I went to one of those department store clinics the other day. Something about the combination of merchandise and doctoring seems unnatural. I am justifiably worried that my many happy shopping memories will be corrupted!
*Floyd, the person sitting behind the desk of the clinic, was wearing a stained grey-blue hoodie and jeans. He had a buzzed haircut and rolls of fuzzy skin on the back of his neck like a Shar Pei. He had short, brat-sized fingers with gnawed-down fingernails. I figured he was a delivery guy using the phone. I wait. Floyd greets me and asks why I’m there. “None of your business,” I thought, “and don’t you have some deliveries to make?”
“I have an infected blister, “I state, importantly--immediately realizing how nonsensical “infected blister” sounded out loud.
“Why don’t you have a seat and fill out the paperwork?” Floyd says. Hmm—he must be making frequent visits to the Medi-Mart—he knows the routine. Still…
“O.k.—that’s a good idea,” I say.
When I’m done completing my paperwork, Floyd reappears. Is he covering for someone on a break?
“Do you have your insurance card?”
O.k. I’m beginning to get that this person works here.
“Here you go,” I say, handing him my card.
“Lots.” I list them
“Oh, you don’t have to worry. We won’t be using any of those drugs on you today.” Floyd says. I am relieved that Floyd has enough knowledge of the drugs I’ve listed to compare them with my reported “ailment.” This is encouraging.
At this point my daughter says,
“I’m allergic to furry cats.”
“He won’t have to use any of those on me, though, honey. Ha-Ha.” I say, with a laugh. WHAT DID I JUST SAY (my inner-voice chastises)?? I’m famous for stupid, nervous humor.
“It’s a good thing you’re not allergic to chocolate,” Floyd says to me, randomly.
“Yeah, because-- than you wouldn’t be able to eat chocolate.”
“Oh. Yea. Ha.” Floyd is being funny, I suspect.
Floyd is losing points by the nanosecond.
“Come on, back” he leads us to the examining room.
Now at this point I should clarify. I’m sort-of a hypochondriac. It’s hard for me to let something minor go unchecked. An infected blister, you might be saying, is hardly reason for a doctor visit. I say not so! Hillary Swank almost lost her foot to an infected blister. It COULD happen. It’s always best to get it checked out. O.k., back to the story.
Floyd looks at my foot. He says it doesn’t look that bad, but he’s prescribing a cream. Whew!! YAY! What a relief! Floyd says it’s no big deal! I could have had Soupy, the Dog Groomer tell me that. I am not comforted.
“But what about the red rashy thing around it,” I point. Floyd must have missed that. Here we go….this will concern him…definitely.
Floyd is unimpressed with the red rashy thing around my red blister. I’m noticing he doesn’t have a badge or anything. I think I’d like to see a REAL doctor to assess the severity of my very painful, nearly coma-inducing, festering blister.
“Do you hear that?” Floyd says, mysteriously.
WHAT??? This has GOT to be a joke. Am I on the “How Far Will You Let Someone Dressed as a Garbage Man Go” Show?
“Hear? Hear what?”
“There-that…” I did hear some scratching noise above us.
“Yeah, that noise kind of freaks me out—sounds like a bunch of birds.” Floyd says.
”…or rats...” offers Krista.
O.k. That’s it. Just GIVE me my prescription and get me THE HELL out of here!!
*Not his real name