Monday, June 26, 2006


This morning I had an appointment with a pulmonary specialist, about my doggedly persistent cough. Part of the exam (in addition to answering questions about whether I've ever had every disease known to man) involved doing some pulmonary function tests.

The nurses kept asking me what tests I've had done in the past, what the results were, and all kinds of things I didn't really have any answers for. Once you get past "Peak Flow Meter", I usually can't recall the names of tests or devices used to administer the tests.

Anyway, as we were walking back to the test room, I had this conversation with the specialist nurse:

Nurse: So, have you ever had any pulmonary tests before?

Me: Yeah, I had some back when I was a kid and was first getting treated for asthma.

Nurse: Oh. Have you had a HoozenFrantzen test?

Me: Uhh.

Nurse: How about a SnarfenBigle volume test?

Me: Umm. I have no idea. I know I used to have one test a lot, where they made me breathe out through a tube that was connected to a plotter, and it drew these graphs of the volume and force and stuff.

Nurse: We don't use plotters.

Now, you have to read that final comment in a tone that implied that I might have been riding to those old appointments on the family dinosaur.

Amusingly though, one of the many tests I did inside their Plexiglas phone booth while breathing into something that certainly fell under the term 'contraption' was the exact same test I used to have to do into a tube connected to a plotter.

Sure the graphs showed up on a computer now, but otherwise it was exactly the same.


Brenden Johnson said...

Gotta love snotty nurses. I'm sure Allison has never talked like that before.

Steve Eck said...

Well, I wasn't upset by her comment, I just thought it was funny.

Especially when the first test I did was exactly the same as what I used to do on the machine that was connected to the plotter.