Thursday, March 26, 2009


I grew up with television. It was a black-and-white set, with the rabbit ears that needed to be re-aligned every night, or someone had to stand next to the television holding it to actually watch a show. And as the youngest in the family, I was normally that one.

We got six channels - even when living in Los Angeles. Adam-12 - Bewitched - Dick Van Dyke Show - the assassination of JFK - shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr.

So today I am more than a little spoiled with satellite, color, hundreds of channels, HD... and hopefully someday DVR even.

And problems which are solved so neatly within 30 minutes (well, 24 actually) or an hour long show. I love House especially - mostly because he is so obnoxious, rude but has incredible lines - but also because there is a four person team working full-time on one problem, one patient, for the length of the show.

So when Dr. House says, "Okay, let's get a LCD, TAC and SOB test on the patient, and run an MRI and CAT scan," the interns immediately go draw the blood from the patient, run the lab tests themselves, and walk right down to the obviously empty and ready radiology lab - and so have the results within 25 seconds of the show, and always within the same day as ordered.
As opposed to reality.
Where you get a piece of paper from your doctor's office, after a visit that you or your health insurance pays for.

The next time you can be at least one hour late for work, you eat nothing after midnight, and join the line of people waiting for the lab to open at 6:45 a.m.

You take the number 874 from the number dispenser, and try not to panic that the number on the LED display is currently 24.

You wait in a hideously crowded waiting room trying very hard not to breath, surrounded by coughing people, crying children with running noses, and FOX News blasting at high volume.

You finally are called into the lab, where a bored-looking lab tech spends eight minutes prodding your arm, finally poking the largest size needle available, and drains enough blood from your body to supply at least five full-time vampires for the next week.

You stagger out, show up at work three hours late, and too drained to do anything productive for the rest of the workday... and honestly the next week.

Five weeks later, your doctor's office calls you, telling you that you need to schedule an appointment with the doctor to find out the results of the blood work.

One week later, after sitting in the doctor's waiting room for 45 minutes, chewing your nails, you find out from the nurse that your LDL level was a little high.

It's been one week and one day since they did a biopsy for skin cancer.

I shouldn't be upset that it is taking this long, should I?


Lisa said...

I hope you will hear something soon! Yeesh, how long can it take? I too wish I lived in TV time.

Keep us posted.