing.
Uh oh, laptop is about to die, and Sookie is calling me.
So, to the angry waiters in the lobby: I’m truly, sincerely sorry for your wait. I know you’re out there. I appreciate your patience.
Someday it will be your turn for the extended appointment, and I hope you’ll think we’re worth the wait.