Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Let the Music Play

musicI was in the waiting room of a practitioner’s office when the receptionist leaned forward over the counter and said in a loud voice toward the opposing shelf lined wall, “Alexa, play spa music.”


The girl stood taller now and repeated herself.

” Alexa, play spa music.”


When checking in, the clerk made little eye contact and seemed more focused on conversing with the coworker sitting next to her. The two were now in whispered discussion about their dire problem of no soft melody in the background.

I was enjoying the defiance of modern technology 🙂

The third try was the winner.

“Alexa, play radio spa music.”

Soft beats filled the room.

I had enjoyed more listening to them give directions to the inanimate object.

Lightened my mood!




I wasn’t trying to start anything…

I was just going to the doctor’s because I have a sore throat  that won’t go away. Nodules on my thyroid have turned me into a hypochondriac in regards to anything to do with my neck. So…

I sit down. It’s a small waiting room. There are three other people waiting also. Politics must  have been in the air because, seconds after sitting, the women to my right says, ” Well, he’s our President, so we need to respect him, even if he is not a very nice person.”

Oh, this is going to be fun.

They all looked over eighty. I might just listen. Old fashioned respect  keeps me from wanting to be contrary.

The man sitting in one of the chairs lining the far wall followed with a comment of his own. With an accent that sounded a little northern, he stated, ” He’s working on good things like getting rid of Planned Parenthood. You know they are selling body parts! Making lots of money. Using my tax dollars.  That’s the worst part. ”


I turned in my seat and had a total diarrhea of the mouth moment.


“Yep” He snapped. ” Saw film on it.”

“Hmm.” I couldn’t let it go.

“Sir, the Federal portion of funding for Planned Parenthood cannot be used for abortions. There is something called the Hyde Amendment that only makes exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother.”

( Past incendiary comments by politicians forced me to do my homework. A few of them have stated that in no circumstance, should termination be an option.)

He pulled his chin up and retorted in a controlled voice, ” You need to see the film.”

Selling body parts. Selling body parts. Scenes from the movie Coma came to mind.

If I wasn’t in my nursing scrubs, I’m sure his response would have been more emotional.

The three women around my actively changed the subject. It somehow jumped to the women on my right  sharing that she is eighty-five and works at SAMS, says it  keeps her joints moving.  I told her I lived real close to COSTCO – would have to drive far to get to a SAMS. The female across from me murmured ” I like to crochet and watch anything except the news.” Smart lady.

I didn’t have just a sore throat anymore. I also had an itch under my skin.  A national agency selling body parts. 

My name was called. The first thing I did was tell my doctor there was someone in his waiting room spreading fear.

Then I went home and googled it. Here’s a link to something closer to the truth.



Throwing My Weight Around

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.


Chen Song Ping

Cancer, Mental Health, Women, Nurse


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