Monday, September 19, 2011 75

WHEEEEEEEE....I have some sort of yucky upper respiratory infection.  I wish there was some sort of book I could buy called The 1,000,000 Questions You Will Have About Chemo at 2A.M. When No One is Around to Answer Them.  I am on maintenance now and I know that if I ran fever with regular chemo, I needed to call the National Guard...the Fire Department...and Professor conjure a patronus for me.  Now I am in this gray area...when I ask questions at my monthly appointment the answer is almost exclusively..."Do what any other NORMAL person would do."  So last night I finally fall asleep even with the 3 ton elephant who has taken up residence on my chest...only to wake about 30 minutes later with burny eyes, chills, and crampy legs.  I take my temp and sure magic it is exactly 100.5 (the magic fever temp listed in my chemo class as the temp needed to call for reinforcements).  So I sit in my bed scouring the Internets (my go to place for ALL information I need at midnight) luck...lots of info on the undecided uselessness of maintenance therapy in general...but nothing about when to call the doctor and when to wait it out.  So I finally decide to make the call.  I get the answering service... the the party to whom I am speaking?
Me: "pleasure to talk to you name is Sarah (S-A-R-A-H) Atnip (A-T-N-I-P).  My doctor is Dr. Noelle Cloven.  My number is (555)555-5555."
Paul:  "Thank you sir.  I will have the doctor on call return your call."
Me:"Who is the Dr. on call?"
Paul:"Ummmmmm.....sir....Dr. Cloven seems to be on call.  Let me page HIM for you."
Alright so I let the sir go...because I do sound a little like a burly offshore doc worker and if Johnny Cash could be named Sue some other man could be named Sarah.  But I mean really if you are the answering service for a group of doctors should you know the sex of said doctors.  I have trouble putting my faith in an employee who believes NOELLE could be a man's name...even to simply relay my phone number.  I let it go...hang up and wait...I would be lying if I said patiently.  I was raised Catholic and I already feel guilty forcing my doc to call me back in the middle of the night when I am not even sure I was supposed to call.  An hour phone rings.
Paul: "Am I speaking with Atnip?
Me: "Yes."
Paul: "Oh good...Atnip...This is the answering service for Dr. Noelle Cloven...has HE returned your call?"
Me: "No SHE has not."
Paul: "Alright I will re notify"
I wait another hour...the phone rings again...
Paul:"Arah...this is the answering service...Arah...has the doctor returned your call?"
Me: "No...not yet."
Paul:"Oh Arah I am so sorry I will connect you myself."
Very scratchy...obviously sleepy Dr. Cloven voice..."Hello."
My guilt kicks into overdrive at this point...but I say "Yes hello this is Sarah..."
No lie I hear the answering service person say...."OH.....SARAH....that name makes sense...Atnip must be his last"
Long story short...(TOO LATE)...I was supposed to call...I had blood work done WBC is low and I have started a bright and shiny new Zpak.  Hopefully I will feel exponentially better tomorrow...and for the rest of my life I will have to chuckle when I think of poor Paul.  However, without Paul...I might have had to dig deeper for my thankfulness.
Today I am thankful for the fact that ATNIP is a completely ridiculous name for a person...but SARAH is a completely plausible name for a man.
I hope others can find, read and get a small amount of pleasure from this post.  Also if anyone knows of the existence of my chemo question book...I would love to find it.  Catholic guilt is a bitch on any day but it is so much more impressive in the dark of night!
Love and sunshine

Quote of the day:
One more thing...this video is HIGHlarious!

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