Pardon Me? I Didn’t Hear You.

Hate to say, not a new one today. Considering my tummy troubles, the doctor has asked me to scoop, smear and scrape fecal matter in as many ways as possible. Today I dropped off the final of my two samples at the lab. The technician was clearly deaf and stupid. Here is what ensued in a voice reserved for concerts and family Christmas dinners.

Me (whisper-regular voice): I am here to drop off these samples

Tech (in concert voice opening the bag abruptly with a room full of people holding little white tags with numbers ranging from 35-68): What is in here? Urine?

Me: No (OK, I left it for her to figure out what was in the clear plastic jar)

Tech: Is this stool? What is stool doing in a urine container?

Me: That is what was given to me

Tech: Stool shouldn’t be in a urine container. (Now screaming at the woman who was clearly training her and also sitting beside her) Jessica, this woman has stool in a urine container.

Jessica (grabbing the bag and using her concert voice): Stool?

Tech: Yes stool.

Jessica: What kind of stool sample?

Me: (Took all my energy not to say “goat”) Not sure what you are asking me, but the requisition should be in your system.

Jessica (removing said samples from bag, holding overhead and reviewing my poop): Oh, it is a stool sample. It is OK to have stool like this.

Me: Thanks (??)

Tech: Why would they put stool in a urine container?

Jessica: Because they needed a lot of stool.

Sadly, this is not the first time I have had to endure public scrutiny for medical intervention. I remember the acne days and waiting forever to get an appointment with the only dermatologist in town. He worked out of an old house with the living room his waiting room and dining room his office. A hollow-core door clearly made of cardboard separated the patient from the ‘being patient’. The doctor felt we should all be part of every consult. Lovely chap.

As the people ahead of me left the doctor’s office, we all checked to see if we could see their boils, rashes and the like. It was a game.

My turn. Yippee.

Teenage acne is bad enough… not that I was delusional about the fact that anybody hadn’t noticed (bit too full-on for that), but I was still a teenage girl. What I recall is something like this:

Doc (concert voice): What are you here for?

Me (whisper): Acne (really? Did I have to say?)

Doc: It is just a bad case of teenage acne (as he poked my face – literally poked it). Best thing for it is birth control.

Me: pardon?

Doc (now louder because he thinks I can’t hear him): Birth control, birth control pills. You take them orally. Are you on them?

Me (I was 14): No

Doc: Let me write you a prescription for birth control pills. The advantage is that it will clear up your acne and you will avoid unwanted pregnancies.

I took my piece of paper, walked through the waiting room of shame knowing all the ‘being patients’ would be checking out my teeneage acne and sussing their chances with me now that I can’t get pregnant. Bonus is that they all probably had boils and contagious skin rashes. Catches, the lot of us. For Thunder Bay though, sadly, they probably all were catches. Missed opportunity I am sure.

At least nobody at the stool lab wanted to sleep with me.



  1. Oh my word, I am DYING of laughter right now! I’m sorry you had to endure BOTH of these public humiliations, but boy, you sure got funny stories to tell out of them!

    Thanks for linking up with the #SHINEbloghop!

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