Another Medical Adventure

I had to go to the local doctor for blood work, a nose swab, and urine test for my surgery next week. I did attempt following my surgeon’s instructions by going two weeks before hand, but the local doctor was on vacation until today. After sitting in the waiting room for a half-hour, the nurse told me to go in. I sat in the chair and the doctor was on the phone, so I did not speak so as to not disturb him. He kind of glanced my way, but did not acknowledge I was there.

He hung up the phone, rubbed his eyes and held his hands over his face for a good five minutes. When he let them drop to the desk, he fully noticed I was there with a vague impression of actually seeing someone. I said “Good Morning”, he repeated “Good Morning” in a monotone. I continued with “How are you?”, to which he repeated “How are you?”. For a minute, I thought we were doing English lessons. Then after a pregnant pause, he said “I thought I was alone. I did not know you were there.” I always suspected I could turn invisible when in restaurants and wanting a waiter’s attention, but it never worked in a doctor’s office before.

He looks over the sheet that the other doctor had given me, get a swab kit, does the swab and then hands me a test tube for the urine sample. BUT, I cannot do it there. I have to run home, catch it in mid-stream, then collect the rest in a bottle of my own choosing to bring to the lab at the hospital. The clincher was that I had to have it to the lab by 9:30 am, but as he was talking it was already 9:10 am. I had to break into his further instructions on how to find the hospital, saying I have been there a zillion times, in order to finish this amazing race I was now a contestant in. Ran home, did the sample, ran out and made it to the hospital by 9:29 am, but did not know where to take the sample.

I found this little old lady that looked like she should have retired thirty years earlier, but was still wearing a uniform of sorts. She was kind enough to walk me over. It was the same place I had to get the blood work done, but the receptionist was anything but receptive. After a long spiel in Hungarian which I tried interrupting to tell her it was all lost on me, she finally went for an English speaker. The phlebotomist had me sit in front of her with my arm dangling. After disinfecting, she stabbed me like a serial killer with the needle. The cotton she gave me to hold over my wound filled with rich red blood in minutes. I had to go to the bathroom. Holding the paper she gave me in my mouth, I struggled to see what I was doing, while blood poured down my arm.

From here, I had to turn in the nose swab, but forgetting it was in my bag, I was sent down to the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor, where I dropped my medical card into the door slot and waited to be called. Then remembering I had the swab, I gave it to the nurse who told me to bring it upstairs, but in my anxiety, I said they sent me here. She had the doctor fill out another form and sent me back upstairs to return it for the lab to process.

Some results will be ready tomorrow, but the nose swab needs to culture for five days. I hope that is not five working days or it will not be ready for my surgery on Friday. Cultures don’t take the weekend off, so I guess I am safe.

1 Comment

  1. …and were you safe? Oh I feel sorry for you. Thank God I am not familiar with similar practises abroad so there is no basis for comparison on my side. However the process you described matches my experiences with lab work pretty much! Though I wonder what the English lesson would be replaced by in Hungarian…

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