Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Traumatized…Just a Little Traumatized

Disclaimer: This post probably falls into the category of over-sharing but I feel that it’s necessary to share my experience even if it’s just for the amusement of my friends in the blogosphere!

I should not be admitting this but it had been years – and I mean YEARS – since I had been to the doctor for a wellness exam.

I’m a healthy person overall with an occasional cold or flu but never serious enough to warrant a visit to the doctor. Well, there was that one time about 10 years ago that involved the emergency room, a newlywed bride and immaculate conception…but that’s a whole other blog post!

After about a year of hearing me complain that I couldn’t hear out of my left ear, a concerned fed-up coworker emailed me her doctor’s contact information, marched into my office and sat there until I made an appointment.

Today was the big day…my doctor’s appointment.

Many of you may already be thinking, “She’s not been to the doctor in years, there are procedures that women of a certain age need to have done.”

You are totally right and I do NOT advise any woman over the age of 18 (maybe younger) to avoid the doctor and these procedures. But in my defense, I am healthy and I’m not making my way through the bars of my little ‘Ville (if you get my meaning) so I figured I was OK!

I was a bit worked up and worried before heading into the doctor’s office. I had also downed glass after glass of water throughout the morning so I’d be ready for that first little action that had to be done at my appointment. Don’t understand? Let me spell it out. It involves me, a bathroom and a cup!

So I was worried and anxious and little fidgety.

The receptionist handed me a little plastic cup (picture the ones at the water cooler), a lid and a Ziploc bag and pointed me to the restroom. This was my first traumatic moment of the day.

First, the bathroom was NOT in the office. It was down the hall, across from the elevator and a dermatology office. Second, there was no “fill line” on the cup. I had never done this before. How full should it be filled?

This is when the first text of the day went out to my gal pals – Going Jane and Bathtub Mama. I needed support because I was traumatized. Thank goodness for friends! They both texted back right away and made me feel better – still traumatized, but better.

I took care of business, walked casually back to the office – as casually as one carrying a “specimen” can walk – and sat down to wait for the doctor. The second text of the day went out about now. I was ready to bolt, but my friends came through yet again and calmed me down.

An hour later I was taken back; weighed (gotta love that); and put in a room to wait again.

That’s when the second traumatic moment of the day occurred. They should NOT leave patients waiting in a room for more than 30 minutes with a tray of strange looking tools and rubber gloves.

I tried to ignore them. I read an entire magazine; sent a few emails and tried not to focus on the tray. I couldn’t do it. I even took a picture of it and e-mailed it to Going Jane. Here’s the e-mail:

Subject: Waiting on the dr…
What the heck is the plastic thing? Yikes…maybe I’ll just go home! Been waiting for almost an hour and a half for the doc. No wonder I don’t do this often…

Here’s her response:

Re: Waiting on the dr…
God, you are killing me today!! Lol!!

Glad I made someone laugh. I sure wasn't. I was traumatized, remember?

The doctor finally came in. We had a nice chat and then the third traumatizing moment of my day occurred. I had to strip down, put on a paper vest (yes, vest - not a gown) and sit on a paper covered examination table and wait once again. I knew that the window was tinted and while I could see out, no one could see in, but I still moved to the corner of the room to change! At least they gave me a paper sheet to use as a blanket.

I won’t go into the details of what happened when the doctor came back in. Let’s just just call it the fourth traumatizing moment of my day. No elaboration necessary, right girls?

In the end, it was all OK. I survived and I now know what the plastic thing is for!

I am a bit traumatized, just a bit traumatized, but now I have a remedy for my ear (hopefully); orders to keep a “headache diary” and a tetanus shot that is good for the next 10 years. I also won’t wait another 15 years before my next wellness exam, I think.


  1. You kill me. So you are going to be hearing soon????

    At least now you don't have to wonder what happens!

  2. I am sure glad you stayed other wise you would have eventually gone back and had to start over. I might think twice about waiting 1 and 1/2 hours. Doesn't seem right we have appointments not to wait 2 hours?

  3. All of this for a hearing issue? ;-) Just teasing. Yes you need to keep up with these things. I was in full blown menopause at 47 1/2 and didn't know it until I went to the doctor, and he took me off the pill for a month. I thought I was going to have to kill my husband at the end of said month when "things" didn't happen. Thought I was going to hear I was pregnant, but the real news was 180 degrees the other way. Talk about brain slosh! Keep tabs on yourself my friend These times, they are a changin'!

  4. I'm telling, you, you have NO IDEA how the folks @ Rite Aid were looking at me!! lol!! I def think you need that pic in your post. I showed it to Craig last ngiht. His response> "Oh, my GOd...what IS that thing?!?! OH, I am so glad I'm not a woman!!" lol!! <3 ya!!

  5. Not to age you or anything, but the ER trip was 13 years ago if you can believe it...and I celebrate the anniversary of our bonding trip together in just 4 days!! lol

  6. This cracked me up... I love that you sent texts to know how to far to fill up the cup!

  7. lol. Too funny. You don't have kids, right? You should probably avoid it. :)

  8. I haven't been to a doctor since 2002 and after reading this I might wait longer to go back. :)

  9. Amy - I'm glad I'm not the only procrastinator but seriously it was the waiting that traumatized me more than anything! I'll definitely be better at scheduling yearly exams from now on and next time I'll know what the plastic thing on the tray is going to be used for!

  10. LOL! You porr thing! I cracked up at the part about carrying the pee cup down the hall! Just a note, better to fill the cup up too much than not enough. Once, I didn't fill it enough and then had to try 2 more times to fill it. It took me 5 hours of sipping water!



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