To my health
I have become the unofficial test dummy for medical facilities here in Brasov county. In the last three weeks I have been to a general practitioner, the x-ray man, the orthopedic guy, the amputee ward of the hospital, and the dentist.
The gp was easy enough. I hobbled in there on a foot hurting from a stunt too stupid to repeat. If you know me and all the stupid ways I’ve injured myself that I don’t mind sharing, you will understand. Then it was on to the x-ray man. We went to this private clinic called Hyperdia, which was supposed to be much nicer than its state-run counterparts, which, once I got there became absolutely harrowing. I sat and waited with Ed, team leader, in a poorly lit yellow hallway on a simple wooden bench and watched several doctors walk by in pink and mauve bathrobes. Seriously. They were fuzzy. My mother had one like them when I was young. Most of them wore matching slippers. It actually did not occur to me that they were the doctors at first. I thought they were patients, and I remember feeling pity for a couple of the more pathetic-looking ones, like the one who turned out to be the x-ray man. We sat out on that bench for a while because the sign on the door clearly said, “Wait outside! Don’t come in here uninvited!”
Eventually this one lady who worked there said, “Uh…why don’t you just go in?” So we went in. And they told us to get out. So we waited outside. Finally the x-ray man with yellow skin and disheveled hair came out the door and asked me something in hurriedly mumbled Romanian. I looked at him as a chimpanzee might return your stare through its bars if you were wearing shiny earrings, a kind of stunned and quizzical silence. The man sitting next to me said, “What country! What country!” Oh. America. I followed the doctor into his chamber and began explaining to him my problem. He held up his hand, motioning for me to stop trying, and I handed him the prescription the gp had written. He showed me into the x-ray room and told me to take off my boot, and I did so and climbed onto the megalithic device, and he, very gently, flattened my injured heel onto the frigid metal. I tried to explain to him that that hurt. He pretended not to understand.
After a few x-rays, during each of which he disappeared into the next room to zap my foot with his radioactivity, he slouched into the room and motioned me back to the hallway to await results. Ed had returned, and we marveled together as we watched patients unconscious on stretchers without straps or rails being whisked around corners by orderlies apparently running some kind of grand prix time trials. The doctor came back out and, holding the x-rays up to the light assured me that my heel was, in fact, fractured. He kept pointing to this one spot of bone that looked just like every other spot of bone in the picture. I figured he saw something I was to unsophisticated to notice. He told me to go to the ortho-guy and turned to go back to his vault. “But…where is he…?” I asked. “Go! You must go now!” Was about all the help we got.
This is too long. I will have to finish in installments, I’m afraid. Tune in next time for: ortho-guy.