The sound of that baby crying doesn’t sound human. One room over, I can hear the poor thing begging for reprieve from being stripped, inspected and overall bothered. I say leave the damn thing alone but then again I take my kid to the doctor’s regularly. It’s never as bad when it’s someone else’s kid making animal sounds in Tower Grove.
This is the Doctor’s office experience. Signing in and writing down your info for the 65th time. Staring down other sick or fucked up foes. Checking your phone while it struggles for reception like a fish in dirty water. In a way, I struggle for reception every time I go to this place.
High blood pressure.
You name it and I’ll hate it. Going to the doctor’s isn’t as bad as the dentist because they don’t scrape your gums with sharp metal prods but it still doesn’t rank high on the like list.
I wish we could have the doctor treatment they get over in Kenya or back in the wild west days. No white coat. The person comes into your house with his cool looking suit/vest/pocketwatch attire and his neat little bag of tools. It’s more personable. It’s overall just a better experience. He is here to see me and that’s it. I don’t have to talk to some overweight reception clerk or look at 20 other depressed souls. I can see my front door and his face in one shot. Those days are gone. Now it’s military style.
Come in and sign in. Tell us about yourself. Are you dying right now? Are you sick? Do you feel like your finger may just drop to the floor? Are you allergic to five people coughing on you at once? Afterwards, wait in a small room for 20 minutes while the doctor catches up on their far too busy schedule. Read all the scary paper we stick on the walls. Juicy tidbits such as “You could die tomorrow if you don’t follow this 47 steps of healthy living!” Are you kidding me? You could die walking your doggie!!
When the doctor arrives, you are never ready. They look at you blankly and ask you the same questions the sheet did in the lobby. What is this? A memory exam or a test on whether the words my fingers write lie to the words coming out of my mouth? I need something and you got it. Quick.
And then they want blood work. Suddenly, this visit turns into an action film. A stop here never ends without a poke, prod or drip. Nothing is free in life. Insurance or not. The baby wasn’t acting out in that room. This place really does suck. Who is holding me?
My order calls for two needles. A flu shot that I apparently missed into my right arm and another into the fat vein in the left arm. One to make me feel woozy and in need of a candy bar. The other to prevent sickness but cause temporary irritation.
I will never get used to seeing my own blood shoot into a tube. Yes, I have to watch. Behind the scenes of my own body and what that crimson liquid actually looks like. Sign me up. Once I get over being stabbed twice inside 5 minutes in this building, I pay full attention. Who can look away and not feel disappointed they just missed a mini horror reel? They take just enough to not have you pass out looking at it and then ask you to verify the info on the tube that you just gave them. Good thing I spelled my last name because that woman look confused when I said “BUFFA”.
Afterwards, with two patches on my arms, I finally get to leave with my prescription for dry skin cream and another round of pills for my high blood pressure. In the world of medicine, the stronger the dosage the harder it is to pronounce correctly. Americans sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger when they try to say these words out loud. Which makes me think it would be awfully funny for Arnold to play a doctor in an elderly facility? Undercover cop and tough as nails of course but hearing him recite Trizamilinathome a few times would be comic gold.
They don’t want any money but do want to schedule another visit. Sick, dead or alive you are coming back for more waiting, pokes and useless recycled info. I swear the biggest schemers in life are small practice doctors. The ones who treat ordinary patients with minor conditions. They don’t get the trauma emergency variety. I feel like re-routing a car crash victim with one arm to their doorstep just to see how they react. “Put the lap top down and get your Greys Anatomy on woman!”
Into my car and out of the lot. Into the spot at the coffee shop. Where I ask for a drop of black snot. Everything’s more normal now.
Which makes me wonder for a minute. What would these people hear if this place didn’t have my coffee?
Animal sounds in Tower Grove.
Dan Buffa is the co-creator, administrator and writer for the movie website, film-addict.com. He also contributes to United Cardinal Bloggers, Arch City Sports, Aaron Miles Fastball, Voicesfilm.com and writes for his personal blog, www.doseofbuffa.com. He is also a published writer for the Yahoo Contributor Network. Dan is a St. Louis, Missouri born and raised writer with a need to inform and the ability to pound out 1,000-1,500 word pieces with ease. When he isn’t writing or drinking coffee, he is spending time with his wife and son in South City. Follow him at @buffa82 on Twitter and reach him for thoughts, comments and general feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org