Today I had a FULL medical exam... I mean FULL!! Something I have never ever had on ONE day for things I dont even worry about...and especially not in a place where I was the ONLY foreigner and everyone HARDLY spoke any English! I thought it would be just "no problem"... as I have grown so accustomed to in this life we live !
I have wanted to do this for a long time (the anxiety around the sudden signs of ageing that appeared out of nowhere prompted me (and of cause the lady at the massage parlour - refer Massage Madness - who told me how weak and stressed my body is...) ... so my friend had the brilliant idea of going the other day ...and I followed her idea and did the same !
Reality ended up a little more challenging (and laughable) than just "no problem!"
First of all - after arriving there - a very well presented lady at the front desk volunteered filling in my form....she asked VERY little info for someone they are about to check head to toe?? ....so while she was still busy with the sketchy info, my mind started to wander...."why did she ask for my husband's company name? He is not even mentioned on the form anywhere? "
"Sorry - may I ask WHY you wanted company details?"
"Name company we search address and mail results"..
"WHAT??? My full report on every single body part I have in and on my body will be send first of all SOMEWHERE to a corporate address.... who knows if it ends up in some office newsletter one day.....or actually... WORSE - it might actually find its right way to the company where my husband is CEO and one of only 2 foreigners - note the sensational value?? Imagine the wonderful insight they will get into my full lifespan of neglecting my health...all the little aches and pains I listed and the minute details of what all my intestines look like??! Not to even mention my weight and height and way too high BMI??? Because if I say FULL, that means I got even a BRAIN scan....and what if they discover there is something a little off there....that might explain a whole lot , dont you think?! By the way - I did get "THE LOOK"..when she weighed me later in the day...and the LOOK needed NO translation thank you !!
But back to my results - Thank goodness I caught that one before it went out in the mail.... let's just HOPE now she understood the part of PLEASE TAKE THAT OUT AND MAIL TO ME !!!!! ME!!!!! and ONLY ME !!!!!!
Sighing a sigh of relief , I realised that my wonderful i-phone has just DIED again, while I was in this serious conversation - not the first time happening...just NO RESPONSE. Again one of the little joys of living in a country where i-phone was only introduced 2 months ago......whenever the software gets updated..the phone bombs out.....UNEXPECTEDLY and when you need it MOST !!
Panic attack nr 2 ...this time because she did NOT ask for my husband's name or number? What if I AM in the middle of some bloodwork, get dizzy, pass out....who will they call?? And my lifeline was my phone at this point...my only contact with the outside world where somebody could REALLY understand me if I see things go wacky in this clinic?? What if I got admitted to a mental institute instead of a medical institute??? How will I get out? They don't even know who to call in case of emergency?? No wonder my blood pressure was too high the first time they took it so they had to send me back later in the morning to check it again (btw - this has NEVER in my live happened before - high blood pressure?!) I took a few deep breaths...I can do this...with or without phone....going back to add my husband's details will send us back on the track of sending the results in some other direction again... let's just forget that they don't even have my full names ...(since my friend made the appointment on sketchy details i left her !)
To the assistant's credit of trying to be complete in broken English - she did ask me "Any complaints?"... I rambled off a few medical matters.... thinking she might be the last person today who speaks SOME English....and it might be relevant....untill she replied "oh- you tell doctor, not me"....Well, yeah...thanks for asking then?!! And for leaving me rambling my personal weaknesses to the reception crowd??!
Let me just set the scene..this clinic is purely for full medical check-ups...it looks like an ant farm with little tiny ladies in white dresses and white rubber shoes....each patient (about 100 on the floor at any given point...moving and cruising in and out of offices with glass walls and some solid doors for x-ray rooms...with a central resting area with couches and TV's.... there is about 20 base stations/ open offices and you get sent between them in random number order and your clipboard follows you.....so the order stays fair and functional !
So before I even got to this crazy maze of mixture medical staff and people longing for longevity..I got sent into the changing rooms... little unsure I turned the corner...saw one door open and briefly saw another one that looked like an exit door...so I entered ...little more unsure how I need to undress sort of right in front of an open door...but I have been through this mind exercise already once this morning when I convinced myself I can do it without a phone...I am open-minded...I am alone here but very brave and I will survive.....I can pull off my clothes right there in public and put it in the locker...as if at the spa...it is after all now the locker room and not reception anymore...and especially since no one else around...why not? Hesitating a few more minutes...I got my mind straight..ripped off my clothes and put on the navy pants...still barenaked at the top when a gentleman casually walked in ...I could hardly squeek out "hi"....as he went over to his locker in the next row... fiddled a bit and then on the way out mentioned to me..."this is MEN's" !!! Oh sh*&@!!!...I gathered myself in a split-second...as if "no problem".....I gave him a sweet smile and very calmly did a "oops...thaaanks??!! And in a MILLIsecond had my clothes back on before ANYONE else could walk in !!
Feeling a bit silly about this misshap - I walked out..double-checked the signs - just to confirm that there ARE NO SIGNS on ANY of the doors..and the ladies change room is actually the one that looked like the FIRE EXIT !
But I have to admit my "little mistake" soon turned into a great thankfulness when I walked into the ant room and realised...rather one guy see my bare boobs than 100 people noticing the 1 foreign lady who happened to be the only one in a navy blue men's outfit while the other ladies parade around in their bright orange kit !! Phew...again...RELIEF I got spared that little bit of public shame !!
For the next 2 hours I sat quietly being shifted around every time my clipboard got pulled and my name called out. Silently watching CNN... since the volume was off and the subtitles not in English...I dared to ask the lady who came past (the same one "assisting" me at front desk - assuming she has the best English) about a story that sort of tickled my curiosity...
"Excuse me - there is one story on TV and I wondered what it is "
" It is NEWS channel"
"Oh, I know - but ON news, there is this ONE story and I can not understand it..."
"um..sorry - we can not change only for you - everybody watch same..."
" I understand - I just want to know the story is the same over and over and I wondered what it was about.."
"It is about NEWS ... we can not change it for you to a story....."
" I know - I just wanna know this one story ON the news ....what it is ABOUT??...they repeat it over and over and it looks like big news...."
"Yes..it is the news...." ...same repeat whole day...cannot change new program...."
"I understand all of that - I just dont understand the English and was curious what they say"
"um - sorry - we can not switch it in English "
I KNOW ... I KNOW ...and the MORE I explain..the MORE the CONFUSION !!! But how can I let it go, if by NOW...the few people around think I am the village idiot - first time watching CNN.....think I can randomly change channels in a waiting room and watch my own story because it is boring when it repeats over and over....
WHY did I even THINK to ask ???!!! Was THAT a bad idea or what?????
And now I have to deal with the reality of explaining myself to the point where people think ...
...oh whatever they are thinking..... I was not thinking....at this point I was just hoping my brain scan is not a blank x-ray that gets mailed to my home adress...(especially since my husband greeted me in the morning "now don't fail your medical exam today ok?!" ......but then again -
THANK GOODNESS the empty brain picture will be sent home and not to the office !!!
And as I walked back to my locker to get rid of my bright orange uniform...I could only smile and sigh a sigh of relief
......this is all over....!
I dont have a picture of all this palava today...but maybe I can put my brain scan in when I receive it - now THAT's A BRILLIANT idea for an airhead??!