Sunday, April 17, 2016

Behold The Schlub!

Oh-kay. The contrast Cat Scan.  I worked a partial massage shift and then off I went to my appointment. What's interesting about THAT? Well. When I asked to get the time off, the manager filled that space on our computerized calendar-accessible to all employees-in with: DOCTORS APPOINTMENT. 

Hmmm thought I. Where does THAT announcement fall on the cool scale? Because before the first go 'round-they asked me what they should "tell people" and I said, (what are you kidding me?)tell them nothing. Know why I said that? I didn't want people to scare me with terrible stories. 

I've been thinking and thinking if there have been anybody I knew in any of the zillion jobs I've had who had cancer and I can only come up with one. It was at The Met. They sent me down to this sub-basement that I didn't even know existed to give this nice fellow his break. He had to keep working to keep his insurance in play and LUCKY thing there was this secret option on a sub-freight elevator that had to be run AND it had a chair. I felt pretty good about that. 

So this time-I'm not even 3/4th of a percent as terrified as I was the first time-I thought maybe it'd be good to get a little more authentic identity~wise, possibly/maybe and then my client(or my person-as I like to call them) says," So. You have a doctors appointment?" 

Hmmm. Ya know? 


I'm extra early to the appointment in which I need to be early but not THAT early and it's a nice day so I ring up my Dad and we chat in the parking lot for a little bit and I see some daffodils popping up and that's cheerful.  

I go in. Fill out a form that asks me things like have you eaten in the past 4 hours and what are your allergies and on and on and find a seat. 

I'm sitting there reading a book watching people and I see this very young couple. Them and a 2 year old who's screaming for attention. Every time the child screams, all of our heads snap over in their direction and what we see are the two of them intertwined in full recline on the couch and it looks like they're preparing to handcraft a new baby on the spot. 

I wish for an umbrella so I could whack the side of the couch really hard but I'm not old enough to control the universe via my umbrella but that day is coming so I sit there and read my book think. 

The nurse calls my name. I am so happy. 

Follow the nurse into the back, take a seat in an actual leather-like recliner and she goes on a vein hunt. It does not go well. She says she usually doesn't go for a second try as she's digging in for the third attempt. It hurts. What are you gonna do.

The Cat Scan operator walks up and says my doctor called and that I do not have to have the contrast. 

I am FILLED with joy and wonderment. No, really. I'm skipping but I'm still sitting in the recliner. I HATE when I have to drink creepy stuff. In fact, I usually can't do it. My throat locks. 

They lead me back to a locker room where I have to take off everything that has metal on it. I end up with socks and shoes and underwear and the gown, open to the back and somebody mercifully ties it for me and I take a seat. There are 5 old Glamour magazines, a magazine that's all in Spanish and two Better Homes and Gardens. By the end, I read them all. 

I'm just hanging out when the nurse comes back with two jugs of goo. There's been a mistake. I do have to drink it. 

Two giant jugs of goo. Craptastic. They're served cold with a side of paper cup. I read someplace where their flavor was described as 'latex paint' and that, aside from a most hideous hint of what I'd like to call 'orange blossom' is what has to go down my pipes in the next 45 minutes. Cripes.

I play: Let's Make A Deal. One big sip for every 3 pages of the wrinkled Glamour. I know that's not going to work but I gotta do something. I play another game called: Let's Pretend This Is a Glamorous Vacation and this is a special cocktail handcrafted especially for you. That doesn't work either. 

I need the magazine across my lap because what I hadn't noticed is that the locker room is freezing and I'm drinking cold goo. At one point, what has passed my lips wants to move in a more Northerly direction but I just hang in there. Sip, sip, sip. 

I had two chats with ladies that also had to visit the locker room. It's a funny thing to be in this vulnerable position where everybody's telling everything. The second woman came in wearing grey scrubs. In a heavy accent she lamented the universe. Nobody loves anybody anymore, she said. 

'Ya think so?' That's what I say when people pontificate nonsense on my massage table. 

Finally it's my turn in the Cat Scan doughnut of happiness. The operator thought I'd be severely irked about the mix-up with the barium but I was so close to needing to heave it was way off the table. I told her I felt nauseous and she handcrafted me a wet towel to put on my forehead. No love. Pfffffft. 

The machine guy starts commanding me to breathe and off we go. I concentrate on the scent of the freshly dampened washcloth and how I do not want to mess up this nice lady's donut and when the time is right, I start singing: Jesus Loves Me in my head because that seems to help. 

The very most hilarious thing was that the machine guy-okay it's a man's voice recorded to tell you when to breathe and when to hold your breath and when to let it go? Somehow the very last 'breathe' fell off the recording and I 'bout turned purple. She came on the intercom and said:  BREATHE! 

I was done and released into the universe. Came home, took a nap and discovered an unexpected bonus-that barium functions as Roto-rooter to one's intestines. Woo. 


  1. How is it that you make all your doctor's appointment stories sound like a kind of adventure into a strange universe. Brilliant, I especially like the part about the couple. Blurt laughed. On a completely different note, I too have noticed that when I am going through stuff people want to pile their extra scary stories on top. I think they think they are connecting to me somehow, but I really don't see how they could think it would be comforting to me. There is a big difference between trying to be nice and actually being nice. Hang in there!!!!

  2. Completely agree with your friend Shari. Gets even better when you have a few friends who are in the medical field and REALLY want to know all the gritty details and know the questions to ask to get those details.