I confess that I was not in the best of moods when I went to this appointment, because I am in the middle of a flare-up that is just completely kicking my ass. As in, I refuse to look at myself in any mirrors as I pass them by so as not to scare myself by accidentally glimpsing the dark, sunken-in craters that my eyes have become, and also because it is almost to the point where just LOOKING at my skin hurts as much as if it is actually touched. THAT kind of flare-up.
(And speaking of being touched, WHY?! did I ever think it would be a good idea to go and let someone stick needles into said delicate skin, ESPECIALLY in the middle of a flare-up? People are all concerned about monitoring my medicines, but where was the monitoring when I was all, “Hey-you know what would be cool? Paying someone to jab me with lots of needles every week. WHERE WAS THE MONITORING THEN, PEOPLE?!)
But I’d already canceled this appointment twice, so part of me just wanted to go and get it over with. But I was not happy about it.
So I was lying there on the table, even more not happy about things now that I was full of needles, when the assistant led another patient to a cubicle two doors down from mine.
And then, as soon as that guy’s ass hit the table, he began an e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y long, annoying, and drawn out conversation with someone about whether or not his school was going to have spring break (hello, HAVE YOU HEARD OF LOOKING THINGS UP ON THE INTERNET?!), and then yet another conversation about something that happened to someone somewhere on some playground, and he said, but then they said, and, oh, well what did they tell you, and, and, and, AND! literally, except when it was absolutely necessary to draw breath, this man DID NOT STOP TALKING until the doctor finally (Finally! THANK YOU GOD!) stepped into his cubicle.
I couldn’t hear what the doctor said, because, UNLIKE SOME OTHER PEOPLE I COULD NAME, he knew how to speak in his “inside” voice.
But whatever he asked Loud Cell Phone Man unleashed a flood, nay, a TORRENT of words that could not be stopped, until they crashed right through my curtain and into the wall of my treatment cube.
(Important Side Note: I don’t have an audio recording of this guy, but when you read this paragraph, just remember how it sounded when you would take your old 45 rpm records and then jack them up to play at a higher speed.) “Well, they’re saying that I have really high blood pressure. I don’t know why. They gave me this prescription for blood pressure medication. Because they say that my blood pressure’s really high. But I don’t understand why they’re saying that. So I haven’t taken it. Because I don’t understand why they say that my blood pressure’s high.”
More words I couldn’t hear from the doctor, and then some words I ignored from LCPM.
But then, after a little while, I heard this: “Well, I guess it could have something to do with all the energy drinks I drink.”
The doctor: “How many do you drink?”
LCPM: “Um…well…2 or 3 a day.”
OH, Loud Cell Phone Man. I know that tone. I’ve used it myself to try and find a way to make bad things not sound quite so bad. So unfortunately, I know that what you actually meant was, “At least 3. And probably 4.”
So I laid there a little while longer, wondering when someone would come and un-stick me, and then I heard this: “Well, it could have something to do with the amount of coffee I drink.”
I snorted again, louder this time. Although not loud enough to be heard over LCPM’s unwilling confessions.
The doctor: “How many cups do you drink?”
LCPM: “Um…well…2 or 3 a day..”
Me (translating in my head): OK, so, at least three. Most likely four.)
And then I got distracted again by the voice in my head that was yelling, “OMG, TAKETHESENEEDLESOUTNOWORIWILLDIEEEEEEEE!”
But then, just seconds before the assistant came to free me, as if to reward me for my fortitude in enduring that day’s treatment, not to mention my restraint in not giving Obnoxious Talky Man some more serious medical problems to deal with than high blood pressure, I heard this:
“Well, it could have to do with how much I smoke.”
And then, as I lay there chortling with glee, I repented of the fact that I ever doubted that my acupuncture sessions would bring me some much-needed relief.