Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Boots and the Second Leg

While I'm on the exam table on Tuesday, the doctor looks at my snow boots, which are not meant to be fashionable but I think they are cute, Doc says to me: Lori, those boots are not very glam.

This leads indirectly into a story about my niece when she was younger talking about her left leg and calling it her "second leg."

Doc tells me, "You must have read my mind!" and then tells me a sort of related story about telling his 19-month-old grandson to raise his right hand, and the doc's son chimes in and says, "Oh, he'll never learn the difference!"

Then the Doc leaves our exam room, partially shuts the door behind him, and enthusiastically tells the nurses, "Lori just read my mind!"


I visit my doctor weekly for chemotherapy treatment for metastatic breast cancer. He has been my oncologist for almost three years, and he routinely comes up with off-the-cuff comments that amuse me and my husband, Fredi, and sometimes touch us in unexpected ways. Today I started thinking that maybe others would enjoy reading them, too.

Here are some historical quotes to get this party started. All names except mine and Fredi's are changed.
You're the first patient in the world to ever get this drug regimen.

Phone call from Doctor: How are you doing today?
Me: I'm constipated, hyper and irritable.
Doc: Well, you SOUND great! [Pause] And I'm privileged to take care of you.

I was going to the hospital for sinus surgery.
Doc said, referring to my surgical team: Tell them if they kill you, I'll shoot them.

In a booming voice: I need a naked person in the exam room! 3/25/09

I can't find your liver. [Long Pause] Which is good news for you!

I was so worried about you last night that I couldn't sleep.

Me: What are the side effects of this medication?
Doc: Only one you need to worry about, but it's very rare.
Me: What is it?
Doc: Catastrophe.

Me: Does this have one have any serious side effects?
Doc: Not really. It's rare, but sometimes people go deaf.

About me: Is she sleeping? Like really sleeping? I don't want to damage her psyche.
After a reaction I had to chemotherapy that could have been fatal:
Doc: If we give this drug to you again, we'll have an endotrach tube right at hand in case we need it.
Me: When was the last time you intubated anyone?
Doc: Oh, probably about 30 years ago.
Me: If you called 911 do you think they would get here in time?
Doc: Maybe.

Via telephone on a week I wasn't scheduled for chemotherapy: So, do you want to come in and get some chemo tomorrow?

Doc: So how are you?
Me: I'm feeling okay, but I've been very, very tired lately [having been on weekly chemo for 10 months or so].
Doc: So am I, but I have a lot better reason than you to be tired.

Me: I have a lot of really painful muscle aches.
Doc: You're supposed to.

Heard around the office and/or undated:

Doctor to the Nurse Kristen: Mrs. Baffenbacher wants a spinal tap.

Mr. Reardon wants his blood drawn.

Kristen, Lori wants to be accessed.

To me: Kristen tells me you like me. I have no idea why.