Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Under My Skin

I got a little rash on my ankle.

Okay, both ankles, and it's not really all that little.

I have had it for some time, but as summer grew closer and closer, I started getting nervous about what these ankles would look like with a pair flip flops on.

That and it itches like hell.

So I went to see the Good Doctor to get a referral to a dermatologist.

A month later, the Good Dermatologist gave me an appointment. Yet another month after that I found myself sitting in the Good Dermatologist's office waiting room.

I filled out the forms you must fill out on your first visit. I put down my name and address and checked the NO box beside each terrible disease they were curious about.

Then I sat. I sat and I sat and I sat. The room full of patients dwindled to a few in the matter of an hour.

On the wall read a sign:

You will be billed a $50.00 charge for not giving 24 hours notice before cancelling an appointment – or for simply not showing up for your appointment.

Office Policy.


On the other wall , another sign was posted.

If you are in a grouchy or irritable mood, we will charge you a $10.00 fee just for putting up with you.

I think it was supposed to be a joke. But the first sign dispelled the humor in the second sign.

"Be nice, be nice, be nice be nice…", I repeated to myself. My patience eroded after the first hour had passed.

I walked over to the magazine rack on picked a periodical from last summer – and an article about how historians portray the historic aspects of his life. It was very interesting discussing how the historians have so much trouble finding other credible historic references to the life of Jesus of Nazareth other than the New Testament.

The article went on to discuss the observations of one historian actually found Jesus' name on a tax roll, from a village he was in that was not a part of the stories of his life recorded in The Holy Bible. It really became interesting as he was being interviewed in by another historian who claimed the Bible was indeed the only reference needed to document this mans life and pointed to other historic figures that had been credibly certified to have lived based on the writings in other books and so to close his point he ….

"Mr Brill?", said a nice feminine voice – awaking me from my thought and contemplation.

Finally a nice nurse lady came and apologized for my wait.

As I tried to clear my thoughts to remember why I was there, it became clear to me that my right leg had fallen asleep. I limped on the tingly extremety – dragging it across the floor until it finally came back to life again.

The nice nurse lady led me into an examination room, told me the Good Dermatologist would see me shortly, and closed the door behind her.

And in this room I sat and sat and sat. And I sat some more.

I left the magazine out in the waiting room.

My patience was clearly at its bottom line on the gauge.

Finally, the door opened and in came the Good Dermatologist.

He was a shorter sized man, squatty but athletically built. He was wearing a golf shirt most likely bought in a pro shop earlier that morning. His forearms were strong and very tan, but his left hand was pasty white –
most likely because of the golf glove he was wearing.

"Mr. Brill?", he smiled and stuck out his hand.

"Nice to meet you", I said through a forced smile.

The pleasantries dispensed, I took off my shoes and socks to show him my wretched ankles. He looked at them.

"That's nothing but a little eczema", he said, and he spun around to write on a prescription pad.

"I assume you have a drug plan", he asked. Somehow he knew I worked for a health benefits company in town. I didn't tell him.

"Yes, yes I do…", I answered but was interrupted.

The good doctor then started complaining about my employer and all the forms we make him fill out to get new topical crèmes accepted as benefits, and it was turning into a rant on his part.

"Excuse me …" I tried to interrupt – but he just kept on going …

"Excuse me!", I said a little louder, my complete absence of patience now apparent in my voice.

"Our policies are in place to ensure that only proven and tested procedures are used in the treatment of our plan members", I said, taking the simple script for an eczema curing cream from the Good Dermatologists hands.

And he started in again….

"I must let you know that I have a policy!", I stopped him again. "My policy – much like those you posted in your waiting room, is that I will send you a bill for $25.00 for making me sit here and listen to you bitch about my employer."

He smiled at my joke.

But I wasn't really joking.

As he sat there smiling, I simply looked into his eyes and I raised my eyebrows high.

"Uh … oh … well, you use this crème three times a day, and remember to wrap it up …"

And I thanked the Good Dermatologist and left his office.

I have been using the crème for the last two weeks now. And its working a little bit.

But I still have the rash.

And it still itches like hell.

And I never did collect my twenty-five dollars.

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