I’ve often wished that my golden retriever’s veterinarian would take me on as a patient. Her waiting room serves coffee, tea, ice water, and both people and dog treats. If Jordan has so much as a routine innoculation during his visit, the vet and/or one of her assistants invariably calls at least once within the next 24 hours to check on how their patient is feeling. And they always call us to immediately report lab test results; not just when they’re worrisome and the vet might need to see Jordan for a follow-up visit.
I, on the other hand, once learned (sort of) about some worrisome chest x-ray results through a late afternoon voicemail message from my oncologist’s scheduling assistant notifying me that I’d been scheduled for a follow-up CT scan of my chest the following morning. It took two phone calls and several hours for me to find out why, and I still didn’t hear it directly from my doc. And last Friday’s blood work results are apparently coming to me only by snail mail. I’ve chosen to assume that “slow news is good news”, but should I have to make such assumptions?
In fairness to the medical profession, I must say that I’ve had a couple of vet-like patient service experiences-- a concerned surgeon who repeatedly called my wife to find out how I was doing after discharge from the hospital, and a radiation oncologist who called me in person to tell me, with profuse apologies, he’d gotten me mixed up with another patient so I needed to come back and repeat an unpleasant procedure.
Nevertheless, if there is reincarnation after death I’m still hoping I come back as my wife’s golden retriever. Couldn’t we all sometimes use a hug and scratch behind the ear from our health care providers? Just sayin’…
Afternoon update: Last Friday's blood test results (lab work completed on Monday) came to me in today's snail mail. Everything "looks very good". The vet would have phoned us on Monday. I rest my case.