An Hour I Won’t Get Back

I took today off from work, yay! For the past seven months or so, I’ve been taking a day off from work when I’ve had a doctor appointment that day. These are the only days I’ve taken off from work this year so I don’t feel bad about it. Yes, it’s true in Canada we have free health care but it’s also true that unless you have a life threatening emergency the health care system moves as slow as molasses in January. Therefore, it’s taken me this long to have an appointment with a doctor in nuclear medicine to take a radioactive pill that will destroy my thyroid gland.

WHIRL Magazine (October 1959) ... Rick Santoru...

No reason other than I like it.

So this morning I slept in. It was lovely, absolutely lovely. I didn’t wake up until I was ready to grab a hot cup of coffee and toast half an English muffin and top it with peanut butter and no sugar added blueberry jam. (Hey, I know how to rock it!) This feeling lasted until I realized we were without electricity; thank you, Sandy. I don’t want to complain because there are millions of people in worse trouble than I due to this massive storm. However, my fate this day was just warming up.

Now I’m up to no English muffin and no coffee. I decided to forgo breakfast and start planning on what I would buy myself after my appointment for a treat to myself. Then I stepped into the shower. The bathroom was steamy and warm so imagine my surprise when not 30 seconds into my cleansing routine the water turns cold. I made a quick decision to just do the basics and hopped out.

I quickly dry off and make a run for my bathrobe, which hangs in my closet 98% of the time without being used. I don’t do robes but today I made an exception. So now I’m all warm and cozy, standing there deciding what I will wear when the electricity comes back on, just in time for sk to announce that she’s decided to come with me. This is fine because it saves me $20 in parking fees. While I’m in at my appointment, sk will park for free in the lot across the street which is designated for patrons of those stores in the mini-mall. She will sit at a café for a couple of hours, enjoying her coffee or tea while reading a book. Free parking is the best news I’ve had up until this point in my day.

We leave for the hospital and notice all the other people without their electricity. Decided we were lucky, if nothing else the food in the fridge and freezer won’t spoil. Almost get in an accident because sk doesn’t realize you treat a non-working street light as a four-way stop but she was able to drop me off in front so I didn’t have to walk in the rain.

Let’s re-cap: Slept in, no electricity, no breakfast, half-way clean because of cold water, escaped potential accident, did not have to walk to the hospital in the rain and saved $20. So far, I’m 4 for 7, not bad. Then I walk into the Nuclear Medicine sitting area and proceed to the cute receptionist. Actually they don’t have ‘true’ receptionists, they use their technicians for this job, whichever one happens to walk by or is free at the time helps those waiting.

I give this lady my name, insurance card and tell her the time of my appointment. She looks me up on the computer and says: “Oh, I’m glad you got our message the other day to report an hour early. Just have a seat and we’ll be right with you for your pregnancy test.” Ummm, come again? I could barely say the word, “what? pre. .g. .nan . . ” “Yes, your pregnancy test. Just have a seat.”

Obviously she wanted to get rid of me but I wasn’t letting her off the hook that fast. “I think there’s some confusion,” I began. She cut me off, “It’s procedure. We have to be very careful considering the radiation.” I’m trying not to show my frustration but I’ve never had one of those test. I didn’t know how they expected to test me. I didn’t want to know.

I calmly said, “I can guarantee you I’m not pregnant.” She replied, “We need scientific documentation before we can go ahead. Due to your age and the fact that you have not had a hysterectomy, we need the confirmation.” This is when I looked around and noticed there were three other people in the waiting area, all with perked ears. I tried a different tactic. “I’m gay. I don’t sleep with men, never have, don’t want to thank you. Unless you believe in immaculate conception, there is no reason for me to take this test.”

I will give the cute technician credit, she did not blush or give me a condemning look when I orally confirmed what she probably already thought just by my appearance, that I’m a lesbian. She looked right at me and informed me that “your sexual orientation aside, we still need a scientific result on record.” I gave up. She actually smiled when I asked how exactly was the testing accomplished. Urine sample, great! That I can do, unfortunately I visited the bathroom right before I left to come to the appointment.

After doing some tricks that my Mom taught me, like turning on the faucet and letting the water run, I was able to provide a small sample. The new technician at the front desk reassured me the amount would be sufficient, “Just go have a seat.” I did.

For over an hour, I sat there watching tv and napping off and on. In that period I had enough time to think back on what happened to me that morning and I learned a couple of things. 1. Be grateful for what I have in my life. I saw story after story on the news describing all the destruction and devastation from Sandy. 2. When your doctor’s office calls, always and I mean always, listen to the entire message. You do not want to be surprised when you arrive.

Now, go have a seat and don’t worry about that hour of your life you just wasted. Peace.


2 thoughts on “An Hour I Won’t Get Back

  1. Classic! good effort in trying to get out of it. Some procedures don’t make any sense. My thoughts are with you all over there at the moment. It looks devastating on the news.


  2. Thank you, Loz. Where I am, it’s pretty safe, just wind and rain. New York City and New Jersey got pummeled, tons of destruction. Thank you for your thoughts, mine are also with those affected.


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