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MY FIRST VISIT TO AN HMO DOCTOR

I was feeling sick last week so I wanted to go to a doctor to get a check up. I don't really know how to go about finding a doctor, so I just picked the general practitioner who's office was closest to my apartment. This flippant decision ended up having unfortunate results. When I walked into the small, dirty waiting room, I noticed that half of the signs on the wall were in Farsi, and the other half were in both English and Farsi. This was my first sign that this office might not have been the best fit for me, but I forged ahead. The receptionist gave me a stack of paperwork to fill out, and when I asked her for a pen, she literally picked one up, coughed on it, and handed it to me. This was a classy joint. When I finally got into the examination room, the nurse took my temperature and blood pressure, and then asked me if I'd like an EKG. This question caught me off guard, and I replied, "I don't know... do I need an EKG?" To which she replied, "Well, do you want one?" We went back and forth like this a few times, and I kept trying to convey to this woman that she has medical training and I do not. Finally we decided that yes, I would like an EKG. When I met with the doctor, the first thing he asked me was why I'd had an EKG done. I almost lost my shit right there in his office, but I just told him I didn't know.

The doctor was quite old, short, stout, bald, and had learned English as, I’m guessing, a 5th language. He asked me about my health history, my living habits and the like, and when I told him that I work on a TV show, he looked at me like he’d never heard of such a thing, and then I saw him write down that I work at a "TV shop," like I sell plasma screens or something. The doctor eventually decided he’d like to draw some blood from me, which we did out in the hallway sitting on stools. I was starting to feel like this office doubled as this doctor’s apartment because all the medical equipment was extremely make-shift. He was checking off the tests the lab would do on my blood and he asked me if there were any tests I’d like done. This again caught me off guard and I replied, "I don’t know… what tests do I need?" We went back and forth, and I again tried to relay to this man that I have never been to medical school, so I have no idea what tests he should do on my blood. He began tapping on my arm, examining it, tapping it, examining it, and finally stuck the needle in as I held my breath (the nurse who bandaged me up afterwards said he completely missed my vein) He drew two vials of blood, and then joked that he would send one vial to the lab and drink the other one.

We both laughed, but he might have been serious. So its been over a month and they still haven’t called me back with my test results. Every time I call the office I get a pre-recorded message saying the number is no longer in service. I’m really starting to think this doctor’s office was just a front to steal my blood.

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