Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You probably don't want to read about this.
I'm going to tell you anyway!

Lucky you.

As part of my preparation to go to Africa, I have to get medical clearance signed off by my doctor, so yesterday I took the day off for a number of appointments. Now, I'm definitely not one who spends a lot of time in the doctor's office. I think the last time I went in for a routine check up was probably twelve years ago when my mom held me hostage - I wasn't allowed to go work at camp till I had a doctor's appointment! Over the years, I've been to a few ear/nose/throat specialists and to a doctor at a walk in clinic for referrals (nothin' like making a doctor feel useful: "Hi! I don't really need to talk to you, can you just sign this paper that will send me to another dude? KThxBye!"), but that's it.

So all this medical stuff is new to me, and kinda interesting, and definitely proved a few good laughs throughout the day.

Can I just say this? It is STINKIN' hard to find a doctor who's accepting patients in this city. And then when you DO get an appointment, they try to shuttle you trough as fast as possible. Evidence of this was my appointment yesterday. I called to book a full physical: "Hi, I'd like to make an appointment for a full physical... so how long do you think a full physical will take? ... Hello! I'm here for my full physical... Hello, Doctor. Yes, I'm going to Africa and the organization wants me to have a full physical..." So I handed her the form, she took one look at it, and went, "Oh, wow... they want you to have a full physical." Ummmm... yes?

So after she suggested I come back another time to do most of it, and I explained that I had taken the day off work, and could we please do the bulk of it while I'm actually here already, she started in on the form, mostly which was a big ol' checklist of body parts where she had to check off "normal" or "not." She looked in my eyes and my ears, poked around my stomach a little, and then checked everything off as normal without nary a glance.

I kinda feel for these clinic doctors. So many people they have to get through, such a doctor's shortage, only so many hours in the day... but hey, at least I've got my forms. Too bad she missed the giant goiter on my neck.

Naw... just kidding. I don't have a goiter. Phew. I had you worried there, didn't I?

Part of the physical was blood work, urinalysis, and a chest x-ray. The blood work was fine. I get only mildly jittery with needles, but I was interested, so I forced myself to watch as she poked it through my skin, into my vein, and watched my blood flow out into a little tube...

Whuh huh uhuhuhuhhuh *full body shudder*

Ok. So maybe it makes me more than a little jittery. But I was too curious to look away!

The chest x-ray was kinda fun - hip hip hooray for too-short paper shirts and stretchy plastic ties to only moderately keep them closed. Um, riiiight. But seeing my own ribs? Pretty cool!

(Side note: The x-ray tech looked at my name as she was walking me back and said, "Oh! You must be Doug and Patt's daughter!" Uhhh.... yes I am! "Well I'm so-and-so. I knew your parents back when we were growing up at your church!" Crazy Talk!!! We chatted a little, and turns out her niece is looking for a place and might sublet my suite while I'm gone! Sah-WEET!)

I think the urine test was the funniest, though. (Am I really going to go there? Yes, yes I am) The lab tech gave me the little cup and gave me all the instructions. She then handed me a little packaged towelette and told me, "Oh, and before you go, make sure you use this to wipe... you know... down there." Why this medical professional felt she had to whisper, scrunch up her face, and physically point down to tell me this, I'll never know. I still giggle when I picture it!

So in I go, do my thing, close up the bottle, but where to put it? I see there's a little cabinet behind me that says to put your bottles there. Oh good, I guess the little containers will keep the counters from getting messy. So I open the door and put my container inside, turn around, finish up, and I hear a clatter inside the cupboard. Oh shoot! It fell over! Craaaap! I hope I had the lid on tight enough! One I'm done, I open up the door to check, horrified at having to go back out and explain that I spilled my pee all over the cupboard. Good show, Hillary. Plus, I'd have to come back the next day, blah blah blah. But once the cupboard door was open, I had to do a double take: MY PEE WAS GONE!!!

Ah, yes. Young in the ways of lab tests, I know. That's kinda what makes it funny. At least to me. You're probably totally grossed out. Um, oh well.

Anyway, after a split second of panic, I quickly realized that the cabinet went two ways, and someone from the lab had grabbed the jar when they heard me put it in. Ahhhhhh. Cause really, what did I THINK I was going to do with my little drippy bottle of pee? Bring it back out to the lobby? EW!

And can I just say? God bless the Canadian medical system. HUNDREDS of dollars worth of medical consulting, tests, and prescriptions (antibiotics in case of illness) - all FREE! I didn't pay a penny yesterday. for any of it. Hoo-ray!

I have the remainder of my doctor's appointment next week where she'll tell me the results of the lab work and x-rays (here's rootin' for NORMAL!), and then I get myself injected with all kinds of nasty diseases the day after.

Typhoid? Hepatitis? Diptheria? Yellow Fever? Rabies? Meningitis?



anne said...

I'll be honest with you. Yellow Fever is a B*$!%. Seriously. The rest aren't so bad.

Kris said...

At my very last pregnancy appointment I DID spill the cup. You would think I'd be a pro at it after doing it at least once a month for at least 7 months, but no, sadly I had to go back and embarassingly tell the nurse what happened. I'll just blame 'the belly'.

sarah cool said...

oh dear. hahahahha.