Thursday, August 28, 2008

Intake Interview

The following is a transcript of the Patient Intake Interview between Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Anne Johnson, Scheduled for Inpatient Orthopedic Surgery, week of 9/1/08.

Nurse: Hello, is this Mrs. Johnson?

Anne: Yes. Who's calling? If this is Direct TV, I've already told you a million times....

Nurse: Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, with final confirmation on your scheduled surgery.

Anne: Oh. Sorry.

Nurse: Your scheduled arrival time is 10:00 a.m. Please bring your insurance card.

Anne: If not for organized labor, I wouldn't have one of those. But yeah, I'll bring it.

Nurse: I have a note here about the medications you take ... emmmmmmm.....

Anne: Yeah. Can't miss those, no matter what. Don't blame me, I was born bipolar. Your orthopedic staff won't be real happy if they come to get me out of bed and I'm too depressed for PT. So keep the meds comin', babe.

Nurse: What is your religion, ma'am?

Anne: I already told you. Pagan. Which you classify as "Other."

Nurse: Yes, that's what it says. Do you have any dietary restrictions?

Anne: Yes. I do not eat salmon, out of respect for Fintan, the Salmon of Wisdom. I also abstain from all rotten, rancid, and overripe food. This is to be consumed only by the Sacred Thunderbirds. Please make note of this on my chart.

Nurse: No salmon, nothing rancid. Check. Now. When you arrive for surgery, make sure you are wearing no jewelry...

Anne: My faeries travel with me in glass balls that hang from around my neck. Are they okay?

Nurse: I beg your pardon?

Anne: Ah, never mind. Can I have my faeries ... errr ... jewelry ... in the recovery room?

Nurse: Oh yes, of course! Let me see if there's anything else. Oh! Can we arrange clergy visits for you during your inpatient stay?

Anne: Let me get this straight. You've got probably more than a dozen distinct Pagan faiths lumped under a meaningless term like "Other," and you're asking me if you can arrange a visit from a clergyperson of my faith? Okay, have at it! I want regular, scheduled visits from that "Other" clergyperson. (Thinking to herself: Oh PLEEEEEEZE let it be a Whirling Dervish! I'd love to see a Whirling Dervish!)

Nurse: Any other questions for me?

Anne: Yeah. Am I gonna live?

Nurse: We leave that up to the will of God.

Anne: Uh oh.


Evn said...

Once you're admitted, don't forget to remind them that the Lady in White who haunts the grotto at Lourdes is the Queen of the Faeries, not the Blessed Mother... or at least, not the Blessed Mother as they know Her.

They'll love that. I promise. Catholics are nothing if not catholic.

THE Michael said...

Do not worry, for I have invoked Loki, God of the Others, to mess up the computors so that you have Congressional health coverage, and are directly related, though secretly, to Dick Cheney. If you see men in suits wearing sunglasses at night wondering the hallways outside the OR and your room, do not worry, they are Secret Service, protecting someone they think is important, although their security clearances won't allow them to know who, exactly. They simply have orders to mow down any runs they see bearing sharpened rulers.

Loki operates differently, you see, but he gets the job done.........

Anonymous said...


When I had my knee "scoped" a couple of months ago I got a similar call.

The nice lady said (I'm paraphrasing here)

"Have you ever been under general anasthesia"

me: "Yeah a couple of times"

her: "Recently? and did you have an adverse effects"

me: "Yeah, I had a colonscopy 3 weeks ago. They knocked me out, instantly, I never felt a thing and woke up feeling fine."

her: "Oh, I see. Well, that's good. Then, we'll see you tomorrow."

me: "Bright and early!".

I didn't tell her about all the crumpled $1's I found under my pillow after the colonscopy--it was like a visit from the tooth fairy!


harmonyfb said...

Good vibes comin' at you for the surgery - may Asclepius and Hygeia intervene so that your surgery is uneventful and your recovery swift.

And may whichever gods happen to be nearest prevent a clergy visit from the annoying priest/nun who wants to talk about your paganism.

BBC said...

Clergy visits, ha, ha, ha. Yeah, send in a horny nun.

I guess I'm not bipolar, I don't take any meds, just take life as it comes at me.

Well, a multi vitamin and some beer, does that count?

Lori Madison said...


Sending good thoughts your way.. hope everything runs smoothly for you. After reading this post I am under the impression that the nurse wasn't really listening to you at all.. "Leave it up to the will of god." ? Blessings...

Maeve said...

You should have said your religion demands that you ingest TAB regularly... hehe!

Will be thinking of you, and sending some positive energy your way!

Erik said...

You know that a lot of people will be praying for you; know that I'm one of them. Best of luck and a rapid recovery to you!

yellowdog granny said...

the goddess said she would be keeping a watch over you and promises that all will go well, but payment for this help means you have to root for the dallas either bad knee...or root for the cowboys..

ok..i made that shit up..but have lit candles and praying to freya for you..even though she is a love and war goddess...figure it can't hurt..
by the cracked the shit out of me ...

Thalia said...

Invoking for you a speedy and perfect surgery, a decided lack of pain, a remarkably (some might call it miraculously) fast recovery, a hip that works better than new, and a Whirling Dervish clergy person.

Or better.

So it is.

All I could think of when they said no jewelry in the operating room was, What, the surgeons are known to be light-fingered?

Anne Johnson said...

All I could think of was, "What if they sew my wedding ring into my butt?"

Thalia said...

Yes, that could be a problem. I see what you mean.

Evn said...

You're going to be fine. I'm making a rule.

And... well, things have worked out just dandy every other time I've ever made a rule. It's one of my few practical superpowers. So let's roll with that.

But you're going to be fine. And I'm thinking about you. (And I'm still making a rule.)