Maybe he ought to think about taking Bedside Manor 101. I’m talking about the doctor, I use that term loosely here, who removed my stitches. About two weeks ago I had a couple of “suspicious moles” biopsied. I was left with Frankenstein stitches in my leg and back. They are big and black and gnarly looking. Ok they aren’t but I FEEL like they are.
My regular doctor, the one who gave me the Frankenstein stitches, was in the middle of a poopershooterscooper, better known as a hemroidectomy, and couldn’t remove my stitches until much later. I was given the option of having the “on-call” urgent care physician remove them. Since I was all but clawing the things out of my skin I decided this might be a good idea. Um, yeah, not so much.
I go into the exam room and the nurse tells me the doctor will be right with me. He appeared after what seemed about 3 doggie years, looks at my chart and says “You’re here to have your sutures removed?” Um, yeah, your looking at my chart, what does it say Einstein? To which I answer that I am indeed there to get my sutures removed. Then he furrows his brow and in a very scolding tone says “you should really have your attending physician remove these, not me. Next time, he will have to do it!” First of all what next time? Second of all, he was my First choice at least he has a modicum of bedside manner. Thirdly, did you not get enough sleep last night? Or not get laid in like the last millennium? Geezus lighten up dude!
He looks around the room then tells me “I have to go get a suture kit.” Um, okay, hurry back honey. He leaves and is gone for 5 more doggie years. Here I sit in the exam room with nothing to read, nothing to look at and freezing my tooshie off. He comes back with a pair of scissors and a pair of tweezers. I wondering from whose make-up bag he got them. “He tells me put your leg up here.” I look around and don’t know exactly where he thinks up here is. He says it again more empathically. I’m thinking Up where? On your head? On top of the counter that is 3 feet away? Where the hell is up here? So I say up where? He is extremely frustrated with me at this point and says “Up here so I can get to it!” I cross my legs in the shape of a 4, left ankle over right knee. I guess that was the “up here” he meant.
That’s when the pulling and the tugging began. He ripped off the bandage covering the sutures and peers at the incision. He takes the tweezers and starts pulling on one of the sutures, as he pulls you can see the skin starting to rip and pull up with the suture. I say, “That hurts!” He looks at me and says “Does it hurt, hurt or does it just hurt”. I answer that it hurt, hurts to which he replies “Well, it won’t hurt for long.” Yeah, this guy is a real compassionate soul. He pulls and tugs each one until he gets to the last stitch. He keeps picking at it and pulling at it. I say, “It looks a little swollen around that one and that really hurts, are you sure you have the end that has the knot on it?” He looks up at me with a not so nice sneer. Yeah, I never did learn when to keep my smart mouth shut! He pulls and tugs and pulls until I am about ready to scream like a banshee and bang his head against the wall until it hurt, hurts. Finally I tell him, “Just grab a hold of it and pull it out!” He grabs it and yanks and thank baby Jesus and the Holy Ghost it came out. He asks me “Are you allergic to adhesives?” I tell him yes I am that band aids and paper tape eat my skin up. He looks at me as he is slathering something around the perimeter of the wound and says “I’m applying an adhesive that will bind the steri-strips to your wound.” Oh, that’s nice!
He sits there for a minute then starts looking for the rest of the incisions. He gets to the one on my back and I’m praying to the good Lord like a death row inmate about to get his nighty-night shot. I’m making bargains with God that I know I can never keep, praying that this one will go much smoother than the leg. The Joseph Mangela wannabe yanks the bandage off my back and says “Wow, you do have a reaction to adhesives. It’s all red and irritated back here. Boy I hope you don’t react to the steri-strip adhesive that way.” Please God, I will never ever cuss at little old ladies who drive too slow on the freeway, and I promise I’ll go to the early service, and I will spend extra time reading my bible and I will never ever take your name in vain again, if you will just let him take the stitches out and be done. Amen.
Dr. Mangela starts snipping and pulling and then he catches one just right and I start biting back a litany of curse words that would make my Momma Blush, and she could out curse a sailor.
And you know what? The worst thing of all was I didn’t even get a sucker! I told you he needed to go back to school and take “Bedside Manor 101”.