Nurse: Welcome to the University of Massachusetts hospital! We are here to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

We’d like to get started by asking you to give us the identical information we required from you on your previous pre-op visit. Yes, I know, it’s in the computer, but we need to see it. Again. We feel doing everything at least three times will lower your stress levels and help us avoid working on the wrong piece of you.

Just kidding. That never happens.

I know we asked you to not bring your wallets or valuables. We apologize for that because we really meant was don’t FORGET to bring all your paperwork and of course, your wallet. So now, would you please give us your driver’s license, medical card, and if possible, a third identification displaying facial recognition?


No, I’m sorry. Your wife assuring me that this is you would not be “official” enough. If you didn’t bring the information we asked you not to bring, don’t worry. We’ll reschedule the whole procedure in another few months.

We’re sorry if we got in touch with you so late yesterday you had trouble arranging a ride to and from the hospital, but as we like to put it, “that’s not our problem.” We do the medical part. You work out the rest.

Nurse: Now, Mr. (pause) (looks at paper) Mr. Armstrong?

Me: “Speak up. He can’t hear you.”

Nurse: We’d like to see all your medical papers, listing all the medications you currently take, have taken in the past, or might take in the future. Also, your medical card and another form of ID that includes a picture. A driver’s license perhaps?

You’re trying to explain that you were merely following our printed directions? Like on that paper you are waving in the air?

We didn’t really mean it that way. We omitted a word. We really meant to say you should NOT FORGET to bring all your paperwork with you.

Hospitals get so busy, you know?

36 thoughts on “WELCOME! LET US MAKE THIS EVENT STRESS FREE! – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. You didn’t get to the part where they ask you to do a short, 87 question survey about your patient experience at the hospital. And if you happened to make it out the door without being accosted by one of these people who care so deeply about your utmost satisfaction with their health care experience, you can be assured they will call you nonstop for weeks until they are assured that you considered their service to be EXCELLENT! Not just good or fair or okie dokie….. but EXCELLENT!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This would make a terrific midnight scary story!
    I was literally exhausted just reading it through to the end and bending over with laughter….
    As I wrote on your next post: Hail to the good docs and their precious charge!


  3. Well day-um. Don’t forget to bring ALL THE PAPERWORK you may have ever or will ever need to fill out for those twits. Plus your first born, three forms of facial recognition ID, a urine sample, a stool sample, plus four letters of reference and an IV port already installed so taking blood (of which they may want mass quantities) and giving fluids is made easier for everyone.

    This information is given in jest, but has core nuggets of truth in it, due to the fact that I’ve had to do the same thing a few times myself. That whole “don’t bring any valuables with you BUT make sure you have at least three forms of ID and an insurance card and something to pay the requisite upfront costs with.” At least Garry has YOU to hold onto that stuff for him. Me? I rely on the kindness of strangers or any relatives or nearby neighbors I can gang press into coming with me. With my knee surgery someone misplaced my glasses and I was semi-blind the whole damned time. So….

    My very best wishes and healing thoughts and prayers. It’s gonna be GREAT!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The surgery is tomorrow. I was just on the phone with them trying to get the surgery time because if I waited, they wouldn’t call me until late in the afternoon, which would make it hard for my son to work out times. That’s when she said we had to bring all the papers and I said “we just did that last week” and she said, “yes, and it’s all in the computer, but we are supposed to ask you again.” I couldn’t think of anything to say to that. So I wrote this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When they say don’t bring valuables, you know it’s so the valuables don’t get lost — at least that won’t happen, because you’ll be with Garry! It’s so annoying when they have to check and recheck — but you will know for sure that they’ll do the implant and not remove a kidney — and you know for sure that it’s him, and that any meds won’t conflict, and ~ ~ ~ Good luck tomorrow!


        • I know. For a while, we had a big scandal around the state with hospitals removing the wrong piece or fixing the wrong hip or knee. But Garry is getting great care. The hospital is just … well … it’s UMass. UMass has issues with all kinds of communications and not just at the hospital. The schools, and the government — everything.

          Liked by 1 person

          • And I don’t think it’s only UMass! I had THREE calls this morning to tell me the electric company will be reducing power on my a/c this afternoon! I’m glad the care is good — it should be, at a teaching hospital! My thoughts will be with you!


    • This is our state medical university and hospital. They do everything at LEAST three times. I would never be foolish enough to leave important papers at home. I already know that when they say “don’t bring anything important with you” they are lying. They really mean, “bring everything.” Anyway, surgery is actually tomorrow. And we will bring EVERYTHING.


    • It gets easier if you realize that UMass never says what they mean. They say “leave everything at home” when they really mean, “but make sure you have everything with you because we don’t believe our own notes and will need to review it again.” It’s just as well to not believe everything you hear. Anyway, surgery is tomorrow and we will bring EVERYTHING. Even Garry.

      Liked by 3 people

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