Anyhoo...there was not a specific time that I had to show up, so I avoided the 8:00 a.m. rush and the lunch time crowd, and arrived at 10:45. It was difficult to find a parking space, because the lot was full, and because two cars insisted on coming down the aisles the wrong way, making it hard for me to pass. There are no direction arrows, and the spots are not slanted. But I know that I was the one going the right way, and those other two cars were not! Actually, there's plenty of room for two cars to pass, IF the ones that aren't you will quit driving down the very middle.
Heh, heh! Joke's on those center-hogging wrong-way drivers, because right after they passed it, a car backed out, and I got that nice wide space near a light pole before they could loop back around. Take THAT! [insert sound of cracking whip] Even though that space was in the last row, it WAS in the parking lot.
Once I spurned the free minibus ride to the door, choosing to hoof it because walking hurts less than climbing minibus steps, I held the elevator for an overdressed woman. I knew she wasn't a patient, but more likely a drug rep. She wasn't pulling a little suitcase on wheels, but she had a bag that I figured could hold samples of samples. We were both going to 3rd Floor, so I pushed the square lighted button with the back of my knuckles. You know, that flat part between the fingernail bendy joint of your fingers, and the main bendy part in the middle. No need to contaminate all my possessions with germs from the elevator panel! Saleslady thanked me again when I let her exit the elevator first. "Go ahead. You move faster than me." Of course I almost ran up on her heels when we disembarked, because she didn't know which way she was going.
I walked up to the 3rd floor lab window and handed over my written lab order. I saw that all the names (20 perhaps) on the sign-in sheet had been crossed off. I signed in and sat, after briefly flashing my two insurance cards and not being asked for ID. There must have been some allergen in the air outside, because the inner corner of my left eye was itching. I am loathe to touch my face until taking a Silkwood scrub with Germ-X once I get back to T-Hoe. But my eye itched. It wouldn't hurt to rub it a little. Which I did, with the back of my knuckles. YIKES! The minute my itch was soothed, I remembered that I had assuaged it with my ELEVATOR KNUCKLES! Hopefully, my eye won't rot and fall out. Even though the button for 3rd Floor is what all the sickies going for lab testing touch.
There was a coughing lady to my left, and a phone-talking lady past her. A nurse came around the corner and called the coughing lady down the hall. Phone-Talking Lady was trying to find out from her insurance where to send her blood for testing. They were giving her the runaround, giving her all kinds of questions and offers that she politely refused, trying to get them to divulge where her blood should go. Finally she figured out it was LabCorp. We used to use them, and they were a pain. Anyhoo...the lab staff listening through the thin walls was privy to that info as soon as Phone-Talking Lady, and called her in forthwith. A grandma and single-digit coughing boy signed in and sat to my left. Then the bled Phone-Talking Lady escaped the phlebotomist, and I was called in.
Let the record show that this blood-draw station used to have one of those 1970s style slick plastic scoop-like light-green chairs with a wooden thing for the left arm like a school desk. Also let the record show that Val, even before making wise choices since February, had no problem sitting down in that slick 70s chair. She did, however, have somewhat of a problem STAYING in that slick 1970s chair, because it was like sitting on a silk sliding rug and barreling off the top of a ten-story giant slide at the state fair. Still, I could brace my feet and slow the slippage until my blood was out.
That slick 1970s chair has been replaced by a bench. A black vinyl padded bench that could easily hold two stars of My 600 Pound Life before their surgery, and three of them if they lived an alternative lifestyle and all married each other and arrived as a throuple and didn't mind getting cozy. Each side of the new sitting bench has a wooden arm platform that swings across like the safety bar on a Scrambler at the annual Labor Day Picnic. Not that the phlebotomist used it to hold Val in. On the contrary. She left them to the side, and flopped Val's arm onto the right one. Not a problem, because Val has good veins in both arms, and spurts blood like fountain when one is tapped.
The problem is, the new sitting bench is at a height for those 10-foot-tall indigenous Na'vi people from the movie Avatar. I told the phlebotomist, as she was tying off my arm with a strip of rubber and drooling over the blue rope that jumped out of my inner elbow...
"It's hard to stay on this bench."
"There's a bar under there for your feet."
Well. There's a bar under there for your feet if you're a stalled-puberty Olympic gymnast, or a veteran touring member of the Beijing Acrobatic Show. But if you're an old lady with arthritic knees, you might just as well try to dunk a basketball from half court as put your feet on a bar back under that bench to hold yourself steady, because the success level would be the same.
I balanced myself in a half-seated position, steady enough for the workmanlike ministrations of the all-to-mechanical phlebotomist. I didn't watch, but I felt no pain when she told me there would be a big stick. My blood must have poured out like a beer on tap (hopefully without the foam) because in a matter of seconds, I was done and holding a small square of gauze over my puncture site. The phlebotomist popped the rubber tubing out of the test tube and fixed it up for shipment and wound some stretchy stuff around my "belbow" (as my boys used to say) to hold on my gauze square.
I only wish I had stuck with my original choice of my sea foam green shirt, rather than my gambling uniform pink plaid voting shirt. It would have been more color-complementary to my stretchy bandage, as seen here in T-Hoe. Let the record show that Val did NOT take the picture while T-Hoe was in motion.
Anyhoo...I was back out in the parking lot by 11:00, the rest of the day still ahead of me for cashing an $11.06 refund check from my insurance, and swilling 44 oz of Diet Coke, and eating a Hardee's Chicken Bowl, and scratching off lottery tickets, and writing two blog posts, and walking in the driveway for 20 minutes while being battered by the ramming of Puppy Jack's nose into my upper thigh.
Retired life is good.