what i should have said

26 Sep

Before scrubbing in for a cataract extraction, a scrub nurse begrudgingly handed me my preferred scrub size after asking me twice whether or not I was sure I wouldn’t be more comfortable in a larger size.  Then she said, “Are you sure you’re not having twins??”

Me: Why?  Do I look particularly large for 8 1/2 months?

Her: You look…huge.

Me: <overly apparent eye-roll> Thanks.  I’m flattered.

She didn’t get the sarcasm.

What I really wanted to do was unleash my bitch and tell her flat out: “Look, I’m one day shy of being full-term.  And at 28 pounds heavier than my normal weight (some of which I insist must be water weight considering my 2+ pitting edema in my ankles), I think I still weigh less than you, nearly 5 inches shorter than I am.  You work in health care.  Haven’t you learned at some point how to talk to a pregnant woman without making her feel like a fat cow?”

I swear, I’m normally a pretty nice person…


8 Responses to “what i should have said”

  1. Anne September 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    You should have said, “Yeah I look huge! Hugely awesome!” And then done an amazing pregnant-lady-shuffle-dance that would have blown her mind.

    (Let the record stand that, when met with similar comments, I only wished I’d done the above… in reality I just made low gurgling noises and seethed gravidly).

    xoxo You are Amazing!

    • annaojesus September 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

      Hahaha…leave it to Anne to break the negative back-and-forth and turn the situation into something positive and affirming. Damn, you’re good! And you’ll have to teach me that shuffle dance, please!

      YOU are amazing! Thanks for putting up with my craziness and being a wonderful friend and resource always 🙂

  2. johnbennett70 September 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    You really bring me back to my med school days, and sometimes not good memories. That woman reminds me that some people like scrub nurses, lab techs, etc. think they can treat students like subhumans, and we let them get away with it. I did too, and I know I would handle it differently now.
    I just felt so lucky just to be in school I accepted all that bullhooey for nothing. If I had just had some cajones, and stood my ground, like anne suggested, maybe with a little sarcasm or humor, I would feel about it better today.
    File it away, and YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

    JB MB

    • annaojesus September 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

      Hi Dr. JB,

      Thanks so much for the note, and I apologize for the delay on my end. I’m saddened that I sometimes remind you of the not-so-great memories of med school–truly, for me, most have been great 🙂 There are, unfortunately, those who think they can say anything to students. I think that you and Anne make a good point of handling things with humor–what a wonderful way to defuse an otherwise uncomfortable situation…I just wish I could think fast enough in the moment!

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, and I hope you’re doing well!

  3. Eric Rosoff September 27, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    Anna, you. look. great! And you’re in your target for pregnancy weight gain – edema and all! Also, I just finished psych, so I have to point out: it sounds to me like she was experiencing some cognitive dissonance and/or some self-image startle, “My scrubs are bigger than a full term pregnant woman’s. If I can’t be comfortable in that size scrub, I can’t let her be comfortable…”

    • annaojesus September 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

      Thank you! You have listened to my concerns more than…well, pretty much anyone 🙂 Thanks for putting up with it all! You’re a champ! John says that he thinks you make a very good point regarding cognitive dissonance–I’m looking forward to learning more about her during psych! Sure do miss you!

  4. Tina S. September 27, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Anna – congrats on making it to full term! (assuming you didn’t give birth last night). You might have up to 5 weeks left, but don’t let your guard down too much. I had my first at 37 weeks 6 days, so you never know! And think of it this way, now that you’re inevitably spent way too much time thinking of snappy comebacks, you can spend the next however-long-until-you-give-birth trying to use them. My childbirthing instructor, for example, decided to go shop and walk around Home Depot in early labor and when the cashier asked her when she was due she responded with a matter of fact “oh, I’m in labor right now” which was met with some blank stares and gaping mouths I’m assuming. You still have time to have all kinds of fun. Though I do really like Anne’s idea above 🙂 Sending you lots of positive energy in the homestretch! It’s tough, but totally worth it.

    P.S. I have an extra car seat cover (the ones that attach to the handle and drape over the front to keep sun out of the baby’s eyes). I’m more than happy to send it to you if you don’t already have one and want it. It’s hot pink, so as long as you don’t mind that. Just let me know!

    • annaojesus September 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

      Tina! Many, many thanks! We’re so happy to be at full term…strange how we’ve already become paranoid parents of a first-born, but what a relief! At this point, we’re excited for whenever she chooses to come, but I really hope it’s closer to 39 than 41/42. I really do need to file away these snappy comebacks and try to put them to good use in the future–I LOVE the story of your birth instructor. Sad thing is, for me, “thanks, I’m flattered” was a distinctive step up from my usual “uh…uh…hunh?”

      How are your kids doing?

      What a generous offer! Are you sure you don’t want or need it? At all in the future? I’ll ask John, but I think we would love to take you up on the offer, and we would of course pay for shipping. Alternatively, do you think you’ll be in VA at all for the holidays? Would love to see you and catch up! I hope you’re well, many thanks, and lots of love!

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