the soft spot

just when i thought i was wizened and hardened and impervious to all shocks, comes a phone call that just about brought me to my knees.

12:15 am...hubby is lying peacefully in bed, oblivious to the world, and i'm doing my usual late-night web surfing. at that late hour, the ringing of his cell phone was definitely enough to snap me out of complacency. i got up off of my duff and looked at the caller i.d...."unknown." ok, probably just a wrong number, a drunk dial, or both.

as soon as i set the phone back down it rang again. i opened the phone, fully ready to let the poor person on the other end HAVE IT. when the unthinkable words come out of the receiver...


"yes, this is a nurse from kaiser...is [hubby] there?"

"well, no, he's asleep, it IS a quarter past twelve here." (we have recently been getting calls from the billing department of kaiser hawaii, and i thought that maybe it was someone who wasn't aware of the time difference.)

"this is his wife," i continued, "can i help you?"

and then the nurse spoke those words that have plagued my nightmares ever since the bone marrow transplant. "no, i need to speak with mr. shaffer, it's an emergency situation."

all of my "how-dare-you-call-us-this-late-at-night" bravado disappeared like a popped balloon. deflated, i took the phone back to the bedroom and fought the old feelings of panic and dread.

"how bad is it?" i whined.

"ma'am, i really can't discuss this with you unless i have his permission...you are aware of HIPPA, aren't you?"

(at this point i became convinced that this nurse is the biggest bitch this side of the atlantic.) woke hubby up and told him "oh-my-god-it's-a-nurse-from-kaiser-and-she-says-it's-an-emergency-and-she-won't-tell-me-
hubby snatched the phone, and after a whole lot of sleepy "yeahs," "nos," and "i don't knows," he snapped the phone shut and gave me the biggest eye roll EVER.

"my red cell counts were a little low, and the nurse called before she looked at my medical history. no worries, babe."

that's it?!? his red cell counts a little low?!? i know that many people would expect me to be outraged at the nurse who saw fit to call about a medical condition before she got the context...

...but THANK GOD that's all she had to call us about. THANK GOD it is not back. THANK GOD he is still OK.

posted by amanda @ 12:36 AM


At 12/07/2005 06:13:00 PM, Blogger Hope said...

Amen, Amanda, Amen.

At 12/07/2005 07:25:00 PM, Blogger Minerva said...

*getting out the pompoms and the short skirt and music*
No news is good news, yes, no news is good news...


Y I P P E E!


At 12/07/2005 10:52:00 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

goodness, after your heart starts raceing, give that hubby of yours a big hug (although I'm sure you already have)!

My heart just about stopped when I was reading it, I can't imagine what you must have thought.

At 12/08/2005 09:14:00 AM, Blogger Being Made said...

That's ok... You focus on the thankful stuff... And I'll be thankful with you and also think, "That idiot woman!!!! Doesn't she THINK about what she does to families when she makes outrageous calls like this... She needs more than a 'quit being dumb' card! She needs a 2x4!"

So that way, all bases are covered. :)

I'm so glad it's nothing major. Hope those red cells fight back to normal soon.

At 1/30/2006 02:05:00 PM, Anonymous Real Cancer, Real Lives #11 said...

[...] My turn again, ladies and gentlemen to host the Real Cancer Real Lives Carnival. This was set up by Cary Miller a caregiver for his wife Lori [...]


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