What a day! I've been pulled, twisted, crunched, punctured, bled and peered at with a blinding flashlight. Then walked two miles home, stopping en route to buy two bags of heavy shopping.
1.30 was my appointment with the chiropractor (never the most pleasant and pain-free of procedures). The dermatology clinic at the local hospital was at 15.45, so to fill in the time I decided to get the blood tests done, the GP having given me a form to have my cholesterol, liver function, iron levels and various other things tested.
When I have had blood tests done before, I have taken my ticket and found there were about 50 people before me. Not this time. My ticket was No 45, and as I sat down, the screen was showing that No. 41 was already enjoying the sensation of a 'little prick'. I read a few pages of my book (A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, since you ask (harrowing, atmospheric, eye-opening), then suddenly it was my turn.
It didn't hurt much but when she asked me to 'make a fist', I couldn't, as my fingers are so stiff from osteoarthritis. She said my blood was coming out in blobs, so for a moment I worried that I had clots in my veins and that my red stuff was drying up as we spoke and I had a sudden urge to inject myself with a litre of red wine. But she got it flowing and I was fine as long as I didn't look. Not squeamish about anybody else's blood, I do feel a little queasy at seeing large quantities of my own leaving my body and filling up a test tube. My dad used to faint if he had to have a splinter removed from his finger. My mother was a nurse. I feature somewhere in between the two in terms of how much gore I can take.
Because the wait for the blood test was so quick, I found myself with over an hour to kill, so I went for a coffee and a bun. Chairs were in short supply in the cafeteria, so I parked myself with two nice ladies, one of whom told me that the previous week, she had arrived a mere three minutes late for an appointment at another hospital, owing to having been stopped at another desk and made to fill out a form, and they had refused to see her, which I found quite shocking, especially as she has to get around in a wheelchair.
Then I had a 40 minute wait in the Dermatology department for a follow-up consultation, having had something frozen off my forehead in December. Although there was only one person before me, they were running late. The nurse apologised, but all I could think of was that poor woman who had been refused her pre-op consultation through being three minutes late.
I finally got to see the consultant. "What did you have?" he asked. "I don't know. You tell me," I replied. He glanced at my notes. "I don't know, they don't say," he said, then picking up his flashlight he remarked, "but whatever it was, it seems to have gone. If it comes back again, go and see your GP." He decided it must have been a solar keratosis.
After this medical marathon, I staggered off to the bus stop. It was freezing. I waited and waited, and hordes of schoolkids kept arriving and massing around the bus stop. I decided I'd never get on and I was freezing my wotsits off, so I set off to walk home and was just between stops when the bus came. Isn't it just Sod's Law? Holding my scarf around my face as I get toothache when my face gets too cold, and my left eye streams uncontrollably, I marched back home, stopping at the local garage store (still called Somerfields but now stocking Co-op stuff) and bought all kinds of stuff I thought my sister might like for lunch tomorrow. She and bruv-in-law are on an overnight flight from Buenos Aires, following their rain forest/horse-riding holiday and will arrive around 1.30 am. Bet they'll be even more exhausted than I feel right now.
And now for that litre of red wine.....