Cross your heart and hope to die, stick a needle in your eye

This has been an interesting few days.  I had my EMG (Electromyography) on Tuesday, and realized a few things about some members of the medical profession.  The EMG was done at the neurologist’s office, and while I sat in their stark waiting room a doctor walked in.  The conversation between this doc and the receptionist that I call Mr. Personality was quite eye-opening.

The doc was from, what I could gather, the emergency room.  He had several files and was wanting to make sure that neurology did follow ups on several patients.  The first comment out of the ER doc’s mouth was, “Do you people not answer your phones?  I’ve been trying for an hour to get through up here and no one answers.”  Hmmm, the same problem I had a month ago.  Mr. P was not what I would have considered “professional” to another professional.  His demeanor and responses were dismissive and curt at best.  Actually, his responses made me feel better about how I was treated when I was here.  At least he’s rude to everyone.

The ER doc explained that one patient was a vehicle crash victim, and would be going through extensive physical therapy but also needed a neuro evaluation as soon as possible; another was an attempted suicide, and would also need an evaluation as soon as possible.  Mr. P asked if these were emergency evaluations that needed to be done, and was told that they needed to be done within the next 7-14 days.  Mr. P’s comment about made me fall out of my chair.  He looked at the doc and said, “So they are emergency evaluations.”  I really would hate to see what the heck they consider a true emergency in the neurology department.  Does someone need to come in with their head physically in a bag for it to be considered an “emergency?”

I sat and listened to the exchange between the ER doc and Mr. Personality until I was called back for my test.  The test was not as bad as I had thought it would be.  The tech was nice, and even while she was zapping me with what felt like a gazillion volts she was polite and patient.  We had a nice conversation as she stuck electrodes on varied muscles and made my leg and arm jump off the table.  Just when I thought I was done, in walked an older gent who turned out to be the one that would turn me into a pin cushion.

He swiped and wiped various parts of my leg and arm, inserted needles and recorded the sounds that the muscles made as electric current passed from one end of the muscle to the other.  The ironic thing was that I didn’t feel the needles going in, until he did the inside upper arm.  That one I felt.  So I guess my paranoid fear of having this test was unfounded.  But I still hate needles.

When all the sticking and recording was done I sat on the edge of the exam table talking to the doctor.  I asked him what all the test was used for, and what his impressions of the results were.  He asked me when I was scheduled to see the neurologist again, and I told him September 26.  Without looking up from his computer he said that his results for the test would be done later in the day.  I pushed for some idea about what he might think was/were some of my issues, and I think if the man ever decided to leave medicine he would have a fantastic career as a White House spokesman.  I have not heard anyone obfuscate and dodge direct questions as well as he did.  Ultimately his answer was that he couldn’t render any kind of ideas or theories, and that my neurologist would have to go over everything since she had the entire medical history.

I understand where he was coming from, from a liability stand point, but as a patient being forced to wait another two months until I can get an appointment and answers is beyond frustrating.  But then, when getting something done in 7-14 days is considered an emergency, I guess two months ain’t so bad.


About Joseph Ordower

I'm a middle aged, some would say curmudgeon, who is sick, tired and truly frustrated with the way things are going in a country (America) that he loves, honors and respects.
This entry was posted in Doctor's visits, Tests and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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