Michelle's Front Page

Multiple Memos

September 8th, 2007

Thursday afternoon, I finally took Sabrina to have her blood drawn for some tests her pediatrician wants to run. I have been putting it off because I have an aversion to 1) waiting 2 hours for 2 minutes of face to face time with a medical professional and 2) causing my child pain. But, being the grown up, I finally bit the bullet and took her to the local children’s hospital where we spent 2 hours waiting for a bored phlebotomist to take 3 viles of blood while I held my sobbing child. A mother should never have to hold down her child while someone hurts her. It is wrong on every level. I couldn’t stop myself from crying as I tried to soothe my baby. The trauma aside, I can’t say I left the hospital with a very good impression – thought I would send a couple of memos so they understood my displeasure.

Memo to the front desk/check-in clerk:

After explaining to you that the computer wouldn’t let me check in because we didn’t have an appointment (blood work is walk-in), you insisted that I could still use the computer to check in. Let me remind you of our witty exchange:

Me: I’m sorry. We’ve never been here before.

You: Never?

Me: No. Never.

You: Like, never ever?

The raised eyebrow I sent your way was a result of my being bowled over by your mastery of the English language, not by the long suffering sigh you let slip upon learning you would need to fill out a form. Thank you for the kind welcome to your facility.


Mom who would like to nominate you to Mensa


Memo to Nurse Meanie:

I understand that you would rather not have multiple children running amok in your exam rooms. However, this is a CHILDREN’S hospital. That denotes that on occasion, you might have to put up with a few children during the course of your day. Your suggestion to the dad with the sick 4 year old child and healthy 7 year old child that he leave his 7 year old unattended in the waiting room was unconscionable. When he objected in his limited English, your insistence that “no one would take her” was very comforting for him I am sure. How dare you try to bully a dad trying to do the right thing because it would be more convenient for you? I silently cheered when he again insisted that she would stay with him and you were forced to relent. Perhaps you need to work somewhere that the short people don’t f-up your day by being around?


Mom who thinks you are a bitch


Memo to Robotic Phlebotomist:

Thank you for being so kind and so warm while taking my child’s blood. Those warm words that you spoke: “Child’s birthdate?” kept me calm during the rest of the procedure while you silently took my child’s blood. The bored look in your eyes while you watched my child sob and her mom cry really took the edge off of an unpleasant experience. Not wasting time by reassuring us both you were almost done or soothing my daughter before you stuck her with a needle instead of quietly chuckling when she began to cry really puts you at the top of my Christmas card list.


Mom who hopes to see you in a crosswalk on my drive home


Memo to White Trash Momma in the waiting room:

While I applaud your ability to point out to your 8 yr old son that “I am the parent. You are the child”, I respectfully would like to point out that sentiment might hold more meaning if you acted like the parent instead of the child. Your son never raised his voice yet you were screaming at him for the 45 minutes we had the pleasure of your company in the waiting room. While we all enjoyed the constant refrain in your lovely twang of “If you do that one more time, I’m going to pop you one”, can I also point out that idle threats do nothing to change a child’s behavior? Perhaps if you would put down the cell phone for 5 minutes and have a conversation with or play a game with your child, he wouldn’t be so restless while hanging out in a hospital waiting room. Just my 2 cents.

Oh and loved the wool dress pants, AC/DC t-shirt, and crocs – fabulous look.


A mom who wishes she had the guts to say something in person

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 8th, 2007 at 11:05 pm and is filed under humor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

25 Responses to “Multiple Memos”

  1. Laurie Says:

    Time to find a new hospital / doctor, etc. I have had some horrible experiences, too (i.e. holding Kari while 4 doctors and nurses tried to draw blood from her 12 month old arm with an adult needle IN UKRAINE). I’ve had doctors write script after script for antibiotics for ear infections that were not bacterial. I could go on and on, but this is your blog, not mine.

    Bottom line: You will have to fight the good fight to find good facilities and good physicians out there, but they are out there. The same will be true for good pre-schools, teachers, etc. This is just the beginning, but it is probably one of the most important parts of your job. Always follow your instinct (not your neighbors, not even your husband’s). A mother’s instinct is an amazing thing.

    Your post was hilarious.

  2. Alleen Says:

    Oh gosh, I’m so sorry you had this experience. I took Gabriella first to a regular lab. Mistake. while they were very nice and tried their best to calm her and I, they just weren’t experienced. Both arms were enough me to to cry uncle. I then went to a children’s hospital and thank God, they were nothing like yours. It was still a trying experience, but the phelbotomist was THE BEST.She hunted and looked around at every vein on her arms, hands and feet TWICE before even thinking about poking her. It still took some finegaling, but they got it.

    I would seriously consider writing a letter to them. My gosh, like you said, it is a CHILDREN’S hospital. They need to have employees that like working with the little ones and have some compassion.

    As to the “lady” in the waiting room …. sigh……..

  3. Kerri Says:

    Sorry you had such a bad experience. Poor Sabrina, poor mom. 🙁

    Kerri and Ruby

  4. Tricia Says:

    Call me a terrible mom, but there are times I WISH I could get my girls to projectile vomit ON COMMAND and with much precision and direction and impact around unsuspecting (medical professionals) folks.

    I cannot believe I just admitted that, but these are the crafty things I devise in my head while waiting aimlessly in medical “lounges.”

  5. Melany (in TN) Says:

    Ahhh – I see we met some of the same people at our visit to the V…y Children’s Hospital. We had the same pleasures in addition to first being sent to the wrong building, wrong floor, wrong lab which was apparently REALLY annoying to the people who had to direct us to where we were supposed to be. Customer service? Apparently not taught as part as the orientation to working at the facility – no matter which building or floor you’re on.

    I like the quote from the mom who was going to “pop her kid one” – another favorite of mine that I’ve learned down here is “I’m gonna wear you out”. WTF?! Who says that to their child? I don’t get it.

  6. Bobbi Says:

    I think it is a requirement of hospital staff to be cold and bitchy! We don’t even have a children’s hospital here. They were good about taking Reese’s blood, though. It was still rough.

    Loved your memos. No, none of may have the guts to say it, but it always feels good to just let it out later. You are so funny! Thanks for the laugh.

    Hope you and Sabrina got yourselves a treat after that experience!

  7. karen Says:

    I just can’t imagine that anyone in TN would need wool pants. Again, I just have to mention the inequity in the world of fertiles vs. infertiles.

    From someone who cries when the vet has to stick one of my animals, I sympathize. I’d be crying right along with you. There could not be a worse job than a pediatric anything that involves needles.

  8. Nancy Says:

    I am so sorry this was such a horrible experience for you. We had to see 3 phebotomists before we could find one that could take blood from little missy, only 1 stuck her the other two didn’t untilt hey could feel a vein. But I am right with you on the tears, it killed me to hold her down while they did it. We had to go twice cause our ped wanted so many test done.
    I love your memos, hubby laughed too!

  9. emily Says:

    I am still amazed everyday that people take jobs where they are definetly not suited for. The pimply faced kid at the grocery checkout that can’t even manage “good morning” because of all his facial piercings, the “customer service” (and I use that term loosly) rep that answers your phone calls that acts like you woke her up. Get a job where you are not dealing with people!

    Thanks for the laugh this morning!

  10. Julie P Says:

    Both of us went with Ally for her blood tests – it was horrific, you can read about it on our blog. But this is your blog, and oh I am so sorry you had to deal with all of that. I hope you had a good stiff adult beverage when you got home (or when Steve got home). You deserve it after that day!

  11. Julie Lussier Says:

    YEAH Memos. My favorite.

    Thanks for the laugh.

    Ugg — children’s doctor appts. You have hit the highlights.


  12. Gail Says:

    Great job!! Sorry the ordeal was miserable but your posts do keep me coming back. Also to see your sweet baby and hear how she is doing.

  13. Samantha Says:

    Oh my lord! ROFL
    We’ve been putting off J’s blood draw for the same reason/s. I seriously would have had a very very hard time with the trailer park moment in the waiting room. Once again MIchelle, I am immensely impressed with your restraint.


  14. Tam Says:

    I’m sorry for the shitty experience, but OMG! Loved the memos!

  15. Melissa Says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your memos!!!

  16. Leigh Says:

    Oh Michelle
    This is SOOOOOO wrong! I’m sorry… and from the nurses of the world, this is NOT the norm – well I sure hope not.. I do have this small piece of advice and perhaps you did this (altho given it was a childrens hospital should have been a non-issue)… I always call ahead to make sure that a “Good” pedi phlebotomist will be on on the shift I go.. Unfortunately this doesnt always guarantee success but often helps. BUT OMG, some of what you mentioned is reportable – I mean HORRIBLE ethics, not to mention customer service.. SoOOO pls send those memos! They’re always awesome!


  17. Sig Says:

    Love the memos, but man how sad. Change Drs.

  18. Tammy Says:

    What a horrible day for you and Sabrina. Love the memos.

    And to Nurse Bitch… If I was that dad who she tried to make leave his daughter in the waiting room I would have insisted to speak to someone above her. Right after I restrained myself from punching her in the face. She’d hate me coming there then because I always have all 4 kids with me… they all stay with me period! And I still go into the rooms with my girls. I am their mother and I will be there…. Period! I actually have had a few nurse attempt to force otherwise and I am quick to say, NO! loudly and firmly…quickly followed with something like, “This is not a negotiation, so don’t bother to continue trying to convince me. I am staying with my kid. The End.

  19. Stephanie Says:

    Hilarious. Don’t you wish you could just type those up and hand them over right before you leave?

  20. laura Says:

    wow – i agree with the other poster who said to write a letter. i would actually go up and talk to someone in a high position of authority who is actually going to listen to you. that type of service is unacceptable, and it will continue if no one says anything. i have ran into the same type of people across professions, and while you do come off looking as the bad guy, saying nothing will not help anyone. i am so sorry for your situation – when i took kaenen for his first shots, i was crying before the nurse even got into the room with the needle. you really should give a copy of your post to each person you delt with……..:-)

  21. Meena Says:

    LOVE your memos!!!! Very funny!

  22. Dawn from AB board Says:

    Hi, sorry to hear about that awful experience especially the lab tech! Some people have no empathy at all.

    We had one incident with a Dr. who had the bedside manner of “House”.

  23. Michelle Smiles » Blog Archive » They say its your birthday Says:

    […] I was surprised at the feelings evoked by taking my child into the Children’s Hospital.? As I was pushing her to the clinic in the hospital complex, I felt like people were examining my child to determine what her label was.? (Paranoid much? Apparently I am, thanks for asking.) ? I just wanted to put a sign on her declaring her perfectly normal.? Someone in the elevator lobby remarked “She is just watching everything.”? I smiled and nodded but inside was thinking “Of course she is.? She is perfectly normal – why wouldn’t she?”? Silly?? Completely.? It made me really feel for the parents of children who do have labels hung by doctors or society and the assumptions that those labels carry.? Aside from my own neuroses, our experience with the Children’s Hospital this time was much more positive than our last encounter. […]

  24. Michelle Smiles » Blog Archive » No more teasing… Says:

    […] was on Friday.? I took her to our Children’s Hospital.? Some of my long time readers might recall the memos I wrote after my first experience with that hospital.? I will say that this visit was better than that first one but it wasn’t […]

  25. kind Says:

    What’? up, just want?d to say, I enjoyed thi? blog post.
    It was practical. Keep on ?osting!

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