X-ray

Lately I’ve been having more doctor type appointments than normal. Normal being a pretty constant point of (0,0) on the x and y graph. This post was written a few days ago, as a slightly petty venting of my feelings for the medical system which I normally don’t even notice. Two disclaimers: My health is just fine, thank you, and yes I’m grateful for the health care Canada has.

Today I had to go get an x-ray done at the hospital, which not including Dentist appointments, was my first time having anything x-rayed that I can recall. It was a slightly surreal experience. Although far from scared, I was very much aware of how vulnerable the entire procedure made me feel.
Firstly, you have to be at the mercy of the staff for what time things happen at. Without a family doctor the health system of this province is pretty annoying. A lot of places seem to cling to same day service, with specific procedures surrounding appointments. Either you can only place them via phone or you can’t place them at all, or what have you else. In other words, you have to take an unknown amount of time out of your schedule and hope that it works out- it’s rather hard to plan around. But is your time more important than that of the Doctors’, and ultimately, your health? Hah.
Then there is the matter of impersonal speed. Far from the chummy doctor out of cartoons, sitting you down to talk to you. “This sounds weird, but touch your toes,”he said, running his hand down my spine then- even as I straightened- he diagnosed me with, “Scoliosis.” Since they are professionals trying to get through as many people as quickly as possible it’s an in and out service which leaves me feeling a bit dizzy, and still formulating the questions I want to ask even as I’m told where to go to schedule my next appointment.
And then during the x-ray, stripped and curtained in shapeless, medicinal feeling, scrub-shirt-robe-things I had to lie in a concrete room, controlling my breathing and holding poses while the machine clicked away. In the lowlight pallor of the harsh, artificial room I was amused-perhaps a little gratefully bewildered- to notice that someone had put a crucified Jesus, a brutal symbol of love, above the door. It was a ludicrously personal touch in the otherwise cold room.

I feel kind of detached from it. I’m not worried about my back, though I think other people might be. I hope they aren’t. I feel nervous in waiting rooms, but not for myself. Rather, for that strange feeling of having briefly left my own life to be pushed and prodded at, then rewarded for jumping through the hoops with a slip of paper or some pills.

I don’t want this to sound whiny- I’m trying not to whine. The health system makes me feel small, that’s all. Really though, I just want this whole thing to be figured out so I can do stretches or swallow pills, then get on with the last year of school.

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