I’ll never touch another berry smoothie as long as I live. In fact, I’m pretty darn sure I won’t even drive by a Jamba Juice in the next millennium. The reason for my paranoia? Last Friday, I had the misfortune of downing two humongous jars of this chalky, pasty, smelly potion, innocuously called “berry smoothie.” With each sip I dreaded the thought of the events to ensue in the next two hours while being “prepped” for a CAT scan of my abdomen. If the start was so, literally speaking, distasteful, what was coming, I thought as I struggled through the said “smoothie.”
I had to smile wryly at the label where cheery blueberries and raspberries dangled on the plastic bottle. Kudos for trying, Amru hospitals! In India they would have simply labelled the concoction, “Icky drink: Finish or die.” Bottle One downed I bravely turned the jar in for the second dose. “Don’t finish the whole thing,” instructed the nurse. The sun peeked from behind berry-shaped clouds: the silver lining must have glinted in my eyes. She quickly added, “You’ll have to drink the last bit just before your test.”
Two hours later, I was ushered into a changing room by an overly helpful medical assistant. You know the type – you see them on ads for “get your diploma in 8 months” medical schools – pretty, perky and persuasively empathetic. As promised my smoothie reappeared. She then proceeded to give me the bottle green hospital gear. It’s not that I dislike green. At this point, I wasn’t going to be picky about colors. What I did have a problem with: XL was their smallest size. That’s when Nurse Perky issued apology number one: “I’m sorry! That’s going to be a little big on you.”
I considered suing the hospital for height discrimination as I sized myself up in the mirror: the shirt reached down to below my knees, the pants ballooned out. I looked like I had borrowed Shaquille O’Neil’s clothes for the day. The fact that I had to fold up about one-third of the pants only added to the clown effect.
Nurse Perky proceeded to tell me about the CAT scanner or the “donut”. This time, I shrugged off the food reference. I wasn’t quite ready to lay Krispy Kreme on the sacrificial altar along with the all the smoothie bars in town. Then the lovely nurse issued apologies 2, 3, 4 and 5. Each time she jabbed my veins, she said with syrupy concern, “I’m so sorry, honey!” I almost bought the act but that’s when she started to really annoy me with more infantile talk about how my healthy veins were playing hide and seek.
The actual test lasted all of five minutes. I tried to remember as many sordid details as possible to entertain the husband waiting in the lobby. That’s the best part about these tests – the pity party extended well into the evening that day. All I contributed to it was my whining and of course details about Nurse Perky for the requisite dash of drama.