Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yeah, I'm That Socially Awkward

I got to go to another doctor appointment. As usual, it was a harrowing experience. This one was not with Dr. Devine but was with another lady. Let's begin at the beginning, shall we?

Making the appointment. Up to this point my interactions with doctors have been relatively limited to juicy clogged ears and the occasional PAP smear, usually done at Planned Parenthood because I am too lazy to find a real doctor, like with a medical license and everything. (That's a joke for those of you who haven't grasped my humor yet.)  I'm used to calling up and giving a few days and times and finding an appointment. Ya know, normal. Well, now I don't call them, they call me. They've really gone Hollywood over there at Columbia. I get a message that says you have an appointment on blah blah at blah blah o'clock. Your choices include: Obey or Die.

"You have something else that day? Oh, we are so sorry. TOO BAD!"
"What do you mean you have a job? Well, given our appointment scheduling you won't for long anyway. See you then!"

So I go in. I tell hot stuff there at the desk that I have an appointment for a fetal echocardiogram. To which she replies, "We don't do those on Wednesdays." Then dead silence as she stares at me expecting...who knows what. Me to give her an explanation? A candy bar perhaps?
Then she says, "I need your papers." What the *&^%? Is this Arizona or something? I get that being a white girl around here puts me in the minority but I don't do that to Mexicans, heck I live with a Mexican from the region of Chihuahua for Pete's sake.

"Uh, nobody gave me any. They just handed me this appointment and said show up. My name is Jennifer Silverstein. Maybe something got mixed up?" After giving me a completely annoyed look that only New Yorkers and Parisians have developed, she looks through the computer and says, "Oh, you have an ultrasound today." I figure, whatever, they got the two test days mixed up. No big deal. I have another appointment tomorrow (yeah, literally the next day) so I'll figure it out then.

I ask where the bathroom is cause it had been at LEAST 20 minutes since I went last. I had about 15 minutes before my scheduled time. I go take care of business and then, of course, get a bloody nose. After filling the trash bin with several bloody tissues and attempting to stay out of the way of the 4 women who came into the TINY bathroom after me, I had to make a choice:
a. Stick some tissue up my nose and tell the receptionist that I didn't bail on the appointment.
b. Keep working at it and hope for the best.
I chose b. About 20 minutes after it started I got it controlled. Now, when someone tells you they are going to the bathroom and then doesn't come back for 25 minutes, well, it gets you thinking. This is what happened with the receptionist. I walked back in, feeling shameful that I am now LATE for the appointment and hot stuff looks at me with complete disgust. I hang my head and sit down.

They call me in a few minutes later, tell me to get naked from the waste down and empty my bladder. Done and done. I hop on the crunchy, paper-lined bed and let the techs do their magic. Well, for the first 25 minutes it is literally DEAD silent. There are 2 techs there (a Russian chick and another chick) and NOBODY is saying a word. I attempted to ask a few questions, "So, what's that? What are you measuring? etc." In response I got quick 2 word answers and then back to awkward silence. We all know I am unbelievably socially awkward, which is why when you ask me to parties I usually say I'm busy. I have no idea how to crack this sitch.

Now, like you, I desperately want to know what these little muffins are (girl, boy, hermi, other). So I ask, "How many weeks 'til you can tell the sex? 16?" To which she gives the long-winded and difficult to understand response of, "Yes, about."

This is where it got weird. She starts asking about why I am doing a fetal echocardiogram so early and if we suspect anything. I tell her its just a precaution. Now, I'm confused. Why is she asking about my fetal echo when hot stuff out front said that's not what we're doing. To be clear, I ask, "What is this ultrasound looking at specifically?" She says, "Measurements, brief look at the heart." Another convoluted and difficult to understand response. Tough nut to crack.

Eventually the doctor comes in, after the techs have been doing their thing (and by 'their thing' I mean making me super uncomfortable and not speaking to me at all) for about 50 minutes. I don't know if this woman, Dr. Simpson (whose first name I REALLY wish was Lisa) was an angel sent from heaven, a vampire using her immense charm or something else entirely but EVERYBODY started smiling and chatting with me like that's what had been happening since the beginning. WTF? She asks a few boring questions and then asks if I want to know what they are or keep it secret. "I am completely desperate to find out" I tell her. To which, Russian tech responds "Oh, you do? It's all girls." I get that I don't always catch all the social queues around me but I thought that by asking when they could tell, I made it pretty obvious that I was curious. I think me and Russian girl need to go to couples counseling to learn to communicate.
So yeah, it's 3 girls. The rest of the appointment was pretty standard. They do part of the ultrasound abdominally (what I usually refer to as a pants-on ultrasound) and part vaginally (which I refer to as something Eric won’t allow me to say on the internet- if you've had one, you get it). The doctor kept trying to make me feel comfortable with my legs spread eagle and I finally had to break it to her,
"Listen, after this whole experience, I am used to everyone and their mom being up there so relax."

She swears I will get my modesty back eventually. I doubt it. Maybe people whose pregnancy journey was normal, but not me. How do you get your modesty back after spending multiple appointments with 4 (count them, 4) people all scoping around your vag at once? I don't think you do. And, I'm pretty happy about that actually.

After cleaning up and putting my clothes back on I got on the elevator to do the ride of shame back home. Well, who should walk in but the doctor? You know that weirdness after you've said goodbye to someone and then you see them again but you don't really know them that well so there's nothing to talk about? Well, do that for 12 floors and then call me.

Wandering Jew Girl C
Girl B
Girl A

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