Thursday, February 10, 2011

Even In First Grade The Rule Is No Secrets

Well, I went for another fetal echocardiogram (yay, another $65 co-pay) during my house arrest period in January. Luckily, this one was in a different department than the last one (please refer to Choices, Choices, Choices). I don't know if I could have handled one more there.

My appointment had been for 1:30 but they had called and requested I come in early, at 12:45, because the doctor needed to leave early that day. I was ecstatic. Certainly, the wait would be diminished if the doctor wanted to leave! When I arrived there was no one in the waiting area. Like, literally, the receptionist was the only person there. I took this as an excellent sign. Well, I'm an idiot. I have been going to appointments several times a month for several months so you would think I would learn a thing or two. You would think wrong. I sat by myself in the waiting room for an hour, watching others come later than me and be called to their various appointments before me.

Finally it was my turn. I wanted to jump and scream like the next contestant on The Price is Right but somehow I held it all inside. It was the same tech that I had had before, for that ultrasound where I may have, okay, DID fart on her. She pretended not to remember and so did I. I think that was best for all parties involved. Luckily she is very nice and very "quirky" so I didn't feel too shameful for the ENTIRE time I was there. I believe I felt just the right amount of shame, actually. Before we even started two doctors came in. I don't have any idea what their names were so let's just call them Twiddly Dee and Twiddly Awkward. Firstly, this was my third fetal echo so I am pretty clear on procedure. The doc never never comes in until the tech finishes getting everything she can. This usually takes at least an hour. Second, I knew the doctor that would be doing the echo and this wasn't her. The twiddlies introduced themselves and then sat down while the tech began the scanning. As the tech was going through all the pieces Twiddly Awkward (who was clearly above Twiddly Dee) was explaining different parts of the anatomy that were being seen and what it should look like and what it might look like if there were a problem. I enjoyed this and thought it was interesting. Well, eventually, they started saying the same type of stuff, nothing specific about me per se but they decided to whisper. It was really weird. There are only 4 people in the room and I can tell they aren't saying anything confidential, just teaching so what is the whispering about? If you came to my classroom I wouldn't spend the entire time whispering to my associate. It's weird. Considering my lack of social adjustment, if I think it's weird then honestly, it must be really weird. So, eventually the main doc, who I am kindof in love with, we'll call her Dr Calm, poked her head in and asked what the progress was. She then told the tech to come get her when she was finished and that would give Twiddly Awkward enough time to do her turn. Insert abrupt scratchy record stop here. What is going on? Apparently Twiddly Awkward is going to look too. It's obviously not a big deal and will help pass the time waiting for Dr Calm but I wonder why she is looking. I have done this enough times to know this isn't standard. In no way did I get any sense that it was cause something was wrong but I was still super curious as to why she was looking. Well, when her turn finally came she was asking the tech a lot of questions about getting a better view and what certain vessels were on the screen so she obviously wasn't an expert. I thought maybe she was doing some data collection type research or just practicing her own skills because she may be a resident or a fellow or something. When she was at the machine I decided perhaps I could talk to her, considering she must be done whispering by now. I asked her what she was looking at, etc etc. All the answer she gave me was that she was looking at the same things the tech had been looking at. Wow. Thanks for that most informative answer. Just so we are clear, I don't care who looks at me or studies me or uses me as a teaching tool. I am at a teaching hospital so I actually hope they are teaching the students. However, I'm not sure why we are being all cloak and dagger about the whole thing. I highly doubt state secrets are depending on you not telling me what you and your Twiddly Dee are learning. As soon as she was done, she said goodbye and left, Twiddly Dee following right on her heels. Eventually Dr Calm came in and finished up. She said everything looked great and reminded me of the problems they cannot see until birth yadda yadda yadda.

Despite the dozens of doctors I have seen since then I have never seen either Twiddly again. I am pretty sure they were the aliens, tracking me through "the mark" (please refer to My First Descent).


  1. Jen, thanks for the updates! i love your sense of humor!

  2. Why don't they have to go to a charm class in medical school??