20 May 2011


i am miffed. or something else, but i can't really define it.

i can't get my mammography results because they can't give that information over the phone. in fact, they can't even give that information to me. nope. they have to give it to my new creepy doctor who will then let me know when she's back in the office. next week.

yesterday, i was waiting for my appointment and trying to read an espn magazine - because that's what magazine a women's radiology clinic should stock - and trying like mad not to look at the woman wiping tears from her eyes and trying even harder than that not to look at her husband, whose hand was gripped so tightly around her knee and whose leg was tapping scared-nervously and trying most harder than that not to look at her mom...who, damn it, was sitting stiffly and holding her purse in her lap and looking like she wanted to be holding her baby instead. and the girls at the desk were giggling on the phone.

and i wanted to tell them to knock it off, their pretending that there was anything funny left in the world.

then i was waiting in my little robe and missing my lotions and potions and thinking i certainly did not smell like me, when i overheard the nurse talking to the woman in the room next to mine. all business. when did you find the lump? did you find it or did your doctor find it? is this your insurance? do you have secondary insurance? and when the woman had a question, it was all business. i'm sorry, ma'am. you'll have to talk to your doctor about that. i'm sorry, ma'am. i can't speak to that. i'm sorry, ma'am. i'm not allowed to say.

and i wanted to tell her to knock it off, with her third-grade teacher tone.

my first mammogram after my sister died took place in oman. the technician in the room with me was fully covered, spoke very little english or just chose not to, and took most of her time making sure i didn't feel naked. afterwards, i asked if everything looked okay. and she looked. and she looked some more. and then she nodded and said okay. you're okay.

and i remember losing it. like tears waterfalling. spilling my heart out and telling her all about my sister and my heart-broken mom and my babies and how i just have to stay okay. and she sat next to me and put her wing around me and just kept saying how everything's okay.

i had a few in jordan with the same level of care and understanding. one tech even showed me film of a patient with a lump...just so i could see how different her scans looked from mine.

both countries, not one question about whether or not i'd pay. nothing to do with secondary or primary insurance or by law, i'm not allowed to say.

uncle sugar is right. i swim upstream. i'm drawn to different every time. i am a brat.

i was just talking to my doctor's office.

"ma'am. we leave at noon. there will be no one here to read your results."

"can't you stay a little extra today?" i asked softly.

"ma'am? i'm sorry?" with her third-grade teacher voice.

"i hate it here." i said even softer.

"ma'am?" moving up to fourth-grade, at least.

yeah. i guess miffed is not exactly the right word. most of the ones above are. xoxo. photos from idon'tknowwhere.


erica lorraine scheidt said...

oh. oh. i hate it there for you.

leigh said...

i am miffed for you.

if I knew you in real life I'd put my wing around you too.

Pen and Paperie said...

shed a tear for the woman in the waiting room, and her husband, and her mother. irked at the idiots in that story who don't seem to care. and thinking the best for you...

Heather said...

as always, so well said, and not whiny, just articulate, emotional and true.

i am so sorry you have to wait until next week.

Richie Designs said...


Anonymous said...

i"m sorry the wait is so long. I hate it too.

Alix H. said...

How long does it take to get to Oman?

Ana Degenaar said...

I would have hate it there too. I hate the hospitals here as well, you go in almost dying and they treat you like you're buying a $0.20 doughnut. Ugh!

I hope you get your results soon in the meantime get yourself something pretty... Like a box of macarons.


windrock studio said...

Yeah, it is kind of a miffed time right now but I will always be swimming up stream myself, at least trying ... bet I see you along the way! Hope you will have a good weekend

Em-Jae said...

Thanks for sharing this story... It made me so frustrated and so empathetically sorrowful at the same time... I hope all is well (for you and for her).

krista said...

"put her wing around me"
i'm not sure why so many people here in the medical field have their wings clipped.
but you've got wings here. even if we can't read mammograms. we still have wings.

SGM said...

My wing's around you too (and by the way that part made me cry.)

Livyb said...

Don't you just wonder how, as women too, medical staff can get so comfortable forgetting that there is another woman on the other end of the phone? You hear way too many stories like this of late, and I just, well, hate it. So sorry you have to wait.

I will now try to choose to believe I swim upstream too instead of always thinking I must be the one with the problem. Thanks for that!

Anonymous said...


Your stalker far away in Singapore

Erin O. said...

I am sorry you're waiting. What a crap way to spend the weekend.

Maybe I've been lucky, but my kids pediatricians have always been awesome and understanding, of the kiddos pain and mine as a parent. What the hell happens? Why can't the doctors and nurses that deal with adults show the same level of basic care?


la la Lovely said...

Oh, this makes me mad and miffed for you. I hate this system we have. My OB is very old fashioned, will sit down and talk with you and tell you things, like "don't worry honey, everything will be alright." He will even call you back personally. I almost want to have another baby (ok maybe not) just so I can have a good dr. So rare...but the way it should be. Saying a prayer for you today!
xoxo trina

melissa loves said...

That makes me love the lady with the wing so much and hate it "there" for you too my darling....I am so sorry. So sorry for the lady in the waiting room, for your sister, for them not just taking a moment to be real and for your worry. I have my wing around you too. xoxo

That Girl Designs said...

just happened to stumble upon your blog. i like your words and the voice in which you say them in this post. glad to have found you.

Heather Innusa said...

I kno this is late but what a effin b. Sorry. That was rude, I guess. My mom got diagnosed w/ stage 4 cancer in her lungs almost 1 yr ago (she's not a smoker any more... but quit 10 yrs ago). They said its cancer that seems to not have started in her lungs... She goes to the V.A. needless to say she's had so many experiances like this. They still don't even know exactly WHAT kind of cancer it is... doesn't seem like anyone is trying to find out either. She doesn't even seem mad about it. It makes me annoyed. Why aren't they testing for everything??? They've switched her chemo 3 times... all 'lung cancer chemos' none that seem to work. Maybe its not lung cancer. But are they testing for it elsewhere...nope. I know God's in charge & everything (I really believe that) but wtf is up with doctors & the medical system these days?? Wow, that's a lot. Sorry. I'm sorry for your experiance, but happy everything's ok. I know you must've been super scared :(.

I love reading your blog by the way. You sure have a way with words that sometimes make me smile, cry or plain old LAUGH OUT LOUD. Thanks for being a bright spot in my day ;).

karey m. said...

oh, heather! i'm so sorry for all of that with your mom! i will keep her in my thoughts. you, too. xoxo

Torrie said...

words cannot fully express the gratitude i feel for you right now... for sharing this, for the level of depth, honesty- emotion that you put into your posts (i know i'm a newer reader, but i've done some back-reading... and plan to do more, as it just warms my soul reading your words). oh, do i hate that third grade tone... and the fact that people are so empowered to 'just say NO' and to toss words out there like "policy" and "can't" in such a satisfactory, condescending, heartless way. but reading your experiences (the good ones) reminds me that there are people that are good, caring... not ruled or limited by- or at the very least- not all wrapped up in "the system."

thank you again for sharing, and for allowing me to rant a little :).