Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Why you should always have a book.

Not as funny as the gynecological visit....

With morning traffic yesterday it took about an hour for me to drive to the Orthopedist office. I forget, about morning and evening commutes being a stay at home Mom, and found the drive dangerous, frutrating and just plain silly. Thank God I brought a book.

I walked in the office and noted that there are two types of people at the ortho clinic. "Uber athletic" types, there for marathon injuries, sports injuries and the like, and the "geriatric crowd", with worn out joints. I immediately know I do not fit into either group.

So I am immediately afraid they will not know how to treat a SAHM with a knee problem, I mean I don't have a game to win, and I was really counting on no major joint replacements today.

1) The paperwork seems to take forever, even with my medical history of no surgeries, and no physical impairments or illness, no regular medicines. Then there is the pesky HEPA form, that I am frankly sick of filling out.

2) I am greeted by grouchy office manager, who wants a history of my complaint, and injury. She is not thrilled to be at work this morning, and I am in her office looking around, and want to pinch 2 yellowed leaves from a philodendron on her desk. I also note she has 3 children, and there are several photos of them in the room. I want to assure her I am not exactly thrilled to be here either, but play along smiling.

3) I am then sent back out to my original seat, where I had filled out all of the paperwork. Thank God I brought the book.

4) The office manager retrieves me, only to walk me to yet another sitting area. More waiting ensues. Thank God I brought a book.

5) This time I am greeted by a friendlier "office manager", apparently she manages the "stage 2 area". She shakes my hand and leads me to an actual patient room. She then proceed to interview me AGAIN about said injury. Didn't I just do this? However, I paint a smile on and play along, making sure they know I have no idea how it happened. She then asks me if I can "pull pant leg up for ensuing x-ray". The good news is I can. This office manager leaves me to wait. Thank God I brought a book.

6) A new person peaks head in, and with a lovely condescending voice asks "why are you in your blue jeans". I assure her, I am able to lift my jeans above the knee for the x-ray. She looks at me like I would fail at holding my pants leg up, and goes into a cupboard and pulls out a size 98 navy blue disposable short. "You need to put these on." I want to tell this lady I am quite capable, or holding a pant leg leg up, heck I have saved at least 9 people with CPR. I think I can handle holding a pant leg up. However I play along. She leaves the room, and leaves me for about 15 minutes so I can catch up on my reading.

7) A different nurse or whoever runs this cattle call, knocks on the door to ensure I have this lovely pair of humiliating pair of shorts on, which by the way I would have felt much more comfortable walking through the office in my panties any day. Funny how they did not trust me to hold one pant leg up, but they are asking me to hold an entire pair of shorts up.

8) Another waiting room. More reading. The woman that said I could hold my jeans leg up smiles apologetically and says "sorry". More reading time.

9) After reading yet another chapter, I am greeted by who I believe could be the x-ray tech, she is all business, and it does not take long. Standing anterior, and posterior views, 2 lateral views, done. The entire time am holding up the one size fits all shorts.

10) I am sent back to the last waiting room, and read more.

11) They walk me to my "real patient" room with the x-rays in tow. By this time, I can no longer keep track of who is who, or who does what, or who I have spoke with, I don't even care. I decide I might as well keep the shorts on, knowing the Dr. Will want to look at both legs, check range of motion, etc. I take a seat and grab my book.

12) Knock, Dr. Friendly, thank God, after all of the non-friendly types. He shakes my hand, introduces himself, and we go over the injury yet AGAIN. He palpates patella, and tendons, putting pressure, exactly where it hurts. Asks me to squat and stand, which sounds like a bowl of rice krispies. This is really a normal sound to me, everyone I know creaks and pops, unless they are under 20, although he heard a noise that startled him. I will add here that squatting is fine, it is the unsquating I am having trouble with. So I struggle to finesse my way up. He thinks it is an "irritated and inflamed plica", explains what the cause is, tells me I get a shot of steroids, a couple more days rest, some celebrex, and all should be well. If not, call us, and we will see you again. The Dr. Gets up to go get me my "free samples" of celebrex, and my injection of steroids.

13) With the Dr. gone I think it is an opportune time to return back to my jeans, and of course the Dr. steps in as I am changing, I am ok with this, but Dr. looked uncomfortable and frightened. He steps out fast. Funny how some Drs. Are weird about underclothes.

14) Dr. knocks and reenters with a syringe for a horse and injects the steroid into the lateral patella, after asking me if I am a fainter. Nah. Although it did smart a bit.

15) Upon gathering up my book, purse, free samples. I have yet another desk, another person to deal with, a copay to take care of.

16) I think I got about 4 chapters read, but have no idea what they were about, and will have to reread them today.

17) How the less athletic crowd fared at this maze of staff, waiting rooms, and people I have no clue, it bout killed me. Aknee replacement may be in order, if I have to go here again.

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