Boy, how health care has changed! - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Boy, how health care has changed!

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 12:00 am

Do you remember TV doctors from the ‘60s and ‘70s?

I sure do. Marcus Welby took my health seriously. Joe Gannon never fooled around. That’s what’s wrong with our health care system now. Too many Grey’s Anatomy docs playing hide-the-stethoscope in the supply closets and not enough old guys worried about my caffeine intake.

Remember when Trapper John diagnosed “The Disease of the Week (TDOTW)” and he had to share the news that the illness was going to be impossible to cure? He would always give the bad news to the doomed, wan patient in a book-lined office. She was never sitting on the exam table clutching a paper gown around her, or trying to make the ends meet in the back as she limped down the hall gripping a urine sample when she got the news.

I just got done with most of my annual well-woman exam, which is called that because I am, technically, well. For now. But my dear doctor, who looks nothing like Joe Gannon or even Trapper John, is determined to root through every molecule of my being until she finds something wrong, at which point I will cease to be a “well” woman and then I’ll become a “wet-my-pants-worried” woman (now that I’m 50 and have become colonoscopy-bait, she’s going to start referring me to spelunking professionals who will really leave no stone unturned, but that’s for a different day. Bet you can’t wait for that column!)

To fulfill my doctor’s quest for complete information I got referred out for blood work and ultrasounds and mammograms and whatnot, and I obediently complied. It takes forever for the whatnot results to come back, so then I waited for the phone calls, because dear doctor is not going to schedule an appointment for me to sit in her book-lined office. I’m not even going to get a phone call from a live human being.

Instead I get “Terror Waiting,” a diabolical new way to deliver the news that I may or may not have TDOTW. It works this way:

1. Phone rings.

2. I answer with the traditional “hello?”

3. I am greeted with a perky, automated voice, informing me that I have an important message from my doctor (the perky automated voice has obviously never even dreamed that she had TDOTW. She sounds unsympathetic.)

4. She tells me I must call a number for my results. I frantically scramble to find a pen. There is no pen. There might be a Crayon. No, wait. There’s a pencil with no lead. Oh, hell. Why don’t I just slice open my finger with a steak knife (that, I can find!) and scrawl the phone number in blood on my wall? For there is no way I will be able to sleep tonight if I don’t get that message; I’ll lie awake for hours wondering if maybe the perky voice sounded sad there because she knew something.

5. I manage to transcribe the number.

6. I call it. I verify that I am, indeed, me several times. And then the perky automated voice deigns to deliver my message.

7. Which tells me that everything is fine. I have cholesterol levels that would make Marcus Welby weep with joy. And no TDOTW.

For now.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at Her column appears monthly.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Roosevelt Growhouse and GROWop Boutique Are Closing; Here's Why

Lynn Trimble A A Both Roosevelt Growhouse and GROWop Boutique will close up shop in downtown Phoenix after Monday, October 31, according to an…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 3:17 pm @…

After The Maltese Falcon: how film noir took flight

“I’m so tired. So tired of lying, making up lies, not knowing what is a lie, and what is the truth.” There, in 10 seconds of The Maltese Falco…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 3:05 pm @…

Arizona Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P.) Members Stump for Prop 205

Niki D'Andrea A A Tony Ryan and Jack Wilborn are voting "yes" on Proposition 205, the initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona, and they're…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 2:11 pm @…

Cubs slugger inspired by Arizona 5th grader

MESA, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) - Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber is one of the biggest stories in sports.  After missing the entire regular season with a kn…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 1:41 pm @…

I Am A White Person Who Went To Standing Rock. This Is What I Learned.

I’m home now in Chicago, but I was at Standing Rock just a few days ago. I know how it feels to sleep outside in two sleeping bags and a winte…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 1:16 pm @…

Kirkpatrick: Arizonans have important decisions to make

With Election Day just a few days away, Arizonans face critical choices up and down the ballot. And as I have traveled to every corner of our …

Published: October 28, 2016 - 1:03 pm @…

Joan Baez: Bob Dylan's 'manners suck,' but he deserves the Nobel Prize

Joan Baez is one of the '60s most memorable figures.  With her long flowing hair, crystalline soprano and unabashed political activism, Baez w…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 1:03 pm @…

As Teacher Shortage Grows In Arizona, Districts Look For Ways To Keep Teachers In Classrooms

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 3:10pmUpdated: Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 10:45pm downloadKara Dellisanti can describe her first yea…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 12:50 pm @…

California buyers spearhead $3.6B in 3Q Phoenix apartment sales

Sales of apartments totaled a whopping $3.6 billion in the Phoenix metro area in the third quarter. That is up 51 percent from the same time f…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 12:41 pm @…

Breakfast Lasagna at the Hash Kitchen is Drunk Food at Its Best

Patricia Escarcega A A The Guilty Pleasure: Breakfast lasagnaWhere to Get It: The Hash KitchenPrice: $14What it Really Costs: Your ability her…

Published: October 28, 2016 - 12:42 pm @…

Facebook on Facebook

Twitter on Twitter


Subscribe to via RSS

RSS Feeds


Most Popular

Online poll