Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: Nightmare at the Ortho Institute

I am a horrible patient.  Seriously.  Having anything to do with the seeking of medical treatment typically spins me into a rage.

Take this morning, for example.  My primary care physician, who by the way is my daughter’s age, for God’s sake, and far too good looking for my comfort, referred me to The University of Florida Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute.  This is because I’ve been dealing with a pesky right ankle problem for about two months now.

After paying $4.00 for parking, and then walking about a mile to the facility, I filled out paperwork and sat in the waiting room for forty minutes past my appointment time, while being forced to listen to twelve different cell phone conversations, in spite of the fact that signs are posted everywhere stating cell phone use is not allowed.

Finally my name was called, and I was escorted through big double doors into a maze of hallways and into a tiny sterile room.  “Dr. So-and-So will be with you in just a few minutes, Ms. Miller,” said the sweet-faced medical assistant.  “Just a few minutes” turned out to be half an hour.  And just when I was about to throw open the door and scream, Dr. So-and-So appeared.  “Oh my God!” I said.  “You’re a doctor?  What are you, thirteen?”  Fortunately he had a sense of humor.  But I meant what I said!

“Hmmmm,” he said while looking over my information.  “Sudden onset…unprovoked pain…swelling…nothing on the x-rays.  What kind of exercise do you do?”

“Well, I used to take walks most days, which of course I haven’t been able to do for a couple of months, and I do yoga.”


“Break it to me easy, Doc,” I begged.  “I’m a busy woman.  Don’t tell me I need surgery.  I don’t have time for that.”

So after a thorough examination of the area, he said, “You have peroneal tendonitis.  You’ll need a boot and physical therapy.  I’ll send “Sheila” in with the boot.”

“Oh God no!  Don’t close me up in this room for another thirty minutes, Doc.  Please?”

So thirty-seven minutes later, young Sheila came in with this enormous black contraption with about a hundred Velcro straps.  “So sorry, Ms. Miller, this is the only size we have on hand right now, so if you’ll call us in a few days we should have a smaller one for you.”

I guess they have a lot of Gator football players coming in needing these “boots” because the sonofabitching thing was large enough to fit a linebacker.

“Only take it off when you bathe or sleep, Ms. Miller, and try not to drive too much because of course you have to take it off to drive.”

Don’t drive too much.  Riiiight.

“And also,” she continued, “be sure to wear something on your left foot with substantial lift, enough to equal the boot.”

I had worn flip-flops, so I hobbled with one foot higher than the other down to Physical Therapy to schedule my first appointment, after which I ran errands on the way home, which took hours instead of minutes what with having to keep taking the boot off and putting it back on, which is not an easy thing to do with all those freaking Velcro straps sticking to each other all over the place.

Once I got home I staggered to my closet to see what shoe I could wear with “substantial lift.”  Turns out the only one that works is my black patent-leather, pointy-toed, four-inch pumps.

Just picture it, people.

I can’t wait ‘til they have my size.

I’m a horrible patient.  Really.

[Author’s note:  To be fair, I have to say the professionals at the Institute were really helpful and treated me extremely well, basically.  I may have exaggerated a few times in telling this story (but not much I tell you!) just for the sake of a laugh.]


April 12, 2011 - Posted by | Medical Treatments | ,


  1. LOL you are not a horrible patient at all. You did all you are asked to do and actually waited an absurd amount of time.

    Comment by Brenda | April 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hilarious, in a painful sort of way. I’m dealing with a hamstring tear from months ago, but keep injuring because who wants to stop life long enough to heal? My PCP’s office is always an hour and a half wait in what looks like the bus station’s rejects’ room. Sigh.

    Comment by Becky Day Wilson | April 12, 2011 | Reply

  3. I am starting to hear your voice when I read this stuff please don’t stop, it makes me laugh. I did get a visual on the boot and the pointy-toed shoes. Very very funny. Missy

    Comment by pam | April 12, 2011 | Reply

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