May I help you?
I have an appointment at 12.
*typing sounds, phone ringing*
Okay, have a seat, you’ll be called back shortly.
Creak of vinyl. Patients shifting, paperwork being signed.
Blinds bent. Highway traffic. Train going by. Notice: Microwave and X-Ray in use. No Smoking. Fire Alarm, lift plastic cover, pull down handle. Push to open.
Phone ringing *please hold*
Shift legs. Creaking seat. Traffic sounds. Clouds on the mountains. Check weather app. Look around.
Please no food or drink. The restrooms are for patient use only. Favor de…
*MA to the front for urine drop off*
The consequences of methamphetamine use. The fake damaged fetus is almost fitting sitting next to random artwork.
The magazines are old and uninteresting drivel about people we’ve made into celebrities. The tv hangs black and silent on the wall.
Watch the semi carry construction trucks down the highway, think of your husband at work, wish he could be here with you. I don’t want to be here either.
*MA to the front PLEASE*
The other receptionist seems desperate to get off the phone. Don’t you know the person on the other side is desperate for answers they don’t really want?
*Dental, line 2*
Look around. Smoke free building. Door opens, don’t stiffen, parent and toddler “I go McDonald’s now?” Remember when mom would take you for ice cream after difficult doctor appointments? I should get ice cream after this.
Indian art. Glass vases. Impressionist figurines. Doped up fake fetus. Notices. Rules. Multiple names, multiple degrees. Copay. Wheel chair storage. Vehicles passing by. Noises getting louder. Lights getting brighter.
Watch other patients get called back. Watch others leave.
Finally it’s my turn.
Vitals taken. Sit here. Crinkle of paper. This space is so small.
Answer questions. Ask if I need to change into the gown, glance at ceiling in the hopes of distractions for what’s to come.
“Actually, you don’t need to change. The doctor wants to talk to you about your ultrasound results and such.”
Click of the door.
“and such”… don’t panic.
Look around. What you need to know about low blood sugar. Dangers of smoking. Stroke. Understanding arthritis. Pain scale. Six. Please refrain from using mobile devices. Do it for you family! How to read food labels.
Crackle of paper. Clock ticking. Baby crying somewhere down the hall. Nurse laughing. Waiting.
She looks happy, that’s good right? Right?!
Specialist. Cyst on right ovary. Calcifications. Free flowing fluid. Bleeding. Rupture. Possible torsion. Growth. Size. Numbers. Big words. buzzzzzzz
“But it’s not cancer?”
“We won’t know until the specialist decides to do a biopsy.”
Not the answer I was looking for.
“Once we figure this out, we will work on the other issues. But here’s the referral paperwork for the specialist, call and make an appointment, and call and make an appointment here once the specialist has decided the next course of action and has more answers for us.”