A patient with diabetes called a couple of days ago to make an urgent appointment. Due to some scheduling issues/trying to accommodate to her travel plans, I had my assistant overbook the patient into my lunch break.
This morning, about 1.5 hours before the appointment, the patient called to cancel because “her daughter was sick and she needed to stay at home to take care of her.” Fine, as a mother, I totally understand.
So I was able to finish up earlier than expected and decided to make a quick guilty-pleasure trip to a fast-food restaurant to grab something to eat. As I walked in, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my patient, enjoying what looked to be a calorie-loaded, carb-heavy meal with a milkshake or some sort. And there was no sick child with her. Unless her sick child looks like a group of 30-year-old smiling/laughing women.
Awkward. I pretended I did not see her. I don’t know if she saw me.
The silly thing is that my initial reaction was “Oops, my patient is going to see that I am eating fast food!” Why am I feeling shameful about my unhealthy food choices when she is the one that has diabetes and skipping her doctor’s appointment?! What would you have done?