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being nessasary

a quirky look into being

I do not like the scent of sterility – it dries out my nose.  However, it is that particular smell you expect to greet you as you use your elbow or back to push through a doctor’s office door.  The lighting is always florescent, and your magazine is still warm from the feverish person that was just taken to “the back.”  If you’re real lucky, the place will be carpeted and peppered with various histories of the stomach flu.

I am a bit of a connoisseur of doctorial dwelling.  My father is a physician, which means I grew up in the sterile environment of the endangered physical file system.  I was never shy of crinkly exam table paper, and I was far from shy when asked to wee in a cup.

Since my upbraiding relationship with cancer, I enter a doctor’s office with a bit of a smirk on my face.  There is not much they can do to me that they haven’t done before.  I know what seat is the best, how full of it Dr. Phil is, and how most of the time, I am the youngest one in the room.  I even have fans in the basement of the hospital I frequent – they make sure I am not holding the XXL scrubs over my cute, but very white bum.  The story is different with gowns…but I haven’t had to rock one of those in several years.

With most of my doctor’s visits, it is usually nessasary that I get my blood drawn.  My right arm has an epic vein.  I haven’t felt a needle pierce my skin in years,  that is, until today.  I was at the oncologist for my routine check-up (no worries ladies and gents, everything is just as sweet as your mama’s pumpkin loaf).  I always get blood drawn when I visit my beloved Dr. B, so it was no surprise to me when I was called to the lab.  It was a surprise when the nurse (who did not even say hello, and treated me much like a cow in line for the last time) stabbed my arm, and spent a good amount of time digging around.  I know she wasn’t new because other nurses were asking her what to do and where things were and how to count to twelve.  This lady was definitely the worse blood extractor ever.  It’s hours later, and I am still feeling pain pings from the tiny pointed object.  I am unhappy.  I am sure the patients undergoing treatment want to vom in her shoes, not a pink plastic tub.

This fine amount of pain brings me to a reality.  People are afraid of the doctors office, of that sterile packet of alcohol gauze, the plastic covering a syringe, and the monstrous nurse with stale coffee breath (she’s lurking somewhere out there!).  But really, there is not much more pain in a needle prick than there is in waiting in line at Wal-Mart.

I suppose there is one thing worse than a Wal-Mart line:  a person that is rude to cancer patients.


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