So Proud I Restrained Myself

I always say I love being an old fart. Of course, that does come with one qualification—all those medical tests I have to endure to make sure some nasty disease isn’t trying to sneak up on me.
Recently I went in for my semi-annual blood pressure measurement, thumping on my chest and back, and breathing in through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Yes, I was relieved to know I could still breathe. Then the doctor said it was time for another stool test and he started filling out the prescription sheet.
This confused me because I hadn’t had a school test in almost 50 years and I didn’t know why I needed to take one now. Before I could say anything I realized he said stool and not school and it wasn’t the kind of stool I sat on. Well, I could sit on it, but it would be rather uncomfortable, messy and stink.
He told me to go right over to the hospital to the outpatient care desk, hand the clerk the prescription, and the clerk would hand me the packet. I’d take it home, follow the instructions and return it to be analyzed. I am thoroughly versed on this procedure so not only did I hand in the prescription but also my insurance cards and driver’s license.
Of course, a line of other old people were in front of me, ready to get stuck, x-rayed and worse. The receptionist took my prescription and other required documents and told me to sit down and wait to be called. I made myself comfortable and was halfway through checking my Facebook account (I hate missing out on the latest cute kitty photo) when I heard my name being called. Sitting in the cubicle I filled out the paperwork, signing my name and initialing all the necessary boxes.
Up to this point I had dealt with volunteers and clerks trained in expediting paper, and they had all done their jobs amazingly well. Then the clerk handed the paperwork to someone who actually knew something about medicine. That person immediately recognized what procedure was ordered and knew I wasn’t going to be able to finish the test right then and there, on the premises at that exact moment. The clerk had to tear up the paperwork, take the prescription to the lab where a technician would surrender a plastic kit to be brought back to me. At a future undetermined date I would return the kit, a little less for wear, deliver it to the clerk who would then have me fill out the paperwork and afterwards deliver the plastic package to the lab.
I was not surprised. I had played this game before. Unfortunately, the medical staffer must have had a stressful morning up to that point and became a little confused about the situation.
“Does he have the sample with him?”
Several inappropriate and somewhat tasteless responses formed in my brain. I smiled at the clerk and said, “Thank me for not saying what first came to me.”
She smiled and said, “Thank you.”

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