A little phlegm can completely turn me into a woman I don’t really know.

January 11, 2012 in Crap I Was Considerate Enough to Not Bother You with Before Now.,Me and My Public Self

Everyone this side of the Brooklyn Bridge and that side of the Hollywood sign knows I’ve had this cough.

Not because I’ve told them (OK, maybe I have) (Shut up), but because they’ve heard me hoofing and yacking.

On Monday, I decided I’d had enough.  Even I was sick of me and well, let’s face it:  A little of me goes a long way.

I decided to break down and go see the doctor.

Of course, I can’t get in to see MY doctor, but I can see one of the “others”.


Not happy.  But very phlegmy.  So it’ll have to be fine.

My appointment was at 12:45 and I was signed in, stifling that snortish cough the best I could and glaring at the woman sitting four chairs over at 12:15.


Because she was texting.  And her keyboard clicks were loud.

Loud enough for me to do that throat snort that made me gag a little.  And I couldn’t really hide that gag part.  Like, my shoulders kinda humped up.

And my throat got tight.

And it was totally worth it to see her look back at me and drop her phone in her purse.

Then I throat-snorted again just so she knew I meant business.

(I guess I think I’m some kind of bad ass when there’s phlegm involved.)

(God, I’m gross.)

I know I was 30 minutes early, but there were only 3 other patients in the waiting room besides me.  And they are now 30 minutes late.  What’s the hold up??

So, I get up and head to the receptionist at the window.  I swear to you, here’s how it goes.  In this order:

Me:  (In a very nice tone and a good smile)  “Excuse me.  My appointment was at 12:45 and it’s now 1:15.  Do you know how much longer?”

Receptionist Chick:  “Uh, yeah.  You’re next.”

Me:  (That totally makes me get a huge scrunched down forehead and squinty eyes and a nose that is curled way too high and phlegm pressure building)  “I’m next??”

(That word “next”?  It had like 17 syllables.)

RC:  “Yeah.  What’s your name?”

Me:  “What’s my name?  Are you kidding me?  How do you know I’m next then?”

RC:  “Hang on.  Let me go see something.”

I swear I couldn’t glare hard enough.  I tried.  God knows I tried.  I glared right through that little glass window while I squinted so hard I could barely see through my eyelashes watching her “go see something.”

She could feel the heat on the back of her head.  I know she could.

Then the door blows open, the nurse smiles and says, “Carrie?  You ready?”

(Uh, no.  Let me scratch a little more then I’ll head on back.  Of course, I’m f’ing ready.)

She does all the small talk crap, weighs me, checks my blood pressure (that is now blowing out of every orifice I own) and asks what I am there to see the doctor for.

I go into full-on detail about my phlegm.  And my cough.  And I try my best to make it as gross as I can make it.

Cause well, I’m ticked now.  And not feeling good.  And I want others to suffer with me.

(And well, no one is babying me.)

She never flinched.

Guess it’s a nurse thing.


She took my little manila folder, walked to the door and said, “OK, the doctor will be in to see you in just a couple of minutes.”

And walked out.

It’s now about 1:30.

And I wait.

A liiiiittle bit longer.  (Read that with a very high-pitched voice in your head.)

At 1:45, I got up.  Crossed the room.  Flung the door open.

There’s the nurse.  Looking up at me from her little nurse’s station counter desk thing.

Her eyes are big.  Really big now.

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s dad is seeing the doctor and he swears the doctor stole his wallet, so he goes to the door and starts barking out into the office hallway?


That was me.

I totally lost my manners.  I should be ashamed.  But I’m not.

At that time it was no less than one solid hour since my appointment time.

To no one in particular because I am hanging out the door looking from side to side, I start saying really loud, “Really?  I’ve been here an hour and there are a total of 4 patients in this place!  Am I ever going to see anyone?  JUST ANYONE!!”

My doctor came in.  Yes, the one I originally wanted to see but couldn’t.

(He looks like Santa.)

Within 15 minutes I was out of the office and totally doped up.

And with a prescription for some more of the stuff they doped me up with there.

And today?  Completely.  New.  Girl.

Shiny.  Happy.  Less phlegmy.  Less coughy.  A little dopier than usual…but close to being me again.

And smiling.

At you.  Not at the doctor’s office people, but at you.

You don’t make me wait.

And I bet in the future, they don’t either.

Jennifer January 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

My dad went to the doctor one time, and they made him wait like that. He got so mad. When the doctor finally came in he told him, “My time is money. Just like yours. If you aren’t on time for my next appointment I’ll send you a bill.” The doctor was never late again.
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Carrie January 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Friggin brilliant.

I will absolutely remember that line.

Maren January 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. It’s like the patient’s time is worthless. Wrong!
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Carrie January 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm

And I only “thought” I was aggravated when I got there.

Maggie S. January 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

That’s where I go!!! My guy looks like one of Santa’s elves. It’s like staff meetings are dedicated to on-going training in how to present a united front so the patients can’t report our incometence to the “system”.
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Carrie January 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Absolutely agree. I bet there were 25 staff there and honestly 4 patients.

I just don’t get it.

Fashionista Era January 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm

ITs suchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh a pleasure to read your blog i tell you, i can actually feel the situation with you giving that nurse a tough time and she deserves it. I know when im feeling ill and gosh i have to wait around, i mean you already feel so sick and then waiting and waiting…hahah!!! awsum stufF :)) keep writing girl, you shd think of releasing like short stories of humor book..im sure it would do well 😀

hugssss!!! xoxo hanz
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Carrie January 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

You are WAY too kind! I mean really….WAY. =)


Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell January 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

You are not one to be messed with. Duly noted.

SO glad you’re phlegm-free.
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Carrie January 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Well, I’m not really all THAT tough.

Just tougher when armed with phlegm.

(I swear I’ve said that word more today than I have in my entire lifetime.)

mark January 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I’m intrigued by the ridiculous wait and bullet-proof(?) glass window. Perhaps they deal in sociological and psychological experiments? Hidden cameras? Maybe? They should be afraid of somebody going postal on that joint if they treat all of their clients that way. Glad you’re feeling better.
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Carrie January 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Because they accept me as a patient, I can certainly see your reason for thinking “psycho” but that’s not it.

Regular ol’office. Glass is just a sliding glass receptionist window. No bullet-proof anything.

Just lazy and seriously lacking in customer service skills. Seriously.

mark January 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I didn’t mean to insinuate anything like that – my imagination was just running wild and in my minds eye it looked like a convenience store on the south side of Chicago.
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Carrie January 12, 2012 at 6:00 am

HAHA!! Great comparison!!

Karyn January 12, 2012 at 6:11 am

It works so differently, here. You get to the reception, give them your name, the DOCTOR comes out to get you, takes you to his office, where he has a desk, computer, scales, samples, printer, files etc etc and examining table.

You get whatever dealt with, he prints out your prescriptions, referrals and whatever else right there and hands them to you and you walk out – no middleman, no nurse! I REALLY dont miss the nurse.

I used to hate having to tell the receptionist when making the booking what I was coming in for (What if its personal?), and then the nurse, before FINALLY telling the Doctor. I don’t tell anyone a goddam thing until I see my degree-wielding doctor! AND it cuts way down on the waiting when there aren’t 2 hundred people to be passed through before you see the real person you’re there to see.
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Carrie January 12, 2012 at 7:51 am

That must be pretty darn nice to only have to spill it once to the doc.

The bad thing though, I really like the doc here. He’s fab. And that’s why HE made time to see me when he heard me say I had been there over an hour and still hadn’t seen anyone.

It’s a shame the staff can easily make the whole place look bad when the docs are so good.

But I’m HUGE on customer service. It’s one of the few things I know I’m good at in life. And when I’m good to you (by showing up on time, being kind, being considerate, etc.), I damn sure expect it from you.

Lisa Guedry January 12, 2012 at 7:07 am

Thank GOD you weren’t there on your lunch hour or something! I guess they were “dicking around!” ; )

Carrie January 12, 2012 at 7:52 am

Damn. That’s IT.

The whole damn place must’ve read my last post and resolved with me to dick around more this year.

Little did I know anyone pays attention or would even take my suggestions!


Jennifer January 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

That is my pet peeve. When you go to the clinic on base (on ANY base) the policy is always that you have to arrive 15 minutes early. And they hold you to that- if you arrive at your appointment time or just prior to it, they will send you away. HOWEVER, I don’t recall EVER seeing someone at my appt time. Basically, I am there 15 minutes early (or earlier) as I am required and then there is ALWAYS a wait. Sometimes just 15 minutes- but I have waited for over an hour before. It is ridiculous. Unfortunately- we can’t do or say anything about it- they send out the little surveys, but nothing ever gets done. It is infuriating and insinuates that we are not important and have nothing else to do in our day but wait in a dr office to be granted the privilege of healthcare.
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Carrie January 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I hear you…preach it, sister. I think I’m gonna do what Jennifer suggested and next time tell them when I check in, that I expect to see a doctor on-time because MY time is just as important.

I just hope I ain’t dying.

Carrie's Experimental Kitchen January 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

First, I hope the meds make you feel better soon. Second, I HATE when that happens and I recently had the same experience at my doctors office and threw open the door like I was Linda Blair. lol
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Carrie January 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I feel much better now…thank you!

And now I don’t feel so bad about it since you threw the door open and did the same thing on one of your appointments. Cause you’re all nice and kind so that alone makes me feel a little more ok about doing it.


Krystyn (Krizzy Designs) January 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Hate..hate..hate the doctor’s office wait! And, how can they expect you to keep your manners when they don’t keep theirs (because it’s rude to make people wait that long!)

I’ve been at the doctor every two weeks, and after that, every stinking week! And, they almost never see me on time. And, there are 3 levels of waiting. First waiting room in the lobby. Pee in a cup. Go back to lobby until a nurse calls you back. Get weighed, check BP, etc, then get moved to a second waiting room. And, wait. And, the third level is getting called back to a room where you wait to see the doctor. Ugghh.

Oh, and I have to pay for parking. No validation or anything.

BTW, glad you are feeling better..and saw your Santa doctor:)
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Carrie January 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm


No parking validation?!? THAT would send me over the edge.

That is really crazy for a doctors office. Wow.

Won’t be long though and you won’t be doing that every week thing and that sweet baby will be here!! YAY!

Peggy Scarborough January 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Good Grief! I don’t have the slightest clue as to why my oldest and youngest daughters or so impatient when it comes to ‘waiting’ in doctors’ offices. Those two took over 12 hours to make their appearance into this ole world. They made us all wait. You want to talk about patience? Our #2 daughter made her appearance within two hours from start to finish. She barely gave me time to take off the other shoe to throw my foot into the stirrups; she was not waiting on anybody; today, she has the most patience of all. Go ahead and figure that one out. I can wait, I’m not in a hurry!

Carrie January 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Uh, it was a cough I had.

Not a baby.

Felicia January 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Good for you for causing a scene! Even sick you’ve got spunk.
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Carrie January 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm

It takes a lot to get a barky woman down.

Especially one with a cough.

Wendy January 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm

i love this story, carrie, because my friend just told me a not completely dissimilar one in which he became loudly confrontational with a slack-ass mama whose nose-picking off-spring was trying to get all touchy-feely with his 15-month-old. after picking her nose.

of course, his high-volume “excuse me, ma’am? could you please tell your child to stop touching my child since she just had her finger up her nose?” came after a waiting room stay of an hour after their appointment.

slackers. they should have seen you when they were supposed. and then it wouldn’t have had to get all bug-eyed and loud in their hallway! (glad you’re feeling better, ms. c.)
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Carrie January 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I’m telling you, being sick can totally change your attitude and outlook on pretty much everything within your site.

Melssa Placzek January 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This happened to me once. It was that fun time of year that all women know and love…have to go in to get the girl parts looked at. I waited for a flipping HOUR! And that was once I got in the room. NOT kidding. So I took of my napkin dress, put my clothes back on and walked out. I didn’t get a call from the clinic until the next day! The silver lining here was that I had close to 24 hours to completely calm down and compose what I was going to say to the sorry sucker who got stuck having to call me. 🙂 I calmly told them that not only would I not be coming back to their clinic, but that I was going to submit an article to the St. Paul Pioneer Press about their stupid frickin’ clinic. I never did, but I bet they looked for it. LOL …Ps…Don’t ya just love Seinfeld? How about the one where Elaine has a rash and because of “bad Behavior” no doctor will see her? She ends up at the veterinary clinic. People say that life imitates art. I beg to differ. Life imitates Seinfeld 🙂 xoxo
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Carrie January 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm

HAHA!!! Yes, yes, yes! I love Elaine…LOVE her!

Don’t blame you one bit. I really don’t mind waiting as long as I’m kept in the loop and given a little attention. Just check in on me, don’t make me feel like cattle your tending to and running through the pasture.

Good for you! I hope they’re STILL looking for that article!

Melssa Placzek January 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm

That is one of the things that really gets under my skin. I like what Jennifer said, “My time is money. Just like yours. If you aren’t on time for my next appointment I’ll send you a bill.” That hits the nail right on the head. My other pet peeves are bitchy waitresses and mean teachers.

Wow. I feel better now. This is better than therapy 🙂 hee hee

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