Sunday, October 04, 2009

A HIPAA Free Zone


If you put four Southerners in a small room within twenty minutes you will have a an ice cream social without the fat. I'm sitting in my Doctor's waiting room with four other strangers reading the book I brought and waiting "for the call". I'm looking at the heavy older gentleman sitting across from me and giving him my ten second medical assessment. I notice the thin skin, the spidery veins on his cheeks and his overall "Mr. Clean" appearance. I automatically put him in the "sick" category and suspect he's taking steroids for something. Across from me there is a young lady about thirty five with that Northern N.J. transplant look. Next to me is a slender, no-nonsense looking thirty year old "power-chick".

I'm sitting there about two minutes and I can feel it coming. My guess is the old guy is going to kick it off, and he does. He is suffering from prostate cancer that has spread to his bones. The Jersey girl had lung cancer; and she never smoked a cigarette. The power-chick is a few years out from stage three ovarian cancer. I'm at a loss here because I'm sitting there with just a little hypertension ( I have to come by every three months for a follow-up in which my doctor checks my blood pressure and then talks to me for twenty minutes about my dog). Obviously I didn't need to bring a book. During the hour wait I probably talk more than I do in a week. I now know all about these people and the hour has passed quickly. Perhaps it was the lousy magazines or the lack of a flat screen, but somehow the boring waiting room has become a point of social interaction. The "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act" (HIPAA) doesn't apply to a doctor's waiting room. It's not hard to understand. It's a Southern thing.

7 comments:

u.f. said...

Good post, Babba. You are becoming a real Southern gentleman.

Aunt Dot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
M- said...

You must've had a good b/p number and a good visit. This post is calm.

;)

I really like it. Underneath all that mania around us are normal people just doing their thing.

Aunt Dot said...

Mary, it's the chatting about the dog for 20 min. -- or on second thought, maybe because it's not about politics...arg! That'll get your BP up.

David DiQuattro said...

Babba,

Do you tell them you are an anaesthetist?

Babba-Gi said...

I don't have to tell her, I'm a legend around here. My name is in most of the textbooks. We commiserate together about how screwed up health care is.

D- said...

Did you get the chance to exchange any great southern recipes while waiting?