Can you relate to the dreadful sensation at the pit of the stomach when the appointment with the doc is confirmed? For me, it’s a horrible feeling of constant flashes in my mind. You see, I have had my share of such clinical visits. And believe me, it’s not a pleasant experience when you are made to sit in the waiting room that has these huge posters of impending diseases staring at you. Yes, you. You could be the next one with so and so disease if you don’t get the checkup done right now, they say. For all I care, I would rather not know until I absolutely have to.
Unfortunately yesterday I had to visit the clinic for a full medical examination for my visa renewal. Here I was hurrying across the street with a full bladder (Doc’s instructions!), watching the precious minutes slip by. It didn’t matter that I was late, because the receptionist made me wait for 15 minutes before calling out my name (Of course wrongly pronounced yet again!).
With a pleasant smile, the nurse led me into the room to kick start the procedure. I was quite happy to see that I had lost some kilos and of course I was complimented on my height. A few medical history questions later, I was headed off to the bathroom with another set of instructions. What in the world is a middle sample?!
Anyways, now came the most dreaded part. With sweaty hands, I sat in the huge black chair. Believe me when a 5’10” person calls a chair huge, it sure is intimidating. With a glint in her eyes, the nurse prepared the instruments. And by instruments I mean the cotton stubs, the band-aid, needles, the huge syringe (Ok, by now everything related to the process seemed huge to me. I was freaking out!). The strap on my upper arm gave me a glimpse of what Dexter’s victims must have felt when the serial killer was gradually preparing them for their impending death. The nurse must have noticed the expression on my face because she started reassuring me as we do to a child about to be vaccinated. My God, what big liars are we! Especially when we say, it’s not going to hurt. You wouldn’t even know it. Just look the other way and don’t move. Stay as still as possible.
Well yeah, surely I can stay still when something is piercing through me to suck up my blood. And I mean that literally.
With eyes squeezed tightly, I managed to keep my mouth shut with my free hand. The nurse had the audacity to laugh at my condition as she spoke, “Such a beautiful vein. I can feel its rhythm. Now now. Why aren’t you letting me take the blood, sweet little vein?”
Yes, you heard it right. She was talking to my vein.
To add to the horror, she took out the syringe and tsk-tsking she headed towards my other arm. “It never happened before. Such a nice vein but no blood.”
Yeah, I am a vampire. No, wait, isn’t that a zombie. Whatever! My mind is too muddled up to think right now. Ouchhhhhh!!!!
In went the second needle on my other arm and this time, I didn’t have a free hand to block out the noises pouring from my mouth. But the nurse was pretty determined. She ignored me and continued talking to the vein. “Come on now. Such a beautiful one but it’s not letting the blood go. Let it go now.”
The song from Frozen started playing in my mind. Let it go, let it go…
With a final squeeze, the blood started dripping into the syringe. Yes, I was actually looking at it now. Giving me a triumphant smile, the nurse wrapped up the whole procedure.
Nursing my bandaged arms, I walked out of the room into the doc’s chamber. As I laid down on the stretcher, my mind was still focused on the beautiful veins (Just couldn’t get over the creepiness so easily). So I was quite unprepared when the doc started kneading my stomach in search for lumps. Believe me, it might be easier to fill up the bladder but it takes more than three trips to the washroom to empty it. I silently prayed for mercy, hoping I wouldn’t embarrass myself when the doc’s stethoscope reached over the forbidden area in search for my heartbeat. It must be sky high because, frankly speaking, I am not used to male doctors examining me like this. I was still digesting this invasion of privacy when his hands extended near the armpit region to check for lumps again. This was more than I could handle, but thankfully he moved away to fill up the forms just then. Within seconds I was out of the door, barely remembering to pay the fees on my way out.
To all those whose medical examinations are yet to be done, my best wishes are with you. Hope yours go better than mine did. For now, like a bandaged soldier, I have returned home, a bag on my shoulders, two punctured arms and a semi-intact modesty.
Originally Published @ hanafalki.wordpress.com on 2/27/2015
Image Copyright with the artist- Igor Zakowski