08 March 2006

Drama in the waiting room, part deux

Phil's dear wife, Darlene, will be undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday. You might keep her in prayer, as she is scheduled to go under the knife at 7:30 AM PDT.

Tuesday while getting blood tests in preparation for tomorrow's surgery, a public altercation of PyroManiac proportions broke out right before her very eyes. Phil persuaded her to write a post about it. We welcome her as a guest-blogger.

"Impatient patients," or "Geriatrics Gone Wild"

by Darlene Johnson

See this classic PyroManiac post for a different tale that bears an uncanny resemblance to this one. Stuff like this never happened to me before I met Phil.

My right medial meniscus is torn and the floating pieces of it need to be cleaned out. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday morning at dawn. It's supposed to be a simple surgery, but a similar procedure almost proved fatal to John MacArthur a few years ago. So I'm not thrilled about it.

This morning I had a list of important things to do before the surgery, including some blood tests at a nearby clinic that does nothing but lab tests. Phil always refers to it as "Tourniquets R Us (formerly known as the Blood-Test Barn)."

When I arrived at 11:30 am and signed in at the counter, there was only one other person in the waiting room, an elderly man. Soon however, an older couple came back from the rooms where blood is drawn, and they were not at all happy with the check-in lady.

They started speaking loudly to her and claiming that she had discriminated against them. Having missed their earlier discussion, I was not quite sure what was going on. But the lady shook her finger at the receptionist and scolded her: "You did too discriminate against us!"

The receptionist patiently tried to explain that paperwork for Medicare patients must be entered into the computer for verification before any tests can be done. Evidently, the verification took a little more time than they felt necessary, and they were angry!

After the couple had lectured the receptionist for a while, the elderly man next to me interrupted: "Oh, leave her alone. She's just doing her job!" (I figure he must have been there for whatever discussion took place before the angry couple went back for their tests.)

I detected that no one was looking at me, so I quietly moved several chairs to the left.

The angry couple turned and glared in unison at the old man. "Mind your own business!" the old woman hissed. "She discriminated against us."

At that point, the man in the chair said something so profane I won't even try to describe it. (Let's just say he made a strong recommendation of something they could do besides argue with the receptionist.)

I was shocked at his language, and it didn't stop there. The receptionist was still bravely trying to make them understand what the requirements are for Medicare patients. The elderly woman was pursuing the line of argument that all special requirements for Medicare patients constitute age discrimination. The two old men were having a swearing contest.

Then in comes a man with some tests to turn in. After sizing up the situation, he looks at the receptionist and says "Tough day, huh?"

The couple decided to exit through the side door—so they wouldn't have to walk out past the angry man, even though they were still yelling at him. Nasty words.

He gave them several more helpful suggestions about what they could do. That made them yell back even more.

Finally, they left, and it got quiet. Just when I thought it was all over, all of a sudden the door flung open and the angry man yelled once more at the waiting-room man. The man near me jumped up and acted like he was going to run after them, but just then the clinician appeared at the door and called him back for his tests.

I hope the guy wasn't there for a blood-pressure test. Phil says he's going to get me a cell phone that makes video clips.

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness" (Proverbs 15:1-2).
Darlene Johnson
Mrs. Pyro


Steve said...

Thanks for sharing that, Darlene, and for ending it all with the perfect reminder from Scripture about how we're to conduct ourselves.

I'll share the news of your surgery with Becky so that she can join in prayer for the surgical procedure.

Kim said...

You have my prayers, Mrs. Pyro. I hope all turns out well for you.

donsands said...

Thanks for sharing. That must have been so awkward to be there. It's a blessing for me, for it's a reminder of who I was without Christ, and how he called me out of that darkness into His marvelous light. All praise to His holy name, and to the Cross. GAl. 6:14

I'll be praying for you with my wife, who had the same procdure not too long ago, and the Lord was with her through the whole ordeal. He is ever so faithful and gracious!

Carla Rolfe said...


you know what's bizarre? (Other than Frank's animated eyebrow, I mean)...

Yesterday I was considering writing about Cussin' Customer Service. No, not me cussing out customer service, but sales associates and public workers that cuss when they're talking to you. It's become insane where I am. Looks like you got a first hand taste of it yesterday. :o(

In any event, know I'm praying for you for tomorrow & a quick recovery.


Dawn said...

You pyro-people have the MOST amazing stories...
Hope the surgery goes well...had that done about three years ago. Worth getting done to ease the pain.
Praying for a quick recovery, Darlene..
Thanks to Mr Pyro for the trash can sticker..from one who resides in the dark, DARK area...

Forgiven Sinner said...

It's amazing and also quite funny to see the elderly tossing words back and forth!!! Make you want to see them get in the Octagon with some 4 ounce gloves and see which one might become the next Ultimate Fighting Champion in the Elderly Division!!!!!

Possibly be the next reality TV show......

I'd pay a few bucks to see some frail old guys get it on!!!!!!
Go back to the corners and hook up the oxygen for a minute or so and go at it again....

On the Serious note....I will keep both of you in my prayers and pray for a speedy recovery.

DJP said...

Certainly a reminder that maturity can't be measured by the number of candles on one's birthday cake.


Gordon said...

Quite a story! I hope and pray that everything goes well with your surgery tomorrow.

Renee said...

I won't lie, that made my morning... I could not help but laugh. Seriously though, when even our "elders" behave in such a way, what example does that send? It does show that our rudeness and lack of patience with one another goes across all barriers (and that truly is sad).

You will be in my prayers regarding your surgery.

FX Turk said...

It is clear to me where pecadillo gets it from, and it's not Phil.

David & Rose Ann said...

Wife and I are just now calming down. Laugh hysteria. Yes, seriously noted, we will remember Darlene in prayer. My wife has a similar condition with her knee and can definitely sympathize.

Momo said...

Dearest Mrs. Pyro, I think you must live in California or some Yankee state. We are much more polite than that here down South.


So, do you feel like you went to the video store and accidentally came home with an uncut Jerry Springer tape or something?

Janet said...

I'll be praying for Mrs. Pyro!

I love hearing from you! So, when are you going to start blogging? Maybe the Pyromaniacs will give you a regular guest spot?!

4given said...

I feel almost guilty for laughing so hard...
and then I read:
"Go back to the corners and hook up the oxygen for a minute or so and go at it again...."
That is both terrible and terribly funny.

Mr Spurgeon... I'm not only from Texas, but I now live in the barefoot even if your not pregnant state... and my children, except for the adopted ones born in Texas, are all born Okies... and people ain't any more polite down here than over yonder.
Perhaps I should write something up on how to drive in the south without experiencing rage and tempting thoughts to curse.

SO TRUE Mr. Whats-your-name?, Jim? Joe? James? Don? DAN!!! : "maturity can't be measured by the number of candles on one's birthday cake..."
Now elaborate on a future post on this so sad, so true observation.

Dear Mrs. Pyro, You will TRULY be in our prayers here... trust me. I can't stand the "I will pray for you" standard verbal, lacking-genuine-action to really get down on your knees type so I can sound all spiritual and impressive! Boy, will we have to give account for all the times we have said that and not meant it!

puritanicoal said...

Mrs. Pyro,

If they recommend that you apply an icepack to the surgical area after surgery, I read in "Hints from Heloise" that one of those frozen, ground beef chubs makes a great makeshift icepack. Maybe Mr. Pyro can stop by Costco and pick one up for you... :-)

I will pray for your surgery tomorrow.

reglerjoe said...


I hate waiting rooms. There's either awkward silence or maniacal rage.

candy said...

I lived in Ft. Worth Texas and can testify that southerners ARE polite. They are skilled at the art of polite and qenteel cussing someone out, and with a smile.

Chris Freeland said...


Live it up. That pain medicine following knee surgery is great stuff. You can say virtually anything you want, and people just write you off as being a few fries short of a happy meal. Basically, you get to be Phil for a day.

We're praying for you.

chamblee54 said...

I had arthroscopy a few years ago, and I hope that the procedure goes smoothly ...it usually does.
One of the things I remember was how sweet the pre-op nurses were the day of the procedure. It is helpful to have a good attitude going into surgery, and the nurses where I was strived to create that. You are fortunate to have the waiting room experience a couple of days before the procedure itself.
I wouldn't be surprised if one of the participants in the fracas you described are christians.

Jason Robertson said...

"...better to kick you with," said Mrs. Pyro to Mr. Pyro.

FX Turk said...

But of course, chamblee is not saying anything bad about Christians.

Darlene said...

Thank you everyone, for your prayers and kind words. And yes, James, my sweet father-in-law always says he needs a passport to come to visit us. He's an Okie and considers California a foreign country! :)

DJP said...

Darlene, I'm a lifelong Californian, and I consider California foreign territory!

Darlene said...

You're right Dan. I just don't want to scare Frank. We really want him and his family to come and visit.

DJP said...

Ohh, I don't think it's Frank who has reason to fear California.


Scott Hill said...

Darlene, I had a very similar experience about a year ago, but you would have to replace the older couple with two Jehovah's Witnesses and the old man sitting down with me. Small world huh!

After reading Phil's blog comments for the last 6 or 8 months I am sure you were more than prepared for such a showdown.