Texas vs. Oregon

I moved to Oregon last year from Texas and I just love it here. There are some differences!

I just had an amusing Texas vs. Oregon experience. I have this water sac/cyst around my thyroid. No big deal, I get it drained (aspirated) every eight months or so.

In Texas, my doctor pokes at my throat to feel for the cyst and then takes a needle and tosses it at my throat like he is throwing darts with the boys on a Friday night. He pulls the needle back, and if no water comes out he says, damn I hate it when that happens and tries again. He has success and sends me on my way with a “see you next time.”

Today I had the same procedure done and don’t get me wrong; everyone was wonderful. But I had to laugh because it was a team of 3 people. They used a sonogram so they could see where the cyst was to guide the needle to drain it properly versus the Friday night darts approach. I had a sonogram tech, the tech that drained the cyst and a person standing by to collect the fluid to run it to the lab.

In Texas, the doctor put the fluid in a coffee cup so I could get a visual of how much water he drained. We would both have a good laugh. Today the tech said, impressive. That’s a lot of water as they put it in the sterile bottle.

Before they used the needle, they cleaned the area to make it sterile. Then they gave me two shots to numb the area. Let me get this straight; you hit me with a needle twice to numb me for the one needle you are going to use to aspirate. Um? What?

In Texas, I just sat in a chair. It was very informal. Today I had to lie down. I got a nice warm blanket, and a sterile field was created around my throat. (I signed a waiver that inserting a needle could lead to all kinds of horrible infections). When they were done, I had to sit up slowly, then stay seated for a minute. Then I could stand. They gave me a nice bandage to cover the tiny hole and an ice pack to put on the area for twenty minutes. That’s not all, to keep the ice pack from making it to cold on my throat, they had a small cloth to place between the pack and my throat and another one to place between my hand and the ice pack so my fingers wouldn’t get cold. Such pampering.

In Texas, he never even wiped my throat with an alcohol swap and I certainly never got a bandage or ice pack. They laughed when I told them the Texas vs. Oregon procedure and said “we are making this an event aren’t we.” The Texas approach was the cost of an office visit a $25.00 copay. I’m curious to see what all this pampering has done to the fee.

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