Modern Medicine

Seeing Dr. Larson

The third and final installment in the Dr. Larson series.

Episode #1 – Waiting To See Dr. Larson

Episode #2 – Still Waiting To See Dr. Larson

When the nurse finally called me back to see the doctor, it took me a minute to stand up because after four hours of waiting, my legs had forgotten the fine art of locomotion.  As though I had on one 3-inch stiletto and one fluffy houseshoe, I did a Merengue (quick-step, hop, quick-step, hop) all the way across the length of the waiting room where Nurse Nohumor was waiting to show me a good time.

She escorted me to a walk-in freezer Exam Room B where she took my blood pressure, weighed me and asked me to undress. “Don’t you think you should buy me dinner first?” I joked which made her laugh so hard she had to cross her legs and hold herself to keep from peeing. No, that part didn’t really happen. She didn’t laugh. She just handed me a paper gown and briskly informed me that the doctor would see me shortly.

I sat on the edge of the table shivering in my Brawny paper towel and admiring the shade of blue my toes had turned when another nurse came in and took my weight and blood pressure yet again. And you might be as surprised about this as I was: I weighed the same as I did ten minutes earlier.

She ordered me to lie down on the exam table where she wired me up like Frankenstein. After she electroded me in all manner, she began plugging me into a machine in all manner and flipping switches. But nothing happened. Either I was dead and no one told me or the machine was broken. She jiggled wires and plugged and unplugged and flipped and unflipped switches. She walked around the machine and shook the handle. Nothing. She nudged it with her ugly white nurse shoe. Still nothing. And then her expression clouded in the same way mine did the time I karate kicked my computer back in 1998 after it ate a 25-page art history term paper that was due the next day. And that was not a comforting thought.

I looked down and noticed that the machine was not plugged into the wall and so I gingerly suggested that perhaps she get back on her meds we could start diagnostics there. She plugged it in and voila! The machine started clicking and sputtering and spitting out hieroglyphics on graph paper and this made her very happy. She ripped the paper out of the machine with gleeful flourish and on her way out, she informed me that Dr. Larson would be with me shortly. Shortly. As I sat there in silence, it dawned on me that “shortly” was code for “You’re going to die here.”

After four hours in the waiting room and 30 minutes in the deep freeze, I was ready to let Dr. Larson have it. And then he knocked and in he walked. He was so cute I could hardly look at him. And as if that weren’t enough, he was nice. Really, really nice. Dang! How could I tell a really nice handsome man what a jerk he was?! He was sympathetic and apologized several times for the lengthy wait and I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard myself cheerfully saying, “Oh, that’s okay!” Although I did manage to stop short of saying, “Here let me lay down on the floor and you can step on me if you like, really, I don’t mind because you’re cute and nice.”

For the next 35 minutes, he looked me in the eye and focused completely on me as though I was the only person in the entire world. He explained the details of the different components of my blood work and answered every question in English and to my satisfaction. Then he recommend that I have a test costing $3500 that my insurance won’t cover.

I coughed and clutched my chest and nearly fell off the table. I would have had a heart attack, except that I didn’t have another four and a half hours to wait to see a doctor.

22 thoughts on “Seeing Dr. Larson

  1. It’s funny how extreme politeness from a handsome man can neutralize four hours of built up anger.
    I hope you got your questions answered.

  2. ooooh, insurance woes, I totally understand because of the bill I’ve received regarding an MRI and a radiologist…

    Ok, “cute” can cut him some slack, but 4 hours is a ridiculous wait time!! At the very least, the desk staff could have given the patients a time-frame, an update, free drinks! Hope you are feeling well, C

  3. Honestly, the point is that the wait was ridiculous but probably due to two things, an emergency patient somewhere, and the fact that for 35 minutes he focused on each and every person in that waiting room. In a strange way, you were fortunate.

  4. When you go back, will you bring a blender and margarita ingredients, too? You’d be really popular in the waiting room.

    Loved your telling, and honestly, what could you have said when he apologized about the wait? Leap up in your Brawny outfit and let him have it? We’re talking about your heart for crying out loud, keep the man HAPPY!

    And finally, I think I was most horrified at the 25 page term paper due the next day that was eaten by the soon to be karate chopped computer. What on earth did you DO??

  5. You make me laugh out loud! I love it when the doctor really listens – it seems it make the wait better.

    Now, of course, I’m thinking of SELLING the drinks to all the old people in order to pay for the test!

  6. I cannot believe you wait that long!!!! My cardiologist is a busy man and I have only ever waited 15 minutes, that is crazy. Cute or not I would find someone else. Hope you are ok.

  7. What is this test that you need? Do we need to worry, pray, take up a collection?

    Thank you for turning your miserable day into several days worth of amusement for us, your loyal readers.

  8. Thank you for not having the heart attack. I would hate to see what Nurse Nohumor would have said to THAT!

    Well, at least you have more free time to look forward to putting to good use later. Now if you want some book recs…

  9. Clearly I am meaner than you. Cuteness would only enrage me more, like throwing flowers at the mad bull.

    But I’m sure he’s a very nice man.

  10. I’m reading this to my old husband, who has a cardiologist appointment in the morning and we are laughing out loud. The problem is that any doctor who has a wait of four hours is probably the best act in town. Actually, I waited five hours once for a vascular surgeon to release me after surgery. I knew how hard it was to get in to see him and I wanted to leave for the winter in Florida. I waited with people from Lansing, MI, Lima, OH, Lexington, KY and a cute, young wife from Maine — this in Toledo, Ohio???? He is worth the wait, because he does robot surgery that is not available in many places. Dr. Larson is probably wonderful, besides being cute and you are definitely worth his talent.

  11. This was hilarious…my husband kept asking “what are you laughing at?” so I had to read the whole post out loud, of course after I summarized the two previous ones so he could understand…and now he is also laughing out loud!
    I hope you are doing fine and your health is ok.

  12. Yikes!
    Cute and nice or not…even Dr. Kildare (before my time, but heard of him) or Kyle (Dr. Welby’s cute assistant from my childhood days…think Streisand’s hubby) could not make up for all that wasted time and the suggestion for that million dollar test! (I know we’re close to the same age and at least you, antique mommy, will know of whom I speak…:)

    Seriously, my OBGYN is the same way sometimes…but he gives everyone very personal attention and as long as we know it going in, I guess it’w worth it!

  13. So funny…..Ya know I told you I went to the cardiologist last week…I didnt wait in the waitning room as long as you did but I did wait 2 hours inside the little room in my bawney paper towel……ha ha
    I thought of you while I was there…I forgot to bring a book so I just stared at the walls and laid down and napped for the most part…no kids in a paper towel… was a little peice of heaven.

  14. Four hours in the waiting room!! I just read all of the installments and I’m cracking up laughing! I thought my Doctor’s office was bad, I’m so sorry you had to deal with that!

  15. It might be a bit old a creaky, and yes we often have 4 hour waits here too, but at least we don’t have a bill at the end of it, good old NHS. (National Health Service)

    Err is bill, err cheque in US?

  16. Thanks for writing. YOu are so funny… you should publish one of those “read on the toilet” books. I’m laughing til I’m crying

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