Dear Blood Test Lady,
It is ten minutes until the end of your day and I stroll in, seeming all casual and the like when you direct me to take a seat ‘someone will be with you when they can’. I scour the room quickly and locate one other person waiting, and I take a seat politely to the right of her, sitting one seat over so as not to disturb her comfort. My crinkly shopping bag makes a loud noise as a I try and gently as I can, place it on the floor between my feet, and then move it to the seat beside me. I feel uncomfortable in this small room, and get up to collect a trashy magazine from the careless pile.
The other lady is called first and she rises with elegance and drifts into the room. You come back out and call for me, asking for my slip from the doctor in a bored voice, your eyes not even daring to meet mine. As I attend to the desk I ask ‘can I book in for another blood test while I am here’ at which point you abruptly talk over me at the end of ‘I am here’ and say in a harsh voice, ‘depends on when and what FOR’. I am take aback by the sharp reply and grabble for my bag… oh no I left it back at the chair! I race back to the waiting chair to locate the slip and bring it back to you.
‘Medicare card’ you request in a lulling, annoyed voice.
‘Oh, sorry’, I proclaim and make my way back to the chair upon which I left my bag to locate my purse.
The transaction concludes and you allow me to make a follow up appointment. Your tone does weaken a little after you see my script for ‘lithium test’ but perhaps that is just in my imagination.
Because today is a big day for me. Today I start my new medication. And I just need a bit of kindness and understanding that this may not be the easiest of times, this point of transition. I know that the time I arrived was perhaps not the most courteous, but I had to wait for my husband to return home (early) from work to look after our baby so that I could come and visit you.
You are one of the most important transactions for my day. So please be gentle with me again on Friday when I return for the follow up test. For I have a long line of these tests that I will require over the next few weeks to check my lithium levels and I wish for them to be more pleasant than today.