A Medical Misadventure

by misslampa

Here in the Philippines, we seem overly fond of medical check-ups. I’m just a few months shy of 28, healthy as a bee, if I may say so myself, but I’ve already undergone about 10 of these medical check-ups. And that’s not counting those I had to go through when I was still too young to remember. I just remember having to undergo routine medical and dental check-ups every year from the time I became a 4th grader until I graduated from high school. Back then, I welcomed it. It’s a legit excuse to be pulled out of class, after all.

Before I entered the university, part of the requirements was to  allow one of their doctors poke her nose into my business as well (complete with a chest x-ray and a breast exam) so that she can declare to anyone who’d care to ask that I wasn’t contagious in any way. After college, I had more elaborate medical tests – once every year for every company I worked for – and by then, it had stopped being fun because I had to pay for them myself or undergo them during my free time.

I don’t get our penchant for it, really. It’s not like we have a surplus of drop-dead gorgeous doctors. The last I checked, we’re not in Grey’s Anatomy.

So imagine my excitement after finding out that, for the sake of a student visa, I have to undergo another one of these medical tests. And it was going to be the more stringent kind because I wouldn’t be allowed to leave the clinic until I was done with everything and I couldn’t bring anything with me in advance. What fun!

But alas, it had to be done. So off I went to the embassy’s accredited medical and radiology clinic in Makati to get it over and done with. Because I’m a pro at this, I had enough sense to eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and drink about a liter of water before I left my house. Anything to make sure things take their natural course and that they do so as fast as possible, if you know what I mean.^^

So there I was, feeling high and mighty because I came prepared. Upon entering the clinic, I saw a sign that said something like this:

Fire Drill scheduled at 9:30 a.m. today. Everyone must participate. Operations will be interrupted. We apologize for the inconvenience.

And as if that wasn’t clear enough, the receptionist kindly told me as she was giving me the forms that the fire alarm could go off earlier or later, so we had to be always ready to vacate the premises.

I calmly filled out the forms, knowing full well that should the alarm go off, all I had to do was get my shoulder bag and sprint out of the building.

And while the nurses took note of my height and weight, I thought, “If the fire drill starts any minute now, I won’t mind running out of here barefoot and without my things.”

But when the nurse asked me to pee in a cup, I began to panic.

And the panic never left me.

Not while I was locked up in the restroom, coaching myself to pee much (half a cup!) and pee soon.

Not while I was hurrying to secure the contents of that cup with a lid so I could submit it to the nurse right away because God knows if that fire alarm goes off before I turn in my urine sample, my bladder won’t forgive me.

And not while I was dressed in nothing but a short lab gown, waiting to have my physical exam. All the while, I was asking the universe to please, please give me enough time to finish this and change into my clothes again before the fire drill starts. I’m no exhibitionist and I’m a teacher with a reputation to keep, please look kindly upon me.

Thankfully, no alarm went off as I breezed through my physical and had my chest x-ray. I got dressed and submitted all forms to the receptionist. Ah, all is well with the world again.

Then my stomach grumbled, reminding me that there’s one more sample I have yet to submit – and that I must submit it soon or else. I told the receptionist about this as calmly as I could, but  all she did was walk me out of the clinic while saying, “Don’t worry about it, ma’am. Such a sample is not and will not required of you.”

And just like that, the world started to seem crappy again. Yikes.

4 Comments to “A Medical Misadventure”

  1. Wahaha! It’s so unfortunate that the fire alarm did not ring when you were in a hospital gown :p Ang saya siguro nun. Hehe ^_^

  2. “I’m a teacher with a reputation to keep, please look kindly upon me.”

    Not in my book. Kidding! :)

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