Tuesday, June 12, 2012

*UPDATED!* Tricks and Tips: The Long Wait at the Doctor's Office

Yesterday I had my first appointment with a new OB/GYN. The reason for that is a long story, and I haven't been able to get it all out yet. I'll get back to you on that. This new doctor gave me some news that I pretty much already knew (since I know my body), but I REALLY didn't want to hear. Still processing all that. 

What I CAN talk about is the fact that I waited two hours ... TWO HOURS ... to see the doctor for fifteen minutes. This was all after driving two hours, dropping my kid with my mom, then driving another half an hour (again, I realize all this driving needs explanation, and I will get to it. I swear). I was in NO MOOD to sit around, emotionally or physically. I was an aching mess at the end of this cruel experiment.

Thanks to all the time I had to think, I have for you, dear readers, some highly advanced techniques in getting the doctor to come to your exam room when you have been waiting too long. Mind you, I tried all of these yesterday, to no avail, but in my experience they have a 99.8% success rate. You can take that to bank!


1. Do something that is clearly "prohibited" in the office.

This is actually how I got the nurse to call me back. Sitting amongst no fewer than three signs asking me not to use my cell phone in the waiting room, I whisper-called Jeremy to ask him what his social security number is (I know, I know, memorizing it is now one of my goals for the week). As I was writing down the last digit, the nurse called my name. Presto!

Later, while imprisoned in the room at hour 1.5, I began making calls with impunity, even though my battery was almost dead and no one could hear me over the too-loud horrible music blaring over the speakers. No go. Maybe it just can't work twice in one day and I wasted it?

2. Peek in drawers or cupboards in the exam room.

I've done this out of necessity before, with an unhappy Josephine in tow, when I needed something -- ANYTHING -- novel to distract her. Oh look, a TONGUE DEPRESSOR! HOW FUN! I have since moved on to opening a drawer, taking stock of the contents, then having the doctor walk in as I am almost done quietly closing the drawer. Works like a charm. 

3. Do something embarrassing.

I once summoned the doctor by freshening up my deodorant, but this technique is limited only by your imagination. Pregnant, old, or otherwise incontinent? Check for dampness! All the quiet time and mirrors give you time to contemplate your nose hair situation? Pluck away in the doctor's mirror!

4. Contort your body into a highly strange arrangement that requires explanation but will likely be unexplainable.

Related to #3, but in actuality, very different. My favorite variation on this method comes about when I cannot, CANNOT sit any longer, especially on that exam table the nurse told me to wait on for "just a sec!" and I need to stretch, ASAP. I suggest moves that involve squatting, making a "cat back" or getting on your hands and knees.The doctor will bust in, lickety-split, to find you sputtering out an incoherent explanation for being on your hands and knees with one leg extended behind you.

UPDATE!! My mother contributed a number five to the list!


Bravo. Bold and effective method, indeed!


1. Asking the receptionist if they "forgot about you."

Yesterday I saw THREE people do this and were then called back moments later, but I promise you, this is a trick. Even if it works for someone else, it will never work for you. NEVER!

2. Going to the bathroom "real quick."

Yes, this works in restaurants while you are waiting for your food, OBVIOUSLY, but if you try to run to the bathroom, I guarantee that the doctor will not be sitting in the exam room, patiently waiting for you, like your tasty meal you were dying for. This technique can backfire by having the doctor show up, find you gone, and move on to the next patient. You will surely be able to hear the doctor speaking with this patient in the next room and this patient will require at least an hour of specialized attention. Makes your bathroom break totally not worth it, right? 

There you have it folks, the guide to uncomfortably-long waits at the doctor's office. Use this information wisely, and best of luck to you all!


  1. ...another tried and true method...open your door, pick up chart from the holder on the wall and start reading it...

    1. Oh man, why didn't I think of that one yesterday?!?!?!!!

  2. Awwww! Sorry you had to wait so dang long! I hate that. What about picking your nose or farting? Never seems to fail the dr. will come in just then before the room got a chance to air out. :)

    Hope everything is ok!! I hate your cliff hangers!

  3. LOVE your mom's suggestion and is totally true! & So is the "did the doc forget about me?"! I am a receptionist & see it all the time lol Oh and another I ALWAYS ignore but seems to work at other places is when you ask How long will it take and then insert some super important reason you have to be out in an hour!

    1. Now, how are other people always getting that "did the doctor forget me?" thing to work and I'm not?!?!

    2. One time I asked if the Doctor had forgotten me, and he had!!! The nurse put my file in the wrong place and I would still be sitting there if I hadn't asked...

  4. i should have read this before my appointment this morning. :)

  5. As someone having back surgery (OK, fine, ass surgery) soon, I'm going to bookmark this post on my iPhone for quick reference.

    Also, apparently doctors have to treat you IMMEDIATELY if you complain of chest pains. So, you know, I'm not telling you to fake chest pains, but I'm not not telling you to fake chest pains. You feel me?

    1. I hope you don't need this, as you will already be pantless. You should be good to go.

      And, yeah ... I feel ya. Oh, I feel ya.


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