Now that I’m insured again (“Thanks, Obama.”), I went for a physical last week. I’m in tip-top shape, as far as that visit was concerned, so worry not. The doc had ordered blood work for me to get done, too, and I scheduled myself at the lab for this morning at 9:30am near my house in San Clemente. Well, let’s just say that the Daylight Savings time change + not being able to sleep until late at night = I didn’t get out of my house until 9:27am.
So, I dashed into the lab office 15 minutes after my appointment time, to find an already packed waiting room. I’d already filled out my first-time-visitor info online when I choose my time-slot, so all I had to do was wait, I figured. As the receptionist took my paperwork and checked in my info, she turned around and handed me a sample cup. Jigga-wha? I don’t think I’m supposed to be draining my own blood, so I offered her a quizzical look and said, “Oh, I thought this was just for a blood test.”
“…yes, blood and urine.”
Well, this’d be fine if the only other thing I’d done that morning, before putting clothes on and dashing out the door, was pee. I had peed hard, too… there wasn’t a hint of pee left in my body, as far as I was concerned. And so I sat there, staring at this empty little plastic bottle, and laughed. After about 10 minutes I was led back down the hall, where I waited in another seat while the one lab attendant was rushing between patients. As it was my turn, I hopped up into my new seat (the third I’d had since being there) and I heard the attendant mutter, “I’ll pop his OTHER tire.” I made a joke about how we (patients) were outnumbering her and the odds were certainly not in her favor, and she let out an apparently much-needed laugh. There was supposed to be someone else there with her, but he had a flat tire, so she was stuck doing double-duty. Now, she was doing a great job… but as I made my way back into the waiting room after she bandaged me up, I saw that she was fighting an uphill battle. I wished her luck before I left the lab, though, and she joked that since I was going to be there a while longer, myself, I might as well help out. The Hispanic fella near the door looked a little grim when I jokingly said, “Okay! Alright, who’s next??”
I had my own issues to worry about, though: namely the intake of gallons of water. So, I settled in, took my water cup in hand, and started downing the H2O. Then amazing things started happening. That room of people, all in this together, began to bond. Like the ramshackle group in a 90’s disaster movie, we had just about everyone: the crazy lady who has definitely spent a lifetime on drugs but is now clean, old people, the quiet ones you forget about, the outspoken and friendly “other” (Native American gal, in this case), the guy who had his ongoing shtick (me and my constant drinking), the really uptight woman person who thinks they are more important than the rest, and a young couple. Heck, we even had a mom pop in with her child, but they didn’t stay around to complete our gang. There is camaraderie in chaos, as I joked, and what was an otherwise annoying situation actually became the most fun I’ve had in a waiting room before. Some of the group mocked the uptight gal when she huffed and puffed whenever she came into or left the room. I explained an old man’s joke to the entire group when they didn’t get it. Just camaraderie everywhere, I tells ya.
And water… lots and lots of water.
Eventually, I spied the late attendant walk in the front door, and I smiled at imagining the other gal stabbing him with a few needles for good measure. Even more eventually, I finally felt that wonderful urge. It was a monumental moment, as I rose from my seat not to fill my cup up with water again, but to throw it away. I will spare you the behind-the-bathroom-door details but I was immediately successful in my venture (how’s THAT for fancy talk about takin’ a pee!). I walked back into the group, placed my sample in an adjacent room, and the outspoken “other” gal jokingly whispered a “congratulations.” I tossed my clasped hands into the air and shook them victoriously as I walked towards the exit, and wished my compatriots luck.
…and then I peed 4 more times this afternoon.