medical assistants

My Private Infertility: Trying to Keep Everyone's Nose Out Of My Uterus- Tuesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I know what you're thinking. "I hated Monday. I thought it would never end. Now this chick wants me to relive it?" Yeah, I do. But just for a few minutes.) So, what were we talking about? Oh, right. I was about to introduce you to my new line of board games specifically designed to get people out of your infertility business and back where they belong: On their couches dipping chips and watching whatever's taken the place of "Dances with the Stars".

The first game in the series is called: "The 25 Cent Privacy Pyramid". It's the ghetto-bargain basement-trailer park version of the $25,000 Pyramid game show: You list things and the other contestant, your nosy opponent, has to figure out what everything on the list has in common.

Here's an example:

My Endometriosis

My Irregular Periods

My Husband's Sperm Count

The Number Of Home Pregnancy Tests I've Taken

Nosy Opponent: "Things That Are None Of My Business?"

 Me: "Right! You're great at this game!" Okay, let's try another one.

My Mood Swings

My Rocky Relationship with My Husband

My Taking Out A Second Mortgage to Pay for IVF

My Three Cutesy Pregnant Coworkers

Nosy Opponent: "I know! I know! 'Things That You Don't Want To Talk About!'"

Me: "Good answer! 'Things That Are None Of Your Business' would also have been an acceptable response.'" On to the next round!

Making Dinner

Calling Your Husband To See If He's Really At Work This Time

Mowing Your Lawn

Seeking Fresh Breath

Picking Up Your Kids From School

Tightening Up Those Thigh Muscles

Nosy Opponent: "Things That I Should Be Doing Instead Of Standing Here Wasting Your Time?"

Me: Yes! "Things That Are Your Business" would also have been an acceptable response. 

Learning a Foreign Language

Watching Football

Playing Golf

Squeezing My Husband

Writing Something Humorous

Sticking One Of My Needles In My Eye

Almost Anything Else

Nosy Opponent: "Things You'd Rather Be Doing Than Standing Here Dodging My Awkward Questions?"

Me: On the nose! "'Things That Are None Of Your Business' would also have been an acceptable answer.

Thank you for playing today's  25 cent Privacy Pyramid and remember, most of the time it's None of Your Business! 

Listen, I gotta go. The ice cream man's coming down the block and I'm a dime short. I'd better go change into something low-cut. I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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The Fertility Clinic's Medical Team (Or “Cast Of Characters”): Whichever You Prefer-Friday

(Start with “Monday” if you can. Tell your supervisor that having a ‘blog reading’ period on “Casual Fridays” has been clinically proven to boost employee morale. He’ll appreciate your proactiveness...proactivity...being proactional) So what were we talking about? Oh right. The medical assistant from Hades. (No, I didn’t mean the country with the horrible earthquake. I know what I’m talking about.)

I’ve talked a lot this week about medical and non-medical staff at the fertility clinic and my interactions with them.

But the one staff member who intrigued me most was someone with whom I had no contact whatsoever:                      "The Sperm Collector".

 Well that's what I called him anyway. I know that title makes it sound like he has dozens of samples from all over the world mounted in a glass frame on his den wall. I certainly hope he doesn't.

The young man who worked at my clinic had his desk front and center outside the donation door waiting for the man inside to complete his task. He sat there patiently reading a magazine (although unlike, I imagine, the ones on the other side of the door, his magazine looked fresh and unmangled).

He sat there reading away. So nonchalant. As though someone was in there baking and would, in a moment, fling the door open and hand him a plate of brownies.

I can understand the sounds from within not bothering him. He lived in NYC. I lived in NYC.

The walls in a NYC apartment are so thin you feel like you're in bed with everyone in the building.

You take sides on their spats, you know what their kids have for breakfast, you know what pets they hide when the landlord comes by.

But why does his desk have to be right there? I think if I were that man in the room, trying to accomplish, I would want him sitting across the street.   

Is he there because they had no where else in the office to put his massive one-drawer desk? Or to make sure nobody tries to barge in on the contributor?

Who would have something so vital to tell the man that it couldn't wait? His wife. 

“Aren’t you done yet?  I have a hair appointment at two. It never takes this long when you’re with me.” 

Most likely the Sperm Collector is posted there in case the man's a klutz. If the hand-off takes place right outside the door, it won't give the guy much of an opportunity to spill his future on his shoes.  

See, if I were a guy giving at the office, I wouldn't want a woman to be the Sperm Collector. And I certainly wouldn't want her right outside the door. What pressure. Yet another female waiting for him to perform.   

I guess the man contributing would have to forget that there’s a woman waiting outside the door.

And the female Sperm Collector would have to forget that in his mind, she might be filling in for a lack of imagination.

If the poor guy emerges with only a few drops in the cup, a male Sperm Collector could empathize: "Yeah I know. I have sucky aim too."

While the female Sperm Collector would probably say: "What am I supposed to do with this? I ask you to do one thing. One thing. Is that too much to ask? Do I have to do everything myself?" 

Listen, I gotta go. I'm going to buy a huge beach tube to put around my waist in the pool. It's easier than dieting and exercising.  I'll talk with ya Monday.

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The Fertility Clinic's Medical Team (Or Cast Of Characters: Whichever You Prefer) Wednesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Just give your coworkers the "One minute" finger)  So what were we talking about? Oh right. I was giving you the virtual tour of my fertility center theme park. "Meet Goofy. Meet Grumpy. Meet Doc." 

Doctors are great to have in a medical facility. But, let's be honest. Just like the rest of us, they're at the mercy of the receptionist. I don't care who signs whose checks. We all have to make nice with the receptionist or fertility game over.

She doesn't make the appointment. Game over. She doesn't tell the doctor you're waiting and he goes home. Game over. She doesn't give the nurse your message. Game over. She doesn't charge you for the visit...well that would be okay.  

When I started going to my fertility clinic there were two receptionists. Jessica and Jamie. They complemented each other beautifully. Jessica was lovely but as smart as a tuna fish sandwich.

Jamie was speedy, intelligent, and as nasty as a summer rash in the crack of your… knee. (I do have some sense of decorum you know.)

The pair sparked a lot of childhood memories for me. 

My sister and I had identical twin babysitters (Not simultaneously.  I don’t think moms in the ‘70’s were overly concerned about having a one-to-one child-babysitter ratio).

Identical Twin Wendy let you play "kitchen" with real knives while she fell asleep in front of Johnny Carson.

Identical Twin Cindy, on the other hand, followed you into the bathroom to make sure you didn’t drink iodine.  I was like ten at the time.

I’m not sure whether she’d read somewhere that ten year olds were prone to chugging antiseptics, or that she thought that we thought that she was such a sucky babysitter, we might feign a toilet issue so we could sneak out of the room and kill ourselves.

What we needed was the middle twin: The one born with ALL of the chromosomes.

And that’s what the fertility clinic needed: A receptionist who could multi-task: Be pleasant and competent at the same time. 

Of course the pleasant one got canned first. I've never figured out why, (maybe someone could write me), doctor's offices hang on to intolerable receptionists for decades.

After she went, there was always a new receptionist at the desk. 

They were all named, Giselle, or Jaleesa… It got way too complicated. I just called them all Becky.

Becky One went to lunch and apparently kept on going.  Becky Two gossiped on her cell phone while she took your insurance. Becky three was "in training" for six months.

Aren't office managers aware that training a receptionist is like recovering from a stroke? There's a very short window of time for them to improve. If they're not any better by then, they're never going to get any better.  

I just kept repeating my mantra: "It's okay. She's not allowed to touch prescriptions or needles. It's okay. She's not allowed to touch prescriptions or needles."

Surprisingly, I don't complain much to the higher-ups about crummy receptionists. 1) I don't want to be responsible for someone losing their job. 2) You don't know who she is. 

Once as my chiropractor ushered me into his office and closed the door I said:

"That lady at the desk is so rude." To which, of course he responded:

"That's my wife."

Of course I was then forced to go on and on about a fictitious receptionist about whom I was really talking, (in this one-receptionist office), shutting up only long enough to yell: "Ow! My spine!"

Listen, I gotta go. I need the company microwave. I see someone heading down the hallway carrying a frozen dinner and I want to cut her off at the pass. I'll talk to you tomorrow.