Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Right! You got it right!


This is Wednesday, tomorrow's MRI Thursday, and that can only mean one thing: It's time to go get my weekly blood draw. Usually I do this on Tuesdays, but it doesn't really matter.

My routine, dating to the time before I'd resumed driving, is to walk up to Swedish Hospital's West Seattle clinic, about a mile and a half from here. It's a pleasant walk through our neighborhood, and the first time I did it it was a big deal -- much farther than I'd gone before, and a sign to myself that I was getting stronger. So still I walk.

Also I really like the nice Filipino lady who draws my blood -- Fela, I think her name is. We have our little routine. We say hello to each other at the desk. I fill out a form. She goes into the back to get my file then comes back and calls my name, even though I'm usually still standing right there.

"Birthdate?" she says.

"Two-eighteen-sixty," I say.

"Right! You got it right!"

She always says it the same way, and always seems so pleased. For her purposes I suppose this shows she's got the right file. For me, it's proof that I haven't completely lost it, that the lobotomy isn't spreading somehow.

Then Fela straps me off, sucks my blood, gripes a little about the lousy new computer system they've installed, and that's it. It takes two minutes, and she's never missed with a poke.

One day a little kid was in the same lab room as I was, getting a shot or a blood draw at the same time. He was crying his eyes out, his mother couldn't console him, and the young lab tech on his case seemed flustered. Fela paused from my arm, reached into her desk drawer and handed the boy a lollipop, all in one motion. The kid calmed down, finished his procedure, and left with his mother, all smiles.

So after, when Fela had taped the little cotton ball to my arm, I said, What, no lollipop?

She smiled at me. "2-18-60," she said. "I don't think so."

7 comments:

Michelle said...

ha! funny. I think old guys should get lollypops too.

Michelle said...

mmmm. Egg whites.

Rita said...

mmmmm. Hot dog. Jumbo and full of fat.

Mark said...

Wow, that's cruel.

Ok, I'm going to eat a couple of boiled yolks, no whites, and head off to the blood draw.

carry on without me.

kateco said...

mmm Hummus and stuffed grape leaves. (plus mmm a little glass of chianti)

Mark said...

Kateco wins the lunch sweepstakes.

I know where I'm going next week while Michelle's working.

kateco said...

Yeah man -- we eat like kings -- here where the wine flows like water