The Waiting is the Hardest Part

16 Jan

Going to the doctor isn’t fun.   You wait for hours.  You answer lots of personal questions.  You get poked and prodded.   And that’s just the waiting room . . .

Once in the examination room you wait again.  Only this time you’re doing it from a cold steel table, and you’re dressed like a paper doll.

You count ceiling tiles to help pass the time.

2,983 . . .

The doctor enters.  He looks at things like your blood pressure, your age, and the number of missed messages on his cell phone.  He finishes the exam in less time than Lindsay Lohan spent doing community service.

Then he promises you the test results in two to 67 business days.

You go home and wait some more because, despite living in an age of instant messaging, instant voting, and instant pudding, there are still places where you can’t receive immediate feedback about things that are most important to you, such as whether or not you’re going to LIVE.

Your new dishwasher?  It will arrive tomorrow.   Your dry cleaning?  It will be ready in an hour.   Your lo mein?  Twenty minutes.  Your test results?   Maybe Thursday, maybe Friday, maybe by the next lunar eclipse . . .

When you finally get the call, you pray the doctor gives you the results over the phone and doesn’t ask you to come in.  You don’t want to sit in his office on his leather sofa staring at photos of his kids while he tells you he’s discovered something, because you know he won’t be talking about his missing car keys.

Take the follow up call after my recent mammogram:

Dr. Gray: Hello Mrs. Tognola, this is Dr. Doug Gray. (Dr. Gray is dressed in a white lab coat, holding the phone in one hand, and a pen in the other).

Me: (What I hear) Hello Mrs. Tognola, this is Dr. Doug Grave. (Dr. Grave is a skeletal figure clothed in a hooded black cloak, holding a phone in one hand, and a scythe in the other).

Dr. Gray: Your test results are in but unfortunately they were inconclusive.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but you will need another mammogram.

Me: (What I hear) . . . test results . . . sorry . . . you need a will . . . 

Dr. Gray:  You don’t need to make another appointment, just ask for Cassie. 

Me: (What I hear) You don’t need to make another appointment, just ask for a casket.

Dr. Gray:  Goodbye.  See you later.

Me: (What I hear) Goodbye. Forever. Click.

Fast forward one week

Dr. Gray calls with second mammogram results.

Dr. Gray:  Everything looks good.  I’ll put the receptionist on so you can make next year’s appointment.   We wouldn’t want you to wait . . .

 

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28 Responses to “The Waiting is the Hardest Part”

  1. thelaughingmom January 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Instant relief after the follow-up call! So true. Been there myself. Only it feels like Groundhog Day the older you get.

  2. Paprika Furstenburg January 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Phew! You are so right, though. Everything in this world is instantaneous except what really needs to be. Glad to hear that you’re OK.

    • Main Street Musings Blog January 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

      I could have added that I get an instant laugh from your posts!

      • Paprika Furstenburg January 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

        Thanks, Lisa. They do say laughter is the best medicine. If I make people laugh, does that mean I’m a doctor?

  3. Audubon Ron January 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    “He finishes the exam in less time than Lindsay Lohan spent doing community service.”

    Oh, oh, oh, oh, my side hurts. ROFLMAO!!!

    Funny, funny, funny and right on the money. But not funny. You understand.

    Speaking of money, that’s how these doctors hijack you for more money.

    The Little Woman (AND ME) just went through this. We go through this every year.

    The bad mamma-gramma is like look through the bottom of Coke bottle, so if there is anything that looks like a spoon full of grits up in there, then you go to the ultrasound section. If that don’t get it, then you get to go to the Hubble Telescope section.

    After all that, you get:

    1. Oh, just a cyst. You’re good.
    2. And, another bill for $250

    Meanwhile, until you rule out all possibilities you’re all talking about cremation vs. burial and your husband is all talking about, “Yeah, I’ll miss you, but I’m gettin’ me a new Ho right away. Sorry.”

  4. sportsattitudes January 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    We had our “wait” in October. Test 1: inconclusive. Test 2: more conclusive…but still unsure. Biopsy. All turned out well in the end, but indeed the waiting IS very much the hardest part. Glad your situation turned out well also. “Cassie”…”casket”…yeah, I get that!

  5. Main Street Musings Blog January 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    Stressful, because sometimes no news isn’t good news.

  6. DiatribesAndOvations.com January 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Either your doctor’s office has very large examination rooms or very small ceiling tiles. Mine has 320 … I’m certain … I counted them three times. After I read the Summer (2010) issue of Martha Stewart Living.

  7. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer January 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    The wait isn’t so bad as you sit in the waiting room reading Time magazine’s 1978 issue.

    Ronnie

  8. NixieTale January 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Hilarious! (and I’m glad everything ended up “ok”)
    🙂

  9. BARB BEST January 17, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    Patients need so much patience, annoying!

    • Main Street Musings Blog January 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      True. Patience is one of the heavenly virtues, but it doesn’t feel so heavenly when awaiting test results . . .

  10. Huffygirl January 17, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    Since I work in health care, I can’t possibly condone anyone mocking my industry. Except… it’s all true and it begs to be mocked. This reminded me of the recent episode of “Modern Family” where Phil’s doctor calls, then leaves the country and leave’s Phil believing that it must be something serious because he said he would only call if it something was wrong.

    Fortunately, I currently work in a clinic that is devoid of the usual trappings of long waits, non-returned phone calls, etc. I do admit that my patients have to wait – but when I get in there I usually spend 45 minutes and take care of 4 of their problems instead of 1. Our nursing staff is excellent and gets back to patients promptly. Probably now all the readers will want to come to my clinic, except you can’t. It’s a free clinic, only for qualified persons without insurance.

    • Main Street Musings Blog January 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      Your patients are lucky to have access to a clinic with dedicated staff. Thanks for commenting and helping to restore faith . . .

  11. earthriderjudyberman January 17, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    Congratulations! I’ve nominated your wonderful blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. I’ve enjoyed your stories and comments. For more details on the award, go to: http://earthriderdotcom.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/the-envelope-please/

    • Main Street Musings Blog January 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      Wow Judy, thank you so much! (Please read my reply in the comment section of your latest post.)

  12. Dawn@lightenUp! January 17, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Ha! Way to get a post out of a serious topic! Dr. Graves….Casket…Loved this. 🙂

  13. earthriderjudyberman January 18, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    I’m so glad your post was in the category of “I can laugh about it now.” Great post – amusing as always.

  14. Sherry Stanfa-Stanley January 19, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    I just snorted beer out my nose. (Didn’t taste nearly as good going out as it did going in.) So many great lines here that I can’t begin to list them!

    One of the funniest things I’ve read in ages… I think you should submit this one to the Erma Bombeck contest this year. Erma would be proud. Don’t leave her waiting…

    • Main Street Musings Blog January 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

      Glad you had some “nuts” to go with that beer . . . 😉 Thanks for the nice compliment, and the contest suggestion!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Waiting Is the Hardest Part Now « carefullcook - January 21, 2012

    […] The Waiting is the Hardest Part (mainstreetmusingsblog.com) […]

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