Monday, June 8, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons, Go Find Someone Whose Life Has Handed Them Vodka

The three ring circus that is my life has been particularly chaotic lately in ways both good and bad.

My friend Melissa left today to return to her home in England. It was a whirlwind week filled with laughter, family, love, laughter, way too much food, and a little more laughter. Wine was drunk, knees were scraped, birthday candles were lit and blown out, Ollie's 90th birthday was celebrated with gusto. I will miss seeing Melissa daily and the ability to simply make a local call and talk as long as we like. But on the other hand, the laundry and dishes are piling up around my ears and it will be good to get back to our regular routine. After all, it feels weird when my kids aren't sniping at each other and complaining of one or the other committing the unspeakable act of BREATHING on the other.

At the same time a nastier problem was brewing. Dave alerted me to a small lump on his inner upper arm on Monday night. Since he also had a smallish abrasion on his elbow that appeared to be infected, I was fairly certain it was a swollen lymph node responding to the infected elbow. Dave seems to be one of the few people I know who actually likes Emergency Rooms, so I had to talk him down and remind him he had a regularly scheduled appointment with the General Practitioner the next day and since his arm showed no signs of falling off at that very moment, it was probably safe to wait until tomorrow afternoon.

I forgot to take into account the general incompetence of the Nurse Practitioner that usually sees Dave at his appointments.

Dave and I used to see the same G.P. until Nurse Ratched showed up on the scene. She regularly insulted, patronized, and belittled me at every turn until I had had enough abuse hurled upon me, and sought out a new doctor. The first time we met, she simultaneously hurt my son's feelings and insulted me when she walked in and two-year-old Jamie, being as good as gold sitting nicely on a chair reading a book, looked up and greeted her with a polite "Hi!" She replied, "Tell your Mommy you need a haircut."

She once told me she'd "humor me" when I requested she do a throat culture on the painfully sore throat I had had for three weeks. You know, I don't normally pray for Strep Throat, but in that instance I offered up a Hail Mary for a positive result just to take her down a notch or two.

The final straw for me was when Dave waltzed in to see her with a sniffle or two and waltzed back out with a full course of antibiotics that of course will do diddly-squat for that cold virus he had. When I went to see her a few weeks later with every color of the rainbow coming out of my nose, and a sinus cavity that threatened to explode right then and there all over the examining room, having had said symptoms for close to a month, she coldly informed me I had a virus and she doesn't prescribe antibiotics for viruses. When I expressed that I agree wholeheartedly, and I've never once before requested an antibiotic until I had reached near-death-by-Ebola-sinuses, she actually sniggered at me. I'm pretty sure that's the first time I saw someone snigger.

So I should not have been surprised by her dismissal of Dave's arm. But since she previously generally dispensed medication like candies any time Dave walked in, I was shocked when she stated, without even touching said arm, "That's not an infection. There aren't any lymph nodes in that part of the arm. You have a cyst. We don't treat that here."

By yesterday, Dave's arm was swollen, red and hot to the touch. This time when he expressed a desire to visit the Emergency Room, I was all in favor. He was admitted last night for I.V. antibiotics to treat a severe infection. According to the Infectious Disease Control Doctor, most likely introduced by the small abrasion on his elbow causing the lymph node to swell. You know, the ones that don't exist according to Nurse Wretched, or Ratched.

But you can just call her Stupid for short.


gabbiash said...

That is why i go to the Dr's kicking and screaming...Paul, Like Dave, enjoys going as much as possible... do ya think the "extra baggage" we carry makes them hate us?

Norkio said...

I hope that you will be reporting this back to the NP from hell so she'll know a. that she was wrong and b. that she was fucking wrong.

tbsomeday said...

glad you had a wonderful visit...loved your post title, lol!

ah, poor dave
my boss has a husband who loves the ER too btw :)
anyhow--i am assuming you will write the appropriate letters of complaint and send them out

i'll keep my fingers crossed that dave keeps his arm...i'm sure it's important in his line of work
kidding aside...infections can be pretty serious

L said...


i am fuming right now. i cannot BELIEVE that you, sweetest and most wonderful-est you, have been treated this way.

i would like to take this opportunity to offer my services, which operate under the auspices of Six Feet of Rage. because i am tall and will Kick Some Ass if i have to. point her out to me. i will crush her with my stilettos.


i realize that is SO unchristian of me, but PLEASE. ain't nobody, and i mean NOBODY, gonna treat my sweet irishembi like that and get away with it.

poop on her.

with love from pittsburgh...

Jackie said...

I had to laugh at your title - just last week I told a friend, "when life hands you lemons...squeeze the juice in his eye and laugh like hell - it feels a lot more satisfying than making lemonade!" But if vodka's involved, the lemonade suddenly sounds pretty appealing ;)
Glad that Dave finally got the right diagnosis for his non-existant lymph nodes...I trust you'll do what you can to report Miss Personality. Any chance of convincing Dave to switch doctors as well? Hope he's feeling better soon!

Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

My husband was a butcher. When he cut his hands he knew from years of experience when to tape himself up and when to head to ER for stiches.
One time he was cut and it was infected. He knew he needed treated. Went to er. The Dr. asked him if he just wanted to get a day off work and sent him home.
Long story short. 7 Hrs later he was back at the hospital. They admitted him. He had a blood infection from the chicken (i know, gross) He was in isolation for 7 days. They had to put an iv right into his neck with the antiobodic.
I was so pissed. Here was a man who didn't call off one day in our 20 plus years of marriage. (Maybe if he would of, he would still be alive today!)
A few years later, I get a job at a dentist office. Guess who is a patient?
Yeah, there isn't a snowballs chance in hell he's being seen without waiting at least a month. Hopefully a month of pain!