One of Those Days
by Bella Rum
I had an appointment with my PC doc yesterday morning. Wiping away sheets of cascading water, the windshield wipers swished back and forth as I drove down less-traveled back roads to get to the hospital where my doctor’s office is located. It was dark and the windows were fogging. I needed my headlights for sure. It rained all day on Monday and all night Monday night and all day yesterday and all last night, and it’s still raining.
It’s one of those relentlessly cold spring rains that settles in your bones. It travels down the spine where it sets off uncontrollable shivering, but I really think it’s because the heart is so weary of winter and longs so much for warmth this time of year that we feel the cold more acutely.
My doctor was not happy with me for a number of reasons, so she punished me by sending me downstairs for various labs and X-rays. I hurt my knee. I think it’s only arthritis, but I did something stupid to exacerbate it. I cleaned the tub in our bathroom – a tub that I never use. It’s one of those big monstrosities that are made for the dual purpose of impressing buyers and injuring homeowners who insist on a clean tub for their grands. I only clean it when they visit because they are the only ones who use it. They love it. I put my weight, which is considerable these days, on my knee while stretching across its absurd breadth. I’ve limped ever since. X-rays were in order. I haven’t gotten the results, but I’m sure it’s arthritic. I don’t think it’s a serious injury. It feels a little better this morning.
After hours of doctoring, X-raying, filling out forms that asked the same questions repeatedly, trying to snatch moments to read my book, and slipping in and out of public bathrooms, I walked back to my car through the downpour. When I got inside and closed the door, I sat there for a minute, soaked to the bone, shivering and teeth chattering. I wanted nothing more than a cup of hot tea and to crawl under the bottom of piled-high quilts.
Having said all this, and even though I was completely unprepared to spend the morning and part of the afternoon getting lab work/X-rays, it was a good thing to do it immediately. Now it’s over, and everyone I dealt with was polite and professional. Even though it took hours, I don’t think it could have gone more smoothly or any faster.
A couple of things have changed since my last visit six months ago. The nurse asked me a few ‘new’ questions. They are now screening for abuse. She asked if I lived with someone who hits me, if I was afraid to go home and if I’d ever been abused by my spouse/significant other. I didn’t ask if her definition of abuse included leaving shoes and piles of other stuff on the floor in hopes I’d trip and break my neck, leaving all my worldly goods…
The other ‘new’ questions were about learning. She wanted to know how I learned best: lecture, video, by doing, reading, demonstration. She asked if I had any issues that could inhibit learning. Does not having a memory count?
I didn’t tell her I could now fill in a blank map of the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, but could not remember my phone number.
The other new thing….
It’s a palm vein scanner, “a highly reliable biometric authentication system based on palm vein pattern recognition technology.”
Maybe you’ve heard about this latest and greatest method of identification/authentication. I had no idea. Before I went to X-ray, I had to answer a bunch of questions, questions I’d just answered upstairs. You know the answers were right there in the computer, but… I complied, and then I was asked to place my hand on one of these. It scans the veins in your palm in a second. They will know every single thing about us eventually and how to find us. Always remember, just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.