Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Note to Self: Do Not Repeat Tuesday

No, I won't bore you with lots of details. Having your week start on Tuesday because you had a Monday holiday is still like starting on it's confusing. Then add an almost asthma attack as you enter the work kitchen and it's time to drop the groceries on the counter and head to the doctor's. Except I don't have a regular doctor as the town I live in is small and the only Doc moved up the road to the next small-yet-bigger town.

So I went to a place called Fast E.R., which is amusingly listed as "Faster Care" on their sign. Interestingly they believe people spend too much time in the waiting room, therefore they guarantee you'll be in a room having your blood pressure taken in less than 30 minutes...or they pay the office visit. The waiting room was full and yet....

...they didn't have to pay for my office visit.

For a person who is a GREAT caretaker and support system for others, I am admittedly a lousy patient. No patience, for one. I have the guy gene for that. "What, it's been 24 hours. Is my body on strike or something? Why in the world do I still feel bad? Enough already!"

Then there's that part where intellect collides with nerves. No, the blood pressure cuff is not designed to hurt anyone. Deep down, I know that. However when that sucker begins to tighten, somewhere deep down inside of me yells, "Hey, cut that out! It's too tight. I didn't come here to be hurt you know." I've learned to prepare the poor nurse in charge of me by relating how I have the world's worst case of "White Coat Syndrome". If you're not familiar, it's the polite term for nerves overpowering intellect to the point the patient appears to vibrate, even levitate, off the exam table. The nurse always smiles politely. Then she gets my BP reading. First she looks afraid, then frowns, deciding it's the machine. Telling her I'm fine and not on the verge of a stroke only makes her take it again. Which of course sends it higher. The only time a nurse ever worked with me was when, after my explanation she looked me in the eye and said, "That makes sense. Let's try again. Ready?" Thus prepared, I did a bit of bio-feedback deep breathing and mind games. My result was so dramatically improved she asked what I'd done.

"Put myself in the hammock in my backyard, swinging slowly with a small breeze tickling my face while I watched clouds," I admitted sheepishly.

"Honey, you need to crawl in that hammock as soon as they strap on a BP cuff," she teased.

She wasn't there yesterday but the male nurse took me at my word when I offered what my REAL BP was...because Hubby got us a BP cuff after my first asthma attack in April. I have lovingly explained to Hubby that I know he did it for my own good, but standing over me while I take it doesn't aid in the results. So I recited the BP and pulse to the Nurse, who smiled and said, "Gee, you're doing a better job than me. I'll make sure to tell the Doc you're not about to lift off."

It is difficult to keep a straight face when a very tall man walks into the room hand extended, gently takes your hand in his and announces, "Hi, I'm Dr. Lecher."

I had two thoughts simultaneously: [a] with flu season kicking off should you be shaking hands? and [b] should I be concerned that I'm noticing how gently you've got my hand, considering your last name?

He was, however a gentleman. One who listened. After listing off that I'd be receiving a steroid shot, breathing treatment, flu test and chest x-ray, he cheerfully announced he would return and we could discuss, "A plan of action."

Shut up! I mentally hissed at my sense of humor, which was clasping it's sides in unexploded laughter while reviewing that the lecher would be back to discuss action.

Ironically the part I dreaded most, the shot, was the lesser of the evils. The nurse was kind and considering you get this shot where the sun don't shine, received my thanks for being the only nurse NOT to use a needle as if it were a dart and my butt the target. I thanked her for not taking out her frustrations on me and she laughed. She set up my breathing treatment and walked out. Next up was a cute little guy who appeared to be all of 14 years old who cheerfully announced he'd be swabbing my nose to test for the flu. Politely asking me to lean back slightly, he then rammed the world's longest cotton swab up my nose until it touched my brain while he said, "This may sting a little." I'd hardly gotten out the word, "Yikes!" before he plunged it into my other nostril. I found myself thinking, "Don't they tell you NOT to stick cotton swabs into orifices?" He exited before I could say any more....or strangle him with the breathing treatment cord.

All of a sudden, a guy named lecher didn't sound so bad.

And this is the SHORT version, you're wondering? Okay. I didn't have the flu, my x-ray was clear, Doc listened to my concerns as the newly-diagnosed-with-asthma-patient then prescribed something to help with that after the bronchitis has cleared up. I wanted to hug him for the listening part...and yet that name kept me at bay.

As I went to pay, I saw that the waiting room was swelling again and several of the folks there had been given masks to wear. I wondered if swine flu had entered the room after I left it. As if to confirm my concern, the receptionist, a motherly woman who pointed at a cup of new pens when asking me to sign paperwork said calmly, "Keep the pen, wash your hands with the hand sanitizer and when you get to that exit door, run Baby run! That room is filling up with heaven knows what."

I didn't run, but I kept the pen. And my hands were clean. I did walk fast, but not too fast. After all, these folks had a date with Dr. Lecher and I didn't want to give them the wrong idea.

This morning my head's a little loopy from adjusting to new meds and I gave the Q-tips the evil eye when I walked past them. Here's hoping tomorrow is as beautiful and filled with sunshine as this Morning Glory that's hanging around my mailbox. It almost looks as if it's lit from within.


mapstew said...

Well that WAS a pissy day!!

Hope yer feelin' uppity and abouty soon.


hope said...

Thanks Map. I'll just be glad when I'm less jittery, with no headache. At least I can breathe. :)

Susan at Stony River said...

Yikes! But I'm glad you found some kind souls on the way, and such a pretty thing to end it all with.

So what was worse, Fast ER or work? C'mon...

hope said...

Ah Susan, your time spent with Spock will lead you to the logical conclusion. ;)

steven said...

oh hope what a trial and a torment!!! i see my blod pressure rise in the company of white-coated people as well. it's entertaining - almost as entertaining as when i get a young one who is new to my heart and he listens, takes his stethoscope off, listens again, shakes his head, looks at me and starts in on the "have you been told . . . " and i say yes, my heart has a weird rhythm - it explains the music i listen to, and the way i live my life!!" i love that "run honey". holey moley!!!! steven

debra said...

those asthma meds make you want to take off flying! My youngest daughter had an acute asthma attack about a month ago. A trip to the med center, followed by an ambulance drive and an overnight stay in the hospital compounded by steroids and an inhaler. So glad she's off the meds. Now we can both stop shaking! Feel better :-)

Terence McDanger said...

I like the new green wallpaper, very pastoral. I could let the cows roam here I think.

However, I am disappointed Dr. Lecher's first name didn't turn out to be Hannibal. But that's probably just me.

hope said...

Steven, I feel better knowing I'm not alone in the I'm-too-smart-to-let-a-blood-pressure-cuff-bother-me-but-it-does Club. :) You're a good hearted person, so I imagine that is your heart just singing it's own song. Bet the Doc couldn't ride as far as you do on a bike. ;)

Debra, I'm new to this and thankfully this time wasn't a full on attack, just the build up. I hope the one I had in April is the LAST one I ever experience. But now that I know what to look for, we're working on the prevention end. Hope your daughter continues to feel well!

Terence? *faint*
I'm sorry, where was I? And why are there cows staring at me? Is it permissible to shout "He's alive!" before commenting? Yes, when the good Doc introduced himself, I was even more afraid to check for his first name. I looked on my prescription bottle just now...tis a normal name.

Since you like the green, if you keep coming home late, tell the cows they can hang out here. :)

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Cotton Swabs up the nose, hmmm, makes one wonder if Medicine is back tracking. Glad that you were able to get in and see a doctor.

Hope you are feeling better today.

Dan. said...

Belated "Sorry you had a shite day" But if anything good could come out of it, you have surely met the Doctor with the best name in the world?

Hope all is well now?

hope said...

It is Dan and thanks for deciding to stick around.

I've joined your neighborhood as well but it won't let me post...shows me half of a word verification, but won't go further. I'll try again later!