Scroll, Scroll, Scroll

Photo By Trin Carl

I had to go to the clinic. Injured index finger. Yes, poor me, poor me. But of all places to go to have it looked at I went to Twin Cities Orthopedics. Which is absolutely ridiculous in size thanks to the Vikings and their training camp.

Anyway, day of, I’m searching for parking. Around and around I cruise through the lot. Then, I was redirected by a security cop who had restricted access to one side. Around one more time and I find the entrance.

When I get inside the clinic, I tell the receptionist about my injury and I kid you not, the woman hands me an iPad to fill out my medical info. An iPad! Not a clipboard where I could avoid injury to my finger and skim through bubbles like I did in grade school. Nope.

I scroll and scroll through questions like:

Do you smoke?

When did you last exercise?

Last Week ?

Last month?

Yesterday?

Never?

I press on the last bubble. Then scroll, scroll, scroll.

The next questions have to do with my family history. This little bit always fascinates me because family history never changes, and if you’re anything like me going to the clinic one or two times a year and filling in your family history so often is a pain in the ass. Yes, Great Grandma Jenkins, who has been dead for the last five decades, had cancer when she was alive and that’s never going to change. Yes, Uncle John has erectile dysfunction and Mary Jane Sue has always had anxiety and depression. Yes, all these things runs in my family.

As I’m scrolling through, I hit the damn iPad with my injured index finger like I’m seeking vengeance on it. And when it still doesn’t comply I’m just about ready to throw it across the room when the receptionist sits next to me and asks, “Do you need help?”

She takes the iPad from my hands ever so delicately and begins scrolling through the questions for me. I feel like a person with a seeing eye dog, and I’m about to ask her if she’d like to take me to the bathroom too when the doctor calls my name.

Saved by the doctor, I think, handing over the iPad before scribbling a signature with my middle finger.

I’m going to look into whether Patients Bill of Rights allows you to forgo the questionnaire altogether.

As I’m walking, he tells me to have a seat in a smaller waiting room. Another waiting room! I kid you not. It’s like I’m getting closer and closer to having my finger looked at, but rest assured, not close enough.

Finally, a doctor and a scribe escort me to a room. Both are fully garbed in PPE gowns, gloves and masks. The doctor asks me about my symptoms, each and everyone one as if I hadn’t marked them down the first time. He takes a look at my finger and says Arthritis. The scribe takes a second to note this comment on her laptop that is anchored on a movable stand. I look down at my crippled finger and rubbed it soothingly like I would a baby. “It’s just arthritis,” I say with a sigh. Great Grandma Jenkins, who has been dead for the last five decades, had cancer when she was alive and that’s never going to change. And, Uncle John had erectile dysfunction and Mary Jane Sue had anxiety and depression. And you finger-you have arthritis.

I write Theater reviews and literary fiction. Find my blog, theglobaldig.blogspot.com