The third and final installment in the Dr. Larson series.
When the nurse finally called me back to see the doctor, it took me a minute to stand up because after four hours of waiting, my legs had forgotten the fine art of locomotion. As though I had on one 3-inch stiletto and one fluffy houseshoe, I did a Merengue (quick-step, hop, quick-step, hop) all the way across the length of the waiting room where Nurse Nohumor was waiting to show me a good time.
She escorted me to
a walk-in freezer Exam Room B where she took my blood pressure, weighed me and asked me to undress. “Don’t you think you should buy me dinner first?” I joked which made her laugh so hard she had to cross her legs and hold herself to keep from peeing. No, that part didn’t really happen. She didn’t laugh. She just handed me a paper gown and briskly informed me that the doctor would see me shortly.
I sat on the edge of the table shivering in my Brawny paper towel and admiring the shade of blue my toes had turned when another nurse came in and took my weight and blood pressure yet again. And you might be as surprised about this as I was: I weighed the same as I did ten minutes earlier.
She ordered me to lie down on the exam table where she wired me up like Frankenstein. After she electroded me in all manner, she began plugging me into a machine in all manner and flipping switches. But nothing happened. Either I was dead and no one told me or the machine was broken. She jiggled wires and plugged and unplugged and flipped and unflipped switches. She walked around the machine and shook the handle. Nothing. She nudged it with her ugly white nurse shoe. Still nothing. And then her expression clouded in the same way mine did the time I karate kicked my computer back in 1998 after it ate a 25-page art history term paper that was due the next day. And that was not a comforting thought.
I looked down and noticed that the machine was not plugged into the wall and so I gingerly suggested that
perhaps she get back on her meds we could start diagnostics there. She plugged it in and voila! The machine started clicking and sputtering and spitting out hieroglyphics on graph paper and this made her very happy. She ripped the paper out of the machine with gleeful flourish and on her way out, she informed me that Dr. Larson would be with me shortly. Shortly. As I sat there in silence, it dawned on me that “shortly” was code for “You’re going to die here.”
After four hours in the waiting room and 30 minutes in the deep freeze, I was ready to let Dr. Larson have it. And then he knocked and in he walked. He was so cute I could hardly look at him. And as if that weren’t enough, he was nice. Really, really nice. Dang! How could I tell a really nice handsome man what a jerk he was?! He was sympathetic and apologized several times for the lengthy wait and I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard myself cheerfully saying, “Oh, that’s okay!” Although I did manage to stop short of saying, “Here let me lay down on the floor and you can step on me if you like, really, I don’t mind because you’re cute and nice.”
For the next 35 minutes, he looked me in the eye and focused completely on me as though I was the only person in the entire world. He explained the details of the different components of my blood work and answered every question in English and to my satisfaction. Then he recommend that I have a test costing $3500 that my insurance won’t cover.
I coughed and clutched my chest and nearly fell off the table. I would have had a heart attack, except that I didn’t have another four and a half hours to wait to see a doctor.