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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Blue Gowns and Jellybeans

I’ve had the sniffles. Relentless headache, sore throat, runny then blocked then runny/blocked nose, coughs and the sweats...and I’ve not been able to shake it for a couple of weeks.

So, after a stern talking to from a friend of mine (thanks girlfriend), I hauled my butt to the doctor. Good thing too. She took one look at me and muttered a little before donning a face mask and poking sticks into my mouth and gadgets into my ears.

“Open wide!”
“Yes, this ear looks good, now turn to the other side.”
Out comes her stethoscope.
“Breathe in and out.”
“In again, and out.”
“And again, in and out.”
“Once more – in and out. Really big breath this time...iiiin and ooout.”
Geez, this was rigorous however I’d spotted the container filled with colourful spoils and knew that if I played my cards right, I'd receive my glucose fuelled reward. But alas, Doctor declares, “You have a sinus infection and suspected pneumonia. I want you to go for an X-ray immediately” and promptly writes a script for some meds, a referral for some film and strict instructions to call her later that afternoon.

No mention nor whiff of a jelly bean. Outrageous!  

So off I go to the X-ray rooms. I look around and smile at a little boy who smiles shyly then looks away. I see a lone tradie, an exhausted looking woman with her kid, a young professional. I spot an elderly European woman heavily drenched in gold jewellery and embellished clothing flicking though magazines while speaking loudly with a lady who appeared to be her daughter and ask myself, “Are we related?”

Yes sir-ee. We were a bunch of licorice all-sorts and I couldn’t help but wonder who these people were and why they were here. What’s their story?
Suddenly I’m jolted from my bubble back to reality when they call my name.
“Through here”, they tell me.
I’m given a basket to place my belongings and told to strip to my underwear and sport one of the blue gowns on the bench in the change room before sitting in the lounge prior to a radiographer coming to whisk me away for what I had dubbed ‘my silver screen debut.’ I was being caught on film after all. Yes, indeed I romanticised the scenario because a) That's how I roll and b) I felt vulnerable. Besides, it’s times like these that a little romance (and comedy!) can go a long way.
Sitting there in my blue gown, blood sugar levels dropping rapidly (darn you Doctor!), looking around at the others waiting for their ‘debut’, acknowledging one another with a nod and a smile all the while wondering if they were packing barley sugars and how I might get a hold of them - it dawned on me. Once stripped of your belongings and down to your underwear and a blue cotton gown, we’re all the same.

I didn’t know who these people were nor did I know their tales or vice versa, yet what I felt was something intensely human and real. I felt truth in the simplicity of the fundamental commonality among us all in that we want to know that everything is going to be OK.

We all want to love and be loved. We all want a friend, a lover or a golden retriever to share our good, our bad and our blue gown moments with. That sometimes, no words are necessary and that a nod and a smile can really make a difference to someone.

I don’t know if I’m romanticising again (so sue me!) but I figure a visit to the chemist, one box of tissues, a pack of antibiotics and a giant bag of jelly beans (VICTORY!) later, is a good way to further ponder my theory.

Loving you, loving me...TLT x

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