Monday, December 26, 2011

When The Cat's Away...

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris some other foreign place:

Are you aware that if you eat way too much honey in too short a period of time while eating not much of anything else that you may or may not get a little nauseous and/or experience unpleasant *ahem* diarrhea?! Don't ask me how I know.

Good morning everyone!

You see, when Karen is on hiatus, I have to take advantage of that fact and post stuff she would normally frown upon because by the time she reads it and gives me a verbal lashing, it's too late to really do anything about it. (I bet you can imagine what a fun kid I was. Do NOW. Ask questions LATER.)

So what else can I talk about today that she would normally make me avoid? Hmmm...

Oh, I know! *insert evil laughter here.

So before I left Paris, I was bubonic plague sick (thanks SexySultry) and for a completely unrelated reason ended up in and out of doctors' offices, medical laboratories, and the hospital. Everything takes eons to analyze and diagnose, so I am still not sure what really caused my malaise but was finding myself randomly getting dizzy, fainting, with whopping headaches, sensitivity to light, nausea, abdominal pain and other glorious details that (for Karen's sake) I'll spare you for now.

FranzSwitzer was convinced it was panic attacks (which I have never experienced before.) SexySultry thought it was some sort of lady infection which would cause me to be infertile. Cashew thought it was bad luck, lack of exercise, poor diet and the fact that I haven't agreed to marry him and move back to the States. I was leaning more towards holymotherofgod whatifi'mpregnant - which is impossible, I know. But that's my go-to freak-out. Otherwise, my faithful standby is ohmygod imustbedyingofcancer.

One morning, I had to have a blood test at 6:40am. I was not allowed to eat or drink beforehand for 8 hours. Plus, SexySultry and I pulled an all-nighter discussing important issues, so I was beyond tired and grumpy.

I sat in the waiting room for a long time and then finally saw the healthcare worker who was pleasantly taking my blood while sharing that her sister just gave birth to a third child even though she used contraceptives. Great! That eases my mind! Then she took me into a different exam room to do a test number two for which I was not allowed to wash beforehand. (This detail comes into play a little later in the story.)

I mentioned the antibiotics I'm currently on to the nurse about to do the exam just as I had earlier to the receptionist who said it wasn't a problem. This nurse disagreed and refused to do the lady examination telling me to come back after the weekend after not taking the antibiotics for 72 hours.

So there I was, lying with my feet in stirrups naked (except for my socks) from the waist down for no reason at all for the first time that day. Fun... especially knowing I'd have the pleasure of repeating the exercise in a few days. Yay me.

Keep in mind all this happened in French.

So as I passed back by the reception desk, I quietly inquired about the pelvic scan and was told I just had to go across the hall and they'd see me right away. Like a good girl, I followed the woman's instructions but radiology had a sign posted that they were closed until 8:40am. It was 7:30am.


I ran over to the bakery for a pain au chocolat to cheer myself up now that the blood tests were over and I was allowed to stop starving myself. It was too early. The chocolate croissants were not yet out of the oven. I had to settle for second rate brioche with chocolate chips. NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL.

At 9am I waltzed back over to radiology where a rather surly woman told me that the earliest they could possibly see me was in 10 days. I tried to explain it was an emergency but she was having none of my ohmygodi'mdyingofcancer nonsense. I finally gave up and asked her if she could send me someplace where I could be seen immediately. She gave me a business card listing some hospital in a suburb I've never been to and told me it was 10-20 minutes away.

At noon, I finally found the hospital after being lost forever in the suburbs (or as my dad would call it "taking the scenic route to explore local architecture".) I then was lost within the confines of the hospital for a good 15 minutes before I found the right department. When I talked to the receptionist, she told me the earliest she could see me was in 3 hours.

Double grrr...

Keep in mind that I hadn't slept at all yet and that all I'd had to eat in the last 12 hours was the ugly, red-headed step-child of the chocolate croissant. So I went back home and ate the quinoa I had prepared (although it was bulgar instead of quinoa but I basically used the same recipe of mine which Karen posted recently.)

Cut to 3 hours later, I was back in front of the same receptionist for the appointment I had made in person and I was THE ONLY person in the waiting room. I was still dead-tired, unwashed, no make-up, no jewelry, homeless looking with no glamour or patient smiling whatsoever. She told me to sit and wait my turn.

For 45 minutes I sat in one of 50 empty chairs in the waiting room. A handful of people came in after me, each time taking the seat DIRECTLY NEXT TO ME after having talked to the receptionist. I mean, come on people! In a room full of 49 empty chairs, is it really necessary to try to sit in my lap?! It's called PERSONAL SPACE for crying out loud. Figure it out!! I finally ended up changing to a different row of chairs after I nearly murdered the third person who invaded my space.

Besides, hospitals are full of sick and dying people. Why on earth would anyone want to stand close to any other stranger in there? They could be exhaling invisible anthrax fumes for all you know!

Finally it was my turn. A nurse called out something that remotely sounded like my name (gross mispronunciation) and I jumped up and followed her down a long hallway to a shiny red door. She held my chart in one hand and pointed at the door with the other telling me (in French) that I had to go in there, remove pants and shoes before meeting her by going through the next door which led into the exam room.

I didn't really think that much of it because I went through all these same tests no more than 10 months ago and felt like an old pro. So I wasn't really listening, went into the undressing room to do my thing and met the woman in the exam room 30 seconds later.

When I walked it, it was very dark with an exam bed covered in paper and all the machines plugged in, monitors on and buzzing. Normal enough. But the nurse stood there staring at me kind of funny and the big door which they push gurneys through to the hall was wide open.

I was standing there stark naked from the waist down (minus my sexy black socks.)

I was so tired and stressed out that it didn't really hit me until much later. The rest of the exam kind of went by in a haze.

The nurse got over her initial staring and decided to leave me in the room alone after announcing that the doctor would be there soon. She closed the door on her way out.

Within 10 seconds, the door burst open and in walked a man, obviously the doctor. He looked exactly like an actor whose name I can't remember currently.

I even tried to do a little research for you, people. I swear! I googled "crazy looking italian american actor" and similar type things and spent eternity looking at everything that came up in Google images. I went so far as browsing through a little even though it's pretty hard to find someone when you can't remember what he's ever been in. I can tell you this though, it's not Quentin Tarantino, Jeff Goldblume, Robert Deniro, the other famous Robert Deniro-type guy (*update, SexySultry reminded me his name is Al Pacino,) Joe Turturo or Joe Pesci. He kind of looks like a shorter, younger and more Italian Jon Lovitz but not Jewish, with a thinner build, and longer curlier hair. Narrows it down for you, doesn't it?!

Back to the story - The doctor told me to lay down on the lovely, paper-covered bed. I put my legs in the stirrups (I was trying to show self-motivated courage and purpose in my haste to get all this terribleness over with.)

Dr. NotJonLovitz (but kind of equally weird - might just have been the fact that I was half-naked) looked at me funny and grabbed my knees with a smile, gently guiding my legs out of the stirrups and back onto the bed in a straight position. Then he pulled out that deodorant applicator looking thingy and squirted that cold gel stuff onto my belly.

Awesome. Second flat belly sonogram of the year. Nothing makes you feel weirder than seeing yourself in one of those scenes from the movies with the happy pregnant lady looking at her baby for the first time. He scanned externally first, then took the less-friendly looking, non-deodorant applicator looking thingy, more long curling-iron gone bad looking thingy out and covered it in a condom. He then did the internal scan and mentioned something about right ovary blah blah the whole nine. "You're not pregnant but if you play your cards right, today or tomorrow, you could be!!"


He wiped all the cold gel gook off me the best the man knew how, didn't give me any extra clean towels to do the job right, and left the room telling me to go back to the waiting room.

After waiting for the print-outs and analysis for about an hour, I was sent home.

Many hours later, probably close to midnight when I'd slept a few hours and remembered that I'd forgotten to go to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions, something clicked somewhere in my pea brain as I was telling SexySultry the story. She was crying laughing at the image of me stressed-out, nervously sweating, half-naked in my black socks, unwashed, unwaxed, unfed, sleep-deprived standing in an exam room with the door wide open to the hallway for a PELVIC SCAN ...*not* a vaginal scan.

Ah-HAAAAAAA... All of a sudden the light was going on. Male doctor without warning (usually in France, they courteously ask your permission or at least inform you if you're having lady exams that it won't be a lady doctor.) Open door. No stirrups. Weird expression on nurse's face.

Crazy, stressed out, foreign, pantless, abnormally tall Chewbacca lady standing there in the dark nervously tugging her shirt down the few inches it would stretch below her waistline who obviously understands every word being said and can communicate her needs and issues fine but yet somehow has misunderstood something along the way. Slightly confused slash amused expression on Dr. NotJonLovitz's face. Why is the blond Amazon woman half-naked?

After I got over the intense mortification, I decided to take the glass is half full point of view. Haha, French social medical system!! I just got 2 exams for the price of 1!! (Hey, it certainly cost me in other ways but just let me linger in the delusion that I received a gift somewhere in the span of that day.)

*Clearly, I have a bad case of the blue dots.

Follow Me on Pinterest


  1. i L-O-V-E a good long story....hope you are feeling "all better"!

  2. karen HATES when i post long story, so thanks G.

    (sorry, karen.)

  3. I feel so much smarter now. I like the trend that content is becoming more and more important.I like the trend that content is becoming more and more important.
    CAT coaching in chennai
    CAT training centre in chennai
    Best CAT Coaching in Chennai