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A Hen With Teeth

Today was filled with something from another dimension...

Sam had Pulmonology stuff to do today in another town.  A very small town, even smaller than the town we live in and it was about an hour drive from here.

I was a little miffed starting out this morning because last night, they called to remind me that his 9:00am appointment was actually 11 am.  They totally messed up the schedule so I had to juggle around a bunch of work stuff in order to make it happen.  I didn't dare cancel because this guy is in high demand.

We find the tiny place and walk in to a room filled with stale smoke, and an assortment of portable oxygen tanks all puffing away in unison.  It was a bit odd.  We sat down and waited for 45 minutes beyond our designated time to get back to a room.

After the nurse takes Sam's vitals, she asked why we were there.  I explained that Sam had recently been diagnosed with Dyskeratosis Congenita and needed to get baseline lung function testing done.

"Well," she says in a somewhat snarky way, "Do you cough?"
"Nope" Sam says
"Do you wheeze?"
"Do you have any breathing problems?"
"I don't understand why you have to be here then, there's nothing wrong with you."
"Ya see, he has this bone marrow failure syndrome that causes pulmonary fibrosis.  We need to get a baseline study done so as the disease progresses, we can track his lung function."
"So, then you've obviously had CT scans, X-rays, etc done to diagnose this?"
"No, it wasn't diagnosed..."  Then she cut me off.
"You just expect a doctor to believe that he has some weird disease.  I need some facts.  I need the name of other doctors you see so that we can make sure he really has this!"
"Well, I was about to say that it was diagnosed genetically and here are the genetic reports."
"I'm still going to need the name of a doctor to confirm this."
"Okay..."  Good about some red tape.  I have never been questioned like this.  It felt very intimidating.  Thank goodness I brought the genetic report. Who in their right mind just meanders into a doctor's office just for kicks and giggles?  Seriously!  Like we had nothing better to do than hang out with people dying of lung disease!

When she left the room, Sam and I rolled our eyes in was really awesome!

The doctor came in and pretended to remember me from when he diagnosed Shelbie and Spencer with Asthma about 15 years ago.   He is a funny guy.  The first thing he says is, "Well aren't you stranger than a hen with teeth!"


He admitted he had no clue what DC was and would need to hit the research books.  He completed his exam and we scheduled Sam to do some extensive testing in two weeks at a hospital even farther than where his office is!  Oh well.

As we left, he suggested we get Shelbie in because she is definitely having lung problems!  I told the secretary we needed a second appointment.

"What is your daughter's name?"
"Shelbie, with an I-E."
"Okay.  So do you spell Shelbie with an S-H?"

Really?  I didn't say Chelbie, or Felbie, or Selbie...I said SHelbie! How do you not know it's S-H?  It was pretty funny!  I don't think Sam and I have laughed so hard inside our heads as we did today.

I was so glad to get out of there...Stranger than a Hen with teeth!!



  1. Wow, I can't believe that nurse. So incredibley RUDE!! I would never talk to a patient or a patient's family member like that!

  2. Marie, Yes, she needed a little polishing to say the least. :) Maybe some day, we will meet you on one of our hospital journeys...


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