Brace Yourself 

3:54 pm: The woman behind us got a call about her friend. The friend’s water broke…at 18-20 weeks. The woman & her entourage1 seem to think babies can magically develop really early if they’re girls.

Not surprisingly, they think that this woman will have a healthy little girl twenty-something weeks early. This is embarrassing and sad. Embarrassing because everyone should know enough about science & reproduction to know this kid isn’t going to survive. Sad because it’s going to blindside them when they get the news & this is an already sad situation.2

4:17 pm: An office person is walking through telling patients how many people are ahead of them.3 She couldn’t find my name on the list4 & asked whether I was a work in. I told her no. She finally found me. There were four ahead of me. Two different patients sitting near me are next in line for their doctors. Another is third in line for hers.5

And a post-op patient’s family complained to the woman because they have a two hour wait ahead of them–they just got here. Seriously, I’m shocked at how much they’re complaining about it. Anyone who comes here has a long wait. And long waits have happened with TOC for decades. Their doctor may have had to perform a surgery or deal with emergencies. That happens. Not just at orthopedics clinics. Cardiologists, neurologists, pulmonologists, ob/gyns. About the only place where it’s unacceptable is at a psychiatrist.6

4:52 pm: I was first taken to the cast room. Now I’m in a regular exam room. The nurse decided that the cast room didn’t give enough privacy.7 The nurse called the new room “the Auburn room” because it had an autographed Auburn jersey in it.8

5:03 pm: My knee has arthritis & non-specific damage. I’m going to go back through physical therapy two days a week for four weeks & I may start at-home stim treatments. They’re also fitting me with a brace & prescribing an anti-inflammatory spray that has to be special ordered through a pharmacy in New York. If it doesn’t get better, I get to come back again. He said that they can’t do surgery on it to find out what damage is unless I go through more physical therapy.9

He seems to think physical therapy will make it all better. I’m very doubtful, especially since I’ve already had around two months of it. I think that if physical therapy was going to help that it would have started helping already.

  1. I think it’s her mom. 

  2. Comprehensive sex education & strong science education would not only prevent unwanted pregnancies and help standardized test scores, it would help people like this woman understand that her friend is probably going to suffer a heartbreaking loss. They might stop her labor. She might make it far enough to keep her child. But the odds aren’t in her favor. Like I said, this is sad. 

  3. My appointment time was 3:45 pm. 

  4. Eventually, I am going to develop a complex over this. 

  5. Six doctors were in this afternoon. 

  6. It can even be unacceptable there. 

  7. It had a curtain separating it from another–occupied–room. 

  8. So did the cast room. 

  9. I didn’t ask about surgery. 

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

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