One peril of moving to another state (or another part of the country for that matter) is finding that new doctor. Now, I admit I am far from the easiest person to deal with when it comes to doctors because, quite frankly, I don’t like to go to the doctor. At my last 9to9, our insurance could have been construed as a joke – where I often remarked that Nyquil was really my insurance plan because, quite frankly, we’d have to pay for everything else (and more!) Here at the new firm, the insurance rocks – and I’m grateful. However, for me to make an appointment to GO to the doctor – you know there must be really something wrong with me. Eye doctor – even worse. I do NOT like having that daggone smoke puffed into my eyes. Don’t even get me started on the dilation. However, I know it’s a must and I get that.
Over the weekend, my left eye decided that it was going to kick my butt again and turned a horrid shade of red. No, it wasn’t pink-eye but it was severely irritated. I wore my glasses, decided to go sans makeup and scare the world. I tossed out the mascaras and hoped for the best. Things looked better on Tuesday then *poof* yesterday – eye was horribly painful, pink and just ugh! I followed the letter of the law with my insurance provider and went to one of their recommended providers. That’s where I went wrong.
See, I wanted to go somewhere near my home in Manayunk. With my eyes dilated, I didn’t want to have to go driving through Philadelphia, endangering not only myself but other drivers. I didn’t have anyone to drive me and I figured since this place was literally RIGHT NEAR my house, I was golden. I called, made my appointment and was ready to go.
First of all, the doctor was a half-hour late to the appointment. I just bit my tongue, worked on some stuff from the waiting room and went through a crapload of emails. He shows up and, when he closed the door to the exam room, I got this weird feeling that I was not going to like this. Remember in Dirty Dancing where they said “This is my space, that is your space. You don’t come into my space, I won’t come into yours.” I tend to abide by that principle. This man practically climbed on the chair to “look” at my eye and then had the nerve to give me grief when I told him I wasn’t comfortable. All the time he was breathing heavy and, quite frankly, I was a bit skeeved out by it all. I brushed it off and resisted the urge to knock his lights out – I mean, c’mon. The man was definitely “dirty old man material” (note to self: wear a turtleneck next time).
He grilled me endlessly on medical symptoms – do I have allergies to meds, do I have high blood pressure, do I have diabetes – what is my family medical history? What the eff does that have to do with an optometrist exam? I have never been asked all this medical detail before by an eye doctor but I answered the questions. He departed the claustrophobic room and I took the time to calm down and breath, while scanning my surroundings. I noticed that he had a cheat sheet on how to prescribe contacts to my left – I thought that was peculiar. However, I gave him the benefit of a doubt due to the fact that he was so old school that he just didn’t know the conversions.
Side note: When he left on one of his few departures, he had the nerve to rudely scold a waiting patient who was sitting there and didn’t make one peep – “You missed your appointment with me yesterday, I can see you at 5. You wait for me to be done with all my patients” (This was around 1:30 – poor guy!) So, while Dr. Whack-A-Doodle worked through his dictator complex yelling at him for everyone and their mother to hear, I’m fuming again – WHO DOES THAT?!?!?
He returned, did another battery of tests and it was time for the smoke test – I guess he forgot the dilation part, huh? It took him 5 times to blow smoke in my right eye; 7 times in my left – umm… definitely not cool. He made me lean over into machines so that he could look at my eyes (didn’t he do that when he was all over my chair – wtf!) and again didn’t make things comfy at all. Again, he invades my space with yet another chair invasion, shining a light in my eye and breathing heavily while his hand is resting on my jawbone. Now I’m livid.
Dr. Whack-A-Doodle tells me he sees some discoloration (doh – yeah – its from when I slept in my contacts you dumbazz – I have a mark that has been confirmed by two other doctors in Florida!) and he thinks I might have a detached retina. Dr. Whack-A-Doodle wants me to go to his “friend” and told me “not to worry, your regular insurance will take care of it.” as he pulls from a stack of cards that he has handy for referrals. Alarm bills are at full alert. He tells me he needs me to come back for follow up visits and he insists on 3-4 a year. (Alarm bells are seriously screaming now).
Now, wait for it – Dr. Whack-A-Doodle then tells me that I need “special contacts” that are “Silicone blah blah” and he needs a check for $169.70. My plan covers the exam, glasses and contacts – what the eff does he need a check for. He tells me that I will need to do a separate contact lens exam too in addition to this. Plus, the glasses will require super special lenses and coatings which are also extra. Note: the whackjob didn’t do a contact lens exam even though he went through the tests for it – and I have to do another at my own expense? Plus, he needs to order my contacts now, however he doesn’t have the sizing, etc. I DON’T THINK SO! Plus, if I have a detached retina, why would he order contacts anyways? I would be wearing my glasses until I heard otherwise. What the heck is he smoking?
I was seriously annoyed. I firmly told him I don’t have the money with me. Dr. Whackjob tells me that it is no problem, I could just write a “post-dated check.” That was the final straw. I lost my damn mind and told him absolutely no way. Needless to say, I wanted a second opinion and, when he was told, he was offended. I informed him that I found him and his diagnosis unacceptable and just wanted to follow up. He advises me to go to his “friend” for the second opinion. Again, ummmm. NO! I also told him that I would be talking to my vision insurance provider. All I wanted from him was my prescription for my glasses and that was it. He fought me, arguing that I had to order through him and the reason why I had the eye problem was because I didn’t go to the right doctors and get the right prescriptions and his special monthly contact lenses would fix everything. Plus, I wouldn’t break his “special glasses” because the stuff the other people gave me broke. He didn’t even KNOW me or anything about me to say that. He has some nerve!
I was furious – this idiot kept me there for over 2.5 hours with his bullshit and I had to listen to him talk down to me because he’s been “practicing for 37 years.” He’s far from an authority with his cheat sheet, IMO and he was far from professional. I had a few loud words with him and his patients waiting in the room seemed to understand my frustration, especially scolded patient.
I spent some serious time on the phone with my insurance provider when I returned home and, sadly, the second opinion will have to be paid for by yours truly. Even more annoying was that the insurance provider had to reverse his submission because I refused to purchase either my glasses or contacts with him. As it took them some time and a phone call to him directly to discuss what happened, I think his dingbat secretary more than likely put in a full claim before I even left the building. Could you imagine if he got paid for the whole kit & caboodle instead of just the exam. Seriously, he is quite a piece of work. I will be lodging a formal complaint with my vision provider, that’s for sure.
Note to self, next time go to a doctor my friends trust – even if it is out of network.