Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sitting In the Waiting Room

The first week of July marked six weeks since I first received my Synthroid prescription. For a while I will need to go every six weeks and get a blood test to make sure the dosage is correct. It was time for my first test.

I had both kids with me. The boy is usually pretty great at being a big brother, and I told him I would need him to watch his sister while I had the blood work done. The last time I had blood work done, I took her by myself and it was awful. She screamed so loud watching me get blood drawn, that people in the waiting room thought that she was the patient. I was hoping to avoid that this time.

The waiting room was packed, and people were grumbling that they had been waiting for a long time. I was determined to get my blood work done that morning though, The boy started camp the following week and I didn't want to bring the girl by myself again. The kids were pretty good about playing together and staying entertained. And I'd been smart enough to bring snacks- something I don't always remember to do.

A woman two seats over from me was watching my kids. She looked like she was in her fifties? Maybe younger. She had an 80's hairdo and a raspy smoker's voice. Her name was Tina. She commented on what a good brother the boy was, and how nice he was with his sister. It was true. I thanked her. 'My older brother always looked out for me too,' she said. 'Of course, I fell in with the wrong crowd in junior high. It was all over for me then. I got into drugs and it took me a long time to get out. I really let my family down.' So sad. And yet, at the same time, way more than I needed to know while I had my kids with me waiting for a blood test! I nodded sympathetically and hoped that they would call Tina in soon, since she was there before me.

A couple of people couldn't wait anymore, so they left, which meant a shorter wait, eventually. Tina took a call from her boyfriend and argued with him, loudly. When she hung up she apologized to everyone in the waiting room. 'He just makes me so mad sometimes!' Right then. No one took the bait and asked her what was wrong. Most people stared at the walls. I watched my kids.

Finally, an employee who had been on an early lunch break came back. The other employee was happy to see her. 'My last patient passed out back there half an hour ago!' she said. 'I've been waiting for you to get back and help out here.' So. We were all sitting around because someone passed out. Because they don't like needles? Or blood? It just seemed like the office should have had a better way to deal with that. Since most of their business is drawing blood.

When it was finally my turn, the girl wouldn't let me out of her sight. The boy had to come back with us and try to distract her while they took my blood. She screamed like crazy the whole time. I kept apologizing to the phlebotomist. The passed out guy was probably a picnic compared to us. My blood drawn, I hurried my kids out of there. I'm sure no one was sad to see us go. The boy had been so awesome all morning, that I took him out for lunch afterward and he got chocolate chip pancakes and that was just fine. He totally earned those pancakes.

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