Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Hospital go appointment bus needle surreal

Today was my three month follow-up appointment at the hospital with Dr Endocrine. I was looking forward to seeing him again- I had all my best gags lined up and waiting. Since, after all, it is my duty to entertain medical professionals during these little consultations.

But for some reason, as soon as I left the office to begin the first leg of my three bus jaunt across town, the afternoon took on a really peculiar slant. Everything seemed kind of...surreal. And so it persisted for the rest of the trip.

In psychological terms, I have a slightly higher tendency than most to exhibit mild "dissociative" behaviour . This basically means my brain is prone to taking little vacations from my body, going off on field trips on its own, even though I carry on whatever it is I am doing. It's actually quite common for eveyone to do this sometimes. For example, when driving. You go onto autopilot on long boring trips, and sort of "wake up" without quite remembering taking that exit, even though you are still going the correct route. Dissociation usually happens to me whenever I am tired, distracted, or under stress.

The first part of my trip to the hospital was pure dissociation. For some reason I decided to leave work ridiculously early, which meant by the time I got to journey leg two, there was an hour to kill. I'm pretty sure that I wandered around a department store for awhile, and then the next thing I knew I was sitting on the top floor of a double decker bus. A woman with the hairiest mole I have ever seen was in the seat in front of me, and behind me a teenager of indeterminate sex was rocking back and forth and crooning,

"Chickeeeennn. Lovely yummy chicken. Gotta get me some fried chiccccckeeeen."

It was a little disturbing.

I was still early when I got to the hospital. My odd mood persisted. I sat in the main concourse for 45 minutes, thinking to myself it really was just like an airport departure lounge. There was a crummy cafe and a shop selling nuts, of all things. A florist with a bunch of wilted daisies. A hair salon. And a constant stream of people, mainly the most pregnant women in the universe. I have never seen so many ginormous bellies in all my life. One woman was so big I wouldn't have been remotely surprised if her waters had burst right there at gate number 3.

I sat and sat and sat. People came and went. A small child did an impromptu Highland fling in the centre of the waiting area, then when the crowd applauded, had a screaming tantrum. Her pregnant mother fed her a KitKat.

Finally, I decided to go wait in the Endocrine clinic area, a smart move since they had magazines. Mostly with pictures of pregnant celebrities.

The nurse called me to get weighed. I clambered on the scales and watched the digital numbers bouncing.

"OK," she said. "You're Fat Ass Five. You were Fat Ass Nine before, so you've dropped a bit."

I gawped at her. No way am I Fat Ass Five. NO WAY was I ever Fat Ass Nine. I mean, if I was Fat Ass Five, how could I fit into my jeans. I might be Fat Ass Two, but Five? NINE? No, no, no. These must be the scales from Surreal Hospital.

When I at last saw the doctor, it was not my beloved Dr Endocrine. It was Dr Other, who clearly had spent all of 11.2 seconds scrutinising my file.

"So, ah, what did you and Dr Endocrine talk about last time? I see you from your history that you had no symptoms of underactive thyroid, and this was only discovered when you, ah. Ah. Ah....the um."

"Pregnancy thing. Lack thereof." I added helpfully.

He blushed. Dr Other blushed! Then he decided to take revenge by unwrapping a needle.

"I hope you are as good as Dr Best Friend with the needles," I squeaked, my right hand already clenching the chair in a vice like grip. " 'cause she's the best!"

"We only have the big needles here, I am afraid, " he said, cinching the tourniquet thing tighter around my arm.


I woke up on the bus home. We had stalled outside the same department store, on the street with a window display of cribs and buggies. Everything you need for your NEW BABY*, it said.

I leaned against the glass, rubbing my eyes. Was I dreaming, or was I really seeing that fine print at the bottom of the shop poster, reading,

"*Actual baby not included.

P.S. And if your name is B. Mare, you might as well just forget about it."


At 6:20 PM, Blogger Soper said...

I've seen that poster, I swear my name was on it too...

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, that poster is at every Baby Gap store, too.


At 8:34 PM, Blogger JJ said...

Oh! I do that all the time! Who knew there was a name for it! Certainly doesn't seem to say good things about me eh? Must be all that childhood trauma. Maybe that's why it all seems like it happened to someone else. So very strange I was just blogging about that today. Is this a clinical diagnosis, or a Google U diagnosis?

I hope one day our minds can holiday together.

Actual baby not included. Damn! I never read the small print!

At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yea, I do that all the time. It's a defense mechanism. It's how I can stand there while another insensitive idiot, who knows my plight, rattles on about inconvenient pregnancy is. It's the only way I can do this without saying something really nasty. I can just smile and nod. My husband will then ask me what we talked about and I can honestly say, "I have no idea."


At 12:10 AM, Blogger Toni said...

I am the SAME WAY!!! I got in the car this morning and then halfway to work, I realized that I was not paying attention at all! I was off in neverland thinking about whatever it was that I was thinking about. Maybe this is a side-effect from all the Gonal F?? I should ask - the nurse will just stare at me and go into her own little world :)

At 2:09 AM, Blogger lobster girl said...

Wow, Mare, that IS surreal. You are so good at describing things. I picture all those scenes -- the mole, the kid saying "chiiicken", the highland jig (in slow mo), the huge needle coming toward you -- like I'm watching a movie. And you're the unsuspecting cool girl in the middle of it all. The likeable star. The viewers love you, you know. You will be a pregnant celebrity some day, if my godless prayers have anything to say about it.

At 2:31 AM, Blogger Jen P said...

I'm so glad someone else feels the need to entertain the people they are dropping their lives' savings into the pockets of. Why do we feel the need to be funny? Is it so we don't break down into sobbing and those weird nose breaths?

I am *so* glad I have never seen a poster like that. And I'm sorry it was such a surreal day. I think the whole Chicken thing would have totally weirded me out. Beyond weird. But you rode a double decker bus! How are those?? That's my first big spend when I get to London one day.

Wishing you a better consult coming up. Muuuuch better. And with no chickens involved!

At 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actual baby not included."


At 6:04 AM, Blogger Meh said...

Totally surreal. I do that too. Phase out.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger E. said...

I do that a lot these days - weird. Why do they always put Dr. Endocrine's office in the middle of a Baby Farm? I think we should all hire military-style censors to run around ahead of us and paste big, black blocks over anything that might be upsetting.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do that all the time -- zone out. Mostly while driving. I'll used to "come to" and have no idea what I had been thinking about or how the hell I am already half-way home! AHHHHHH!

I still do it now, but when I go on auto-pilot, I am usually writing a blog entry in my head, so maybe now I am at least being more effective. Multi-tasking or something.

Regardless, it is NOT SAFE, especially while driving and when I wake up I mentally chastise myself for it! "Bad BabyBlues! Bad! Bad! Bad!"

BB (thinkingback)

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I've seen people use the term "friend crush". Now, don't be scared, but I think I'm developing one for you. I think it was the whole "Fat Ass Five" or Fat Ass Nine" that clinched it for me. (Don't you realize doctors' scales are ALWAYS wrong?) As for zoning out, yeah, I do that too. Isn't it terrible when it's mid-conversation? (As usual, fantastic descriptions. I could actually see the mole. Shudder.)

Heidi (http://lostandfinding.typepad.com/)


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