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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Male Nurse's Interactive Style Popped My Ego

It was my first appointment with a new doctor to discuss my chronic hip and lower back pain. Three patients were waiting to be seen, a middle-aged white man, a middle-aged black man with his white wife, and old me, female and alone. I waited to see how we each would be treated, because I instantly saw that this new doctor's male nurse was a bit flaky.

First called into the examination area was the middle aged white man, "Mr. Slaughter. Step this way, Sir. Right this way..." Mr. Slaughter strutted down the center of the hall, cosseted by the male nurse's steady stream of respect.

Next up was the biracial couple. The male nurse approached rapidly and bend over them from behind their couch, without regard to their interpersonal space in that public context. He flapped his hand for the wife to come along. To the black man he said as if to a child, "Are you going to come in too?" "His wife interjected sharply, "That's why he's here." The male nurse did not address that couple with courtesy titles, just carelessly led them away for examination.

I was last, and to me his first words were clownish and insulting: "Annmarie Throckmorton. Come on down!" He made theatrical gestures at me as if it were a game show, as he said, "You didn't wear your Halloween costume?" (Halloween was two weeks ago.) Was this jackass high on drugs, fatigue, or what? I felt insulted, I was insulted, but I joked back for the sake of maintaining a pleasant interactive tone. "I did, this is it, I'm disguised as an old woman." He and the girls staffing the reception desk guffawed. It was pleasant to see those young people laugh at my humor, but I was there because of pain not a party. Why would that male nurse insult me so? It was easy for him to pop the bubble of my ego with his razor wit, but why? He did not care, not about me, not about his job, he cared only about those he perceived as ranking highest, those who might be able to affect him, like Mr. Slaughter.

Incidentally, looking at the "Doctor Visit Summary", I see that my doctor claimed to have had consultation with me regarding many, many different aspects of my health care, but I doubt that I was "examined" for even five minutes, and I know that he said less than ten sentences to me, none of which were to advise me on anything. In any profession other than that of the 21st century medical profession, that would be falsification of records. Fraud. Further, the doctor refused to tell me why he was referring me to a surgical consultation, other than to say my lower spine within my hips was a "mess". I questioned him several times, but he still refused to explain why I needed surgery. And this is the doctor who's referral for neurosurgery on my lower spine within my hips I am expected to trust. Trust?

Caption: It Is Easy To Pop Bubble Egos With Razor Wit If You Do Not Care

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

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