Yesterday I went to the Catholic University's St. Mary's Hospital, where I go for my BP meds, for tests to determine the cause of my recent mysterious fatigue. Hardly any signs are in English and hardly anyone there, outside the small International Health office, speaks it. And the floor plan that IH gives out is in English, but wildly inaccurate.
I finally found a sign that said "phlebotemy", but if I didn't have such a marvelous vocabulary, I would still be wandering around on the third floor.
I had a chest x-ray and wandered into an office that I hoped was the place for an EKG. (Fortunately, since I was unbuttoning my shirt, it was.)
Then it was time to go find the blood-testing office. I walked only about as far as Frodo in the Rings trilogy, but finally found it. The attendant gave me a little paper cup mysteriously devoid of Kool-Aid, and I intuited that I needed to fill it in the men's room. (Jeez, I hope I was right! Otherwise, whoever picks up the cup is in for an unpleasant surprise.)
I'm proud of my blood test result; I didn't even study for it and still ended up with an A+.
Afterward, the guy who took my blood asked his neighbor how to tell me, in English, to press down on the gauze for five minutes. Then he told me, in English, to press down for five minutes. And then I went home.
Oddly enough, I don't like going without food all day and being impaled by big needles. But it wasn't too bad and I'm eager to hear the results. It's kind of a big deal; Dr. Wilder, our new principal, let me know, frankly but sympathetically, that the school can't deal with a chronically ill teacher, so if it's Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I'm out of a job and have no purpose in this country. Also, I'll have to say goodbye to the Hash and to marathoning; the way I've been feeling, I can't drive 26 miles.
I really believe, though, that the cause is something more innocuous. (Sleep apnea? Stress? Something environmental?) I'm feeling better now, anyway.
I know I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.