Longest Wait to see a Doctor Ever!!

I’ve been feeling a sore lump on the left inside of my throat lately. After doing some research online, I pretty much knew that it was strep throat.

‘No problem,’ I thought, ‘I’ll just go to the clinic and get some antibiotics.’

Unfortunately, the clinic was jam packed. Literally, there were no seats left. It took an hour for them to check me in and it was another two hours until I got to see a doctor. I went through three magazines, called three people to complain and was so hungry that I was ready to eat the pages out of a Chatelaine Holiday issue. Those glossy images of brisket, cranberry and apple pie, turkeys, buñuelos, mashed potatoes, etc. were pure torture.

After two and a half hours, myself and a sweet faced old woman across from me, got up and we asked the blonde receptionist with a bad perm how much longer it was going to be. “I don’t know.” she scowled. (I guess she gets this question a lot)

“I should have stayed in Ireland”, the old woman said to me, laughing

“Yep, this is really, really bad.” I agreed, “I have never waited this long before”

“Something’s not right with the system,” she said in her cute Irish accent, still smiling. (She reminded me of one of my aunties, except she’s Irish and my auntie was Scottish. But just with the same manners and disposition. Man, I miss her!)

When my turn finally rolled around, I was led into a room, spoke with a nurse. Waited. Read an article on a nudist colony in Reader’s Digest. Waited. Then a doc in training came by and asked me questions. She was a petite Asian woman who spoke with a thick (I’m guessing) Chinese accent. She checked my throat, stomach, back, breathing, took a swab and told me that I probably had an infection. Then she told me that a doctor would be by to check me out.

“Soon right” ? I asked

“Oh yes. He’s very good. He’ll be by soon” she smiled

Then I waited, and waited, and waited. Found a dead spider in an framed painting. The thing must have slipped in through the crack in the glass. Lovely. More waiting..until..

The most desired person in the whole place-A doctor!-finally came by. He checked my throat, told me my lymph nodes were swollen and wrote me a prescription for antibiotics.

It is really hard to believe that it took me three hours to see a doc for just two minutes and just get a prescription. It’s funny too because I was complaining to a coworker yesterday about the lack of doctors in this country and how the system is out of whack. Some people wait forever for basic things like scans and surgeries. Are things ever going to actually get better? When will the government actually make swift and drastic improvements to basic things like health care and education? Frustrating!

Anyways, if you have or suspect you may have strep throat, here are some tips from me and this site:

-If you have a family doctor who isn’t a complete incompetent assmat like mine, go and see him/her. DON’T go to a drop in clinic. You will be stuck there for eternity, reliving the Seinfeld episode where they wait forever to eat dinner, watching people who arrived after them get served first. Except instead of smelling wonderful food, you’ll get to listen to coughing, babies crying and a million different phone calls complaining about the wait.

-Drink lots of water and warm liquids. Honey is also good for the throat

-Get lots of rest

-Gargle with salt water

-And most interesting of all-Buy a new toothbrush but don’t use it until you have been on the antibiotics for 24-48 hours. The infection can sit dormant on the brush and reinfect you later.

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16 thoughts on “Longest Wait to see a Doctor Ever!!

  1. Zhu

    Oh my! This is exactly why I almost never go to the walk-in clinic here. When I just have the flue or a cold, I rest and take some Tylenol. So far it worked…

    I’ve been calling doctors like crazy, trying to find a GP. I’ve been trying to for 6 years now. I had an appointment for a “meet and greet” with a doc today but it was moved to June. I really don’t like the system here. I can’t say it’s much better in France so I won’t complain too much but it’s so frustrating to be calling all the practices and to be told every single time that the doctor doesn’t take any new patients!

  2. Hippie Cahier

    This is a truly interesting perspective. In the US healthcare debate, the Canadian system is often viewed as a preferrable model. Apparently we should be studying the Irish?

    I hope the antibiotics do their thing quickly and that you’re on the mend soon!

  3. Jen

    After reading your ordeal, I nearly feel bad for laughing out loud over the mental picture of you eating the Chatelaine Holiday Issue. I think, a Chatelaine by itself, kinda amusing, but what tipped the balance was “Holiday Issue” — you know those things are pretty thick!

    I hope you feel better soon — that the drugs do the trick!

  4. Pauline Post author

    Leashieloo-Perhaps, in that you don’t have to scramble to find money to pay for procedures (Unless you’re insured privately) right then and there, but it’s really hard to find a doctor here.
    Zhu-I prefer to treat myself but if I have a virus like strep, then it’s important for me to get meds otherwise it could become very serious.
    It’s not better in France? I have a friend from there who told me that medical services are better there, but maybe she’s having rosy retrospection. 🙂 Anyways, that is frustrating that you can’t find a GP. I plan on quitting mine because he’s a horrible doctor and person, but it’s scary that I may not find a better replacement anytime soon.
    Hippie Cahier-The health care system here is not perfect. Basically we have too few doctors and specialists and the government doesn’t want to cough up the money for more medical devices like x-ray machines. Some of the (greedier) doctors go to the US to get paid more, while others can’t get through the complex immigration system to work here fast enough. One other thing that Hubby suggested this morning was that, Americans are probably more reticent to go to the clinics or their GP, because they have to pay for it. Whereas here, it’s publicly funded, so some people will go for almost any reason, no matter how minor. I hope that the government changes things soon, because once the baby boomers all retire, things are only going to get worse!

  5. Laura Best

    I live within 20 minutes of a small medical clinic that was built by the residents of the little village it is in. The big problem is for them to get doctors. Surprise! At the moment they have both a doctor and a nurse practitioner, and although we are made to wait weeks for an appointment when you go in the office there is scarcely a soul around. While it means less waiting when you actually get there it still takes a long time to even get that appointment. The system is terribly flawed. I hope they soon figure something out.

  6. Pauline Post author

    Thoughtsappear-Thanks! You get strep every year? Yikes! Poor you!
    Laura Best-That is really weird. Maybe the doctor is slacking off? But yes, it sounds like you need more docs and nurses in your area too!

  7. bevchen

    I always have to wait longer for the doctor than I actually spend in his office (they are ALWAYS running late here) but your wait was excessive. Yikes! Germany does not do drop-in clinics as far as I’m aware – it’s the doctor or nothing.

  8. Pauline Post author

    Nat-Yes I know. There are no Appletrees in my area. If there were, I would definitely go there instead of the urgent care clinic. 🙂
    Bevchen-Is it hard to find a doctor in Germany? Because if it is, then that would be problematic.

  9. Pearl

    didn’t know about the toothbrush thing. I’ve had strep every few years.

    I’ve had about the same waiting experience. It’s like living in the U.S.S.R. sometimes.

  10. Pauline Post author

    Pearl-Seriously! And we’re supposed to be a wealthy, democratic country that is considered ideal. Um, not when it comes to basic things like education and health care!

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