I hate making appointments.

Two weeks ago I called the appointment setting line for my ophthalmologist’s office and asked for an appointment. After getting my information the lady asked what I needed an appointment for and I responded that I needed a dilated eye exam.

“Okay, so you need to come in for your diabetic exam,” she said. This terminology bothered me so I corrected her.

“I need to come in for a dilated eye exam,” I said.

“But you have diabetes, right?” she asked me.

“Yes, but I need to have a dilated eye exam,” I answered.

“I can get you in on September 18th for a diabetic exam,” she said.

You may be wondering why the terminology bothered me, after all the only reason I get dilated eye exams is because I have diabetes. It bothers me for three reasons:

  1. The word “diabetic” bothers me in general
  2. Even though I get the exam because I have diabetes it doesn’t mean that the exam doesn’t look at the overall health of my eyes and people who don’t have diabetes can also need/have dilated eye exams, they have pretty much the same procedure
  3. She sounded judgmental

After making my appointment for what is apparently required to be called a “diabetic exam,” I called my endocrinologist’s office to make my semi-annual appointment for what could much more appropriately be called a “diabetic exam” (but endocrinology has the sense to just call them “exams” or “appointments”).

The conversation went like this:

Appointment setter: Can I offer you a next-day appointment or help with something else?
Me: I need to make an appointment for any time in October.
Appointment setter: The first available appointment is December 3rd.

The only reason that I didn’t make my next appointment while in the office last time was because the receptionist was out to lunch when I left. The first available appointment puts 8 months, instead of 6, between the times my endocrinologist has seen me. I don’t like this.

Yes, I’m planning to call for a next-day appointment in October (after my labs have been ordered “in advance”).

2 thoughts on “Appointments

  1. Why is it that the word “diabetes” is okay with me, and the word “diabetic” really bothers me? Great post. Hope you don’t have to jump through so many hoops next time.

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