Please bear with me as this is my first diary. I am extremely upset after a visit to my doctor's office today. I witnessed a major incident that began in the waiting room, spread to the office staff, and spilled out into the parking lot. I was so upset that I felt I had to get involved, and I did. I have absolutely no remorse regarding my actions.
I was waiting to see my doctor for a follow-up on the status of my diabetes. My A1C reading was okay (6.4) on a previous visit, but other indicators caused the lab to send an urgent fax after the analysis of my bloodwork. So, off I went Monday before last and today for follow-up visits.
My doctor is very diligent about handling any problems that might occur with my diabetes. Plus, he also knows that I was diagnosed with lupus earlier this year. We have a pact that I will not end up on dialysis like my oldest brother who devotes 3-4 days a week to his dialysis treatments. He is very competent, knowledgeable of the latest treatments and procedures. He is one of what I think is a dying breed because he actually takes the time to sit down and talk to the patient about his/her condition(s). He also volunteers a lot of his time at clinics and local dialysis centers in our community. I give you these details about my doctor to provide a little background about the type of guy he is.
I had a 10:00 AM appointment, and arrived pretty much on time. The waiting room was full, and some patients had already been waiting for 2 hours. Most of the patients don't mind because this guy is really good. One of the patients in the waiting room was on a walker and had been dropped off by one of her church members who is not a patient. Around 1:00PM this guy came back to pick up this patient and discovered she hadn't seen the doctor yet, although she'd been waiting since 10:00AM. He became very vocal saying, "Monkeys must be running the office and doing the scheduling." He then proceeded to the window which opens to the office and said," You monkeys are doing a poor job with these appointments and getting people in to see the doctor." Of course, the office staff was visibly upset because they are young African American women. The office manager is Korean.
What this guy didn't know was that the doctor was standing in the hallway outside of the office when he made his monkey statement. Now, in all the years that I've been going to this particular doctor, I have never seen him lose it the that way he did today. He is one of the most even-tempered people I know, always smiling and very jovial. The office staff asked this guy to have the patient call him when she was ready to be picked up. He headed out the door, still ranting and raving.
My cool, collected Nigerian physician followed this guy out into the parking lot and loudly confronted him about his comments,warning him that he did not want him referring to his office staff as monkeys. My doc and this guy got into a very heated argument during which my doc ordered him out of the parking lot and called the police. The police arrived, talked to them both, threw the guy out of the parking lot, and ordered him to never set foot on the property again.
Meanwhile, inside the waiting room, the patients and I were discussing the issue after some of us had returned from the parking lot. I had sat there and witnessed this guy's obnoxious behavior, and I'd had enough. I stated that I was fed up with the attitudes of many people here in GA toward blacks, of whom I am one, and other minorities, based only on minor differences in biology. I shared with them that I had attended both a high school and a college before integration where 99% of the students were white, and that I had taught some of these same folks' children for over 33 years, and how sick and tired and fed up I am with this attitude towards me and others like myself in this state/nation. I also stated that I am tired of living in America for almost 60 years and being viewed as a second class citizen, and it is time for this to stop. I stated that I had never wished/done harm to anyone, had never been incarcerated, and had always contributed in a positive way to this society. I did not care that there were white and black patients in the waiting room. I did not care whether anyone liked what I said or not. I did not care that two police cars were outside in the parking lot. I did not think. I just spoke from my heart. I have now resolved to continue to do so in this very red state.
UPDATE: Thanks, guys. Incidents of this sort tend to stick with me because I am a very sensitive person who tends to internalize things. You have really helped me calm down and make it through the day.