The Gray Line Tour

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / March 4, 2000

My wife has never really understood why I don’t like going to the doctor, but I think after this week, she’s finally coming around to my way of thinking.

I’ve heard it’s “a male thing” to not want to go to a doctor, some sort of macho, tough-it-out attitude to any physical discomfort. Not in my case – Ijust don’t like the red tape and jumping through hoops just to get an appointment.

I have a very minor medical condition, unnecessary to discuss here in any detail. The important thing is that I finally overcame my general dislike of thewhole medical hassle to get myself to the point of making the phone call.

Now, keep in mind that I work in the River Parishes, but my wife, who works in Jefferson Parish and who has the medical insurance through her work, tends to select the doctors based on her own convenience. I can understandthat point, since she goes to doctors much more than I do.

This is to say that when I do need to get to a doctor, it’s a pain in the butt to me to get away from work to do so. My last dentist visit, about two yearsago, was to the dentist she likes over in Algiers – a bit out of the way for me.

Anyway, she and I have finally worked that out. Back to this latest problem.I make the call, only to be told that the doctor on my medical insurance card is no longer associated with that particular clinic and, should I come to the clinic producing that card, it would not be honored.

I call my wife, who calls the insurance company, who promptly mails out new cards – still with the wrong doctor’s name on them.

I call my wife, who calls the insurance company, who says they will promptly mail out the correct cards. Meanwhile, she tells me to make the appointmentcall to the correct doctor, as I should have the correct card by the time of the appointment.

Anyway, I make this call on March 1, hoping I could make it for March 16 or 17. Sounded pretty reasonable to me, two weeks in advance. Not a chance. The appointment secretary said the doctor has openings on two particular days in April, otherwise I’d have to wait until June. Now, this is a quite minormedical condition I want looked at but already I’m feeling so burned I’m almost at the point of saying why bother? My wife, it seems, has no problem making appointments with her doctors and as she works in Metairie at a civil service job, she can take time off practically at will. For me to plan a day off takes months of preparation, onereason I’m so far behind on taking any vacation time, which I also badly need to do.

It’s enough to make me sick.

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