Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ur in trouble, missy

I always think twice now before I pen a post on a visit to the hospital for an ultrasound scan. After my last post on the subject, I was flooded with email, texts and messages on Facebook – 80% of which bore the words “Good news?!”

I have just two things to say to those "well-wishers":
1. Such “news” at this point in my life would hardly be “good”.
2. In case you were wondering why you never heard back from me, I’ve read that the use of the interrobang (?!) denotes a rhetorical question.

I have come to loathe ultrasounds given my rather bizarre experiences with the people handling them. This time around, I showed up bright and early, hoping to beat the queue of techies who invariably arrive on a Saturday for their company-sponsored medical checks - proudly flaunting their stool samples while fumbling with precariously balanced urine samples. You know you're in Bangalore when people around you are pulling stool and urine samples out of laptop cases.

The woman behind the desk beamed kindly at me when I presented my scan requisition form. I beamed back, thinking nothing of it until I plonked myself on a plastic chair near here. “Sit on the cushioned sofa, ma. You will be more comfortable, you know”, she said gently before casting a not-so-discreet glance at my belly and beaming. Oh, Lord. The beamer thought I was pregnant.

Do no single, non-pregnant women have ultrasound scans these days?

I sat there for an hour, glugging down water every five minutes. I did not want a repeat of the “Is your bladder full experience”. An hour and three chapters of Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue later, I had a bladder that would bring a tear to any good radiologist’s eye.

“Basically Blah?”


“So sorry, ma, but the machine is out of order. Can you come back after two hours or on Monday?”

Great. So much for gloating over my scan-worthy bladder. It was now reduced to a plain case of bloating. And when you gotta go, you gotta go.

I did what anybody, who shies away from hospital loos, would do. I called KO who lives nearby. A friend in need is a friend indeed and all that. Or so I thought. However, this is KO we’re talking about. The one who insists on burying her phone in a bag so large that it also doubles up as a cover for the Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium during the rains. In fact, if you are in Bengaluru and spot a bag with legs - that's KO.

There was no answer to my desperate calls.

I finally drove back home at top speed, hazard lights blinking, horn a-blaring et al. This was an emergency as good as any other.

Hardly five minutes after I had sighed with relief, my phone rang.


“Hello, ma. The machine is working. Can you come now?”

“I can get there in half an hour,” I said in dismay.

“Come with a full bladder, ok?”

Absolutely. Why don't I just swing by the local supermarket on my way there and pick you up a nice full bladder?

I drove all the way back, downing gallons of water on the way with the AC on full blast while saying “Ssssssssssssssssssssss” – hoping something or everything would do the trick. Classless. Absolutely classless. But desperate times called for desperate measures.

Is there a God? I cannot say for sure. However, this is certain: There is @$#@$ Murphy and his @#!@$ law.


  1. full bladder woes!
    i am always eagerly waiting for your posts! so fresh, full of humor together with a great writing style!

    this post was no different! loved it!

  2. laughed out loud for this one! I hope you got a dog leash that 'yours truly' can loop her phone in and then loop around her neck, might be the only way she will pick up her phone :D

  3. @SEPO: ¡Muchas gracias! :)

    @Sangu: I second that! I also want to attach a foghorn/amplifier to her phone. Even the deaf couldn't miss the ringing then! In fact, you know what she needs? Those only dialing-type landlines we used to have in the '80s, which went "brrrrringgg, brrrrrrriiiing"

  4. Bladerdash eh? :P

    Lovely little mental world you have :)

  5. @NG: LOL @ Bladerdash.

    One's world is only as mental as one perceives it to be. But then again, you'd know all about that, wouldn't you? :)

  6. U hv bladderdash's even during telecons if I remember correctly...BTW did KO also have a run with the UltraSound and bladderdash? Cos she asked me if she could use the loo at my place...Altho I was sitting n wondering y she would go through the pain of getting to the airport then endure a flight n then a drive to my place when she could hv used the umpteen number of loos she could have found on route...

    Which also brings me to a question for u...Were there no decent looking establishments where u could hv popped in n made a dash to the lady's room or was your throne beckoning you with melodious tones?

  7. @Terror: KO has a penchant for random people's loos..she will go the distance, so to speak.

    As for me, I didn't want to waste time playing the charade of visiting an establishment to eat/drink and then nipping into a dirty public loo.

    P.S. Should I be disturbed that you keep track of my err..movements so closely?

  8. OMG! love ur sense of humor. And u know whats even worse with me? My bladder just doesn't get full. Ppl are demurely sipping small glasses of water in the waiting room and I'm a greedy hippo drinking by the gallon and then they skip ahead of me bcoz my bladder aint full. I hate USGs, why cant they make it easier?

  9. @Sandy: Danke! And yes, I totally agree - there has to be another way for USGs! We should probably begin a signature campaign ;)

  10. Omg! Can you imagine her walkng aroung with the brrring brrring phone, even then I suspect other people will be picking it up for her :D

  11. The last time I went for one, the Nazi lady insisted..out LOUD..that my bladder was not full enough 'cos apparently I didn't look adequately uncomfortable! I started laughing and every loser in the room there thought I had lost my marbles!!
    Wonder what criteria they need to satisfy prior to being appointed into such jobs! Sheesh!

  12. @BB and Sangu: Stop sullying my "saintly" reputation!

    Also, I'm sure I'd talk through the din of the 'brrring brrring' phone as Sangu guessed, forcing a total stranger into becoming my reluctant PA of sorts.

  13. @Smriti: How is one supposed to "look uncomfortable enough"?! Do the duck walk? Annoying people!

    @Kaotic: Sangu and I do hereby solemnly dedicate "Telephone" by Lady Gaga & Beyonce to you.

    "Call when you want,
    but there's no one home,
    and you're not gonna reach my telephone!
    Out in the club,
    and I'm sippin' that bub,
    and you're not gonna reach my telephone!"

  14. BB: Haha, quite apt my lil gremlins.

  15. swear to god I hate the "full bladder" routine and I have had my fare share of them, if truth be told!

    A good and succinct narration!

  16. @Kaotic: Muahahaha :)

    @Aashish: Lol. Et tu, Brutus?!

    Thank you :)


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