Something Funny Happened While I Was In Pain

on Saturday, April 19, 2008

I am sure you don't want another post about my pain. So this post is a little change in pace.

This last week I have been visiting a medical centre on a daily basis to do my physiotherapy. Today, after my treatment, I was waiting at the reception to pay my bills and to set an appointment for next week but the receptionist was busy with someone on the phone. While waiting, I was entertained by this fascinating telephone conservation which I have tried to reproduce here. Bear in mind, I am only reproducing what the receptionist is saying cause I obviously could not hear the person on the other end of the phone but I think our imagination will fill in the rest. The names have been changed so that I don't get sued.

"Good morning Dr. Zaid. You are calling from Peace Hospital and you wish to make an appointment for a patient to see Dr. Ranjit?"

"The patient is the daughter of the High Commissioner of Babalinga? What is the problem?"

"Severed thumb."

"Not a severed thumb. It has been reattached but the nerve is severed."

"No, the nerve has been reattached? Where was she treated?"

"She is a patient of Peace Hospital. So she was treated there?"

"Who is the doctor that reattached her thumb?"

"What do you mean "you don't know"? You just said she is a patient of your hospital."

"Oh, she was treated by a GP but you don't know his name and she approached your hospital for a second opinion."

"So are you her doctor, Dr. Zaid?"

"You are not a doctor? Then what are you? And who is her doctor?"

"Dr. Rose. You are calling on behalf of Dr. Rose? Dr. Rose is referring the patient to Dr. Ranjit"

"Okay, when would you like her to see Dr. Ranjit?"

"Today? This is Saturday and the centre is only open till noon. Also Dr. Ranjit has two operations to perform in the operation theater this morning and is unlikely to be available."

"You think it is urgent that she has a consultation today? Okay, I will just check with the Doctor if it is possible. Please hold."

She calls the operation theater to get an estimate of when the doctor is available this morning.

"I'm sorry but it is not possible today. The doctor is still in the operating theater."

"Okay, next available days are Monday and Wednesday here in the medical centre or you could also see the doctor at his clinic at the Beaches Hospital on Friday."

"How about Monday at 11 am.?"

"What do you mean 'she is out of the country and only flying in on Tuesday'? Then why did you try to ask for an appointment today?"

"You got confused? Okay, never mind. An appointment on Wednesday then?"

"New wing? No, we don't have a new wing. This is the Rivers Medical Centre. Are you getting confused with the Beaches Hospital which has just gotten their new wing?"

"Yes, that's right. We are not Beaches Hospital. We are the Rivers Medical centre."

"What? There's no way that your call was transfered to this line from Beaches Hospital. We are totally separate institutions."

"No. No way this call was transfered from Beaches Hospital. We are located in Petaling and not on Beaches Road."

"You prefer to have the patient see the doctor on Wednesday?"

"11 am? Okay. Confirmed. I will inform the doctor that the daughter of the High Commissioner of Babalinga will be there to see him about her re-attached thumb."

"What? Not his daughter?"

"His daughter-in-law? How old is the patient?"

"Sixteen? How could she possibly be his daughter-in-law?"

"You are not sure? Okay, never mind."

"The appointment is at 11 am on the 10th floor."

"The new wing has only 5 floors? Mr. Zaid, you are still confused. We are not Beaches Hospital. We are the Rivers Medical Centre. We are located in Dugan Road and not on Beaches Road."

"Yes, that's right. Dr. Ranjit is at Beaches Hospital only on Friday."

"Okay, please have the patient bring the doctor's referral letter."

"There's no referral letter from Dr. Rose?"

"How can Dr. Rose refer the patient to Dr. Ranjit without a referral letter?"

"Dr. Rose has never seen the patient?!?!"

"Dr. Rose has never seen the patient because the patient is not in the country. Then how......?"

"Never mind. We confirm that the appointment is at 11.00 am on Wednesday at Rivers Medical Centre on the 10th floor. Bye."

I did not mind waiting; I was fully entertained by the exasperation on the receptionist's face and I have also learnt to perhaps avoid going for medical help at Peace Hospital.


the walking man said...

H ah ah ha ha ha ha I am sure i would have been laughing so hard the person on the other end of the phone would have heard. The medical world is a fascinating place to see different people at their oddest.

Yesterday, I was laying on the gurney with just a curtain separteing the next patient over from me, who was being discoursed with be a non nurse and having the usual questions asked. I could not but help hear as they talked.

The old woman next to me and the one doing the form of questions had voices drop to a whisper when the question of her menopause was asked.

Sorry I couldn't help myself..."Ladies if there is something you don't want me to hear tell me before hand and I will stick fingers in my ears."

I find these little things to be the only true JOY in medicine.

Peace squirrel


On a limb with Claudia said...

I hate to think that you are still in so much pain. ARG!! I hope it's easing a bit....

Reading your eaves dropped, I felt like I was watching a ping pong match. What? Who's on first? Crazy!

At least you learned something. How are you feeling about your father? Are we near his year anniversary? or did I miss it? ((hug)) just thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Ha,ha,ha. Now you should count your blessings you became a Scientist and do not have to work in Customer Service! :>


MedStudentWife said...

They say laughter is the best medicine - me thinks you got a good dose there *heheheeeee*

Claudia is right - its almost sounds like the classic Abbott and Costello.

I hope you are feeling a bit better, LGS.

Odat said...

I'm so sorry you're in so much pain and pray that it eases up soon!!!
Glad you had a little comic reprieve there...and thanks for sharing it with us!!! ;-)

Claire said...

You've still got your sense of humor, that's a good sign!

Ruth W. said...

oh my goodness, I swear I had pretty much the same conversation with a MD's office on friday!! I swear prople do NOT know what they are talking about!!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thank God for such joys!
Peace TWM.

Thanks for thinking of me. My dad passed away in October so it is still a distance to the anniversary. But my mom is keeping me busy.

I don't think scientists are immune from periods of brainless chatter. :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I am feeling better but not pain-free. Still it is now within manageable levels.

Thanks. We need to steal smiles from wherever we can.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Yup. Sense of humor indicates pulse is still beating.

Really?!? I guess I am not entirely surprised. Haha.

geewits said...

My mother and my daughter both used to work in customer service type jobs and always had hilarious stories to tell. I'm so glad I haven't had to work with the public for eons. I'm also glad your blog reappeared. I saw the reson for it on Sylvie's blog.
I hope your back starts doing better. Constant pain is tiresome - I have it in my thumb. I wish you comfort.

Gina said...

I LOVE a good healthy distraction, LGS. Get your mind redirected. Laughter releases some kind of pain numbing endomorphin or something.... It's great that you can appreciate the type of human interaction which inspired Abbott and Costello's "Whos on first?"

A Happy Downtowner said...

LGS, sorry to hear you're still hurting but oh I was laughing out loud reading the conversation! I'm glad to see you still have your witty sense of humour. I could just imagine the tone the receptionist had and you were wise to avoid her at the end :) I know why I never wanted to work in customer service.

Dr.John said...

Sorry to hear that your still in pain. The ability to laugh at life certainly helps. Without it I wouldn't get through he day.
That has sounds like the doctor's receptionist who csalled me at 10:00 to change my apointment by a month and then called mer an hour later to remind me ny appointment was the following day. It's a good job they don't do the surgery.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks and stay away from draft.blogger for the time being.

Laughter is indeed good but I have found sneezing, coughing and even yawning to be quite painful in my current state.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

happy downtowner,
I believe that faith in God will get us through everything and a sense of humor makes the trip go more smoothly.

dr. john,
This thing with medical receptionists seems to be very common. At least she told you it was postponed. In my mother's case they postponed the appointment but did not tell her.

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