I’m sitting in my endocrinologist’s office, and I just lied to the nurse. I don’t know exactly why, but I know that doctors’ offices make me all jumpy and nervous. Then I do stupid things like lie, when that really defeats the purpose of going to the doctor in the first place.
This room is so….white. Why do medical offices have to be aggressively white? I understand that they’re supposed to look sterile, but they end up looking stark and scary. I’m in an albino room. It’s not natural. There’s a slightly peach model of a swollen thyroid on the counter, but I’m trying not to look at it. It’s disgusting.
I’m here to get a checkup on my brain tumor, and you would think that after nine years of various endocrinologists, this process would be old hat. Nope. Always scary. It doesn’t help when the receptionists are extremely mean, the other patients look just as scared as I am, and the only friendly person around is the lady on the waiting room TV smiling while she talks about genital yeast infections.
If I ever ruled the world, I would make the word “genital” an expletive. It’s so clinical and just…ew, but the lady on the TV was awfully cherry about it. Why can’t they show something nice and calming on a waiting room TV? Or stand-up comedy? THAT’S a great idea. Let people laugh so they won’t cry. Instead, we have to watch creepy health shows. Or we can read totally obscure magazines like Osteoporosis and You.
I lied to the nurse when she asked if I’ve been feeling down or depressed at all in the past two weeks. I immediately said no, which was dumb because just yesterday I told Andy that I was scared I might be falling into depression again. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, but maybe it’s not depression. It was probably just a couple of lethargic and down weeks, and I’m sure I’ll perk up any day now! I’m sure that’s it. Plus, whenever anyone asks how I’m doing, I automatically say fine. Either it’s true or it’s probably about to be true. I don’t like the weird and scared looks I get if I admit that I’m not doing well. Plus, depression is a psychiatric issue, not an endocrine one, right? I mean, RIGHT?
Fine. I should have told the truth. I’ll tell the doctor if he ever actually decides to come in here. The nurse also asked if I have ever smoked, and I immediately said no to that one too. That’s because she obviously meant “smoked as a habit, and not for less than a week while you were in Korea being stupid.” Korea’s like Vegas, and what happens there stays there. Something like that.
The doctor is still not here, so I will take this opportunity to tell you about the meanie receptionists. The first receptionist totally ignored me when I got here. I stood there in front of her window awkwardly for a minute until she finally snapped, “Can I HELP you?” in a way that meant that was the last thing on earth that she wanted to do. I said I was here to see Dr. H. She rolled her eyes and said, “then you need to check in with the endocrine center.” I think it took all of her willpower not to add “duh” at the end of that. I looked up at the glass window that clearly said “Endocrine Center.” There was another lady sitting to the right of that sign, but there was no partition between the lady I was talking to and the lady I apparently needed to talk to. They could have shaken hands. I’m sure they’ve borrowed pencils from other. Yet CLEARLY I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN to talk to the lady on the right instead of the left. Oops.
I finally talked to the correct lady, and she was wearing a pin that said “Miracles happen!” I’m pretty sure she meant that to be encouraging, but I found it annoying. For those of us on my side of the counter, no miracles have happened. We’re there because we still have our tumors, our diabetes, our whatevers, and the trite encouragement from a piece of plastic felt less than genuine.
I have to go to the bathroom. What if you have to go to the bathroom while in a doctor’s office? I’d better hold it. I don’t want them to think I left. The nurse outside my door is calling patients and saying things such as, “Hi, is this Jane Smith? Hi, I’m calling to give you the new dosage of ______ drug that you’re taking. Take two tablets once a day with meals, okay? Okay.”
I can clearly hear all of this from my room. I could type you a list of a bunch of local residents and the drugs they’re on. Isn’t this some sort of HIPAA issue? It seems like it to me, but hey – I’m no doctor. I’m the invisible patient with a brain tumor. Don’t mind me.
So here I am, an hour and a half after my scheduled appointment time, chilling out in an albino room with a plastic inflamed thyroid and feeling bad about lying to the nurse. I really have to go to the bathroom. I’ve spent hours more pointless ways than this…probably. I’m struggling to think of one at the moment, but I’m sure it’s happened.
Doctor’s here. Gotta go.