Monday, May 10, 2010

I Hate the Doctor's Office

For the last two years, I have had a moderately severe thyroid problem. Every so often, my body decides that my thyroid is akin to evil and thus decides to go haywire and attack it with intent to kill, thus creating symptoms of extreme sleepiness (I could sleep for ten hours and feel like I got zero), "brain fog" (I call it stupidity) and lack of energy (Finally! An excuse for being lazy! hahaha)

Of late, I've been experiencing the above symptoms and thus decided to make a visit to the good old doctor for blood work. I hate my doctor's office because it is always (I cannot emphasize the word "always" enough) a mix of annoyance and confusion on my behalf. Also, I think the employees of the clinic think I'm somewhat insane because I'm very sensitive to my thyroid going on the killing rampage, so let's just say in the last few years I've been at the office close to ten million times.

So I make my routine phone call, and immediately there is confusion. The conversation goes like this:

Me: Hi, I'd like to make an appointment to get my thyroid tested.
Receptionist: Do you need to see a provider or can a medical assistant do it?
Me: A medical assistant could do it, sure. And today would work
Receptionist: Uh....let me transfer you to the medical assistants, they can make the appointment.


Medical Assistant: Hello, this is _______
Me: Hi, I'd like to make an appointment to get my thryoid tested
Medical Assistant: Uh.....can I put you on hold?

Five minutes go by, and in the background, I can hear the staff talking, laughing and catching up over what they did over the weekend. Finally, someone picks up the phone and I make an appointment.

Appointment time comes, and I arrive at the clinic. I check in, and then.....I sit. For thirty minutes. Country music is playing, and there are Spanish people everywhere. Everyone is speaking in Spanish, so I have no idea what anyone is conversing about, but in the intermittent pieces of English that are spoken, I see a young Hispanic man flirting with a receptionist and the office manager is telling him to put on a client satisfaction survey the "thing he most likes about the clinc is that the receptionist is "hot". Bursts of laughter are heard.

As this young man is wooing the receptionist, I observe that his voice is strangely familiar. I look up, and automatically remember that this is a young man who tried to have a fling with me three years ago when he was a cook in a restaurant and I a server. At the same time, he either remembers me or is just enjoying cajoling with women, that he starts pacing back and forth in front of the reception desk and continually stares at me. I continually ignore him, praying that my time to be seen will be soon.

Called back into the exam room, I get my vitals taken and then sit there for about twenty minutes more, with the only magazine in the room to read a Mothering magazine on how children "just want to be cuddled."

Outside the exam room the staff is laughing and talking about movies they have seen recently and the deals they got at the movie theater. At the room next to me, someone is pounding at the walls.

Finally, someone steps into the room. I had requested a blood draw only, but the nurse practitioner feels it is necessary to examine me. She takes one look at me and asks if I've lost weight. (No. Did I look fat the last time you saw me...?) and then proceeds to tell me how good I look.

She pulls out her stethoscope and listens to my heart, but also places it up against my throat. What sounds can you hear via the thyroid gland? ...

As she lifts up my shirt to listen to my stomach (why?!?) she talks about the need for her to get new underwear what with these new low rise pants that are on the market these days. Then she proceeds to lift up her shirt, and roll down the top of her pants so that I may see her nice orange and white underwear. (Gee whiz! That's some flashy underwear!!)


Finally, she leaves and a medical assistant steps in. She sticks a butterfly needle into my arm, gets the flash, and then....nothing. I really hate the feeling of having a needle stuck into my vein. It hurts. A lot. Since no blood was coming out, she decides to re-adjust it (wonderful feeling, having a needle moved around from within your vein) and finally, the blood flows out.

I finish up, and the woman checking me out cannot figure out how much my co-pay is, and though she speaks flawless English she is converting back and forth between this and Spanish. At long last, she figures everything out, and I am on my way.

Thyroid results are pending, but that's another story.

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