Not a complaint. More an observation.

Nov 24, 2023 | 0 comments

In the last year or so — since I’ve been closer to 90 than to 80 — I’ve had some rather annoying encounters with “professionals” who seem to equate elderly with feeble-minded.  Or, perhaps, more accurately, with “not very important folks” or maybe even as “throw-away people.”  Or at least that’s the way they make me feel.

My latest such encounter was with a youngish man (but not all that young; his beard is more gray than dark and his appearance unkempt in some purposeful way that speaks of trying to be trendy.)  It was a dermatology appointment and perhaps I was sort of “prepared” for an unfavorable experience.  The  clinic involved has recently changed its name.  Twice.  First they added “and cancer” or something to that effect to their “dermatology” name.  Next they changed their name entirely so it’s difficult to tell just what their focus is.  Yet, they say they are the same old outfit — just name changes.

Admittedly, I hadn’t been in for a year, but I was surprised to find no familiar faces.  I had made my appointment a few weeks ago specifically to have several “spots” of seborrheic keratosis removed (frozen off.)  This is a genetic condition I’ve inherited from both parents — not a big deal, but for the last 40-almost-50 years I’ve made yearly trips to my dermatologist to have them removed.  Needless to say, several of my dermatologists have retired or gone out of business during those years, but with each new person, a similar yearly routine has been established.

Not this time.  “I don’t really believe in removing these,” he said to me.  “They aren’t really a problem –(easy for him to say)– and there is always danger of infection from removing them..”  “Really?” I countered.  “That’s never been a problem for me nor has anyone ever said it might be.”

By then he had looked me over, and said very little more before he was outta there.  Wot the hell?  Why did they allow me to make an appointment for the removal of my seborrheic keratosis (which I had clearly specified as the reason for my appointment if their new hotshot doesn’t believe in that procedure.  I guess they are counting on my insurance company to pay them for an office visit.  But it was a waste of 2-1/2 hours of my time, however much gas it takes to drive 34.7 miles round trip and big-time wear and tear on my psyche.

I won’t go there again.  Ditto the eye clinic in Astoria — which I wrote about several years ago.  If there is one thing I know more about than any other human being, it’s me.  If I’m having a problem, I expect the “professional” I consult to at least give me credit for a little intelligence and to treat my concerns with considerateness and civility.  I may be elderly, but I’m not less important because of my age.  Shame on that young man and all the others like him!

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