We moved house last year and haven’t had great luck with finding a new family GP. The first one we tried out was a bit silly – the doctor for my antenatal care, plus those first couple of new baby visits was located up not one, but two very narrow flights of stairs. Whatever about dragging my heavily pregnant and dementedly overdue ass up there, expecting a new mum to haul her broken lady bits AND the baby in the wretched car seat (what is the situation with them being made of lead?) is criminal.
Then, of course, there was the time they charged me €90 for a fifteen-minute visit with Eva because I also asked them to sneak a peek at a rash on the back of Jacob’s knee. The reluctant toddler probably let them take a look at it for all of a second – ok, maybe two seconds, but did it warrant charging this new mother an extra €45? It did in its hoop.
So we moved to GP Number Two and I had it on good advice that this one was very family-friendly, had an open door, no-appointment-necessary policy and that they used their discretionary fee-charging powers with caution. I said ‘Brava! Sign us up’.
Our first visit was for one of Eva’s vaccinations. It went fine; I asked the nice lady doctor if she would check Eva’s chest while we were there as she’d had a constant cough, and she obliged. We left reassured that nothing sinister was at work.
Our second visit was for Eva’s next vaccination. Again, all fine, and when I brought up the cough (which was still lingering months later), I had a prescription for a baby-adapted inhaler somewhat flung at me. Mmmm…sure I let it go. Maybe she was stressed, maybe someone puked directly onto her shoes that morning just as she was leaving the house, you know?
I had one final question for Lady Doctor, since I was there and all, so I chucked it in.
‘And one last thing’ I ventured.
‘Did you want to have a consultation?’ Lady Doctor snapped.
‘I mean, I am happy to do Eva’s vaccinations and everything, but if you need a consultation, I will book you in.’
Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m about to have a confrontation with someone who is in a position of ‘higher authority’ or ‘greater status’ than I, I like to try to look the part. I like to look like I can match them, that I can whip out some jargon from my legal studies diploma or my years in customer service and deliver it with force and a full face of make up. Unfortunately, on THIS day, I was wearing ‘that’ tracksuit (you know the one), hadn’t a scrap of make up on and hadn’t slept in…what is it now, oh yeah, three years.
Anyway, you get it. She was in head-to-toe professional garb and was giving me grief, and I looked like an extra from Shameless. But on this day, I dunno, I wasn’t really having it.
‘Oh I’m sorry’ I responded. ‘I actually just had a question but did you want me to pay you in advance for it?’ (I know, eek!)
Strangely enough, Doctor Lady was taken aback enough to backtrack a bit, and started mumbling and stuttering that I should go ahead and ask her that question.
No, no, I protested, getting my fleece on (it goes perfect with the tracksuit and is has the added benefit of being baby-stain-removal-friendly), I’d go back out to reception and make an appointment and schedule my question in.
No, no, no, she insisted, go on.
‘I was just going to ask your advice on the Mirena coil?’ I shrugged. ‘But it’s grand, another time’.
I was halfway out the open door, car seat on one dead arm, wailing just-vaccinated-baby in it, trying to keep my dignity whilst noticing that my tracksuit bottoms had what looked like a piece of encrusted Rusk stuck to the hem.
‘The coil!’ she trilled, ‘of course, no problem’. And, as if by magic, she whipped out a cardboard cutout vagina and started spewing out all sorts of information on how the coil is inserted etc. I couldn’t tell you a word of what she said, because I was genuinely trying to suppress my giggles.
I would nearly have changed doc a third time, but for that panicked cardboard-cutout-vagina display alone….I totally forgive her. What a comeback ;o)
***This article first appeared on the HerFamily.ie Website***
***Going on hols this year? Bringing the kids? ARE YOU SURE? Read THIS first!!***