As is always the case with us, when one of us is dealing with
something, the other one must deal with it, too. That is the deal that
goes along with being sisters who love each other. And when I say
something, I mean not just the big things like illness or death but
also things like constant flat tires, attracting energy vampires and
the little symptoms that go with important life lessons. Oh and like
the time Karen became obsessed with the stories of Lewis & Clark
so I had to learn about them, too. And by illness and death, I also
mean happiness, celebration and chocolate treats because the things we share are most
often not rooted in sadness.
When Karen got the stupid lump that ended up being the totally fucking stupid lump, I knew it also meant I was in for my life being disrupted by dumb asses who work for insurance companies and nurses who can't find veins. See it turns out that we Chosen people* are so special that many of us get the mo fo genes that give you higher odds of getting breast and ovarian cancer. We also get the genes that make us witty so it must be a trade off. Due to details that are too boring (and frightening!) to mention, because Karen had to get the genetic tests, I have to, too.
When I went to my general doctor (at a well known medical center) who I have only seen once before to discuss this pressing matter, she immediately stressed how urgent it is for me to get a mammogram, PAP smear, and the genetic test right away. And then in a move so shocking that for a second I thought I was being Punk'd, she refused to give me a referral to a gynecologist. I said I'd feel better going to a gynecologist for a breast exam and a PAP smear and she said NO. She told me just to come back in two weeks and she'd do it as part of a general physical. Again, I said I prefer to go to a gynecologist. Again, she said NO. I pointed out to her that since I see an endocrinologist to treat my thyroid disease and a rhuematologist to treat my arthritis, it makes sense that I'd want to be referred to a gynecologist for issues related to my ovaries. Again, I got a big fat NO. I want the referral because having the referral will save me lots of money. I suspect she doesn't want to give me the referral because it means she'd lose lots of money. How about listening to your patient, doc?
While I was at the doctor's appointment where the doctor ignored me, I needed to have some blood tests that my endocrinologist ordered. I handed the blood test prescription to the doctor who told me I need not show her the tests I am having and just get a nurse to do them. WHAT? The doctor so concerned with my health that she insists on doing all my tests herself (even though she is not a gynecologist) has no interest in the blood tests ordered by my other doctors? She sent me back to the lobby to wait in line for the blood test nurse. I sat down to wait another 45 minutes and was texting Karen all about the hell I was in when a nurse called me.
Nurse: Linda W-W how do you pronounce your last name?
Nurse: How do you pronounce your last name?
Me: Are you serious?
Me: How is it spelled on the paper?
Me: Am I on Candid Camera
This is not a good sign. I know there is one nurse here who can find a vein but I don't see her. I tell this nurse it's very hard
to find my vein and that I will faint if she doesn't get
it on the first try so if she doesn't think she can do it, tell me and
I will come back later. She says she can do it. After the name thing, I
had my doubts. She ties the elastic thing around my arm so not tight
enough that I tell her it isn't tight enough. She says, no it is fine.
I say it isn't, she says it is. Just fucking kill me now. She jabs me
in my arm with a giant needle and misses my vein. She moves the needle
around in my arm for what feels like three minutes and still can't find
a vein. I tell her to take it out now because I am going to pass out.
She says whatever and gets up in a huff saying she'll try to find someone
Oh Holy Mother of Buddha.
I think I should just give myself that PAP smear**.
** Don't worry, I will go to a real gynecologist even if I have to pay for it.
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