Day 18. National Blog Posting Month.
I woke up today to cold feet. They were mine and they were cold. Our furnace is ancient and doesn’t warm the top floor of our house very well. It really should be replaced but until it actually stops working, I’m not getting a new one. So yeah it was cold this morning. Like, -17°C cold.
Everyone on my FB feed had something to say about the cold and none of it very good.
Come on, people! Are we gonna start the bitching and complaining already? Three months ago, people were bitching about the heat wave. We live in Canada. We have seasons. The temperature changes. Deal with it.
I want to turn off my FB feed completely. I am just so done with the constant complaining. And the irony is not lost on me that I’m doing the same thing here. Complaining about the complainers.
So it’s cold. Suck it up, buttercup. It’s November. In Canada. It’s cold.
This has been bugging me for a while now.
In my exam room, there’s a good 4-5 feet distance between where I sit and where the patient sits. I think it’s a comfortable distance for a conversation. It gives both the patient and myself adequate space. Often patients are bringing in their work bags, suitcases, briefcases, sometimes their groceries even! I’m okay with all of that because there is plenty of room. But there are a few patients who insist on pulling up their chair right to my desk. I mean, we are now sitting face to face with a small desk between us. If I crossed my legs, my foot would hit the patient’s shin. During these encounters I just want to yell out, “Personal space, people!!!! Personal space!!”
Would you get right up and personal with your doctor? It’s a professional encounter – I am not their best friend, but sometimes, I suppose I am their confidante, so I can see how getting close to me physically might be comforting to some. But it really, really, really bothers me when certain patients do it. Are they trying to see what I write in their chart? Are they thinking that the closer they get to me, the more I’ll believe their story? Frankly, it’s kind of creepy. And of course, it’s always the patient that rubs me the wrong way to begin with – the patient who comes in monthly for the pain pills, or the one that has fibromyalgia and needs constant hand-holding and reassurance that he doesn’t have some rare degenerative neuromuscular disorder that three neurologists haven’t been able to diagnose.
I need to figure out a way to politely ask these patients to move away from my desk. I suppose I could use the “patient confidentiality” angle, as I do use electronic record and when I am going from screen to screen, the appointment schedule is visible.
Pet Peeves – an irritating experience caused by others in which you cannot control.
There are very few things that annoy me as a physician, so for your reading pleasure ….
- “I had some antibiotics left over, so I just took them for the cold I had last week, but they didn’t work, so that’s why I’m here.”
- “I went to the walk-in clinic (yesterday) and the doctor said I had a virus but I didn’t believe him, so I’m here to see you today, because you know, you’re my family doctor and I trust you.”
- “I made this appointment for myself, but could you look in my son’s ear … oh, and his foot? … and … [looking at her son, “Is there anything else that was bothering you?].”
- Cell phone rings in the middle of an appointment, “Excuse me for a minute, Doctor, I have to take this.” REALLY??
- Body odor.
- Patient calls to find out if I’m running late (I am not!) and then arrives a 1/2 hour late for his appointment.
These all just happened today.
I kid you not.