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.
“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.