Friday, January 13, 2012

Mixed Signals

I'm not sure if it's the same everywhere. Around here, it'd be easier to get an appointment with the governor than schedule a new-patient appointment with a psychiatrist.

I've been on some form of medication (usually Zoloft) for around 10 years. Recently, I needed to find a new doctor so I found the one closest to me covered under my insurance and set an appointment. 3 months. 3 months is the average wait time for new patients. Every place I called had similar wait times, so I scheduled the appointment.

I followed my hastily scratched directions (Hey, not everyone has a fancy navigating system) to the address listed for the doctor. To my dismay, it isn't an office. It's a house. And not even a well-kept house. This place looks like a crack-house. Old, disheveled, and when I finally decided I needed my Rx renewed badly enough to brave this dump, I had to wait for one of the similarly disheveled miscreants inside to open the door for me because the door knob was broken and couldn't be opened from the outside.

Once inside, I'm rather relieved to see a standard reception window complete with plastic clipboard and chained sign-in pen. I sign in. The people inside are kind of freaking me out because, yes, I'm at a psychiatrist, but it doesn't mean I expect everyone there to be in immediate need of admission to the freakin' nut house.

The woman behind the desk took my insurance card to copy and placed it in a machine I'm sure was sold door-to-door sometime in the 80's. A humorously loud growling/squeaking sound filled the room followed by the receptionist's curses and complaints about how she'd have to get someone out to look at it and fix it because the doc is too cheap to buy a new one. To be fair, this beauty took up half of the office space so I'm assuming what it lacked in quality, it made up for in sheer size and volume.

I suffered through the coughing, smacking and mumbling of a room full of people I couldn't bring myself to make eye contact with (I'm no stranger to weird, but this was too much) and am finally called into the back. I almost turn around and walk out. If the front of this "office" is functioning under these conditions, what the hell does the back look like?

Luckily, entering the doctor's private domain didn't require me to sidestep any used condoms or shuttering crack-addicts. That was a plus, the only one I'd seen so far.

The geriatric, Indian doctor sat behind a gigantic wood desk, the only quality item on the entire property. He stared down his nose at me after looking over the one-page, five-question sheet I'd been asked to fill out. (This was also strange because usually there's a 3 page, front and back, thorough questionnaire to be completed for first time patients for the doctors I'd visited previously.)

The old bastard narrowed his eyes and said, "Tell me about this 'sexual assault'." He says it as though he's using quotations around the words "sexual" and "assault".

I'm thinking, no, I'd rather not tell him about it. But, I need my meds refilled or my family will suffer the wrath of my horrible mood swings and I don't want to put them through it. I can find a new doctor after this one. No biggie. So, I give him an edited version of the events.

He asked me, "Are you sure you weren't giving him mixed signals?"

What. The. Fuck.

Luckily the assault happened many years past and I'm no longer a vulnerable teenager who'll take those words and shrink into a dark corner to contemplate the validity of the claim.

I tell him, " Unless you consider crying and saying NO to be considered mixed signals."

He gets this creepy smirk on his face and says, "Well, you got into the car with him. That sounds like a yes."

Okay, I'm done. This is the craziest, most irresponsible response to rape I've been subjected to and I've only known this "doctor" for less than five minutes at this point. But ... I need that fucking refill. God, I miss the days when I had a pharmacist for friend and I didn't have to deal with this bullshit.

I finally get the prescription and walk the hell out of this messed-up twilight zone feeling like I'd just escaped a dark back alley after being mugged. As I'm sitting at the light waiting for a Green, listening to the soothing sound of the turn signal clicking away, I glance at the prescription. 1 month. 1 FREAKING MONTH W/NO REFILLS!

Then, then I let the tears come. Because the man was terrible, the house was creepy and smelled like urine and mold, and now I have to go back there again. No way can I get an appointment with a new doctor before I need the refill.

My appointment for the refill is on Monday, a few days from today. I'm already feeling nauseous thinking about it.