Another Visit To Lab Land

The first floor at Mom’s medical center is being renovated and is only half complete.  This has been going on since the middle of last year.  There’s a large new GENERAL INFORMATION kiosk, but no signs pointing to a check-in area for lab work.   As a result, old people tend to mill around aimlessly, bumping in each other or staring with glazed eyes at the shiny new but alien landscape that was their beloved lab area.  The last time I was here in Lab Land with Mom it was pretty much unorganized chaos.  Today it wasn’t any different, including losing Mom temporarily because she snuck off to deposit a urine sample into a plastic cup.  She might have gone to the Wendy’s across the street for all I knew – one minute she was there, the next she was gone.

As I stood at the General Information kiosk, trying to spot Mom’s curly brown locks in the sea of blue hair, an elderly couple came up behind me and the old man nudged me out of the way.  He was short and bald must have been closer to 90 than 80.  I’m guessing his hearing was also impaired because he had a hearing aid the size of an Oreo cookie in his right ear.  He proclaimed loudly to anyone standing within thirty feet, “I’m here for my two-o’clock appointment.”  His wife just hovered quietly behind him, plucking nervously at his jacket sleeve.

“What’s your name, sir, and who was your appointment with,” the twenty-something receptionist asked, giving her jaw a break from chewing her gum.

“Kasachian.  Worzekowsky.” he shouted.

“Which are you, sir,” she inquired.

“The patient.  We’re late.”

She rolled her eyes, snapped her gum once and started banging on the keyboard.  A few moments later she announced, “Sir, you’re more than 15 minutes late.  Your appointment was for 2:00 and its 2:16.  They’ll only hold your time for 10 minutes past the scheduled appointment.  You’ll have to reschedule.”

“Reschedule?  Reschedule?” he yelled, trying to brush his wife’s fluttering hands from his sleeve.

“That’s right,” the receptionist said, staring blandly at the old guy and doing a great impression of someone who really doesn’t give a shit.

“Okay little lady,” he barked.  “How about if I reschedule for… oh, say… NEVER?  How would that be?”

“Whatever you want, sir,” she mumbled as he grabbed his wife’s hand, turned abruptly on his heel and stormed out the front door.

She shifted her attention to me.  “And what can I do for you?” she asked. arching an eyebrow and resuming her gum chewing.

“I’m just looking for my mother.  She’s peeing in a cup somewhere.”

“Whatever,” she replied, completely unphased by my dilemma.  “If she decides to show up let me know.”

Oh I will, sweetie,” I thought. ” I’ll have a nice cup of something warm for you really soon, you little twit!”  At least I don’t think I actually said it out loud.  But then again, I did see her swallow her gum.


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