A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

08 November 2011

The Waiting Game

Another half-hour spent isolated in the "patient room" at the doctor's office again.

I don't know if you've made the observation that all the magazines are typically in the waiting room -- and, if you don't tag one along when you get called in the "patient room"...chances are you are left alone to sit and stare at your "temporary lodgings" for the next 30 minutes or so.

I don't know about you...but my mind goes like this:

Read anatomical posters first.

Depending on how in-depth they are and which doctor you are seeing - this can be most rewarding. For example, I pretty much know where all my internal organs lie and I also know that "Circle of Willis" thing in my brain...looks like a tiny alien.

But most times it's a bust. Plus some of these posters have lost their vivid colours and have been on the walls since 1982. Not that our body parts have shifted or mutated into anything remotely Darwinian-ish...just saying a new shiny poster without the frayed and/or missing edges and without the 23 thumb-tack holes...is probably long overdue.

There's only so much staring you can do at the posters of otitis media or the cutaway eye one. "Yep, that's an eye. And that's one with glaucoma. That's an eye with a stye...and that's what various stages of conjunctivitis looks like when you have no skin surrounding your eye."


I then progress to reading the pamphlets (not all offices have these mind you - the eye doctor's office is the best place if you want to brush up on short stories featuring the eyeball).

From this fascinating foray into the "short story medical" genre, I have come to the conclusion I now know almost as much about Crohn's Disease and IBS as the people who wrote those things...and my ability to spot a "floater" is phenomenal. (Oh, c'mon...I was talking about the EYE...seriously...you should be ashamed of yourselves.) I also know all about Macular Degeneration ...and how to treat dry eyes.

The next stage on my journey inside the "little room" begins with the picking up of...and prerequisite dismantling of...the plastic models. Putting them back together as I found them is sometimes more challenging...but most times I just resort to childish hi-jinks.

Anyone with half a brain (and I've dismantled that model as well)...can put them back together...but it takes a really bored genius to put them back...creatively.

I'm not proud to admit that I put the "normal thyroid butterfly" in the "Grave's Disease" spot...and I've switched the normal rubber prostate "feel for yourself" exam helper with the abnormal one.

I am nearly shaking my head in abject shame as I type.

I often wonder if they change them all back around to their proper locations after I leave...or if they stay that way until someone inadvertently puts them back in correct placement because they were as bored as I was that day. I also wonder if they red flag you as a "switcher" and annotate it in your records.

Usually, by this time, the doctor comes in...but I've actually had to wait much, much longer on some occasions...and this is the part in my visit where I get downright creepy.

You know how they have the wooden tongue depressors, the little rubber hammer, the extraordinarily long Q-tips, and those drawers they keep unlocked?

Well, my imagination starts roaming around as my eyes dart from place to place and object to object...and I start wondering how many people might have skipped touching that take-apart eye "toy" and made a bee-line over to the rack of assorted eye-drop vials instead. If you pay close attention - those things are just too tempting for anyone who always wanted...but never got...a chemistry kit when they were a kid.

I've visions of rude and moronic people licking the eyedroppers -- putting a couple drops of one eye solution into the other...and switching all the stoppers around.

"Ooooh...an irrigation device...I wonder if it fits in HERE..."

I mean, unless there's a camera in that little private room of yours...how'd anyone know?

I guess it all boils down to the fact that I'd really hate to be swabbed with the giant Q-tip the guy before me used to relieve an itch. I honestly don't want them to use anything on me that doesn't walk in with the doctor or nurse...or that doesn't come out of some locked-up cabinet.

Face it, if I think these things -- someone else has undoubtedly done them...or is seriously thinking about doing them.

I just hope and pray their appointment is AFTER mine.


  1. Mine are usually at restaurants where the silverware is neatly wrapped up in napkins... you take the spares that server will take away ....but..before they do.... you unravel the napkin...and taste the spoon and fork..wrap it back up...... now go have a nice dinner at the Olive Garden... or Red Lobster....

  2. I will wash my hands and help myself to the lotion. I've never seen them actually use the extra long q-tips so I've always assumed they were just ornamental, to look doctors officey. I've blown up a plastic glove into a balloon, the blue ones are much more difficult! I have sang 99 bottles of beer on the wall to finish while sitting on the metal stool on wheels and flinging myself from one end of the room tot he next the entire time.

    But most often I fall asleep. Did you know the lights in those rooms are motion sensitive? I've fallen asleep, the lights kick themselves off and they forgot about me before. I'd be mad if I didn't really need that nap. It was awesome.

    But over all your account of the wait is 88-93% accurate.

  3. Great. Now *I* am going to be paranoid in the Doctor's Office wondering who touched what before I came in. YIKES. And, ewwwwwwww.

  4. Meleah - Glad I could be enlightening to you. ;)

    Ironman - I'll have to tell you my Olive Garden story - if I haven't done that blog already.

    Management - I think you must be going to nicer offices than me...the lights never go out where I go. The only ones that do are the timed heat lamp thingy they usually have at the gyno office.

  5. I hate doctors offices with a passion. And I hate going. (But I do love my doc.) I'm glad I read this because you've given me some brilliant and diabolical ideas. Actually, I've missed you Mariann. But the thing is, I visit people who visit me. Out of sight, out of mind. Know what I mean?

  6. Linda - I know what you mean...I usually make a point to comment when I read a blog - but most times I figure I'll come back and do it - and I totally forget.

    I've also not been reading or writing lately. I actually surprised myself by doing two blogs (almost back-to-back) - the one was already written, tho...but I still managed to get it up there. Been so tired and depressed lately.

  7. Now I'm scared to go to the Doctor's office. I tend to read the posters of Colon problems hahaha.It also makes me nervous when you have to give a urine sample, and people don't get the washroom is occupied and try to get in! -

  8. I have had the same problem, but am so dense that I have no idea where the abdominal organs like the liver, kidneys, appendix, gall bladder, urinary bladder, pancreas and spleen are, despite having had liver problems in the past...

  9. My doctor is amazing. I can set my watch to him. If I have an appointment for 2:30, I get "the call" at 2:30 +/- a few seconds. Then just a few minutes waiting in the little room.
    And no, I ain't saying who he is

  10. Patrick - Sorry I scared you about the doctor's office -- but I seriously wish they didn't have anything just sitting there. I mean, there are a LOT of whack people out there.

    Andria - Hope your liver is better now. I also don't think it matters much where your organs are as they always say you can have that referred pain anyway.

    Nick - I have a few doctors who are like this. I think it matters more about who is booking the appointments. Some are much better at it than others.

  11. Nick - I wasn't going to go to your doctor and lick the swabs, btw. ;)

  12. It is, I know all about referred pain... I had an angina attack once that I thought was my appendix until I went to the ER...

  13. A lung collapse feels an awful lot like they say a heart attack does.

  14. The first thing I do is read the diplomas, if they're available. I want to be damn sure that my doctor did NOT graduate from A-1 School Of Medical Doctorology in Lower Slobovia, and will thus know that when he shows me the two prostates he will know they have been mixed up by the previous occupant of the room, and thus he will not send me home brimming with enthusiasm for the goodness of life just because I can feel my prostate getting nearer the size of a basketball with each passing day.

  15. I just had this same experience last week, except that for once I remembered to take a magazine with me. A year-copy of Motor Trend, as I recall, which should prove very useful when I can finally afford a Porsche or Maserati.

  16. I will think of you the next time I'm staring at the giant Q-tips. ;)

  17. Hey, comments that I never knew about.

    I'm glad I'm making everyone's doctor's appointments more interesting. ;)