Once a year I see my renal consultant to track the progress of my Polycystic Kidney Disease and make sure that I still don’t require any treatment. I saw him a little more often during my pregnancy with Little M and afterwards, just to check that the pregnancy hadn’t had any adverse effects on my kidney function. Next week I’m going to see him again to check that everything is still okay, and get the green light on trying for baby number two.
Anyway, today I went to the hospital to have a blood test, so that my consultant will have the results when I see him next week. I always try to make it my mission to be in and out within 30 minutes, as after that, it costs three quid for the car park. At my hospital, there are two blood test waiting rooms; one on either side of the hospital. I tried the one that is usually quietest first, but unusually it was jam-packed, so I hotfooted it over to the other clinic, running up the stairs and congratulating myself on choosing them over the lift.
This is why I’ve got my pre-pregnancy body back, I thought, smugly. I even caught my reflection in a glass door and thought I looked pretty slim.
The irony of this is about to become apparent.
After overtaking a slow-moving couple also on the way to phlebotomy (don’t worry, karma is about to well and truly bite me on the bum), I managed to get a ticket and a seat with 20 minutes left on the car park countdown and only four people ahead of me in the queue.
When my number was called I went through and told the nurse-of-a-certain-age my details and she got started.
“Is this your first?” she asked.
“My first what?” I replied, confused. My first blood test? No…I’ve had plenty of those…
Then the penny dropped.
“Your first pregna…you are preg…” she fumbled, looking at my form.
No I’m bloody not!!!
“Er, no, but I’ve obviously still got a bit of mum tum to get rid of,” I replied, patting my stomach and feeling utterly crap about myself.
“Oh, I do apologise about that.”
Oh well that’s ok then… It serves me right for wearing a breton top and maternity jeans I suppose…
Meanwhile, the nurse appears to be wiggling around the needle in my arm while banging on about what a handful Little M will be once she’s walking. Thanks for that.
“Is the blood coming out?” I asked, not wanting to look.
“Not yet,” she replied, continuously moving the needle around inside my arm…
Eventually she gave up. “I’ll have to try the other one.”
While she prepared my other arm she asked if I’d been rushing around to get there for the blood test. I told her that I was trying to beat the car park machine, before hastily adding, “but you take your time, I’d rather pay three pounds…”
I’d rather pay three pounds than have both arms maimed by you! I was thinking. I started to wonder if she had sight problems, which would account for both her lack of prowess with a needle and her belief that I was, in fact, with child.
Eventually she took my blood and sent me on my way, somewhat traumatised on oh so many levels.
You’ll be pleased to know I made it to the car park pay machine with three minutes to spare. So that’s something at least…