I am terrible at hospitals. I hate them. I recognize they are necessary in a modern society, but I hate them. The smell of over-sanitation makes me nervous as hell. What are they trying to cover up? Blood, poop, and bodily fluids. That doesn’t make me feel better.
However I just got back from the most awkward and kinda funny doctor’s appointments I’ve ever had.
I’ve been feeling exhausted and achy lately for no good reason — I mean, let’s be real, now that I’m a freelance Classy Dame, my daily exertion is pretty low so I have no good excuse for feeling like an old lady. Concerned for my health (and tired of hearing me complain), my husband urged me to see a doctor. Could be nothing, could be something, better safe, blah blah blah.
So I get in there and I get the pre-interview with the nurse. I never understood this. The nurse comes in and asks you all these questions about why you made an appointment, assesses whether or not making shit up, looks over your paperwork that you just filled out ten minutes earlier describing in detail your current situation, your past situations, your past lives, your mother’s last pap smear, and what your dad had for breakfast three years ago on a Sunday in June, and s/he seems to be writing it all down.
But then s/he leaves, the doctor comes in and you have to go over everything again. I don’t get it. If there’s a doctor out there that can explain, I’d love to hear about it. (kinda)
Anyway, I pass the first round of interviews and before leaving, the nurse tells me to get naked and put on one of those stupid robes (but, you know, in a professional way). At least it’s cloth and not paper, I hate the paper kind.
I do so, wait in the barely heated waiting room for 15 minutes staring out the window and then the doctor comes in. She’s dressed in a pair of jeans and a nice shirt, young, hip, attractive. She looks at me sitting in my hospital robe and furrows her brow with a smirk.
“You know you could have kept your clothes on.”
Look, lady, I’m in a hospital. I’m just doing what I’m told. That’s my job as the patient, yes? I didn’t say that, I said something charming like “Well, now that we’re better acquainted, haha” or whatever. After a laugh about my totally unnecessary nudity, she goes to sit down on the little stool in front of the computer.
The stool flies out from under her and she does one of those cartoon scrambles to keep from falling on her ass. I guess the floor was too slippery. I’m not even joking. I’m tearing up with laughter right now just thinking about it as I write it. If I were the sound editor in this movie, I would have used one of these.
It takes a few moments for both of us regain our composure because neither of us want to acknowledge that we have now both done something really stupid in front of one another and that this was supposed to be some serious professional relationship about my health.
Since I mostly look pretty much okay, she suggested that we do some blood tests. Now, if there’s anything I hate more than hospitals, it’s needles. I’m that wuss that cries when getting blood drawn. I’m the grown-up whinging while they use the little antiseptic swab. I’m the one who has to pretend to blow bubbles (like how you calm a six-year-old) while the needle is jabbed into my tender flesh. So when the doctor said I’d probably have to get “labs done,” I was upset.
But in keeping with the theme of inappropriate hilarity, it somehow wasn’t so bad. Mostly because the lab tech, a short, soft-spoken bald man, calmly mocked me through the whole thing. I held out my arm dutifully, aware that I was basically sitting in the hallway off the waiting area with a curtain around me — ie, the little old ladies, sick people, and children would be able to hear me wail. I scrunched my face and turned away, ready to martyr myself for medical science.
There was a silence and then this exchange, which took place while my eyes were closed:
“Are you always like this?”
“Are you always like this?”
“With needles? Y-yes. . .”
Another awkward silence.
“Did something bad happen to you?”
“So. . .”
“Yeah. . .”
“So uh. . . you’re just scared?”
“Y-yeah. . . I guess.”
Quiet chuckling as he steals blood from my veins.
“At least I’m not going to faint,” I say helpfully. I may or may not have fainted from seeing a needle before, you can’t prove anything.
“Hahahaha!” His laughter trails off into a contented sigh. “Anything else?”
Yeah, sorry I don’t have any more amusing stories about what a coward I am about needles, but ask me about my colposcopy, why don’t you?
Anyway, he gave me a plain bandaid, though I’m sure his hand lingered over the Donald Duck ones, and after gathering my wits (I did feel a little dizzy), I left the office.
So, unnecessary nudity, a prat fall, and a gentle mocking later, I am somehow less traumatized than usual.