The following Sunday, we were back at the Regional Hospital for my husband’s doctor’s appointment. We arrived at the crack of dawn to get a ficha (number) and wait in the Archivos waiting room until the doctor arrived. Well, my husband waited inside, I stayed outside. Those security guards are sure on top of things. And I waited and waited.
At 9:30 my husband came outside and said that the doctor was scheduled to arrive at 11 a.m. and he was hungry. We scrounged around for change and he went and bought two cups of watery arroz con leche, it should have been advertised as leche con un poco de arroz and a hard as rock bollillo (roll). He went back in at 11 a.m. and was told that the doctor would arrive at 2:30 or so. He asked to have his appointment rescheduled, which was written in his little pink book or so he believed.
My doctor’s appointment was scheduled for the 30th. Fortunately, my lab results were in by the 28th. On the 29th, I was organizing my paperwork for the doctor’s appointment and happened to look in my little pink appointment book. To my horror, my appointment had been crossed out and rescheduled for some point 2 months down the line. The way I had been feeling, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it until then without a refill on my prescription. I freaked out. Seems like my husband had given the archivos lady my little pink book instead of his. Therefore, he didn’t have an appointment and mine had been changed.
Well, nothing to be done but try. We dragged our sorry butts at the break of dawn to the Regional the next day and took note of whom we would be following when the time came to line up. When the desk opened, we lined up. When we arrived at the desk, we explained the situation. The archivos lady made my husband’s appointment and gave me a ficha (number) to see the doctor that morning. Whew!
I checked in with the nurse’s desk, was weighed and measured, checked for diabetes, and had my blood pressure taken. The nurse didn’t think that a doctor would be coming as there were some urgent cases in the hospital. We sat down to wait anyway. Around 10 a.m., I got tired of waiting. A doctor had arrived and was seeing patients, but I didn’t think he was the doctor I was supposed to see. He most certainly wasn’t Dr. J. (See Seguro Popular–Dr J.) So I got up and went to the nurses’ desk to ask, but there wasn’t anyone there. So I went further up to the nurse’s station to ask. I showed my pink book—however as the appointment for today had been crossed out, I had to explain what happened. I was getting a bit cranky. As it turns out, while I was up at the nurse’s station, my number had been called.
Discovering that unpleasant fact when I returned to the waiting room, I rushed the door to the consulting room when it opened the next time, darting in front of a large elderly man. Near tears, I told the doctor that I was number 3 but had been at the nurse’s desk when he called. He nodded and sat down. I told him of my condition and that I felt terrible and here were my lab results. (My TSH level was 40. Normal is under 4.) He asked some questions. I answered. He checked his email on his phone. He told me to sit on the examining table. He checked his phone again. He came and checked my heart and neck. He went back to the desk and checked his phone again. He looked at my chart. He told me I had gained weight. I responded that it certainly wasn’t because more food was available. He checked my lab results. He told me that my TSH levels were bad. He gave me a prescription. Told me to take 2 pills, not 1 and come back in November for another blood test. I left. The entire consultation took less than 10 minutes. I had been waiting 6 hours.
I went and had the prescription filled at the pharmacy at the hospital. Took 2 pills immediately. Went on about my day.