Thursday, January 15, 2009
Do Not Talk Down to a Sick Lady!
I hate it when people talk down to me. This sensitivity started before the women's movement when men at parties would answer a question I had asked to my male companion, not even acknowledging my presence! AARG!! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've had a seriously sore throat this week. I've had no fever, just been tired and unable to swallow without wincing in pain. After 5 days of this, I decided to try one of the new "urgent care" centers housed in a local drugstore. I dragged myself out of my comfy robe and into clothes and make-up and headed out into the cold. The one good thing about this experience was that I had no wait. While the nurse-practitioner, or whatever she was, waited I signed-in using their pain-in-the-butt computer touch screen. In an overly cheery voice, she announced that I had been there before -- DUH!! Got my flu shot there months ago. Then she went on to explain ALL ABOUT the mini-clinic before ascertaining why I was there. OK -- I can understand she's required to schpeel from the big binder notebook on the desk in front of her. But the amount of superfluous information really got on my nerves. THEN she needed my health history and names of all my prescriptions. . .! When she finally finished her fill-in-the-blanks-computer-enhanced-questioning, she asked me why I had come in, I explained about my sore throat and what I had been doing to treat it. I wanted to make sure I didn't have strep or something worse. Now I know that most public information is aimed at people with a 5th grade education. All I can figure is that this woman was accustomed to explaining things to cranky little kids. After this teeth-grinding session she decided to take my temp and blood pressure -- great timing! Not only was I riled from being treated like a little kid, the cuff came dangerously close to splitting my upper arm wide open! Of course this opened the door to yet another lecture about hypertension - which I do not have. When she finally got around to looking at my throat, she chastised me for not "stretching and opening the back of my throat" so that she could see it more clearly. She had me stand up, approach a small mirror on a closet door and practice "stretching the back of my throat." I mentioned tongue depressors, but that went nowhere. In what should have taken maybe 15 minutes, I spent well over half an hour being preached at. She said antibiotics wouldn't help if it was a viral infection [I knew that!], so treating the pain was the only alternative. Fine. She then searched her big binder to see if Lidocaine could be prescribed, but wouldn't you know it -- it wasn't in the big binder! She twiddled on her computer a few more times only to come to the conclusion that OTC Cepacol was what I needed. I could hardly wait to pay the fee and get out of there! Of course this process, too, was agonizingly stretched-out to the point where I crawled into my car and just sat there, trying to gather enough energy and composure to drive my sick butt back home. There's gotta be a better way!