Thursday, March 25, 2010

28 wks, 4 days: On Easy Amusement and Getting Busted

So after my ultrasound yesterday, J decides we need some things from the store. He wants to stop at Wally World on the way home. I'm game. I was going to sit in the car like always, but I thought, since I now know for sure that I am not going anywhere but to doctors' appointments and tests for at least the next month, I would look for things to amuse me. No, not knitting again!

So I get on the little motorized wheelchair and off we go. I ended up getting a stack of cheesy paperbacks that I normally would not read. The kind that provide no mental stimulation, but are quick entertainment. All of them are suspense novels, so they should be fun. I find myself excited to read them, and cannot wait to finish the book I am currently reading so I can start on the first one. Isn't that silly? I remember when my sources of excitement were perfect scores in organic chemistry or another perfect 4.0 pre-med quarter (by the way, I did that again with the courses I finished up from home this quarter--still a 4.0, but it means more when you aren't even allowed to go to class). To get this excited over a $8 paperback I picked up at Wally World? I feel so frivolous and silly. I guess it is just another side effect of bedrest. I will take amusement in any form these days.

So we get the books, we get the grocery items we need, and as I am rounding the corner on my little motorized cart, who do I see? Ha!

"OhMyGod! J! It's my DOCTOR!!!!!!!" And it wasn't just any doctor from the practice. As a high-risk patient, I see them all, but know some better than others by sheer luck of who is on call when I am suffering from my dysfunctional uterus. But this was the one who had, just the day before, discharged me from the hospital. Just the day before! The same one who had told me to give up on even trying to go back to work. In fact, his exact words were that I was to do "absolutely nothing" until delivery. And here I was zipping around Wally World on a scooter. Oh. Crap. I was sure I was busted. But he kept walking as I was preparing my defense in my head. As in "You know, Doc, I am only out of the house because I just returned from the ultrasound YOU ordered." Plus I was on the cart instead of walking the store, and my little brethine pump was dangling by my leg. Had I been walking, I am sure I would've been noticed. You can't miss a huge, waddling pregnant woman, holding her belly like she is gonna deliver at any minute, especially when you are an OB/GYN. It's kinda like me not being able to avoid noticing the huffing-and-puffing emphysematous patient with their oxygen. It's my field, so I pay more attention to that. But as it was, I was on the cart, and way below his eye level. And I may or may not have been hidden by a huge display of cases of Pepsi products that were on sale in the aisle between us as he passed me.

Of course we get to the checkout, and I am trying to be as quick and discreet as possible in case he didn't notice me. Well, as discreet as possible for a hugely pregnant woman in a bright red maternity blouse, on a motorized cart. It's kind of hard to blend into your surroundings with those conditions. And of course E starts throwing a fit for some candy he sees in the checkout lane, after I have bought him a book and a toy plane at the store we originally visited to get a "few items". He's making me even more obvious, and he knows I am trying to avoid the doctor, so he uses this to get what he wants. Smart kid. I am acting fishy, so J explains to the checkout girl that I am supposed to be on bedrest and just ran into my doctor. She laughs at us the entire time she is bagging our purchases. The rest of the trip is carried out like some covert operation. I try to speed from the checkout to the exit, but the battery is going low on the cart, so it is going s-l-o-w. I can't walk to the car through the vast parking lot, so I have to wait at the door for J to pull the car up to the door. Even more chance to be noticed. E waits with me, and draws even more attention as he starts begging me for quarters for gumball machines. I only have my debit card, so I have to tell him no, which makes it a thousand times worse. I finally get into the car and we whisk away without my doctor passing me again.

So now I am wondering. Did he see me? Is he bound by the same etiquette that affects all of us in healthcare, in that you do not acknowledge your patients in public to protect their privacy and personal space? Or did the Pepsi cases save me? Will I get grilled at my appointment on Tuesday about why I was at the store? If he did see me, I wish he would've said somthing. I could've explained, and I would've gotten high marks for the fresh fruits and veggies in my cart. But nope. Now I am just left to wonder!


  1. HA!!! Your post cracked me up! It read like one of those awkwardly funny movies with Ben Stiller. That's at least how I pictured it. He probably didn't see you or he would have said something. Walmart's a big place, and I think people kind of zone out when they are in there. If he did see you he probably would've been just as surprised as you and would've said hi. I don't think saying hello to someone in public violates dr/patient confidentiality, but you would probably know better about that than me.

    I also know how you feel about the books. I am a book-lover to say the least and when i get new books, I get very excited about them, and the anticipation to read them makes me giddy too.

  2. Yeah, looking back it was funny. I was almost caught!

    I don't think acknowleding patients is illegal or anything--just a kind of unwritten courtesy. Kind of a way to mantain professional/ personal boundaries.

    And I know what you mean about the books! I'm about to start the first one tonight! Can't wait! LOL