Wednesday, August 27, 2008

stupid cancer


The word is haunting me today.

I really don't like that word. I don't like the morbid thoughts it brings with its every utterance and I particularly don't like the bullshit you have to put up with when you have it.

The second surgery is now behind me. I won't find out until next week if it worked, but until I'm told otherwise, I'm assuming it did. I was right in assuming this surgery was minor compared to the first one, it was. However I did get a surgical site infection immediately that kept me extremely uncomfortable for much longer than I should have been and led to a stand off with a bitchy nurse in the oncologist's office.

"Well how do you know it's an infection," she asked in a condescending tone usually reserved for small children who insist on jamming things up their noses. "What does it look like?"

Um, the hole left from the surgery is now filled with yellow pus.

"Well I'm going to have to see you before I can prescribe any antibiotics."

Um, could you just pass the information along to my doctor...."Well, SHE is going to have to see you too so we can be sure this is REALLY an infection."

This went back and forth for 30 minutes as I tried to explain to this woman that I was in extreme pain and had been doped up on Percocet for a week, so I was pretty sure there was no way I was going to be able to make the hour drive to the doctor by myself, and since, she had waited until one o'clock in the afternoon to return a 9 a.m. phone call, I was pretty damn sure I couldn't get anyone who could make the 30 minute drive to my house to haul my ass down there.

"Well, I guess you'll just have to wait until Monday," was Nurse Ratchet's huffy reply.

Um, lady, I'm thinking it's not real smart for me to wait through the weekend knowing this infection is only going to fester and worsen.

"Well, we don't know that it IS an infection now do we," she shot back.

Um no lady, YOU do not know it is an infection because you obviously think I'm a friggin' idiot. I, however am not an idiot, am certain it IS an infection, am also certain I will contract some sort of friggin' blood poison if I sit around and wait until Monday and am quite frankly tired of having to arguing the point with your rude ass. I'm sorry you've obviously had a bad day, I hope it improves for you and that you don't have to explain to the doctor on Monday why I'm back in the hospital. Have a nice day, goodbye.

Sheesh! Luckily, I'm not an idiot and I have a very nice family doctor, who was willing to work me in that afternoon. So, I hauled my sorry ass into the car and drove the 30 minutes to his office for him to take a look and confirm that yep, it was an infection and it was probably a very good thing I hadn't tried to wait until Monday.

The $84 antibiotics he prescribed had me feeling much better by Monday when I called the nurse back to inform her of the diagnosis. Bitch.

Now I'm sorry, I know from having worked in a doctor's office that doctors and nurses hate it when people self-diagnose, but I also know, from the same experience that nurses have no right to make such judgments on their own, without the doctor's input. I can't help but worry about the patients who look to their doctors and nurses as Gods of some sort and always trust their judgments. I wonder what becomes of them and figure they probably have a much higher death rate.

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