Thursday, August 11, 2022


Per ancient tradition I treat myself to a pack of ciggies after hospital visits and lab work. This was established a few years ago when immediately after leaving Saint Mary's I headed over to Chinese Hospital to pick up Clopidogrel at the pharmacy, then immediately went up the street for a smoke and a cup of coffee. It having been a while then since a puff.

Same year, after five days in the ICU, three praescriptions to fight things growing in my guts because of a vapourized appendix, again, not surprisingly, I needed caffeine and a spot of nicotine. Since then everytime I have tests or lab work it's the same routine.

Especially when there are blood tests at the 抽血室 on the main floor. Fast for ten to twelve hours beforehand, no coffee, no tea, and, very capably, not even the sensation of a pin prick. Over and done with in less than a minute, sixteen hours after my last cup of coffee.
Even more amazing, I acted fully human. I'm proud of myself.
See, I can do it.

斷層 (CT) 掃描 ('tuen chang "si-ti" sou miu'; tomography)
甲狀腺 ('gaap jong sin'; thyroid)
甲狀腺掃描 ('gaap jong sin sou miu'; thyroid scan)
甲狀腺超聲 ('gaap jong sin chiu seng'; thyroid ultrasound)
驗血 ('yim huet'; blood tests)

The most interesting thing was the sputtering hispanic gentleman having a tantrum in radiology because he had to wait. Everyone had to wait. There had been a medical emergency which of course had taken precedence, and everyone else was patient, having roped cows at this rodeo before, and accordingly budgeted time. Which they probably don't do in the Spanish speaking part of the world where everything goes like clockwork. He believed that they weren't treating him fairly because he wasn't a Chinese speaker.

The staff at SF Chinese Hospital are saints. Patient, forbearing, tolerant, and uniformly efficient, friendly, and helpful. This is NO exxageration. They even tolerate my horrid Cantonese pronunciation and misreading of Chinese texts.

About twenty minutes after presenting my papers, at an opportune moment I approached the desk and asked how much longer, explaining that if there was enough time to go upstairs to have blood drawn I'd like to do that, not having had any coffee yet. The next thing I knew they were doing my thyroid ultrasound an hour an a half early, escorted me across the hall for the tomography of the lungs and breathing aparatus which as a smoker is a yearly thing, and I was gaily hopping into the elevator to go up to the blood lab. I was out of there well before I expected, with plenty of time for coffee and then lunch at a chachanteng.
Visits to the hospital are always enjoyable, and today was exceptional in that regard. It's probably my Aspergers, which appreciates to-the-pointness, and informative content in conversation. As well as interesting things to do and see.

Garlic butter prawns, rice, milk tea. After lunch smoke (pipe, red Virginia). Transit card and chocolate. A packet of rice stick noodles, a jar of Koon Yick Wah Kee curry powder, and a box of rickshaw brand tea. Egg tart and milk tea. Another pipe.
Tourists succesfully dodged.

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