I’m led out of the Exam Room and pointed towards the tiny lab room.
The same lab I had a panic attack and nearly fainted in last year after the lab tech said she was prepping for my tests by tying a band around my arm and pulling out a half dozen empty vials and a needle twice the size of said arm! Thankfully, they had another patient in there when I arrived, so I had a few seconds to compose myself befo…
“Hey, you,” a voice shouted as I suddenly felt someone staring at me while I was scrolling on my phone. “I asked you: ‘what are you here for’… ahem, I mean, ‘sir’” (nice save, lol).
She calls me into her tiny lab room, takes the pink folder the doctor gave me out of my right hand and tells me to have a seat. She can see I’m anxious about this, but, obviously, she’s a professional. She knows what to do in situations like this.
“Are you… ok,” she asked with that familiar mix of disgust and contempt as if she “had to ask” but was clearly afraid I’d answer her. However, before I could, she rolls her eyes and snapped, “I asked if you are okay…um, sir” (not quite as convincing, but she’s trying).
She then turns around, flips through the folder, rolls to the desk, pulls out a disclosure form and shoves it in my face while rotely explaining how I agree to pay a $10 “convenience fee” for the privilege of getting the work done in house (so, I’m paying for the doctors’ convenience? Yeah, that totally sounds fair).
“If you don’t like it,” she said exasperatedly, barely looking up from pulling needles and vials out of the cabinet next to her. “You can go to any lab you want and pay whatever they want to charge you. We aren’t charging you to see a lab elsewhere – THAT’S why it’s a ‘convenience fee.’”
That argument makes no sense. I wish I could remember my exact reply, but I do remember asking if she heard that odd “echo” in the room as she seemed to say everything twice.
She takes a breath, shoves a grimy squeeze toy into my hand and snaps: “If you would a
nswer my question the FIRST time, I wouldn’t HAVE to repeat myself. So, STOP IT… sir.”
Yes, a 1.5 second auditory processing delay can just be turned off – like a light switch. It’s a neat little Aspie trick… but it doesn’t work, and people yelling at me for having it only makes it worse.
“Now, hold still. You can close your eyes. You can look away. Whatever you want, just keep still.”
I close my eyes and turn my head as far left as it’ll go since last year’s accident, grip the grimy squeeze toy and try to avoid thinking about…. SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY THAT HURTS!! Yes, I felt every millimeter of it and every pulse the needle made.
As a red film drips away from my eyes (like someone thrown blood in them), I could feel a light slap on my arm: “I SAID, ‘RELAX YOUR ARM.’ RELAX IT…sir.”
That was it, my vision slowly returned to normal and my ordeal was over. It was off to the checkout window (a whopping 15 feet away) to pay the co-pay and that was all… that I can remember as I’m posting this four months after the fact, but, as the title suggests, I’m pretty sure I forgot about laundry (which was never actually solved).