Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My xiphisternum revisited

I've been feeling a bit of discomfort in my chest of late. In fact it seems to get a bit worse every day. Further probing revealed that the lump in the centre of my chest has grown significantly. Enough farting around. Gotta find a Streetsville physician and get this looked after. I'm confident it's just a harmless lipoma as Dr Harry suggested but I get the feeling it's gonna have to be removed. It seems to be raising a bit of a fuss down there. To be honest I'm a tad worried.

The web site for the Ontario College of Physicians & Surgeons offers a very convenient search facility for locating doctors who are accepting new patients. I find some who's offices are located in the neighborhood that lies between the apartment and my workplace and I get on the phone.

"Dr. Tsang's Office."

"Hello. I understand Dr. Tsang is accepting new patients."

"No. He's not."

"He's not accepting new patients?"

"No sir."

"Okay. Bye then."

Perhaps the web site is in need of updating. I call up Dr. Hany Tawfeek Beshay.

"Hi. You've reached the Bristol Family Medical Centre. Our hours are Monday through Friday nine AM to eight PM, Saturday and Sunday ten AM to three PM. We're not available to take your call right now but please leave your name and telephone number and we'll return your call shortly. Thank you and have a good day."

"Hello. My Name's Fantasy Writer Guy. I understand Dr. Beshay is accepting new patients and I'd like to make an appointment please. My number is..."

After a half hour I've received no return call and I'm growing impatient. Screw Dr. Beshay. I go back to the list and dial up the next doctor. The receptionist is clearly the world's fastest talker.


"Certainly," I reply - to no one in particular. She'd cut me off two milliseconds after voicing the word please. But she comes back.


"Um. No. I understand that Dr. Wong is accepting new patients and I was wondering if-"


"Oh. Um. December third? That seems a long way away. I don't think I can wait that-"


"That's okay. I already found one. I'll just-"

"Goodbye-then!" Click.

"- um..."

Back to the list. I dial the number for doctor Markijan Kramarchuk. I get voice mail.

"Hello. You've reached the Sprains and Strains Sports Medical Rehabilitation-" Click. To hell with that. Back to the list. I try Doctor Philippe Yostos. More voice mail. They're closed Wednesdays. Back to the list. Ooh! Dr. Wang Chung! This has got to be the one. I can't wait to tell all my friends that my new doctor is Wang Chung and we're all havin' fun tonight. I dial the number.

"Dr. Chung's office."

"Hello. I understand Dr. Chung is accepting new patients? I'd like to make an appointment please."

"You need to come down to the office and fill in an application form."

"And then I can see the doctor?"

"No. It's just an application. We'll call you if you're accepted."

Awkward silence...

"Oh. Um. Okay then. Tell me - what um - what kind of patients are deemed acceptable - um - generally? 'Cause - you know - maybe I could get an idea whether or not I fit the profile - of a desirable patient. And if not then - you know - I could save us both some time - um - you know what? I think I may have called the wrong number. Thanks anyway. Bye."

"You're welcome." Click.

What the f...?
Have I missed something here? Does Canada still have a single-tiered health system or have I been in a coma for a while?

Back to the goddam list.

"Credit River Medical Clinic."

"Hello. Is Dr. Youssef accepting new patients?"

"Yes. He is."

"Oh. Good. May I make an appointment?"

"Certainly. What time of day is good for you?"

"Any time. I'd like to see him as soon as possible please."

"How does Friday - ten-thirty sound?"

"This Friday?"

"The day after tomorrow."

"Sounds perfect. Thank you."

"Your name please?" I tell her.

"We'll see you Friday. Bye now."

There. That wasn't so hard now, was it?



Dave said...

Oh my god! I had exactly the same thing happen!
Except it was when we were looking for a new vet recently.
And we managed to get in with the first one we called.
Aside from those two things, it was like reading my own story.
Freaky, huh?

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Dear Epenezer,

Seems uncanny, doesn't it? But there's a natural tendancy for random factors to align - thus creating the illusion of coincidence.

I believe it's called the Vnkkxsv Theorem.