A Half Day Doctor’s Visit

Tuesday was a rough day.

Let me back up for a minute. When I was pregnant with Riley, a regular ultrasound showed us that his kidneys were two different sizes. No biggie, we thought. But doctors thought otherwise. Long story short – he’s fine. More than fine, he’s perfectly healthy and brilliant and beyond adorable. Ok, I may be a little biased.

So every two years or so we take him to Children’s Hospital for an ultrasound of his kidneys and bladder and then up a few floors to see a pediatric urologist. I believe Tuesday was the fourth time we’ve done this in Riley’s life.

Derek and I took a half day off of work so we could make it to the 8:30 ultrasound and 9:00 doctor visit. We happily decided to go out for brunch afterwards. Riley was promised bacon.

It was pretty hectic getting all four of us up, ready and out the door by 8 a.m., but we did it and made it to the ultrasound appointment on time. But barely.

In the waiting room. Riley was very proud of his hospital bracelet. Which made my heart hurt.

In the waiting room. Riley was very proud of his hospital bracelet. Which made my heart hurt. Yes, those crayons are in a kidney-shaped puke bowl.

I can’t describe how proud I was of Riley when we got in the darkened room for his ultrasound. The last time we were here he wasn’t even two yet. He has no recollection of it, but he happily climbed up on the table without even being asked to, laid down and stared at the monitor. He was ready.

Children's Hospital is great. They project the solar system on the ceiling. Riley thought it w

Children’s Hospital is great. They project the solar system on the ceiling. Riley thought it was rad. 

But he thought the ultrasound was even cooler.

But he thought the ultrasound was even cooler.

So the tech finished up. Riley cracked her up the whole time. He’s so funny and clever. Again, I’m biased. Oh and here’s a funny thing. When I told him that morning that he was having pictures of the inside of his tummy taken, he asked what kind of camera it was. I told him it was an ultrasound. He said, “Like when we saw Charlotte in your tummy?” I can’t believe he remembers the 20-week ultrasound of our 6-month old baby. Like I said, he doesn’t miss much.

So up we went to the fourth floor to await our 9 a.m. appointment. We got there right on time, checked in and took a seat.

And waited.

And waited.

I realized it was 9:40 and thought, hmmmm, we’ve been waiting a while.

Then it was 10:00.

Then it was 10:15

Then it was 10:30.

Riley started to get antsy. Charlotte fell asleep. I started to get pissed. Derek too.

“Our appointment was an hour and a half ago,” I half whispered to Derek.

“What’s the point of making an appointment if we’re going to wait for an hour and a half?” he asked.

So I carried my sleeping baby up to the receptionist and asked how much longer it was going to be. I didn’t bother telling her that our appointment was supposed to happen an hour and a half ago. But I probably should have.

She went in the back to ask the nurse I guess and came back to report that there was one person ahead of us and then it would be our turn. What time was that person’s appointment, I wondered, 8:30? How early did this guy start seeing patients if he was already an hour and a half behind for a 9 a.m. appointment?

We took another seat and Riley started to get really antsy. The people in the waiting room annoyed me. (Ugh, I hate when parents show off their “parenting” skills by repeatedly and fakely saying their child’s name over and over. Shut up and go over and get your kid! He’s not supposed to be running behind the receptionist desk. DUH!)

Needless to say, our whole family was not pleased.

They called another person back. I vowed that if Riley wasn’t called next I was going to start yelling. And I’m not typically a yeller. Unless I’m in childbirth with no pain meds, but that’s another story.

Finally, the frazzled nurse called our name. It was 11:00. A full TWO HOURS we had been waiting. Under my breath I muttered, “it’s a miracle…” and again, my boy didn’t miss a beat.

“It’s a miracle!” he yelled as we walked through the waiting room. “A miracle finally happened!” He was giddy. Or delirious. Or both. We all were.

We walk through the door and the nurse says, “I’ll need to get her weight.”

Um? Did I hear that right? Derek told Riley to step on the scale.

“Did she have her ultrasound this morning?” the nurse asked.

I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was about to erupt. Scroll up and look at the outfit Riley was wearing. DID HE LOOK LIKE A GIRL???

“Um….HE?” I prompted her. She looked up at us for the first time since we’d gotten there TWO HOURS EARLIER.

“He. Sorry.”

Oblivious, Riley complimented her on the “cool” stickers she had on rolls by the scale. She thanked him but didn’t offer him one. Isn’t this a pediatric office? Give the poor kid a sticker!

We went into the exam room FINALLY and she entered some info into the computer. They didn’t have a pharmacy on file for us so she asked us where we’d want a prescription sent. I knew we weren’t going to need a prescription but told her our pharmacy anyway. The computer couldn’t locate WALGREENS. I know, such an obscure pharmacy. She asked us for the zip code of the store we frequent and neither of us knew. Um…duh. So she CALLED Walgreens and asked them their zip code. The hell? Ten minutes later she was done on the computer. Growl.

She said the doctor was with another patient and she’d let us know when it would be close to the time that he’d see us. Not a good sign.

She brought in a bunch of toys for Riley. An even worse sign.

By this time it was more than TWO HOURS after our appointment time. We’d been given no reason for the delay. No one even acknowledged it.

We waited. 11:10, 11:15, 11:25.

“Are we in a science experiment,” I deliriously pondered. No way we were going for brunch. I’d be lucky to make it back to work for my 1:00 client call. I couldn’t believe I was wasting PTO on this. “Can we just leave? Are we being punked?”

“If we are, I’m punching Ashton Kutcher right in his pretty face,” Derek replied.

Finally at 11:30 the nurse came in to say the doctor would be in soon.

“What is soon? Ten minutes?”

“I don’t know. I can’t even guess,” she replied. GEE THANKS.

At 11:36 the doctor came in. I checked my watch to see. At 11:41 he was gone. Riley’s kidneys are growing He’s fine.

We waited two and a half hours for that? And we are probably paying several hundred dollars out of pocket for this.

And the worst part of the whole wait two and a half hours for a 6 minute appointment? Drumroll please….

…..the doctor never apologized for keeping us waiting.


I’m dumbfounded. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but really. Now I’m going to get a fatty bill for this? Lovely.

I don’t really know what to do about this at this point. I’m thinking of waiting to see the bill and then calling to complain. Any other suggestions?





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