Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pricked, prodded and preoccupied

Another hoop I have to jump through to volunteer with wee children is having a tuberculosis test. I always associated TB with eighteenth century writers, but apparently it's having a comeback tour in our schools and hospitals. So I made an appointment with a low income clinic downtown and went down there today. In the course of two hours I was:

1. Seen by 4 different people
2. Stabbed by three of them
3. Reassured my blood sugar level is perfectly normal--no diabetes (woot)
4. Ditto high blood pressure (double woot)
5. Robbed of blood for a cholesterol test
6. Given a TB test which involves a clinician inserting a tiny needle under my skin and then blowing it up like a balloon, or a science fiction movie. I'm sure there was some kind of medical reason for doing this, but then again it could just have been "hey, look at this cool thing your skin does!" If I do not have TB the bubble is supposed to go away. If I do, it will get harder and bigger. Right now--it's gone. So much for me retiring to a sanitarium and reading the plays of Henrik Ibsen.

So I have an owie on my inside right arm, my left shoulder, my left finger and my left forearm. I only saw the doctor for about ten minutes. I was really impressed with how efficient these people are, but at the same time it was a little disconcerting at being shuffled around so efficiently. I also felt very out of my league because almost everyone there was Hispanic and more than half had a baby(ies) or small children attached to them. (as Extremely Efficient Clinician #1 took my weight (their scale is broken, btw) another one weight a brand-new baby who was six pounds (six pounds!!! awww!!!) causing me to lean over for a look and prompting EE #1 to swat me on the arm and tell me to stand still.) I learned a new word tonight--CONSULTARIO! Which is a much cooler word than "exam room."

I'm relieved everything looks okay. I will return on Saturday to find out about my TB bubble and my cholesterol test. Meanwhile I'm feeling a little better. Migraine on Sunday was followed up by a bout of stomach flu on Monday and yesterday I worked thirteen hours.

I had a really bad moment this morning--probably due to the fact I was lightheaded (stomach flu+not eating=light head) and was wondering how to pass the three hours between working and my appointment. An image of a bookstore with a coffee shop flitted into my head and I thought hazily "oh, I'll...just go there..." I'd been there a lot even though I'd never had coffee there, but I figured I could get a paper or...and then I realised the bookstore in my mind was actually the Waterstones right off of Trafalgar Square. Where I used to kill a LOT of time.

I carried that with me all day, very cranky, very upset at my life right now, only to arrive home to an email from a company inviting me to interview with them for a stage management position (paid) and a voicemail from a temp agency about a REAL job.


Premiere girl said...

Woooooooo!Great news! Healthy, job prospects and theatre money!

Laura said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better. It's interesting you should mention the TB test because I had to have one and often people become carriers of TB while in Romania without actually getting it. Today one of my friends told me the story of her pregnant friend who just immigrated to the US and had to have a TB test - it came up postive and her Romanian doctor said it could be a reaction to the pregnancy but the American doctors were convinced she had TB. They said the only way to know for sure is by giving her an x-ray - which they did - twice because the first one was inconclusive. I couldn't believe it because my first reaction was We don't x-ray pregnant women in the united states (which I know from the movie Maria full of grace) but apparently that's only true in airports.
Congrats on the job prospects!

Phillip said...

Wow healthy is good. I know about being jabbed and poked....

I have to have a blood test every three months :)