Monday, May 4, 2009

And You Call Yourself A Doctor???

(Having problems photographing layouts from the weekend. Will be back mid-week to share. In the mean time, I have a little story for you. Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! XOXO - me)

Several months ago on a typical workday morning, I experienced a very atypical and uncomfortable pain in my lower back. The pain had been present for several days, but on this particular morning, it had exacerbated to an unbearable level. I tried to ignore it in hopes it would disappear, but no such luck. I began to develop what I thought was a fever and was becoming nauseated. It became apparent I would have to go to the doctor.

Now, where I live, doctors have very few "emergency" appointments available. You can call in so congested you sound like an alien. Words are barely decipherable through the phlegm and coughing. You report a fever of 104 and the response is always the same cheery, lilting response. "The doctor can see you three weeks from Monday. Would you like me to put you down for an appointment?" And my response is most certain to always be - "Ummm, no. I will be dead by then. But thanks anyway."

This lack of medical-care-when-you-need-it has led to the overuse of our local urgent care centers. Not to be confused with the Emergency Room, these places are separate examining sites for those too sick to stay home, but not ill enough to go to the hospital. Wait time is lengthy and germs abound at these facilities. You can see why I avoid them at all costs. But this time I had no choice...I would have to go to Urgent Care. *shudder*

I left work, tediously drove with hands clenching the steering wheel in pain, checked in at the desk and waited. One very important point to note, although the word "urgent" was proudly used when naming this care site, they were in no way treating my ailment as "urgent". Despite my reported pain level of 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, they ignored me. I signed in at 1:30 and wasn't called back until 5:30. Never mind the fact the facility closed at 5:00. That only elevated my fear of sub-par medical treatment. I spent 4 horrifically long, uncomfortable hours sitting in an over-crowded, germ-infested waiting room. And each time I questioned, "How much longer", the response was, "We will be with you shortly". Yeah, right!

When I was finally, finally called back, I plastered on my happy face and exuded pure sweetness. You certainly want to make friends with anyone who possesses the ability to prescribe mind altering, pain relieving drugs! Especially when you are in urgent (there's that word again) need of said medication! Smart thinking on my part, huh? My male nurse took my vitals, asked some questions and listened to my self-diagnosis of a kidney infection all while nodding in sympathetic agreement. After having me pee in a cup, he smiled and patted me on the arm as he placed me in another eternal holding cell...errrrr...I mean examination room.

This wait was not as lengthy. A female doctor entered with a female nurse and proceeded to ask a few more questions and discussed the results of my urine test. While my symptoms mimicked a kidney infection, my test came back negative. With an authoritative tone, that was not all that convincing, she explained that she needed to do a pelvic exam. WHAT??? I came up off the table, eyes popping, arms flailing about and informed her that was NOT necessary.

Not sure if anyone else feels this way, but exploration of that most sacred area is reserved for a select few. And the local yokels at the "urgent" care center had not made the list. Only my doctor of choice, one who has already been there and done that to me on other dreaded and unwelcomed occasions, would be allowed entry. Barring a serious medical emergency, you know, the kind where I would be passed out, anesthatized or in a coma, would this type of exam take place in this environment. In other words...totally without my consent. Strangely enough, my pain was no longer as severe. What had felt like a fever was brushed off as a hot flash. I was miraculously cured. But the doctor would have none of that. I don't think she believed me...*insert shrug with eye roll*.

Here is where the story takes a serious turn for the worse...yeah, it really does get worse. The doctor did the courtesy exit allowing me privacy to prepare for the upcoming violation of my secret spot. I quickly disrobed from the waist down and frantically worked to cover myself as best I could with the token paper napkin. Itchy, crinkly, icky napkin. I always fear I won't be ready when they return so I do this in a very rapid manner. Nothing like getting caught with your pants down. As I laid there berating myself for having come here, I over heard the conversation on the other side of the door.

Nurse: "We are doing a pelvic exam?"

Doctor: (agian with an authoritative tone) "Yes."

Nurse: "And do we have the instruments to do that?"

Doctor: (with less authority) "I believe we do."

Nurse: "We actually have one of those....what do you call it?"

Me: (silently shouting) "S-P-E-C-U-L-U-M!"

At this point, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and tuned them out. I began repeating the following mantra. "This too shall pass...this too shall pass...this too shall pass."

They entered. Obviously, they worked to pull themselves together in order to appear more professional. The nurse took her position at my head. The doctor, of course, took her seat between my stir-upped legs. A light was positioned over the area to be examined. I was asked to slide down...a little more...a little more...and a little more. I was hanging off the examining table for goodness' sake! Gripping the side of the table was necessary just to keep from falling in the doctor's lap! Per an additional request, I ever so slowly and reluctantly separated my clenched-together knees. Then it began. The doctor requested the thingy (aka speculum). The nurse did not have it. The doctor asked where it was. The nurse did not know. After several excruciatingly long moments of speculation, it was decided it resided in the drawer on the examining table. Right. Between. My. Spread. Eagled. Legs!!!!!!!!!

As the doctor dug around in the drawer, the light was doing a good job of baking certain unmentionables to a crisp. She finally retrieved one only to realize it was broken. I lifted up on my elbows to witness her doing her best Julia Roberts impersonation. Remember in Pretty Woman when her character is at the opera and she thinks her opera glasses are broken? She repeatedly flips them over while stating, "They're broken. Mine are broken." Dear friends, I would not lie to you. The doctor was flipping that ugly piece of metal proclaiming its inoperable state. I would have laughed out loud had it not been for the fact she was staring me straight in the....well, you know.

At least she now knew where to get another one. The nurse was asked to "warm it up" while I lay there eyes glazed over with open mouth and legs akimbo. I would tell you what happened next, but I have forever blocked it from my memory. Only the strongest electro-shock therapy could jar it to the surface. And even then, I fear the consequences of reliving this nightmare would doom me to a straight jacket. I do remember pain...lots and lots of pain. I recall coming off the table amid my own gasping and groaning to be met with the totally unnecessary question, "Oh dear, does that hurt?" H-E-double-L, yeah! That! Hurts!

Somehow, someway, I escaped. And the irony of it all...I was scheduled for my annual gyno visit the following day! I had totally forgotten. Needless to say, I was violated two days in a row. Bummer!

In the end, I was diagnosed with ovarian my regular doctor, thank you very much. A D&C was scheduled. I recuperated. Then life returned to normal. And what is the moral of this story? ANY, and I do mean ANY, pain below the belt is better left to the "private parts" professionals!


  1. Oh boy... lol. You described that so well, I was chuckling.. not at you being uncomfortable, but the whole doctor thing. Yikes!
    Hope you are feeling better soon!
    Jen (who is hoping to have a more compentant doctor today, as I through the same.. blah! lol)

  2. Danggggggggggggggggg.....that totally sucks Lisa!!!!!! WOW WOW WOW!!!! What an ordeal!!!!! Thank goodness though that your Doctor was able to diagnosis U the correct was and all is GOING TO BE WELL!!!!!! I hear ya about Urgent Care's.....I only go there if U know I have died and no longer in control of my decisions!!! LOL :):):):):):):) Have a great week my friend! :):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. Oh sweetie, been there and done that and yes, I wonder if these people who proclaim to be doctors in this URGENT CARE facilities, may just be imposters. I think my cat has gotten better care at the vets, than I have at these centers. Huh, there is an idea, sick go see the vet, the wait won't be as long as I am sure the care will be more compotent!!!! What an experience and I love your story, because I have lived it with you!!!! Can't wait to see your creations!!!! Love ya girlie and have a wonderful week!

  4. holy crap does that suck. every women is feeling your pain right now but i love your spirit and how you can {kinda, lol} joke about it now.

    i went to an urgent care facility once for pink eye. i am glad they didn't want to do a pelvic on me.

  5. Oh.My.Heck!
    I don't even know what to say.
    Hope your Monday is better!

  6. Oh feeling your pain!! Went to 2 of them within 6 months for a sore inside my nose, had 2 different diagnoses, and finally got rid of the stupid sore, on my own!! No mention of pelvic exams thank God!! Hope your doing better now!

  7. Bless your heart!! I would have been freaking having that procedure done at the urgent care!!! Glad that is behind you and I wish you a very happy day!!

  8. I just enjoy your stories so much, Lisa. You are a corker!!!! Dang girl, next time call me and I'll give them "what for"!!! Sorry your sacred spot was violated - ROFL - I'm sorry, I just can't help giggling and laughing at the expense of your pain - I'm so sorry!!!!

  9. OMGoodness! I can feel your pain! Really!
    I have to have the baby sized speculum, and last time the dr. said she couldn't get it in all the way. My cervex is tilted, so she says "Grab your knees and pull them up to your chest." Ya, right. I couldn't do it, I was frozen with fear.
    Glad you got your pain figured out though!

  10. oh my goodness girl!!! you crack me up the way you tell a story!! I hope everything is figured out and hopefully you will feel A+ soon!! have a good week!!

  11. Lisa, glad you found out what the "pain" was!
    @@ I did enjoy the story though, your description was dead on and your reference to Pretty Woman tickled my funny bone, I have seen that movie like 5 times this past week.!
    Hope you continue to heal and enjoy your week.

  12. ohhh you poor poor thing! My legs are crossed tightly after reading all that!

  13. Oh Lisa, I am sorry! No woman should have to go through that but I must say, I love your story telling.

  14. Oh Lisa. That is awful. We have an "urgent" care here too. I cringe everytime I walk through the doors. Now I will really cringe:) Sorry you had to endure that.

  15. Holy smokes! You poor thing, I can barely handle the yearly ones much less when they want to do extras! lol Glad you came through it like a champ, I hope you feel better now!

  16. Poor you!! I thought this was going to be a post about a girls weekend, not a girls parts weekend! I hope you are feeling much better, and Im sorry you had to go through so much pain. Women really have it rough, and men have it way too easy!

  17. Oh goodness, girl, I was cringing with you through every line of that story (you are one seriously great writer, btw)! Sigh. What us women have to go through! In happier news, I got my box today! You are amazing! THANK YOU soooo much! I had so much fun going through it and can't wait to dig in!

  18. Lisa! I just read your comment about the birthday cupcakes and UFC. Funny thing is I had to pull out the hammer fist and us it on Kerry last night on his birthday!

  19. OMGoodness!!!! I don't mean to be laughing so hard when you were in such pain BUT girl you have so many "adventures"....I don't think I will ever be able to walk into Urgent Care without thinking of the S-P-E-C-U-L-U-M!!!
    So glad your gynie was able to diagnose the cysts...did you have them removed? And I assume you are feeling better, I hope! Have a great week have definitely made my week!!! LOL!

  20. Glad to hear you're feeling fine again, but I do have to admit I enjoyed your story. Even when you described your pain, a faint smile was on my lips ... sorry!
    I have never heard of urgent care. In Belgium, if we feel sick, even the slightiest little bit, we can call our doctor and if we call early enough in the morning, we are pretty sure to be able to go see him the very same day. Even on the weekends, when our regular doctors aren't on call, there is a number we can dial for a doctor who is on call that weekend, and he too comes the very same day. In extreme emergencies we go to the emergency room, and that's not a problem either. Your story made me feel relieved we have such a wonderful health care in our country. I mean, what do you do if a child gets sick??? You can't possibly wait for 3 weeks then???
    xxx Peggy

  21. Oh my goodness, poor poor Lisa...
    Feel so sorry for you going to so much pain but I couldn't help laughing about the whole sorry.... Your description is sooo funny...sorry again..
    Hope you are feeling much and much better now!!
    Big hug!

  22. So Now I'm saying a little prayer that we didnt stop at the urgent care during my cramps which turned out to be a miscarriage, when we lived at Bragg in 2003. I was always curious bc the one I was near was NEVER busy. It was almost like a vacant building.

  23. OH and when I had cysts and terrible sicking pain, the ER on FT Bragg, gave me naproxen. Now I wonder if that lead to all my pregnancy issues.

  24. Oh, no! This story made me cringe, Lisa - I hate those exams, too! Hope you are feeling better soon! :)

  25. Oh my word. First let me say that I feel you because I HATE those stupid exams and they are just miserable.

    But, I have to say that I was literally LOL when I was reading this! Maybe it IS b/c I can so relate, but it was totally cracking me up and now my DH thinks I'm crazy b/c I was sitting here at the computer laughing.

  26. aww. poor thing. take care. great narrative :)

  27. I was cringeing for you while reading this!! Hope you have recovered from BOTH invasions on your person!! Just glad you got to the root of the problem though! Keep smiling!!

  28. I think I would have ran! As fast as i could away from that place, espical;ly when she asked the doctor if the had the "Stuff" to do it!!! I hate those I think all women do!!!

  29. Well, that didn't sound fun... :-(

    Feel better soon!


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