April 24, 2006

A "Something's Just Wrong With This" Kind of Monday

A couple of oddball things happened while visiting my doctor’s office this morning. I had to stop in to have blood drawn after a night and early morning of fasting.

While sitting in the waiting room facing a window to the parking lot, I noticed a car pull up. The female driver had nosed into the spot, giving me a bird’s eye view of her and the entire front seat. There we were – face to face separated only by about ten feet of space and two crystal clear panes of glass.

Next time you pull up to a building and find yourself facing a window of any sort – be warned that someone might be looking out at you.

I sat and watched as this woman adjusted her bra strap, not once, but twice, pulling the collar of her sweater completely over the shoulder while tugging at the clasp. I was a little bit embarrassed; kept looking away then back again to see if she had noticed me. Surely she had by now. Guess again.

Suddenly she boosted herself up toward the rear view mirror as if to apply lipstick or something. Well, it ended up being the “something.” She started popping zits all about her face, and I might add, with reckless abandon! To avoid being overly graphic, I’ll stop here and leave out the part that deals with fingers and tissues.

This woman, probably in her mid- to late-thirties, would have been so completely humiliated had she known she was taking care of such business less than ten feet from a total stranger. Short of going outside and telling her, there was nothing much I could do.

Much to my horror, she walked into the office and stepped up to the receptionist’s desk. I had such an uneasy feeling about seeing her standing there; like I already knew way more about this woman than I ever cared to. I knew the moment she sat down near me and looked out that window and into her own car, she would have realized she just put on quite the show for me. Fortunately, I was called inside just before that happened.

The second odd thing that happened was just a strange response from the nurse who drew my blood. I had asked her what I thought to be a rather intelligent question. It occurred to me that when we have to fast for blood work, how is it that they will get an accurate or “true” reading since we don’t normally go about without food or drink in our tummies. Are you with me so far?

In other words … I had to fast since midnight – no food or drink. For the sake of not knowing a more medical term for it … let’s just say my blood was then “pure.” They get their readings and document the results. Great.

The problem is, these results are not realistic by any stretch of the imagination. During the course of any day, I’ve eaten at least a couple of meals, drank lots of fluids and munched a few snacks. I have shat and I have replenished. Drawing blood at some point DURING this type of routine would produce a more typical result, no?

So it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ask about this. Without hesitation, this was the nurse’s response, “No no... your blood doesn't really change during your daily routine... it's not like food makes a big difference... now if you were to drink a large glass of Orange juice an hour before... THAT could change your sugar levels."

My mind went completely blank at that point. This happens to me when someone says something so completely stupid that it simply cannot register in my gray matter. The thing you do NOT want to say to a caffeine-starved, food-hungry, 10-hour faster is that “it’s not like food makes a big difference.” Why then couldn’t you have just told me not to eat or drink anything ONE hour before, instead of ten?

Driving home from the doctor’s office, I turned on the radio hoping to hear anything at all that might make more sense than what was dumped into my head just minutes earlier in that chair.

The deejay was talking about the sun index today (as though there was one), and said, “So folks if you’re already traveling to the beach, don’t forget to pack your sun screen or leave it home today because you probably won’t need it... and if you left it home, you should think about doing that anyway.”

There was so much wrong with that sentence that I turned the radio off, lit a cigarette and hoped against hope that this wasn’t what it feels like at the onset of insanity.

“Those who dance were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music” Angela Monet


Blogger Carly said...

that DJ quote is PRICELESS.

I know just what you mean aobut the bloodwork (and gestational diabetes tests...pffft...)

10:13 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

What an odd series of events. I'm still pondering why the DJ even opened his mouth to say anything. Hmmm.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Ovedya said...

Empathy springs eternal.

...Or something like that.

Anyway. On days like that I think that it's best to just turn the brain off and "go wit' de' flow, mon."

1:37 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Funny bits, zits, and and a stranger's t... well, almost.

I'm amazed at how well you can transform what for most of us would be a mundane, routine, and uneventful visit into an amusing yarn. I loved your description of your feelings concerng the anonymous woman, "like I already knew way more about this woman than I ever cared to", and she, "would have been so completely humiliated had she known she was taking care of such business less than ten feet from a total stranger" - you would STROLL fiction.

Now it's official, the Hag shits [slight feelings of disappointment].

“Those who dance were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music” Dopamine deprivation in my estimation. It leads to a joyless, uninspired life.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Swathi said...

yes i think lotza time it happens that we notice ppl who dun seem to know that we r noticing them.

esp. at traffic lights n ppl inside cars n inside buses, sometimes inside buildings,

which makes me wonder that there must b times when i wud've bin the victim :)

luved ur quote at the end

6:30 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

It's always so interesting to see how the strange things follow each other.

People do the strangest things when they think nobody's watching.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Alisa said...

I wonder why she picked her zits? I mean... doing that will make your face red and splotchy right before going anywhere. Weird. The bra strap thing, I can understand.

May she needs darker tinted windows because she obviously thinks she is wonder woman in the invisible jet....

8:19 AM  
Blogger PBS said...

Maybe the window was darkened from the outside so she couldn't tell. Good thing you were called in before she realized! And it doesn't matter if you fast before a blood test..it doesn't matter!!!! Ok, I'm officially mad now, since I've had to fast before each and every blood test for my thyroid condition.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Wicked H said...

People watching can be fun until you are viewing bodily fluids and stuff...EW!

Note to all, try not to use the "communal" pens in a doctors office.

Helpful hints from me...

11:56 AM  
Blogger Rainypete said...

My guess is that they were stunned by all the music they were hearing themselves.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Grant said...

People seem to labor under the belief that they're invisible inside of their cars, or that the windows are one-way mirrors. That explains all the traveling nose-picking I've seen over the years.

1:06 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

The DJ must have been high on something or at the end of a very long shift!

The zit-popping girl should have been told she was seen; thank God she wasn't picking her nose...LOL

5:19 PM  
Blogger Spinning Girl said...

I hate days like that ... when I feel like I am looking at the world sideways through a piece of film.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My "onset" was years ago.

9:18 PM  
Blogger L said...


11:17 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Lordy geeeeez! Ewww ewwwww ewwwww

Crap, that would make me lite a cigarette and i don't even smoke!!

2:40 AM  
Blogger annush said...

you know, it's funny the nurse told you that...
I, for one, need to eat about every 6 hours and if not I will faint. PLain and simple. Those people at my PCP's office have had to learn the hard way to say 2 hours instead of 12.

8:52 AM  
Blogger madcapmum said...

How... strange. All of it!

Robertson Davies said of radio announcers once that they ought to have to have a revokable licence before they're allowed a chance at filling the air with bombs like that!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous hellbunny said...

Ill have to be more careful what i do in my car after reading that.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous colleen said...

It's even harder to register senseless stuff when your blood sugar is low from not eating!

I hope the tests came back fine.

12:07 AM  
Blogger MYSTIC said...

I think I'm going to be sick...but then I would have to go to the doctor's office and that would finish me off for the day. Hope your test was normal, except for the lack of caffine.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Dave Morris said...

Radio people say the darndest things.

You've reminded me I need to get my cholesterol levels tested. And I haven't "shat" yet today.

You crack me up!

8:33 AM  
Blogger katie said...

It's amazing how people seem to think that cars are their own private island isn't it? I always wonder how the nose pickers can possibly think that everyone can't see them. Very odd.

10:55 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Absolutely hilarious. Really and truly.

The whole blood test thing was explained to me that eating or drinking before a test can make it harder to draw the blood. Now this may not make a lot of sense to most people but I have extremely odd veins which hate me, they roll or collapse whenever blood is being drawn. Apparently, if I was to eat or drink something, it could be a lot worse. Since my last visit to the doctor ended up lasting almost two hours (half hour with the doctor, an hour and a half while 3 people tried to draw my blood), I don't even want to think of what it could be like.

But now I'm wondering if that was a lie. Maybe it would be better if I drank some water.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Tabor said...

Sounds to me like you should just stay home until fall and everyone's brain becomes unfried!

12:10 PM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Chicks do crazy stuff when they believe nobody is watching.

I've learned that from years of peeping-tom-ism.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

A "Something's Just Wrong With This" Kind of Monday

A "something's just wrong with me" to have taken until Friday to get over here.
Great oddball stuff.
I was trying to think of something to compare but nothing did, except maybe the time my boss farted and got caught.
It was early, when only he and I were in, so when I walked right into it, there was no way to blame anyone else, or even the dog, since there aren't any allowed in restaurants. Neither of us said a word, but I'm sure he was mortified being the prim and proper type that he is.
And the blood thing: The reason you couldn't eat or drink, must have been something along the same lines as to why we had to wear hats on our heads in church. Everyone knew you'd go straight to hell if you dared walk in without covering your head - but no one knew why, except maybe it was because God liked it that way. The answer the nurse gave made as much sense...the doctor likes it that way!
And the deejay thing: Well heck, my radio station is stuck on one where Rush Limbaugh talks to me from noon to four if I'm driving. I've yet to hear anything out of him that makes an ounce of sense. Perhaps I should subscribe to the Limbaugh Letter (gag).

6:46 AM  
Blogger jac said...

I too have seen something once, but I can't tell you

Hilarious, Hag !

3:42 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

We have to fast before a blood test for at least 12 hours here. This is one of the reasons my blood test is overdue, because starting work at 7.45 on a Monday means I HAVE to eat...but the blood nurse turns up at 8.00 so you'd think I could do it wouldn't you? But then I've gotta go back to the front desk and deal with a frantic shift...without food in my tummy...it's gonna be a while before I get those bloods done I think lol

I'll be mighty pissed off to find out it won't make a jot of difference. I must talk to the phlebotomist(sp?) next Monday to hear her opinion on that. If what YOUR nurse said is right...then I'm gonna clout MY nurse lol

4:37 PM  
Blogger oregoncelticlady said...

Greetings! I have MISSED being here! Two thoughts...
She was probably the doc's (second) wife.
Yes, people are really stupid and that frightens me!

6:58 PM  
Blogger Attila The Mom said...

Eww ewww ewww on zits! I think the only thing worse would be if she was picking her nose. ;-)

4:43 PM  
Blogger Di said...

I looked for her whan I was in for my checkup but she never showed up--thank goodness! :)

7:30 PM  
Blogger Juliabohemian said...

I've popped zits in my car before. But, no one was watching me. I am aware of things like windows and nearby cars...call it paranoia.

That nurse sounds like a dolt. maybe she got her license on the internet when she saw one of those commericals they show at 3am.

I have to say my word verification letters were "jazzslw" how cool is that? It's either jazz slow or jazz-slaw. Jazz with shredded cabbage.

3:11 AM  
Blogger Merci said...

I think fasting matters for blood tests if you are at risk for diabetes. Your blood levels might be within normal limits during the day, but they might not go down as they should overnight or when fasting, or they might spike in the morning before eating. Something about the liver converting fat to sugar and releasing it into the bloodstream while fasting, and the impaired pancreas not stepping up to the plate with enough insulin.

Some other hormone levels will vary depending on whether you are fasting or not. The doctor might tell you to fast so that he/she will KNOW for sure how long it had been since you ate. By the time you make it back to his/her office to discuss the results, you might have forgotten about the raided ice cream at midnight. This is probably a bigger deal for folks like me, who tend to skip breakfast.

My endo wants all bloodwork done fasting, and she wants the blood to be drawn at 8:00 am. This is messy, since I haved a long drive to work, and I usually leave at about 7:00 am. The lab I use is 5 minutes from home.

I know, time to find a lab near work...

10:41 AM  
Blogger Puggyspice said...

Thank you for another wonderful post, and for the reminder that sometimes sane people in a crazy world feel like its the other way around!

The quote is beautiful.

4:01 PM  
Blogger jon said...

Uh, Is that a needle? Stuck in an arm? . .. .. . .getting . . hot. . . in here. . . need som-. . . hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

9:49 PM  
Blogger sidcruise said...

Well I am busy with Company training.. its getting really hectic..so will be back soon probably after May 5 ..So sweet of you to enquire..Appreciate it ;)

Now I have so much backlogs to read from your lovely blog..

Hope you are doing great and having fun ..

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Simply Coll said...

Funny how somedays just follow a quirky pattern. Kind of freaky :-)

About the lab tech.. she was wrong to state things as she did. There are a few (not a lot) of blood tests that are needed to be done as fasting blood work. One important example is the fasting blood glucose. A high reading may indicate previously undetected diabetes. Eating prior to the test may give a false high reading.

10:16 AM  

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