I Hate Reminders | Patient Portal

I Hate Reminders

Critical Message in your Patient Portal. Sign in and open immediately!

Oh my God! They forgot to tell me I have cancer. What else could be so critical that my doc sent this terrifying e-mail and now… multiple texts to boot? They tried to phone earlier, but I missed the call. The dire-sounding voicemail instructed me to call the office immediately, but they don’t answer, placing me on hold with staticky elevator music.

So next, with my hands trembling, I try the Patient Portal but I am so nervous that I mess up the fingerprint authenticator. It keeps telling me I have the wrong password… and that I will be locked out with one more failed attempt. Maybe, just maybe… I only have three months to live.

The computer is demanding the master code to access the passwords. I can’t think! I can’t compute! Why are they doing this to me? I’m a good guy and always pay my bills on time. Finally, I somehow summon from the depths of my gray matter the first five digits. The rest miraculously auto-fills, and my magic Patient Portal opens, but now they are requiring additional secondary proof, so they send me a super-secret code that has to be entered in two minutes or it expires.

I switch the portal window to my text window—and then it happens. The code is gone. Can’t find it anywhere. Where’d it go? There it is. Got it. Got it: 1:58; 1:59: TWO fucking minutes. EXPIRED.

By this time, I am a total basket case. Death by a dozen cuts. I need to see that message, but I can’t—It terminated… just like me, they seem to be saying.

Five additional codes are sent and of course, they all expire until… finally, I am successful. I am a technology genius. I am feeling like I just hacked into the CIA… amazing, but now I have to read the communication, and I can’t look. I’m a nervous wreck. So, I treat it just like I used to do when my grades arrived in the mail. I prayed. The grades weren’t going to change no matter what, but I still prayed.

Crunch time—take it like a man—you can do it! Read your death sentence!

I CLICKED on the message with insane trepidation. I am as good as dead!

Slowly the words take form: ‘This is a reminder to arrive at your appointment 15 minutes early with your insurance card and proper identification to prove that YOU are really YOU and… that YOU can pay for the appointment… mother fucker.

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