Monday, January 10, 2011

Part 32: Fault and Fuss

The woman closed her car door and walked towards the parking garage elevator. After waiting a minute or so, the down arrow above the entrance flashed, the doors opened, and she stepped inside for a solo ride. She was still waking up. Six forty-five was too early to be running around on any day, let alone on her day off, but it was for a good reason. She was scheduled for a blood draw, and hopefully today was the day her HCG result would be negative.

The elevator bell dinged as it reached the subway level. The scene that emerged from behind the parting doors left her a bit perplexed. A security gate was blocking the entrance to the main hall. Maybe they just haven't opened yet, she thought to herself. Maybe they open later since it's a day before a holiday. Lucky for her, she knew her way around and had a badge to get in.

The absence of people seemed odd to her, but she dismissed the irregularity and continued over to the main collection center. When she arrived, there was no one around. A sign displayed at the front desk which read: "Push button for assistance. Someone will be with you shortly." Something about pushing a strange button in the absence of anyone else made her a bit apprehensive, almost like she was being watched on candid camera, but she pushed it anyway and waited...and waited...and waited.

She was pretty certain the phlebotomists weren't too busy behind the closed doors considering there wasn't a single soul in the waiting room. Working up some courage, she decided to take a peek to see for herself what exactly was going on back there. To her unsurprised dismay, no one was on the other side. Why would they schedule me for a 6:45 a.m. draw if there wouldn't be anyone around? the woman thought to herself, still not realizing that she had actually misread her appointment schedule.

Determined to get her blood drawn, she walked over to another outpatient center across the street, thinking perhaps it would be open since it was connected to the hospital. Unfortunately, the attempt was just as successful as her first, and now she was becoming a little more agitated. To her luck, someone from the staff was able to direct her to where she could go, though she would need to drive there.

The woman walked back to her car, got inside, buckled-up, and drove a mile down the road to an affiliate hospital. Inside was a small outpatient office that also serviced the emergency room patients, so it was most definitely open that day. Relieved to finally accomplish her three-minute appointment with a needle (after her forty-five minute adventure), she left and headed home, stopping for a coffee on the way. She only hoped it had all been worth the fuss.

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