Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Going Forward Or Backing Up, It All Feels The Same

There are a lot of days that when I wake up, before my feet even hit the floor, I know, are not going to be good days. Today was not one of those days. Even knowing that my preliminary lab work had to be done, I woke up in a positive mood.  Even though I had to drive all the way to Tallahassee to be stuck with a needle the size of a crocheting needle, anywhere from 3-5 times before a successful blood draw would happen, did not deter my good mood.

Off I go, driving the speed limit. Don't need any tickets. I thought about stopping at the Flying J to fill up with gas. But I had a half of a tank. The procrastinator that lies deep inside of me won. Well, not like deep, deep. It sort of lies right on top. And comes out a lot. Just the same. I didn't stop. It could wait.

I arrive at the Southern Medical Group building. I enter the closed in parking lot and find a parking spot relatively easy. A nice, big, wide open one. The kind that me and my truck can turn into without leaving half of my truck in one space, and the other half of my truck in another.  I gather my things and prepare to get out of the truck. I'm standing outside, start to walk off and remember, I have not locked my truck. I use the "clicker" on the key ring and lock it. Now everyone who knows me well will tell you, I rarely lock my vehicle. I have no real reason, I just don't. But you will never know of me NOT locking it if I have parked in any kind of parking deck. I watch a lot of CSI and I know, people get killed more in parking decks than any other type scenario on those shows.

My truck is locked and I am going inside. The lab is to the right, I walk in, and I am the only one standing to be waited on. I look inside the waiting room to the left, and there are only six people sitting in there. Oh mercy me, this is going to be my day. I sign in, give the pertinent information that is required to prove I am who I say I am and they tell me to have a seat.  Which I have to say while I'm here talking about this, who in their right mind would give false information to have lab work done? Truly? I mean, you don't get drugs or pain killers, you get PAIN. No one fakes being ANYONE to receive free PAIN.

Now the doctor I go to for my blood pressure and low iron is in the Internal Medicine building. I am ALWAYS the youngest person in the room. I am USUALLY one of the few still walking on their on accord. I walk in the waiting room and everyone is looking behind me to see who I might have brought to their appointment that day. Because I have neither a walker, a cane or a wheelchair...and I am under the age of seventy years old. 

I sit there maybe ten minutes, long enough to send my first text message because I am bored, when they call my name. WOW....ten minutes. Cool. I get up, walk to the back and get ready for the worst part of my day. I get a little panicked when I walk in, there are two women taking blood, and I only recognize one of them. "My girl" is not working that area today. I know because I ask where "my girl" is, and they tell me she is giving flu shots down the hall. I'm starting to worry now, because the "new girl" is taking my purse and asking  me to take a seat.

She begins to poke and prod trying to find a good vein. I tell her straight up, I am a hard stick. She asks, is there any particular place you would like me to start? And without missing a beat, I say, wherever you know you REALLY see a vein and can draw blood the first time. And the search begins. Both arms twice, both hands twice. The nurse beside us has seen and drawn four other patients and we're still "feeling our way".

Finally she thinks she has found a good vein in my right hand. I ask her not to 'announce' here comes the stick, I turn my head, and she goes to work. I grimace a bit, the needle is in and she hit jackpot!!! WOO HOO!!! Crazy unheard of for me! She has three vials to take, so it rocks on for 10 minutes or so. She removes the needle, bandages me up, I look at her name tag, thank her profusely by her name, and commit it to memory. For next time.

I'm back in the parking deck, practically skipping to my truck. I pull my keys out of my purse and begin to push the unlock button on my clicker. It doesn't sound quite right, I reach out to open my door, and it's still locked. I do it again. Still locked. Front and back door on the drivers side is locked. I walk around to the other side. I click again, and the back door on the passengers side unlocks, but not the front. I open the door, my mind thinking, "Crap, I'm gonna have to climb over the middle console to get to my drivers seat". My senses catch up with my panic, and I realize, "Silly girl, you can just reach in and unlock the front passenger door manually and scooch across the front seat and unlock your door."

Front passenger door is now open, I climb up into the truck, on my knees, with all of my backside and it's glory, scooching across the front seat. I unlock my door. I begin to now, take my glorious backside and begin scooching backwards to get out.  I climb back onto the step first, then back down on the concrete. I turn around. And two vehicles down, is a ninety plus year old man, watching me. Window rolled down, hand propped on his chin and the door frame...watching. Probably had not seen a sight such as that in years..if ever.

Now I'm a little frazzled. But nonetheless, I'm in my truck and all is good. I drive to the gate lift, the one that you have to put your dollar in to get out of the parking deck, and I can't reach. I can't reach because I have short arms. I try to open the door, and of course, since my truck was engaged, the doors had locked again. I manually unlock it and begin to put my dollar in. I put that perfectly straight, non-crumpled dollar in sixteen times before it would take it. I had half of the senior citizens of Leon County behind me, waiting to get through the gate.

The trip back to Gadsden County and work is uneventful. I get to work and am telling a co-worker about my truck problem, telling her I'll have to find time to get it to the Chevrolet place to be checked. I am not even half way through my story when she looks at me and says ..."Why didn't you use your key?" I said what? Again she said  "Why didn't you use your key to unlock your door, the key itself would still work...right?"

I had nothing left. Not a word. My face had gone blank. My mind, even more so. She walked over, hugged my neck, patted my back, and said 'Nothing personal, but please don't make any major financial decisions today."

So the questions here today are, have we become that dependent on new technology , or am I just an idiot? Is this a part of that whole menopausal 'you'll lose your mind for a few years' thing or am I just an idiot? I swear to sugar, I questioned my ability to qualify for an adult the rest of the afternoon.

But more than any of that, I was really wishing, that if I were indeed, very possibly, entering the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, that I had at least, had the forethought to get the phone number, of that ninety plus year old man in the parking deck. Because by next week, I might not even remember I had an admirer, two cars down!

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

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