I had to write about this, lest the moment pass me by, as the story changes every week.
As you may (or may not) know, I returned to my allergist for shots this spring. I had been getting them on and off since I was about six, because I have the most unearthly, horrific case of environmental allergies you’ve ever seen, complete with headaches and rashes and nosebleeds. It’s not pretty.
The allergist I was seeing, we’ll call him Dr. Magoo, is a towering four foot eight, with thick glasses and a giant reflector on his forehead, but he was a good doctor. Hell, he had to be. He’d been board certified since 1965. As far as I know, he’s pretty much the last guy on earth who uses that head reflector, too. Vintage.
When I went on hiatus from normal, pleasant medical care in return for significantly more unpleasant, invasive, and ridiculous prenatal care, I had to bid fair Dr. Magoo adieu. For a while at least.
When I realized I had to return after my childbearingpalooza had drawn to a close, I honestly believed he would be gone. As in gone.
I was quite pleased to find him still kicking, in his original location, and I have been, for lack of better word, frequenting his office for the past two months or so.
Upon my first, ahem, examination, he wasn’t exactly checking out my sinuses. Clearly, a few parts of him that I had doubted were still in working order. I ignored the attention. As much as I’d hate to admit it, this happens more often than I’d expect, and I’m beginning to think I should, perhaps, tuck the girls in a bit tighter when we leave the house.
I was merely amused by this, because, well, given his advanced age, who was I to deny him what may be his last bit of earthly pleasure?
So. Moving on.
When I had my first test (well, not first, more like twelfth), I had the excellent fortune of meeting with Nurse Battleax and She Who Reuses Needles. She Who Reuses Needles was in training, having come from working at a nursing home, which invokes the worst kind of horror for me. Nurse Battleax did her best to lead and guide She Who Reuses Needles, but I do think she was making her trainee a bit nervous.
I won’t go into all of her foibles. Let’s just say the health department should be alerted. Anonymously. Today.
After a systemic reaction (that’s fancy talk for when your throat starts to close up and everyone around you starts running back and forth, waving their arms wildly above their heads, screaming and looking for the stash of emergency steroids), I decided I was going to play by my own rules. Plus, I didn’t want anyone jamming an EpiPen into my neck, like, ever.
They told me, prior to this test, that I should have no (as in none, nada, zero) allergy medication for forty-eight hours, which, for someone like me, is basically like telling a pack-a-day smoker they can’t take a drag for three weeks. Reluctant to comply because I knew the implications (see above), I begrudgingly followed their orders.
After the first test, I decided we’d just skip the meds for twenty-four hours until the testing was complete. What’s a little, teensy, eensy twenty-four hours in the grand scheme of things? My allergies, per blood test, are off the charts anyway, so, using my superior logic, it didn’t matter (see Stephanie’s Medical Desk Reference for other nuggets of clinical wisdom).
Nurse Battleax didn’t like Nurse Who Only Came in on Wednesdays. Nurse Battleax didn’t want me to see her. At first, I went along with this, because, hell, I’m only there for ten minutes, and what’s the difference? But my availability did not accommodate that schedule. I had to go see Nurse Who Only Came in on Wednesdays.
I was sitting in the waiting room this Wednesday, thoroughly enjoying Wendi Aarons’ post about dyeing her hair pink, when she poked her bony, bespectacled head out from behind a door and called me in.
She seemed nice enough.
I followed her back to the room (Let’s call it the Administration Room because it sounds like Situation Room, and I did have a situation there), plunked my cartoonishly oversized Coach bag and equally cartoonish key ring on the counter, as I always do, and sat down with my phone to finish the post I had begun reading in the waiting room.
It was then she pulled a Mr. Miyagi, waxing on and off above the table on which I placed my bag, and told me that was her workspace and we needed to move the bag.
“Okay, fine,” I responded, “I will take it right here, next to me,” I motioned to the floor below my right leg.
“I’m just going to go ahead and put it here,” she said, as she picked it up and placed it on the doorknob across the room.
“Hmph,” I said, looking down at my phone.
“I”m going to need to take this so I can administer your shot,” she said, reaching gently towards my phone.
I’m fairly certain I bared my teeth and made some guttural noise, only appropriate for when two jackals are fighting on the savanna over a Zebra carcass, before I allowed her to remove my phone from my hand and place it in my bag. In the process of ripping my lifeforce from me, she dropped her pen in my bag, and then asked me to retrieve it for her.
I was tickled by her double standard. I looked down into the bag she had unhooked from the doorknob and brought to me.
“Oh, what did you lose?” I asked. “Your pen? Oh, your pen is in there?” I asked.
“Yes,” she giggled, “Would you mind getting that out for me?”
I belabored the process, rifling around, swatting around the bag’s noisy contents, until I got bored and returned her pen.
“I’m going to increase your dose today, okay?” she asked.
“Mmm-hmm,” I, responded, still sore that she took my phone.
“Here’s what I want you to do, okay? Don’t take any allergy medicine tonight, okay? So we can see how this works?”
“Okay,” I nodded, knowing I had already taken my Allegra that morning.
And I got my shot. And I left. And I took my Benadryl that night. And I’m going back on Mondays, if it kills me, until Nurse Who Only Works on Wednesdays retires in June.
Because Nurse Battleax isn’t as bad as I thought she was. In fact, I think I kinda like her.