Me: I skinned my hands and knees.
Receptionist [staring incredulously]: You what?
Me [wondering how I ever let people talk me into coming here]: I fell down, and skinned my hands and knees, and they're infected.
Receptionist [looks up my name in the computer to see just what kind of a fanatical hypochondriac I am; finds that this is my first visit in over two years; blinks a few times, sighs and resigns herself]: Okay. Sign this and have a seat over there.
[Note: with my right hand as injured as it is right now, I can write at least as well with my left hand as with my right. The idea of having me "sign" anything is pretty funny; the scribbles I produce bear no resemblance to my usual signature.]
[Insert half an hour of waiting here]
Nurse: Cynthia? Right this way. Step on the scale please. 130? Good, now sit here and I'll take your blood pressure. [squeezes blood pressure thing so tightly around my arm that she cuts off my circulation entirely] Hmm, I don't hear a thing. Let's try it again. [squeezes even harder] Why isn't this working? [taps on stethoscope and tries again] You don't have any blood pressure. [squeezes so hard she appears to be trying to kill me] I give up. The doctor will take your blood pressure.
Doctor: Why is "blood pressure" circled on your form?
Me: She couldn't find it.
Doctor: Oh, that's usually a good thing. Means it's nice and low. Okay, let's take that blood pressure now. [does that annoying arm-squeezing thing all over again, but not as hard as the nurse, thankfully] Hmm, she's right, I don't hear a thing. [repeats, but still can't hear anything] Oh well, I'll just take your pulse instead. This way's cheating, but it works. [puts finger on my wrist and counts] Normal. Now, what are you here for again? It says "fell down on asphalt."
Me [displays hands and knees]: I skinned my hands and knees and they're infected.
Doctor [nodding] Yep, I bet that sure hurts. Nothing much I can do for you though. Okay now, let's get some information from you. Are you single?
Doctor: Birth control?
Me: No. [I immediately anticipate the stereotypical interrogation I always hear about from others - what do you mean, you're not using birth control? Every female of childbearing age must surely be using birth control or else she's be pregnant, because you know, there's no such thing in real life as actually Not Having Sex, or even just Not Having Sex With Men.]
Doctor [surprising me by dropping this line of questioning - it wasn't until after I'd left his office that it occured to me that after having looked at my knees he couldn't have helped noticing my hairy legs, and therefore was probably more prepared than usual to assign me to the category of Must Be Having Sex With Women Instead]: When was your last Pap smear?
Me [knowing I'm in for it now - I really prefer to follw the good old Ralph Reed Philosophy of Gynecology, as in "Just don't let anybody touch it, and it'll probably be okay," but of course real doctors can't be expected to believe in that]: Never.
Doctor: Ah, well you need one! I'll set you up for one immediately, we have a woman in this building who can do it if you'd prefer a woman doctor . . .
Me: [shrugging; the only preference I have is that it not happen at all]: Okay.
Doctor [grinning maniacally]: Your First Pap Smear![I swear you could hear the (TM) in the air after his words]
Me: So can I get an antibiotic for my hands and knees?
Doctor: You know, what I do when I get injured, I take a wire SOS or Brillo pad, I get in the shower and I just grit my teeth and scrape at that wound as hard as I can until it really bleeds, and then you know it's clean, and it's all over with.
Me: [winces visibly]
Doctor: Say, do you know you have a movement disorder? It's sometimes referred to as a "nervous tic." We can give you medicine for nerves, panic attacks, all kinds of anxiety disorders. I absolutely love treating patients with anxiety and movement disorders!
Me: Um. No thanks, that's okay.
Doctor: Are you sure? Do you ever get panic attacks? We can cure those for you real easy, I love treating those.
Me: No, I don't get those.
Doctor: Well, if you ever want your movement disorder treated, I'd love to do it.
Me [wondering how on earth I just got a new disorder bestowed upon me in such record time]: Thanks. So can I get some antibiotics? My hand is all swollen and badly infected. [waves hand at him]
Doctor [looking closely at my hand for the first time]: Oh! You're right, it really is infected. Sure, we'll give you some antibiotics. Here's a prescription for dicloxacillin, another one for a tetanus shot, and take this piece of paper up to the front and they'll give you an appointment for that Pap smear. Have fun! Bye bye!