the professional break up

My doctor called the other day to remind me I needed to make an appointment for an annual physical. Her reminder actually reminded me I need to find a new doctor.

I’ve broken up with a lot of professionals in my life. I don’t enjoy it because it’s tough to find doctors and dentists and vets and hairdressers that I like and trust. It’s like finding a life partner: you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, so when he arrives, you hang on like grim death because you know how few eligibles are out there.

It took me multiple tries to find a dentist. I finally found one I loved, but he retired and sold his practice. I didn’t love his replacement. But I was used to the hygienist, and the office space, and there was always available parking, so I tried to work through my discomfort, but then I couldn’t. I’d had it with his practice of reciting my dental flaws tooth-by-tooth, so the hygienist could make notes in my file. There were distals and mesials and linguals and cracks and chips and fissures and I always left feeling I was one mesial fracture away from a full set of dentures. I cancelled my next six-month appointment via answering machine and dodged all incoming calls about rescheduling. I hate confrontation.

Likewise, it took a half dozen vets before finding “the one.” We had a great relationship until we didn’t. In fact, that was part of the problem. She began to regard me as less of a client and more of a friend who could be taken for granted and would settle for second rate care. After all, we’re friends, right? I’d probably put up with it for me. At least for a while. But my precious, furry, little creatures? So long, doctor!

I hated to leave a hairdresser I’d been seeing for years, but I wanted long hair and he preferred short. While he controlled the scissors, I controlled the pocketbook, so, see you! Love you lots, miss you much!

And now my medical doctor. I hate to start over. I “auditioned” several doctors before choosing a winner. She’s certainly available. Mostly because she has very few clients.

But the main thing is she’s just not super competent. Now before you get judge-y and ask where I got my medical degree, you’re right. I don’t have the initials M.D. after my name. But I do know the basics, like how to take blood pressure. And sitting on the end of the exam table, legs and arms dangling, hyperventilating with nervousness (white coat syndrome), wrongly placed cuff, and chitchat, well, it’s just not conducive to a super accurate reading. It’s normal at home, but she doesn’t want me to take readings at home. “Leave this to me,” she always says. Can I also leave to you the lifetime of blood pressure meds you’re going to put me on some day?

And so, another breakup; another search.

I spend more time looking for professionals than visiting them.

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