Tuesday, April 12, 2011

High maintenance

Yesterday afternoon I was in my office, waiting for a new patient. Mary came back, and told me I needed to come talk to the patient's wife at the counter. So I went up front.

Dr. Grumpy: "Can I help you, ma'am?"

Mrs. Wife: "Yes, my husband is down in the car."

Dr. Grumpy: "Is he okay?"

Mrs. Wife: "He's fine, but it's raining."

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes."

Mrs. Wife: "He hates rain."

Dr. Grumpy: "Uh-huh."

Mrs. Wife: "Look, can you come out to the lot and do the appointment in the car?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Why can't he come up here?"

Mrs. Wife: "He doesn't like the rain."

Dr. Grumpy: "Do you need an umbrella? I can loan you mine."

Mrs. Wife: "He doesn't use umbrellas. He's superstitious."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm afraid I can't help you. I don't do car calls."

Mrs. Wife: "Can I reschedule to after the rainy season is over?"

Mary (pushing me aside, handing lady a paper): "No. Here are the numbers of other neurologists in the area. Try them."

34 comments:

Dani said...

Yay, Mary!!! Another crazy bites the dust!

Not House said...

Wow. Good for Mary.

And of course, the first thing I did was reach for professor Google:

http://common-phobias.com/Ombro/phobia.htm

Old MD Girl said...

You need to give Mary a raise. Now.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered installing a drive-thru?

WarmSocks said...

I can't imagine disliking the rain so much that I'd sit in the car and miss an appointment. That poor man. Some serious intervention is needed.

RehabRN said...

I don't think he needs you, Grumpy. He needs a psychiatrist.

Too bad, though. He might have made for more interesting blog posts; however, Mary probably would have 1) hid all your Diet Cokes or 2) given up and run out the door.

Good office help is hard to find. Give her a raise for her screening ability!

Anonymous said...

Man , I am gonna have to tune out your blog for awhile. Stories like this are making me cringe to much. I think it is informational overload.

purlewe said...

And I must have been married to his sister. Refused to go outside ni the rain. EVER. That is one reason why she is my ex.

Lilorfnannie said...

Awesome. You go, Mary!

Anonymous said...

I hope their car doesn't break down. He'd be in there for quite some time.

Packer said...

"I don't think he needs you, Grumpy. He needs a psychiatrist"

In my professional life, I deal with many mentally ill people, It is a common part for many that they simply abhor rain falling on them, it makes them extremely uncomfortable to the point of physical reaction. It is so common I think it could be a diagnostic tool.

I always think of this as I walk in the rain, how it is that they could never do it.

One thing about mental illness and the mentally ill : They did not ask to be so afflicted.

Once I thought about that, my attitude shifted.

J. said...

score one for Mary, she's a keeper!

Anonymous said...

God Bless Mary, is she for hire? She definitely deserves a raise:-)

Mal said...

Maybe you should start making psych referals.

Mary: 'No, the doctor will not be seeing you today. May I give you a card for Dr Urnutz, a local psychiatrist?'

Cthulhu Sashimi said...

"Oh, and he was also wondering if you would wear this while you're examing him?"

Anonymous said...

Poor wifey. How is it those OCD types can find someone to do their bidding and put up with their behavior.

bobbie said...

It must be awful to have to live with that much fear ~

Anonymous said...

A less than funny story..at least in its presentation.

Anonymous said...
"Poor wifey. How is it those OCD types can find someone to do their bidding and put up with their behavior."

Was she doing his bidding? Or was she seeking help for Mr. Wife while working within the contraints of his disorder?

Some people recognise that the "disorder" is not the sum-total of the *person*...some people truly *do* take their marriage "for better or for worse".

I'm with Packer on this one...this could very well be a symptom.

For those who suggested a psychiatrist...psychiatric disorders do not immunize a person against neurological disorders.

I truly hope that there was more to the actual exchange that resulted in such summary dispatch of this patient.

Mrs. Wife was willing to reschedule...would that Grumpy or Mary have been half as much so.

kate said...

Pretty sure that guy needs to head over to psych instead of another neurologist! Seriously, where do these people come from..?

Anonymous said...

"And, actually, we have some errands to run, so do you mind examining him while we drive? We can drop you off near a bus stop."

Anonymous said...

Be careful to show some empathy before jumping to conclusions about people. someday this could be you or your family - I'm a big fan grumpy, but I too hope there was more to this story - because as told it IS less than funny

The Mother said...

The Wicked Witch of the West?

Blake said...

YES! Pushing the pain in the ass patients away! I did it once today at the Pharmacy I work in. Told them to go to WalMart. Haha!

Anonymous said...

the lurking critics might consider backing off of any apparent lack of empathy here. grumpy is an excellent and empathic doc. and perceptive. the phobia- sure, reschedule. the request to see the man in the car- reeks of manipulation, risk management error and even some potential danger. mary is right. dndoda.

terri c said...

I agree that Mary needs a raise. To the lurkers: patient could have called to reschedule upon seeing it was a rainy day--that'd be more appropriate problem-solving than expecting a specialist to do a new patient visit/exam IN THE CAR. The problem may be genuine but the coping strategy is inappropriate.

Humincat said...

Wow! I work for a Dr and even after ten years, I still have only turned 1 patient away. My doc just doesn't allow his staff to scare off potential income that way. So my WOW is more to do with the office dynamics than the grown man expecting an exam inside an automobile.

Anonymous said...

Meh to Packer. I have Major Depression, maybe Bipolar Type 2, and had PTSD for 5 years, and I am not in the least afraid of the rain. I have been known, when the kids point out to me that we are walking in light rain, to say "This? This is just a mist." Walking in heavy rain does not bother me, in fact it amuses me. Walking in hail, OTOH, I am not so keen on.

Smiley :) said...

What's up with the trolls in the comment section? They must not have read some of Dr. G's compassionate, heartfelt posts. Anon @ 6:55 pm and terri c....I could not have said it better myself!!

Anonymous said...

Should we be concerned that Mary has a list of other neuro docs so handy to pass out to patients?

"Hmmmm...it's been awfully slow since Mary and I had that argument...."

Lois said...

I think allowing them to make an appointment for a day when it hopefully will not rain would have been a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I already knew Mary was awesome...but now I have more proof!

Melissa

Anonymous said...

O.K. and I've gone back and read some of the other posts...I think you were compassionate. You offered him your umbrella and took the time to speak to his wife!

Melissa

Reddkatz said...

Oh I wish I can do that at work and not get in trouble :(

C said...

here are some practical thoughts:
1. you get a carport or an attched garage for the office..
2. patient moves to the desert

 
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