October 14, 2011

Weirdest appointment ever

I had my cardiology appointment yesterday and the entire experience was a bit unreal.  Jumping to the important part first: everything is fine with my heart.  The doctor said I'm probably one of the 15% or so of the population that has this specific "condition".  It is a very long name that contains the word "blockage" in it and it sounds so much worse than it is.  In short, there is a part of my heart that isn't as electrically conductive as it is in the majority of the population, which makes part of an EKG look a little wonky.  Since I don't have a single symptom that would make the doctor think there is anything even slightly wrong to warrant further testing, I'm good to go on the bone marrow donation.

The rest of my experience was simply "out there".  Since I live in Boise, I really didn't see the need to print out my appointment details.  How hard is it to remember 300 Jefferson at 3:30 PM?  I just drive downtown and try to drive down Jefferson, but I cannot.  A good stretch of Jefferson is a Westbound one-way road.  No problem, I'll just take the Eastbound road one block South.  Looking up 3rd Street I can clearly see the St. Luke's Cardiology sign right at 300 West Jefferson.  I've pretty much been here before.....it is just across the street from the Idaho Medical Association (IMA).  I pull in to the parking lot and go inside exactly 15' before my appointment like the hospital asked.

Problem is, my appointment isn't at this Cardiology office.  Excuse me?  Oh.....my appointment is at 300 East Jefferson.  The hospital has two cardiology offices, both at 300 Jefferson.....just 6 blocks apart?  At some time, somebody thought that was a good idea?

I get to the correct address and manage to grab the last parking space.  Upon exiting the building I pass by this guy sitting on a bench up against the entrance.  The parking lot is completely empty of vehicles save mine and I make an off-hand comment about it.  Once in my vehicle I call Carolyn and tell her the news.  I'm just about to start the truck to leave and that guy raps on the hood.  I notice he has a Kleenex in his hand and I cannot help but to think, "great....now I have snot on my hood."  This guy waves and takes a couple steps down the sidewalk before turning towards me.

Now this guy is a heavier-set hispanic dude sporting a nice neck tatt and baggy clothes.  Kind of a preppy-ish chicano gangbanger.  He looks a little upset.  It's a hospital, bound to be upset people.  He stares at me a second and then asks me if I know where the closest church is.  I'm not that familiar with this part of town (I did just go to the wrong cardiology office), but I tell him there is a Chapel at the main hospital across the street and aside from the larger churches 10-12 blocks towards downtown, I'm not sure.  He thanks me and asks if he can ask another question.

As a quick aside, I hate this particular question.  "Can I ask you a question?" YOU JUST DID YOU IMPERTINENT ASSHOLE!  Ok, it doesn't make me that upset, it is just if there is some requirement to be courteous, which I think is a safe assumption with this inquiry, then wouldn't the very act of asking this question be rude?  That is all I'm saying.....

Instead of getting annoyed in the usual fashion, I think to myself, "Great, this guy is going to ask me to pray with him." Maybe he wants a ride to a church?  Instead he asks, "Have you been saved?"

You have got to be fucking kidding me?  What an ass-hat question to be asking me.  You want to piss me off to no end, imply that your religious beliefs are somehow superior to mine.  I find that very question abhorrent.  What if I was Buddhist, or Jewish?  Hell (pun intended), in this neck of the country I could easily be Mormon.  I almost responded that it was none of his damned business, but I simply said "no".  I could have lied and said "yes", but then I'm just initiating a dialogue with this guy.  In my experience the only way you can "appropriately" answer in the affirmative is if you happen to adhere to the same dialect of crazy-religious that the questioner conforms to.

I'm not trying to delve into religious matters, but I will note that I think I was heavily influenced by my earlier studies in anthropology.  Having read too many instances of missionaries utterly destroying native cultures because the spiritual beliefs that have endure longer than the missionary's religion has, I pretty much hate missionaries.  Enough said.

What happened next in this brief exchange was the really weird part.  This guy cranes his neck away from me while closing his eyes to little slits.  Staring at me from this odd angle he tells me I need to get out of here.  "This is a place of prayer" he adds.  Whatever dude, I was just about to leave before you wiped your damned snot-rag on my hood.

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