Mar. 28, 2017

Dad's Cardiology Appointment

In order to appreciate this story, you have to understand the complex person my father was. That being said, you probably will not understand this story because of the complex person my father was, but I’m going to tell it anyway. My father is very controlling and not only does he like things to be his way, he demands to have things his way, all of the time, as his cardiologist quickly found out.

My family has a genetic heart disease which causes an early onset of Coronary Artery Disease. My father had a heart attack when he was twenty-one, and clinically dead for three minutes. One of my cousins had open heart surgery just before our tenth birthday; it was her third surgery. My younger brother was also diagnosed at the age of twenty-six. I was diagnosed at forty, which is considered late in life, because of my (better) diet. Since diet does play an important role in this disease and I knew my father had very poor eating skills, it gave cause for concern.

I called to check on him and see how his appointment went. “How did it go today,” I asked when he answered the phone.

“I’m having a great day today,” he said a little too enthusiastically. I knew something was afoul. “Terri just came in to fix me dinner. Sandra made lunch and brought it over. Oh yeah, Sylvia is supposed to stop in tomorrow, but we won’t talk about her. I know you don’t like her.”

“I meant with your doctor’s appointment,” I said clearing up his intentional misunderstanding.

“I went, but he didn’t show up,” he answered. “They rescheduled me for next week.”

The following week, I called and virtually the same conversation took place. Again, they rescheduled his appointment for the following week. I called the third week and the same thing happened again!

I was getting a bit irritated. “Do I need to call your cardiologist and find out what in the hell is going on?”

“No, no, I got this under control. I’m gonna teach that doctor a lesson.”

When he said that, I knew it meant my dad was not getting his own way and the doctor was about to find this out. After his appointed time to meet with his cardiologist, I called the doctor’s office and explained who I was and requested I speak to the doctor.

He came on the phone, identified himself, and asked me again for clarification of who I was. After the formalities were over I said, “I noticed he was rescheduled several times. Is there a problem with my dad?”

“No, he’s doing quite well actually. The reason he was being rescheduled was his idea,” he explained.

“Why was he doing that?”

The doctor gave a little chuckled and answered, “Your father explained to me that if he had been late for his appointment, I would have made him reschedule but he was always on time and it was me who was late. He said his time was just as important as mine and I made him waste his time sitting in the waiting room. He told me that if I made him sit out in the waiting room past his appointment time again, he needed to be paid for his time just like I am paid for my time.”

Now I was chuckling. “I can see him saying that. So, what was your resolution?”

“I will be on time next time or his office visit is free.”