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The Irony and the Agony

Mood: Itchy & Scratchy
Drinking: Sugarey Tea

If I had known that I would be wasting so much of my week sitting in waiting rooms in medical facilities yet again, I probably would not have so blithely posted my little ditty about how much waiting rooms suck. It’s cosmic payback. Such a bitch. Here I was all healthy and cocky, thinking my waiting room days were behind me. Silly, foolish little girl.

I shan’t bore you with the miniscule details of my five days of scratchy suffering. The nutshell version is that I woke up one day last week with only one eye. The other eye was still there, but completely useless and swollen shut. I looked like I had been hanging out with Brad Pitt in Fight Club, all testoterone posturing and yelling shit like, “I want you to hit me as hard as you can!” And then Edward Norton took a big swing and popped me right in the eye and tadaaaa…big swollen yuckiness, kinda like Jared Leto after he got his angelface beaten to purple smithereens.

Sadly, there was no Brad, no Edward, no Jordan Catalano and no masochistic punching going on. Just me, my dog and some poison oak. (Of course, it took four days and three different doctors before someone in the medical profession could narrow it down to the vile plant. That’s why they get paid the big bucks. Bitter, bittter, mutter, mutter.)

The first doctor (in urgent care, you should never go there), he looked at my punchbag eye and did a lot of “hmmming” and then said, none too confidently, “Yes, you seem to be having a severe allergic reaction.” Didn’t matter that I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life. Nope. Sudden and violent onset of inexplicable adult allergies, that was his diagnosis. So he writes me out a little white pharmacy slip and sends me on my way with the comforting words, “Don’t worry. This is as bad as it’s going to get.”

Uh-huh. WRONG!

The next day I magically developed even more red itchy bubbles, all over my face and neck. Looked like the miniature pimple monster sat down and shat all over me. The only improvement was that I could see out of my right eye once again. I started wearing a baseball cap. And girls, I don’t do baseball caps.

The next day I went back to urgent care (even though I already said you should never, ever go there). New doctor, new diagnosis…sort of. She made me get buck naked so she could see all the new itchy spots and did an uncomfortable amount of, “Hmmmmm. Huh. Hmmmmm. Shingles? No. Hmmmm. Herpes? No. Hmmmmmm. Yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. It is a bummer, though, since it’s all over your face.”

And I was left clutching my little hospital gown, stammering, “Uh. Did you say herpes? Because, are you crazy? People don’t get herpes all up on their eyebrows! You’re fired!”

Finally, Doctor #3 (Name: Pan of Potatoes or Pan of Tacos or something having to do with a pan) takes a look at me for about .3 seconds and says “Have you been hiking lately?”
Me: “Um. I took my dog to the beach?”
Panoftacos: “aHA! POISON OAK! Your dog gave it to you.”
Me: “No more Scooby Snacks for that little bitch!!!”

That was a fat nutshell of a story, but believe me, there’s a much longer version I’m keeping to myself. And boring my family to death with. (It involves me repeating the words, “No, really, I look like a friggin’ pufferfish!” over and over and…) But yeah. Moral of the posting: Don’t get all big headed and thinking you’re funny posting about how waiting rooms are evil because those waiting rooms will get you. Every. Single. Time. They’re all out there. Just waiting.

And before you know it, as much as you try to avoid it, you’ll be sitting in an uncomfortable chair, trying to hide your swollen puffy eye with big Jackie-Os, pretending to read a 2-month old People cover story about how Julia Roberts named one of her poor kids Phinneas and watching 1, 2, 3 hours of your life slide away into oblivion while a fat woman in the chair next to you farts on the vinyl and pretends she was just scooting around.


Waiting Rooms: 3
Lo: 0

-Lo, who’s all hopped up on steroids now and just waiting for the irrational rage and excessive bloating to kick in.

Waiting Rooms

Mood: Heavy eyelids
Drinking: Not enough water, I’m sure of it

No matter where I’m going or what I’m doing, I make it a habit to always, always, carry about some sort of writing utensil and something to write on. Sometimes I’m all organized and business-like and have my wicked little laptop along for the ride. Most of the time it’s the miniature comp book that hides in my bag. But sometimes, when I’m desperate, it’s the back of a bank envelope or napkin. Because I’ve realized that it’s disastrous to be caught unarmed. You never know when inspiration will come calling and you’ll need to take notes.

That’s how the previous post came about…I was stranded in one of those mandatory meetings that often happens when you collect your paycheck from some version of The Man. But I was prepared with paper and pen and began making a list of things I was waiting for.

And that reminded me of a silly little thing I wrote another time that I was stranded, waiting. This time it was in a doctor’s office. And I had my laptop along (that was back when it was all shiny and new and I took it absolutely everywhere). So I captured the whole experience as it so painstakingly unfolded.

So here’s a little Waiting Room for your viewing pleasure…

It’s a competition here
so we don’t look at one another
except to glare when someone
gets too close or stares too long
at your game of
The more people walk in the door to the left,
the more fierce the competition
to get in the door to the right.
We wordlessly jostle for the pole position.
We know who has been waiting the longest
and who is in the biggest hurry (that’s me)
and who can boast of the ugliest ailment.
The winner will be the first to get through that inner door.

A tall blonde walks in
but she is not one of the tempting ones.
She wears white ankle socks
and drags a dog behind–
an entirely unremarkable black colored lab
in a blue service jacket.
One of those special dogs that
supposedly opens doorknobs
and lets you know when Jimmy
has fallen down the well.
But this dog doesn’t do anything
except stand in the way and stare
and refuse to sit or lay or
do anything Anklesocks tells it to do.
And she explains to us all (we didn’t ask)
that the dog flunked out of seeing eye school
on the very first day and
I am not surprised.

But now everyone suddenly feels the need
to bond, to talk about it in those simpering
baby voices that people use
to talk to dogs and children and the very, very old.
The condescending googoo voices
that make you want to punch someone.

And I am in a punching mood.
Such a punching mood.

The room smells of sweat and
unwashed t-shirts
and the fat boy across the room
keeps on babbling to the reject guide dog
until even Anklesocks is annoyed and tries to
change the subject.

I’ve just decided that the fat boy and
the sour smell definitely go together when
he catches me staring.
He points across the room and squeals,
“Hey, a computer! Those things are good to have!”
I give him the look that I reserve for
special occasions, but he appears to be impervious.

I’ve been waiting here now for 30 minutes
and I’m not going to wait 30 more.
I’ve spent most of my life avoiding rooms like this one.
Pale and stale with uncomfortable chairs
and too many clammy bodies and hands.
I don’t have to be here. I could just get up and leave.

Except the nurse suddenly appears and is calling my name.

-Lo, who really has a good shot at being crowned Miss Anthrope of the USA.