Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Throwing My Weight Around

on July 27, 2015

Flying down the road just under the speed limit, I mentally went over all the things I planned on accomplishing once my appointment was complete. I said to myself over and over, I will not lay down, I will not lay down. I will get things done today

I’ve been doing too much of that lately. Today there would be no excuse. The approved time off for this doctor’s appointment placed me out of work two hours early. Now, it’s a little silly that I had to “put in” a request for time off considering how often I stay late, but hey, it comes with the job. That’s another post for another day.


Ten minutes in the waiting room and I’m ushered back for my thyroid ultrasound. It’s a new girl doing the test. Very quiet. Let me just lay there and wonder about the funny lump that won’t go away.

Ahh, I miss Stacey. Oh well.

She slides the probe over the new bump on the left side of my neck, up toward the top, then the left, the right, and woosh. I’m back out in the waiting room.

Forty minutes later, I’m back in to see my doctor. I love that she reads my ultrasound on the same day. I hated the forty-minute wait. A patient must have been squeezed in. How dare them! It’s all about me today. (Feeling a little cheeky. Sometimes I like to play patient too.)

I wait. The nurse comes in. Takes my vital signs.

Then comes the glitch.

The office received my thyroid labs, but not the Metabolic panel and Blood count.

I get my labs drawn at the hospital I work at, always eight days before the visit, so this is a little annoying. Taking the initiative to fix this myself, I pull out my cell phone and call direct to the hospital lab. Oddly, I get a volunteer on the phone, a very young sounding volunteer, like someone that went through puberty only months earlier. My call must have been rerouted to the front desk. The reception in my exam room is poor, so I have to speak loudly.

I look at my watch and feel the desire to write, work out, and cut grass, whatever. Someone must pay for this atrocity.

“Get me a supervisor.”

My call is rerouted. No one answers. I call again. Same young man. He is brave enough to ask my name. I say it twice and spell it for him.

“S as in Sam. U as in umbrella.” Aggh, eleven more letters to go.

I am now talking loud enough that I am sure people in the next exam room can hear me.

“Miss, let me transfer you.”

I take slow deep breaths while the phone on the other end rings.

“Steve here.”

I start with an aggressive intro to avoid being rerouted again, this time to medical records, a direction they are entitled to take with someone asking for reports by phone. The reception difficulties ensue, so I have to yell, not loud, but my volume is above conversation level.

I am an employee at the hospital. My name is …” I go through the same routine.

There is silence on the other end. I continue

“My TSH, T3 and T4 made it here to my doctor’s office, but my CMP and CBC are not here. The doctor is waiting!” Throwing the medical lingo might help.

I heard the last part of someone’s comment outside.   …should be our office manager… It fuels me.

I continue, sounding righteous, frustrated, and as if I am the most important person at my hospital to ever have lab work done.

“What’s the fax number?” He says.

I wondered if his pause was because he was tracing the call and writing my name down in order to report me to Human resources. It was too late. I had thrown my imaginary weight around until it became real. This might not end well for me tomorrow when I clock in.

Four minutes later, my doctor comes in, smiling.

“Great job getting those labs Susan! Everything looks good today. Let’s talk.”

No blood flow to a nodule (some would say mass) is an awesome thing. The visit ends with a decision that I can cut back to visits every 6 months.

I am mentally reprioritizing as I walk toward my car.

Once home, I beeline to the pillows, my comforter, and take a one hour nap.

The grass can keep growing. It’s all-good because the grass is the only thing growing.

5 responses to “Throwing My Weight Around

  1. DM says:

    I was totally tracking you on that one…including the crappy cell phone reception on an important call. I definitely would have made a bee line for the bedroom and took a nap. DM

  2. Another fine bit of writing. The last line was great. I really enjoyed reading this.

    • Susan says:

      Thanks! I really like being the super cool nurse /patient that goes with the flow, however, I didn’t leave that office with any regrets about the tactics to get what I needed. And, when I went to work the next day and walked past some lab people, I said “Hello” just like I always do 🙂

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