Sunday, June 2, 2013


Okay... here’s the story:

I posted a couple of weeks ago about my recent biopsy and the difficulties I was having finding someone to explain the results to me. The specialist my primary care physician and I were dealing with basically said “yes, we did find some irregularities with your biopsy last month, and we’d be happy to explain it all to if you’ll just make an appointment for sometime next year.”


So my PCP dug in (had her office staff dig in on my behalf, actually) and look for another “specialist” who could read and explain the results to us, figuring that even specialists aren’t quite as unique as they sometimes think. It worked, and I got  phone call last Friday.



“Hi, this is your doctor’s office calling. We’ve found another specialist who will work on your biopsy with us.”

“Huzzah!” I said.

“Excuse me?” she said.

“Nothing,” I said, “I was just excited. Please continue.”

She went on to explain who the specialist was and that they had scheduled an appointment for me at the end of June, which is a hell of a lot better than May 2014.

“Huzzah!” I said.

“I beg your pardon?” she said.

“Just happy about the earlier appointment,” I said.

“I see,” she said, though she sounded a little put off by my joyful little eruptions. “Well, the new specialist has asked that you have a couple of other tests in the interim, and hopefully we can get them done quickly enough that the results will be in by the date of your appointment. We don’t want to have to reschedule or anything.”

“Boo! Hiss!” I said.

“Are you for real?” she said.

“According to solipsistic philosophy I’m the only thing that is real, and everything I perceive, the world and people around me, you included, are simply subconscious projections I create to help me deal with my own consciousness,” I said.

She was silent for a while and I listened to her office-mates working in the background.

“You need to come in for a blood test,” she said, deciding, quite rightly I might add, to completely ignore my prior remark. “And we need to get you into the specialists office in the Faulkner Hospital in Boston for an autonomous nervous system test.”

“Well,” I said, “I can come in there today for the blood test, if you can handle it that quickly,and whenever you can schedule the test in Boston I can be there. That work for you?”

It did. Personally I think she would have agreed with anything by then just to get off the phone with me, but I could be wrong about that. She called back within the half hour to let me know (as briefly as possible, go figure) that I had an appointment the following Friday at the Faulkner Hospital in Boston for my aforementioned autonomous test. The test was scheduled for 10am and an information packet would be sent out to me with some papers for me to fill out in advance.

“Huzzah!” I said.

She hung up.

I dealt with the minor rejection, and life went on...

The following Tuesday, just three days before my appointment in Boston, I received another phone call.

“Hello, Rob?”


“This is the Faulkner Hospital in Boston calling. We understand you need to make an appointment for an autonomous nervous system test?”


There was a pause.
“I’m sorry — you don’t need to schedule a test?” she said.

“Nope,” I said. “I already have an appointment. This Friday.”

“Here,” she said, “at Faulkner Hospital?”

“There,” I said, “as you say, at the Faulkner Hospital.”

She gave a soft “Hmm...” and I heard the rapid-fire click of a professional working the computer keyboard.

“I don’t see anything thing logged here in your name. Are you sure there’s an appointment for you?”

“Well, according to solipsistic philosophy,” I began, but then thought better of it. “Uh... as far as I know, yes.”

“And it was for this Friday?” she said.

“At ten o’clock,” I said.

“Nope,” she said. “I don’t show anything for you on Friday.”


“Well, there actually is a vacancy in the schedule on Friday at ten...”

“I have an idea,” I said. “Why don’t you slot me in for that spot on Friday. That way when I show up we’ll all know what I’m there for.”

She did so.

“Huzzah!” I said.

She hung up. What is it with these people?

Two days later I received yet another phone call, but this one went to my voicemail.

“Rob? This is Dr. Specialist’s office at the Faulkner Hospital, calling to confirm your appointment tomorrow morning at 10am. Please try to arrive a half-hour early to fill out some pre-examination paperwork and check in for the appointment. You can expedite the process by calling the registration office tonight at 555-blah-blah-blah-blah and pre-registering.”

Just three minutes after she left the message I was calling the registration office to pre-register.

I got a recording.

“Thank you for calling the Faulkner Hospital Registration line. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5:30pm...”

I checked the timestamp on the message. It said 6:17pm.

So far I’ve been called and told to pre-register 45 minutes after the pre-registration deadline for an appointment I’ve apparently booked... then booked again.

I hope.

I can’t wait to see what happens when I actually go.

Is it just me, or are ‘Specialists’ not that special?

Talk to you later!

...and as a bonus for reading all this dreck, here's a video that has me laughing every time I see it:

Cat Dairy

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