And thank you, Hoyt Axton, for a great song… “Never Been To Spain”
I wonder if one of my medical professional readers might help me out with this one.
I went to the “lab” this AM for “blood work” (god, I hate that cliché) and, sitting in my car outside the store, I used the texting/email check-in thingie to let them know I was there and ready to be jabbed, repeatedly if necessary. (Hey, I’m a team-player.) And they sent me back a page that said they were glad to see me, that the needles were all warmed up and ready to go and then asked me if I had eaten in the last 12 hours?
Guys, you’re taking a tablespoon-and-a-half (that’s what the nice MedTech lady told me) of blood from my arm…this isn’t a brain transplant. What difference does it make if I ate something in the last 12 hours? Or for the last 12 years for that matter? Yeah, I had breakfast.
I wasn’t irritated at their question, just perplexed.
So they buzzed me and said “come on down”, which I did, and the nice lady said yes, they had to use my blood, sorry, the blood I had borrowed from my pet llama Larry would not suffice. (Larry was none too pleased with my method of withdrawal either, lemme’ tell you.)
She verified my address, my doctor’s name, my birthday (I wouldn’t let her say the year out loud), my inseam and shoe size and then, The Question again…have you eaten in the last 12 hours?
Okay, brace yourselves for the next one…
And what did you have?
A huge bowl of lobster bisque, a peanut butter and chorizo sandwich, two alpaca burritos and an apple fritter…WHAT THE HELL DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?!?
I understand that if I were being given a shot of something, a vaccine or medication of some sort, that I might possibly, conceivably have an allergic reaction, in some dark magic, cauldrons bubbling evilly, chemical interaction of mystical import, and yark my two pieces of toast and glass of OJ on your floor, but they weren’t making a deposit, the lady made a withdrawal, so how is it that I might react magically, mystically, chemically to that and somehow grow a fourth eye?
Now I’m not being critical of the laboratory company; I’m sure their Legal Department has prepared multiple lengthy memos for their executives on the “contingent liability” that might arise when jabbing someone with a sharp needle if they’ve consumed food recently. And several of my ex-wives have mentioned to me on numerous occasions that I was often times overly critical and that they hoped I would someday be stricken with a debilitating disease and that it would rot and fall off.
Ungrateful cretins…this was the thanks I got for allowing them to bask in the warmth and sheer beauty of my magnificence for all those years.
So I get the “why” the lab people wanted to know if I had eaten in the last 12 hours, I just don’t get that they needed to know the “what” as well.
And why a “tablespoon-and-a-half”? Sorry, but when I asked the lady how much they take, strictly out of idle curiosity, that was her response, and I have to tell you, I felt a little let down. A tablespoon-and-a-half? Geez, could you be anymore unscientific? I’m expecting something like, oh, we take 15 cc’s or 1.63 ounces or 56 vaulted scones, you know, some measurement that lab/medical folks would commonly use.
A tablespoon-and-a-half. What is this, a recipe? “When you’ve finished braising the alpaca livers, then, using a wire whisk, gently fold the tablespoon-and-a-half of Old Wrinkly Guy blood into the yak batter until thoroughly blended.”
Soooo, tell me, Ms. Mary the Nice MedTech Lady (not her real name), just ‘xactly how much is a half-tablespoon? ‘Cause if you fuck up and only draw a tablespoon-and-a-quarter and I have to come back and go through this whole bright lights in your eyes, rubber hoses and pliers for your fingernails interrogation about my eating habits again, I’m going to be displeased.
So just to keep Mary the Nice MedTech Lady on my side, you know, provide her with a little levity to brighten her day and so she wouldn’t miss my arm and stab me in the eye or the right uvula or whatever, I told her the story of how I had gotten my second Covid vaccine shot, eight months previously…
The nice Pharmacist Lady at the Publix where I went to get shot, after I sat down and got comfy, had me pull my sleeve up and then she wiped about a tablespoon-and-a-half of some red liquid on my arm, drawing a circle. (A few moments later I realized she had actually drawn a target.)
Then she told me to turn sideways in my chair, basically “presenting” my upper left arm to her, and to not move. From behind the Pharm counter she pulled out a plunger/needle assembly that was probably 18” long overall with a needle about as big around as a birthday-cake candle, and proceeded to suck up about a half-gallon of some evil-looking liquid from a bucket on the counter that dripped off the end of the needle onto the floor, where it hissed and bubbled and burned the linoleum, hoisted the whole rig up to her shoulder like a M16 rifle, and tensing like a runner on the starting blocks, let out a blood-curdling scream and charged across the room at me as if she were a knight on his trusty steed, lance forward and ready for battle.
It was horrible.
After the ordeal had ended, they made me stay for 15 minutes more, just to make sure I didn’t have an allergic reaction and fall to the floor, start to froth at the mouth, loss all control of my faculties and start voting Republican. (This “allergic reaction” thing apparently scares the shit outta’ medical providers.)
Oh great, just what I wanted to do for 15 minutes, walk around inside a Publix grocery store, seeing as how I work part-time, when I’m not being the Captain and Master of the venerable boat the R U Kidding, at another Publix grocery store. Boy, look at all the cans of Green Beans…wow. And that Rump Roast, man, the last time I saw a rump like that it was dancing. Look at those Triscuits, holy shit, never saw the like before.
Gag me with a shopping cart.
But know this, and somehow I think it is significant, that the Nice Pharmacist Lady at Publix did NOT ask me if I had eaten in the last 12 hours nor ask me to disclose what I had consumed, prior to shooting me. She apparently didn’t care if I yarked up my two pieces of toast and glass of OJ onto her floor.
Mostly I’m just getting tired of people sticking me with needles.
I wonder if maybe this might be a good time to get a tattoo…never mind.
Love and Medicare,