Last week there was a needle in my arm. Actually it was three days ago- last Friday to be precise.
Dr. Burton assessed me the same way any doctor would give a patient an exam. He walked to me; he smiled and joked, snapped on gloves, adjusted his glasses, and went to work. I went through the “Say-ah’s” and “Can you feel this?” on queue responding and attentive. His nurse checked off all the little squares in the boxes, took my temperature and weight, and helped me tie my gown.
Then Burton set his thermometer down, exactly parallel to the sink, matching the stainless perfection of every piece of area in that room. He was chewing gum, and laughing with me. We were making the kind of jokes one makes at a coffee shop or at the barber’s. He asked me to open my mouth again. I smiled and did so, allowing him swab my back throat with a q-tip. He pulled out a microscope and looked at the sample. The chewing stopped as he focused. White teeth shifted over his lower lip, retreated back in…then came out again.
He looked up and me and said,
Well it looks like you’re all set. Thanks for coming in. Have a Merry Christmas!
The nurse handed me my clothes and soon I found myself walking through corridors, passing nurse after nurse after doctor after doctor after orderly after orderly. I opened the door and the sun hit me; it was warm. I smiled a goodbye to the receptionist and headed back to the office.
It was for my part, the smoothest hospital visit I have ever made.