Tuesday, November 10

A Quote about War and a "War Story"

The truth is that every morning war is declared afresh. And the men who wish to continue it are as guilty as the men who began it, more guilty perhaps, for the latter perhaps did not foresee all its horrors.

Are you listening, Washington, DC?

Marcel Proust, novelist (1871-1922)


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Mr. kenju has had three different doctors of Urology over the last two years. One left the practice due to illness, another left for unknown reasons and the third one was out of a job due to to Duk* Univ*rsity Hospital's closing of the Raleigh division of Urology. He had to make a decision; to choose a doctor in Raleigh who was not in the Duk* system, or choose one in Durham at the main clinics run by Duk* Univ*rsity. I tried my best to get him to choose a doctor in Raleigh, since I hate driving in Durham for any reason. We have lived in this area for over 40 years and I still can't find my way around over there. At this point, I think I must have a mental block.

Today was the day for his first appointment in Durham. Yes, he made that choice, believing that it would be simpler for record keeping and the filling out of forms if he remained within the Duk* system. (More about that later.) It is about 25 miles away, so we allowed an hour to get there, find a place to park and navigate the miles of buildings, walkways and corridors that make up that huge complex. I got lost. The map I had so carefully studied suddenly turned to mush before my eyes and I was mentally turned around, as well as physically. The more lost I appeared to be, the more worried he got and voiced it (which didn't help, of course.) Finally, we asked for directions and found the building, which like nearly all of them, was under construction (or the roads were). When you are lost anyway, being confronted with construction barricades at every turn is not good for mental stability.

I let him out at the front of the building, where I was presented with the option for valet parking at a cost of $7, as opposed to finding the parking building and paying $1 per hour. I found the parking deck by myself (but you knew that already, didn't you? Stingy me) and after moving at the pace of a sick snail up and up and up, I finally found a space. Of course, it was diagonally across the huge deck from the place I needed to be. Once I reached the building, it was a further hike of about 1/2 mile to get to the spot where I had let mr. kenju out of the car. He had coaxed a sweet young volunteer into placing him in a wheelchair for the trek through the very confusing maze to the urology clinic. We got there with one minute to spare before his appointment. And then came the forms. Remember up there where I mentioned record keeping and filling out of forms? He had assumed that since his regular doctor was in the Duk* system, and his 3 previous urologists had been in the Duk* system, he wouldn't have to fill out any new forms (he hates them). But he was wrong. They handed him a single-spaced form covering both sides of the paper. I don't think he liked that I was hanging over his shoulder watching, but I needed to make sure that he answered the questions truthfully, didn't I? Yes, I did. Trust me on that.

Eventually, we were called to an exam room and a nurse handed him a few more forms, which he declined to fill out. And then, his worst nightmare happened, a woman doctor entered the room. A very pretty, tall, willowy woman doctor. I don't know why he objects to a woman doctor. If I were a man who had to have a prostate exam, I'd much rather it be done by a pretty woman with trim fingers, wouldn't you? After the dreaded exam was complete, we got good news and were sent on our way to the lab for some blood work. The whole event took four hours and we were hungry and tired from the stress of it all. Problem was, I had NO idea where to find a restaurant, so we had to drive back to Raleigh to find some place to eat. Guess what? Mr. kenju surprisingly admitted that he ought to have chosen a doctor in Raleigh. If I had a dollar for every time in the last 45 years I have heard him tell me after the fact that he should have done something I recommended, I'd be a wealthy woman. Men! They never learn.


20 comments:

Gilly said...

Oh my gosh! How I sympathised with your trek! Why is it that Hospitals have miles and miles of corridors? And the only parking spot you can find is as far away as possible??

You are lucky though - at least Mr. Kenju admitted you were right!

(Mind you, now that I am officially disabled as far as parking is concerned, I do get to find spaces near the main door of the Hospital! :-) )

Arkansas Patti said...

Good grief, That place needs a GPS to navigate. Wonder how many people they could find starving to death behind construction waste, too tired to continue.
That is a shame to charge the sick for valet parking. Any hospital I went to it was free.
Hope any future trips will be close to home. Rest up you two.

bobbie said...

Your hospital nightmare is all too familiar to me. At this stage of my life I just refuse to participate in the whole thing.

Your quote on war is excellent!

Nancy said...

I know exactly how you feel about that big hospital in another town.

It really adds to your stress to have to sort out the roads, parking,and miles of hallways in the hospital.

So, when my husband had a serious condition, I INSISTED that we use the small local hospital for his treatment and operation. It was the best thing we ever did.

One day in the elevator at the hospital a stranger asked me what doctor was treating my husband and why weren't we at the huge University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. I mumbled our surgeon's name to her and thankfully she got off at the next floor. A Doctor who was on the elevator with us said to me. " Why should you go downtown? The Doctor you mentioned doing your husband's operation TAUGHT those guys in the city and now he's here teaching us. You made the right choice."

lucylocket said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lucylocket said...

I can't understand why some men don't want to have a woman doctor. Our family doctor left the practice, and finding a new one that accepts Medicare patients is a problem. When I told my husband about a doctor who is accepting new Medicare patients, he flatly refused when I told him the doctor is a woman. I have never heard a woman say should would never see a physician simply because the doctor is a male. Sometimes I wonder about the male of the species.

Buzzardbilly said...

What a fantastic quote!

Poor Mr. Kenju. I think it's the embarrassment of having a female look at your male stuff, even if it is professional.

My old boss had to schedule his first prostate exam. He relied on stereotypes and choose an Asian doctor assuming that he would have small hands. Well, we all know stereotypes don't hold up, so when he came back from Dr. Bananafinger's office he was walking funny and somewhat steamed. I clued him in to the more willowy fingered women doctors. (And laughed mercilessly right to his face because, well, it was funny the way he told it.)

Pat said...

Judy: so much of that is familiar and I take my hat off to you. You have saint-like qualities. Why do they have to make it so hard?
I consider myself very fortunate in that MTL is a far better driver and relieves me of that stress.
I expect Mr Kenju- when he has a quiet think -realises that he could well do to listen to you more. I'm thinking pigs flying in the sky:)

Mar said...

Wise quote...
Sorry about your adventure, may I add "better late than never" regarding Mr kenju's comment about your recommendation? He might be learning after all...!!

oklhdan said...

I feel your pain! Ron would still have that tumor if he had to go to a woman doctor! (Oh....Ron's daughter works for a urologist in Durham at Duke) Small world!

femail doc said...

I was waiting for the part where you said you couldn't find your car post-visit. What an odyssey! Makes the Kaiser concept more appealing, except for the fact that your doctor will spend the entire visit typing away at a computer screen there!

rosemary said...

No they never do learn....I can top that story...Steve still sees his dentist in.....California. The dentist is the son of his childhood dentist....he flies there, rents a car, stays in a hotel sees the dentist and flies back home. Yup, ummhum.

LL Cool Joe said...

I stay as far away from doctors of any gender.

Great war quote.

Darlene said...

Large hospitals can make anyone stressed out. I hate having an appointment at a new place and having to find it, go through filling out forms, etc. The first time you see a new doctor they want you to fill out their forms although they should have all the information with your chart.

This is another example of why the single payer system would be so much easier.

Grannymar said...

Judy, taking a husband to Doctors or hospital appointments is far more difficult than a bus full of toddlers

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Charleston General hospital is just like you described and my neurologist is there. I just dread it.... Is he going to switch to the Raleigh one?

Mildred Garfield said...

Oh, I feel for you. I could just picture what you went through. I've had some similar experiences over the years - finding the hospital - finding where to park - finding the office and than filling out all those forms.

Rats - no fun.

Time out for ice cream, chocolate cake and a stiff drink!

Nancy said...

Judy,

I'm with Millie.Except, you can forget about the ice cream and chocolate cake........

Just bring on the Crown Royal!

joared said...

I think when you have to go to large medical complexes like that, if you aren't that ill you surely will be by the time you leave.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I would have gone stark raving mad. My first cancer treatment in 1989 was done at UCLA which is about 20 miles away. I'd go there in a heart beat again if I had an exotic diagnosis, but no way would I go there routinely. Your experience sounds just like how it was for me--two surgeries and a course of radiation later.

So, is he going to go to the Raleigh urologist next time?