Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Four Star Review

“What kind of sandwich would you like: tuna, turkey, or peanut butter?”
“And apple juice or milk?”
 “I'm sorry? Are we having a lunch date or scheduling a medical procedure here?”

So already I'm suspicious as I walk into the medical office.  A suspicion not eased when I am handed latex gloves to eat the sandwich with.   Never a good sign when you need gloves to touch your brunch! In our age of organic, locally grown popularity, I realize that I am paying these doctors to let me eat a radioactive turkey sandwich…something doesn’t seem quite right.  Still, I have yet to receive my medical degree, so for the moment, I’ll defer to the ones with the diplomas on the wall. 

From the start, it looked like this procedure was not going to be receiving a favorable review: no eating or drinking four hours prior, a hospital-cafeteria radio-active turkey sandwich and lying on a metal bed for an hour and half. 

However, as I lie here, I'm starting to reconsider. No sedation, no needles, no tubes attached to any random body parts.  Sure, I'm not recommending it for the Hot List of LA attractions, but as far as medical tests goes, I'm thinking it’s not so bad.  The tech, who may or may not be studying for her 7th grade spelling quiz, comes in every 15 minutes to take pictures of the aforementioned sandwich and that’s about it.  We set the Pandora radio to “James Taylor” at which point she glances at me to check…yes, yes, I know – Really I'm a 50 year old woman in disguise, move along please. 

She redeems herself while bringing me those hot packs that you can slip in ski gloves after I mention the advancing frostbite I’m developing.  And when I say ski gloves, I'm referring to the single time I snowplowed down bunny slopes before twisting my knee and spending subsequent ski vacations nice and toasty in the lodge with hot chocolate and a good book.  No need to keep up appearances here.  ‘Athletic’ and my name don’t typically occur in near proximity. For example, the video of my 5-year-old gymnastic recital is shelved with the ‘Comedies’.

And then I realize what a typical doctor’s daughter I am. I'm staring at this screen with numbers and images and I'm convinced I can crack the code.   What are these dots saying? Why didn’t I take nuclear medicine 101 instead of Spanish??  While I nod and smile with utter confusion when the tech tries to answer my questions, I remind myself that neither she nor I am a doctor, and it would probably be best to let someone else interpret these pictures. Still, I'm thinking that whatever I'm looking at looks pretty normal to me…yes; I think it all looks good…
Just when I'm about to give my inner wanna-be doctor a firm shake, the tech strolls in with “Humm, look pretty normal to me…”

Aha! I knew I could have a strong career in radiology (I see Bubby Rene nodding in agreement – ‘I always said she was such a genius…tsk, tsk…such a genius.’)

And then I'm done. No paper gown to dispense of, no anesthesia to wear off. I'm off and on my way as soon as I stop touring the parking garage in search of my car.

Still, whatever the results and answers or non-answers will come my way, as far as medical procedures go, I’d give it 4 stars.  If there was an ATM machine dispensing neatly printed up diagnoses as I walked out the door, then for sure, 5 stars.  Or perhaps if I’d have gone with the peanut butter radioactive sandwich…

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