I have to lie on this bed is the pathology lab for 30 minutes, prone, not moving, so that when my blood is drawn it will have the right measure of calm…
I was ok with this. I can do calm.
I mean, I hadn’t been told until five minutes ago, that taking blood would occupy the best part of an hour, so I hadn’t planned for it, but I like to think I’m adaptable.
‘wait here please, I’ll be back in 30 minutes’ – she is middle aged, filled with practiced nursing efficiency and mild compassion.
The ceiling is covered with faded Disney transfers. Edges yellowed and peeling, I wonder if Goofy is a calming influence. He looks tired. I wonder if Walt Disney knew he was an intentional Nazi sympathiser after World War 2.
30 moves to 60 minutes and I became increasingly convinced that they’d forgotten me in my little dark room, deep in the bowels of the pathology lab.
I feel stuck. I can’t move or the excitation will make my blood unusable. I can’t keep ‘resting’ here as I am already late for work.
I retrieve my phone from my pocket with sloth like calm and google the number of the pathology lab. I explain to the receptionist that I am in the Disney room under instruction not to move and that I think they may have forgotten me.
I hear her before she arrives. It’s the sound of certain steps, fuelled by self assured righteousness. The Nazi’s may have sounded similar while invading Poland. My nurse arrives, with intention and purpose and feel that I’m in for some trouble.
She looks at the bench in front of her and stated “Hello my name is Sarah” to it’s stainless steel silence. I wondered if she was meeting the bench for the first time.
I was on my side and shifted my weight to release my arm for Sarah to do her work.
“STOP MOVING” she screams.
“Ok.. I was just…”
“IF YOU SIT UP YOU’LL HAVE TO START THE 30 MINUTES AGAIN!”
“ok Sarah… I was just getting my arm free….”
“DON’T SIT UP!!”
“ok…” I’m feeling like I perhaps should not speak or move.
Better not speak I decided.
She seems to be a little calmer now she has me silenced.
I stare at the ceiling… thinking how unpleasant this could be for someone who was scared.
Sarah has had a thought “I DONT EVEN KNOW WHY THIS CHROMOGRANIN-A TEST NEEDS YOU TO LIE DOWN”
I forget myself and offer an explanation. “It’s a marker to see if my cancer has returned and…”
‘I KNOW THAT!
Yeah, this would be terrible if I was the type to worry…