Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ranting and Raving

Okay. Bottom line: won't know anything until follow-up with gyno on Friday.

But, I need to dump my concerns. I don't want to take it out on my loved ones. Dumping here.

Poop alert. Grossness. Avert your eyes. Gross female things discussed here.

You have been warned.

I realize doctors have to order tests to help them diagnose stuff. I realize they need to rule things out. Like cancer. I should be grateful. But, it oughta be a sign when the waiting room furniture is shabby, stuffing poking out the arms of the couch. And when I show up on time for an appointment and get to cool my heels for 30 minutes because they are running behind---and sonograms is all they do this day---that was my second sign.

So when the tech lady greeted me with: "you know, I might not be able to see anything on the sonogram because your are fat..." I should have turned around and left right then. But, it took me a few moments to process what she was saying. Was this a warning? Did she think I WANTED this procedure? Who was she kidding? The doctor ordered this test. Do people walkin in off the street and want one? When I asked if she wanted me to go elsewhere or reschedule, she said no, but she needed to give me a warning, that whatever it was they were looking for, obese people don't sonogram well. Okay. I'll come back when I am thin---but wait, isn't this a gynocologists office?? with a waiting room full of fat pregnant ladies??? I did not see a thin butt in the waiting room. Sonograms are usually done on the belly for happy, curious women wanting to know if they baby is okay. Maybe the tech was having a bad day. Maybe she prefers happy pregnant ladies to sullen, old, fat, gray haired ladies.

Then she greases up this two foot long probe with KY jelly, and puts a CONDOM on it. Lovely. I asked, "you put a condom on the wand?" And she snorted, "have to cover it with SOMETHING." "Duh". Oh, good. I listen to Dr. Laura---I did not think condoms protected you one hundred percent. And are condoms sterile?? Then she shoves this thing way up---and she must think fat people are also hollow. And with one hand on her wand, and the other hand clicking away on her machine recording images on the screen, she proceeds to see if the wand can see my ear canals. She asked what my "problem" was as she had not a clue what she was suppose to be looking for. Surely, on my chart somewhere---but, I replied that I had this period that lasted two months and Dr. B was ruling out stuff. Fibroids? I asked, maybe?

"That wasn't that bad, was it?" she asked. I decided to think about this for a while.

Now get this, naked from the waist down, smeared with jelly, she suggests I walk across the hall to clean up. I paid and left. She said was able to see what she needed to in the uterus after all. So, the gamble paid off. Hopefully. We will find out on Friday, won't we. All the blood tests, and results from this sonogram. Can't wait.

Damn. I had quit spotting for about a week, but thanks to techie and her magic wand, I am seeing blood clots again. I feel dirty. Raped. Violated. And I paid for this. Does that make me a hooker? The doctor said I need a vaginal sonogram, so I thought I was just obeying instructions. I feel stupid. And I wonder who she used the wand on last? Someone with aids? Maybe an STD? I did not see her wash it. She thinks condoms are enough.

When I put my pants back on, I noticed I had been sporting a beautiful grease smear in black on the front of my beige pants! I had picked up the van my husband usually drives from the repair shop, and I guess the steering wheel was dirty from the oil change and brake job and transmission leak fix, and I marked my pants. A marked woman. Lovely. All I need is a clown nose... I had to smile. That techie is not worth being angry about. What a bitch. I feel sorry for her children, if she has any. Still wish I had walked out, because it is getting to be a habit with me---refusing to take abuse from nurses and techies and rude people. But, I just want to get this all over with. Once we rule out cancer, we can get on with menopause.

I consider myself a private person. Only my husband is allowed in certain parts of my body. I did not even get the techie lady's name.

I took a shower, but...

Time for another bath. With clorox.


JAMIE'S CREW said...

Oh Joyce. I am sorry you had such a crappy experience. There is NO excuse for ANY medical professional to treat you (or anyone) like that.

I encourage you to write your Dr. a letter and explain the way his staff (or the staff at the office he sent you to) in no non-sense terms. He needs to know that information. They should be fired.

I have used this technique myself at the pediatricians office. The first time when then Home Health Nurse hired to manage the care of my twins at home following their birth - didn't know her butt from a hole in the ground. She came with her supplies in a baggie and didn't have any gloves to wear. She could not get blood from my son in spite of the fact that she pricked his heel 20 times while he and I both cried. I called the pediatrician and detailed the visit. He was already angry because the bloodwork results were not on his desk and my two preemie babies were jaundiced and he was monitoring their bilirubin levels. He FIRED the home health agency.

The second time I wrote him a letter because his triage nurse was a snide and condescending woman. I would call with a concern about my children and she would act much like your tech acted - insinuated I was stupid. She was paid to talk with parents on the phone to assess the need for Dr. care or not. The Dr. THANKED me for letting him know.

The flip side is that - the next phone nurse was such a DREAM to work with, that I wrote him another letter to COMPLIMENT the lady. And do you know, that when she quit to take another job, SHE CALLED ME to say goodbye!

All of this rambling is to say that you are absolutely right and to please be your own advocate. If you are uncomfortable with what they are doing - or insulted verbally - the powers that be should know about it.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing the outcome.

JAMIE'S CREW said...

hope I didn't offend you in any way!

templework said...

Pardon me for intruding - but that tech was beyond nauseating.

Some people (the tech) seem to have an exorbitantly inflated opinion of themselves
which reminds me of a quote:

"We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men(and women), as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. "

You wonder how these people manage to remain employed???

Hoping you get a definitive diagnosis soon!

joyce said...

Thank you, Jamie, for your comments. I just wonder how much rudeness we are suppose to put up with. Sometimes people assume since I have gray hair, that I do not need procedures explained.

I am still wondering about that condom. Are they sterile? It this what the manufacturers of sonograms mean for them to use??

Maybe I will call the Christian pregnancy center we support and ask.

JAMIE'S CREW said...


First, what you described about how the staff talked to you is a lack of simple, common, courtesy. Your age, the color or your hair, or even your weight should NEVER EVER affect the way you are treated or spoken too. There is NO excuse for rudeness.

Now, as for the condom on the vaginal ultrasound. First, I do understand your concern. I have had that procedure done, so I know what you are referring too. It is common practice nowadays in early pregnancy - usually at the first visit around 7-8 weeks.

I have to agree, it is kind of an odd thing. And, I do remember that they rolled on a condom type thing. I am afraid I didn't pay much attention to where that item came from. But, if it makes you uncomfortable - or if you desire to know if it was sterile - I think it is your right to ask about it.

I couldn't tell from reading who said "duh" during that conversation. I sincerely hope it WAS NOT that technician. Talk about condescending!

Anyway - I suppose I have butted right into all your business. I hope you don't mind too much!


JAMIE'S CREW said...

Oh, one more thing. As for doubting yourself, or wondering if it is hormonal: It is NOT hormonal. You are being treated like a 2nd class citizen. You don't deserve that!

joyce said...

I found a website on the sonogram machines and how important it is to use a tranducer cover because any bubbles caught between the cover and wand will cause distortions. And that condom was very loose. I have copied out one of the sites and will take it with me on Friday. Other websites on the tranducer covers talk about how important it is to have a snug fit because of the blood born diseases and cross contamination.

Lisa said...

I am so sorry you were treated so poorly. It is inexcusable. Please do inform your doctor of her rudeness and unprofessional manner.

I despise those v-sono's. They do them in early pregnancy. Now, for the life of me I can't recall any kind of cover on that wand, but I know it certainly wasn't a condom.

JAMIE'S CREW said...

That is very good information. I think I remember them putting that gel on the transducer before the condom/cover thing. I guess I better pay more attention if there is a next time.

joyce said...

Thanks everyone for the comments---

And Jamie, I must be honest. The "duh" was what I inferred from her tone. When she said she had to cover it with SOMETHING, I felt like she was either calling me an idiot, or tired of my questions. But, I used to work for an orthodontist, and we NEVER used condoms to cover equipment. And knowing how whoever designed the machine did not plan on condoms to be the design, it just did not make sense unless they were cutting costs and when it comes to sticking something up where the sun don't shine...not a good place to cut costs, in my opinion.

I am actually sore today. I don't remember that from a vaginal sonogram done years and years ago even on a full bladder.

And can you imagine taking your daughter for a gynological exam and having to explain a condom? Maybe kids today all know what they are, but I did not see one until after we were married. But, then I was raised pretty protected, and naive.

JAMIE'S CREW said...

I did rather think the DUH was part of your writing, but given the rude remarks the tech had made, I wasn't 100% sure.

Your are right about not wanting to explain condoms to my daughter.

I hope that the rest of the week improves. Sorry to have been ranting from my soap box.

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