You mean I shaved my legs for nothing?

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by dianecordell

I hate hospitals.

I think the fact that I’m a germaphobe has something to do with it.

And yet there’s more to it than that.

I think it’s the smell, the white coats milling about, and the knowledge that everywhere you look, there’s sick people.

In spite of this, there are times I have to get over myself and dive into the pool of germs.

Today is one of those days.

As I approach the reception counter, I notice the disheveled woman behind it doesn’t seem to be having a good day.

I can hear her “tsking” every three seconds whilst impatiently pushing her hair out of her eyes.

I hand her my medical card and referral letter and smile.

I’m under the impression this might encourage her to reciprocate, but I’m sorely disappointed.

I wait patiently for her to instruct me to retake my seat, but instead I hear her say, “I’m sorry, but you don’t have an appointment today.”

Insert loud record scratch here.

“There must be a mistake. I made that appointment a month ago.”

“No. Sorry. Nothing in your name.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Madam, I assure you I am not.”

Madam? I’m thrown for a loop but continue, “Please, won’t you check again? I took two buses and a tram to get here. It’s raining cats and dogs, my umbrella broke when the wind turned it inside out, and I shaved my legs this morning.”

“You shaved your legs this morning?”

“Yes. After all, I’m seeing the “vein specialist” and feel it’s best if he doesn’t think I’m here so we can braid each other’s leg hair, sip peyote tea, and sing ‘Kumbaya’.”

The receptionist stares at me fearfully.

As I see her reach for the phone, I know I have sixty seconds before two burly orderlies arrive bearing a straight jacket.

“Please. Will you check again?” I plead.

“Okay. Wait. I fix this,” she replies in heavily accented English.

Yes, you fix this. Fix this mess. Fix the problem.

Fix it so I can justify having dragged myself out of bed at eight in the morning, cut my legs twice with a disposable razor that hasn’t been used in nine months, and spent an hour looking for my shot record to make sure I’ve been vaccinated against tetanus.

Fix it so I don’t have to be pissed at having worn a new pair of underpants that are cutting off my circulation and now have to be added to the reject pile, so there’s a reason Roxy’s home activating her third bladder, and so I don’t have to kick myself for not having stopped at the bus stop to drool look at the poster of the Abercrombie & Fitch guy with the hot abs.

Fix it so I have a reason for sitting next to the kid who has green snot streaming down his face, for trying to ignore that his nasty father has been staring at my boobs for the past ten minutes, and for having stepped in a pothole on my way here.

Fix it so I don’t have to ride in elevators with people who are coughing, people who sneeze without covering their mouths, and people who think flip flops are appropriate hospital shoe wear.

Fix it so I don’t have to feel older than Moses when I see doctors who look like Doogie Howser, nurses that resemble aerobics instructors, and residents wearing scrubs who remind me how as a child, the Son wanted to be a cardiothoracic surgeon but now wants to be a tattoo artist.

Please. Just. Fix. It.

“Ms. Bella,” her voice rouses me from the hypnotic state I seem to be in.


“I fix it. Please take a seat in the waiting room.”

I give her a dazzling smile, not the deranged one that signals, “I’m losing it. I’m at the edge of the ledge, ready to jump,” but the “Thank you so much. Have a nice day!” one.

I slowly walk back to my seat and notice the kid with the green boogers and his lecherous father are still there.

I strategically place my bag in front of my chest and put on my sunglasses; praying the dark lenses will dim the green hue of the kid’s boogers.

A woman wearing flip flops gives me a funny look.

I look back at her and give her my haughty, one eyebrow raised look; a look which silently communicates, “What? If you get to wear flip flops in the hospital, I get to wear shades.”

Do hospitals have the same effect on you?


72 thoughts on “You mean I shaved my legs for nothing?

  1. LOL That was too funny. No, hospitals don’t illicit that reaction from me but kids with drooping boogers do. Can you say gross! I feel like wiping the kids nose and smearing it on the parent and saying, “Didn’t you see your nasty child disgusting everybody. Didn’t you hear me gag every time he looked my way! What’s the matter with you? Do you walk around with green snoot oozing out of your nose?” Okay, so yeah, hospitals don’t do it for me but snoot does. LOL

    1. Dawn, I almost want to insert that paragraph into my blog post! Fantastic, lady! And yes, I agree, parents should be more diligent when it comes to wiping their kids’ snot! :)

    1. Corinne, they fixed it alright! And thank goodness for that! I did not envision myself having to commute to that hospital another day! :)

  2. Bella I try to keep things on an even keel no matter what I face. It amazes and annoys people at the same time. I am just glad for your sake and the nurses that the problem was fixed! Rub some vitamin E on those razor cuts to minimize scarring!

    “Don’t sweat the small stuff. And remember, everything is small stuff”!

    1. Tom, I stopped thinking everything was small stuff when my children were born. They’re now grown ups and I still think nothing is small stuff, just small stuff that’s evolving into big stuff! But you’re right–sweating does block the pores so maybe I should keep that in mind! Thanks for the vitamin E tip! :)

  3. Sorry, please don’t listen to Tom. You have to sweat the small stuff so you can keep writing these funny adventures in everyday life. I felt like I was there in the waiting room with you. Thank goodness she fixed it. And, FYI, the only time I dislike hospitals is wnen I have to stay overnight. Yikes.

    Great post, my dear!

    1. Monica, Tom’s a guy and to them everyting is small stuff! hee hee! I’m with you, sister–you have to sweat the small stuff and I know you do cause you’re too funny, amiga. Thank goodness I’ve only stayed overnight four times my entire life and every time has made me feel like I’m dying! I’m glad you liked the post! :)

    1. Shelley, I’m not familiar with the song but I’m going to have to listen to it! I wonder if Deana had a non-existing appointment as well! :)

  4. Thanks for a good laugh this morning! I detest hospitals. You may go in with something minor, but your are bound to leave with something that will get your attention. I want to know if every hospital visit promises a urinary tract infection…thanks again for the smile.

    1. Annie, call it bad luck or fate, it seems every time I go to a hospital I pick up something. All the way from colds to conjunctivitis! It’s a nightmare I tell you! I’m happy to have provided you with a laugh! Thank you! :0)

  5. Bella, you really made me laugh. The receptionist sounds like such a familiar type that you just want to strangle. And ugh! That sleezy father with his gross son!

    1. Happy to oblige, Jann! Tell me about it, sister! I was there and I can tell you it would’ve made your stomach churn! :)

  6. Bella! Yes, hospital affect me the same way. They just somehow make me feel less human, if that makes any sense. I’m hoping that after all that your appointment went well!

    1. Heidi, yes it did. Thank you for asking. I understand perfectly what you mean about hospitals dehumanizing a person. Nurses and doctors no longer look at you in the face when they talk to you. Totally irritating!

  7. Hospitals and doctor visits are no fun, especially with a complicated rainy trek across town. So glad you were able to see the doctor without another trip back. I’ll do my best to remember your funny take on life during my next medical appointment.

  8. This is hilarious. I’d be mad too if I put the effort into shaving my legs and they didn’t have the appointment. Something about that task is just annoying.

    1. Leah, shaving my legs is right up there in the list of things I most hate to do. I envy the days when I didn’t think twice about spending money to have them waxed. Maybe I should buy one of those home kits. Although there’s the time I tried the Nare thing and ended up with hives. Grief.

  9. I hate ’em too, every stinking thing about them, the smell, the food, the way everything smells unwell. But, if you were sitting next me or I was reading this hysterical post, then I could be distracted from feeling like illness germs were trying to invade my healthy body. Bella, you had me siping peyote tea, and singing ‘Kumbaya’.” Lost it there, which under normal circumstances would be fine except that I am sitting in a coffee house on the beach (yes, I am at last on mini break) and broke the sound barrier with my laugh. Oh, I am sorry about the fit of the new knickers, but you’re traveling to Spain soon.. go mad woman. And please please remember to taunt us with lovely photos of your travels. Hugs!

    1. Brenda hon, you finally made it to your little getaway! I’m so excited for you! Please, won’t you take photos to share with us little people? :) I’m so happy the post made you laugh. When I write a post, I read it out loud to myself. If it makes me laugh, I know it has better chances of making others laugh as well. Thank you for your ever kind words. And girl, Spain will be my next target destination to look for the perfect pair of underpants. :) Hugs to you!

  10. i hate hospitals too~~~i just dont like it, once i had to take my mom there and people are not nice at the hospitals, like seriously they are jerks, if i had an appointment and then someone mess it up and its a bad day i would’ve scream at her face already, at least you r being civil about it~~~and people give me weird looks(which i do get bwt) i give them the nastiest look they’ll get, and im really good at it~~~~but im glad you made through the whole thing w/o screaming, which is smth i probably would’ve done~~~

    1. Jessy, trust me, it took all the willpower I had in me to not scream! Then I thought how the poor receptionist seemed to be having a bad day herself, and well, I held it in. But I don’t know for how long had she not been able to “fix it.” :) Thank you for your comment and welcome!

  11. I despise hospitals.

    Enough that I’ve done the “popsicle-stick cast” on a broken finger.

    Enough that I gave birth to my kid at home in my own bed.

    Hate them.

    (but had to laugh at the shaved legs. I used to do that for the ob/gyn visit…i must admit, I just don’t care anymore :) )

    1. Amber, you’re my hero! Were I to be so brave as to not care about unshaven legs! hee hee! A home birth? Wow! You are brave, woman! :)

  12. ~~~ooooOh, I must come to Bella now for my fix, my distraction from reality fix…my ‘tickle the funny bone” fix.
    There are so many great things in this post that I must just pick one…..—” the kid who has green snot streaming –his nasty father has been staring at my boobs for the past ten minutes.”
    Dirty Fart!
    Love love love this stuff :) xxx

  13. Kim, you sure know how to make a woman feel good! Thank you so much! Such a great way to start off my weekend, I tell you! I’m grateful to you and all the wonderful people who read my blog! :)

  14. Oh yeah, I’m actually nauseated now to even think about the odor in hospitals. I remember being pregnant with my son and visiting a pregnant friend with toxemia in the hospital. Never having morning sickness or anything of that sort, I became ill just looking at her. It was so awful, i had to leave after 10 minutes. Really, just knowing why people are there is depressing and then to walk pass rooms and see them; some looking like death is knocking, not to be funny but it’s quite depressing. Anyway, I hope you’re okay.

    But wait a minute. A tattoo artist? Kids are amazing, aren’t they :-)

    1. Totsymae, I know exactly what you mean. When my father was ill, we spent a lot of time in the hospital. I never got over the hospital smell and seeing how people are unwell can make one depressed, as you say. I was able to see the specialist and all is well. Thank you! And I never take the tattoo artist thing seriously. Or lets say, I try not to! :)

  15. I forgot to ask you this but did you actually say all of that to the nurse about what you had to do before your appointment? Now, switch places with her for a sec…Would you have looked at you that way too? I thought that was hilarious!

    1. Totsymae, I actually said that to the receptionist. The thought of not being see was just overwhelming after all I’d been to get there. And yes, I would have looked at me the same way! :)

  16. I don’t struggle with hosipals, since my mom worked in one my whole life. But I’m pretty sure I’ve thought “I shaved my legs for THIS?” about a million times! :)

  17. I feel you, Bella. This Wednesday my boyfriend made an impromptu visit to my place. Thing is, the way our normal schedule works, I shave on Thursday mornings, in anticipation of our longstanding Thursday night date. But in past few years, I’ve developed an excruciating itch on my calves whenever I shave. It’s gotten so bad, I’ve attacked it with it with butter knives, nail files, hairbrushes–you name it. My dermatologist is aware, but her suggestions are limited. So, whenever plans are altered, there’s a distinct possibility that my legs will feel like the pine barrens, and I’ll spend my time daydreaming about a weedwhacker.

    It’s not easy being us.

    1. June, you got that right! Indeed, it’s not easy being us! I hear waxing is better if you have sensitive skin and it lasts longer. I think this is one of the reasons I dislike summer. In winter you can get away without shaving your legs but in summer? No can do. :(

  18. Just so you know I’m not pretending to agree with you, I am going to tell you about a gift I once gave my daughter. A beautifully carved and polished wooden box intricately worded on the top. The words? “I shaved my legs for this?” I do not like Hospitals either, they are one step below the Dentists in my world. As to the kid with the yucky nose; I’m generally so in your face I would have stared at him and then at the father several times before handing the father a tissue and saying: “Your son obviously needs some attention, perhaps this well help…”

    1. Elizabeth, you are feisty! I love that about you! I”m certain that would have prompted to take care of his chid’s problem pronto! As for the box, how cute is that! Now I want a little carved box with the same words! :)

  19. Forget Doogie Howser , even if my doctor resembled his dad , I would shave my legs and wear sexy underpants but alas I have no such luck .. infact worse coz my doctor is female and looks like she’s straight out of magazine …petite and a size zero … HOLY COW i know !!
    The only good thing is the distance coz its hardly half a mile away but the walk still takes me the same time as my Zumba class which is 2 miles :P

    1. Oh Priya, I want to take a zumba class with you! That would be such fun! I’ve had plenty of female doctors but none in a size zero. Thankfully! :)

  20. This is hilarious! I love the description of your “characters”. I love the way the receptionist suddenly turns around. I love the punch line. “I shaved my legs”. Such a lovely piece of writing.

  21. I’ve worked in hospitals so long that I’m kind of immune to the whole thing. Of course, that also means I’ve gotten the nasty side of most doctors, but hey, that’s how life works.

    Stopping by from LBS

    1. I have a friend who also works in a hospital and she says the same thing. She tells me that to her, it’s like any other place and that makes sense. Thank you for dropping by!

  22. I shave my legs for the people who are doing my pedicure. That’s it! :)

    So I kowtow to you for doing so for a doctor’s visit.

    I hate hospitals, period. Except for the maternity hospital I was in for my son’s birth. That, was lovely :)

    Stopping by from LBS.

    1. Alison, hello and welcome! I shave for the pedicure people as well! There’s something not right about getting a pedicure whist having hairy legs. Don’t you agree? :)

  23. Visiting from LBS….

    Very well written story… and I’m incredibly happy that they were able to “fix it”! And, I have a huge appreciation for the shaved legs part. That’s an awful lot of work for nothing! :-)

  24. Yeah… hospitals, definitely not my favorite place. In Sicily they can be even worse. I know it’s where all the medical professionals are, but still I can’t help but grimace at the logic of it. I’m sick and vulnerable. My immune system is compromised. I think the last place on the planet I need to be is in a building filled with vomiting, coughing, drooling, virus carrying nastiness. Many times what kills you isn’t whatever brought you there in the first place, it’s whatever you picked up from the hospital while you were there that finishes you off.

    1. Haley, you couldn’t be more right. My sister’s neighbor picked up a nasty staph germ that almost finished her off. I shudder when I think of all the germs floating around! It’s like walking around in a petrie dish! :)

    1. Kathiza, hello and welcome! I’m so glad you like the post! I thought the title was not only appropriate, but catchy! :)

  25. Imagine going to a hospital in a third world country (I’m from the Caribbean). Yikes! I hate hospitals and doctors of any kind seem to make me uneasy. Lol @ new pair of underpants that are cutting off my circulation.

    1. Do tell us what that’s like! hee hee! I’m with you–hospitals and doctors have a way of making some people uneasy. I think it has to do with the notion that if you’re in a hospital, something’s wrong. Or at least that’s how I feel. And those underpants were so constricting, I couldn’t feel my legs for an hour after I took them off! :)

  26. Ha, love it!

    I popped on over during my afternoon tea of the Lady Blogger’s Society and wouldn’t you know, I’m at the doctor’s office as I text.

    If you think hospitals with appointments are hellacious, imagine the urgent care with NO appointment.

    Had I not been reading through blogs and got a nice couple of chuckles reading yours I might have screamed and been certified as a 51/50 patient myself.

    Hearing “next in line” from the receptionist who really doesn’t want to be here and was taking far too long just to check me in? Nerve racking. I’m not trying to detract from her job, but a few keystrokes shouldn’t have taken that long.

    The waiting room is a cesspool of germs and I was horrified watched several kids old enough to know better trollop around the room hacking and sneezing. Covered mouths? Nope.

    Sitting in the stained chairs wondering what types of bacteria and how many kids waiting threw up there.

    Then the waiting? I”kve been sitting in this fricking room so long, waiting to SEE anyone, I’ve decided that a pair of gloves should come with me for each minute that goes by.

    Thank you for sharing your hospital woes.


    1. Hello and welcome! OMG, I just want to copy and paste this comment and add it to my post! You’ve made me giggle as I sip on my latte this morning! Thank you for enhancing my post! :) Here’s hoping they take care of you pronto so you can go home, put your feet up and have some hot, chicken soup!

  27. Hospitals, doctors, dentists… I hate them all. Nothing personal, but I’m really really scared of doctors. I don’t mind asking my local pharmacist for advice or something, but I freak out when I need to see a doctor. Crazy? Maybe I am…

    1. Sabrina, you are not crazy! I’m with you every step of the way! You have no idea how many times I’ve self medicated with over the counter medicine just so I can avoid going to the doctor’s. I think I suffer from “white coat syndrome!” :)

  28. I’m going to use your shaving legs line the next time I find myself in the hospital. I despise all of them, but more so after having suffered through one incident in an italian hospital. I had to change out of my flimsy apron thingy and the door was wide open. I asked the nurse/assistant/whatever to please close the door and you know what she did? She heaved a big sigh, rolled her eyes, and deliberately walked at a slow pace to shut the door. I was unnerved but didn’t say what I wanted to say which was, “I know you italian chics like baring your breasts, your sn**ch and heaven know what else, but I’d like a little privacy.” I could just see the “I hate you damn immigrants in my country” in her eyes.

    1. bwhahahaha! Oh Rowena! You crack me up! Does this mean you don’t go topless on the sunny, Italian beaches? hee hee! :)

  29. As I read your post, I kept thinking about a sexy doc I used to have. The man was as handsome as the day’s long. Even my boyfriend, at the time – no slouch in the looks department – noticed.
    I had a procedure in his office and went back to the change room to get dressed. As I began to put my undies on, I started to feel badly and sat down. I was probably there longer than normal. The next thing I know, the curtain opened suddenly my handsome doc was standing there looking at me, my underwear just below my knees. I was mortified but too weak to pull them up or cover myself. Thank goodness, I wore the pretty undies that day!
    My doc was waiting for me when I finally pulled myself together. He wanted to make sure that I was feeling better.
    Thanks for a great post, Bella!

    1. OMG Marcia, I would have been mortified as well! Not the way you want a sexy doctor to picture you every time you go in for a check up! hee hee! I’m sorry you had to go through that! Thank goodness for the pretty undies! :) I’m so glad you like the post!

  30. I hate hospitals. Not because my legs might be unshaven – I use one of those silk-e-pil thingies on regular basis, so that’s not a problem. I’m not afraid of germs, they’re everywhere anyway. People, well, I’m anti-social, I don’t hate them, I just want them to stay away from me, unless I really enjoy their company.

    It’s the doctors. Doctors who mention ugly words like biopsy and laser vaporization and other painful things which take weeks to recover from, and are done, more or less, just in case.


    1. Ivana, I agree. Preventive medicine is sometimes worse than the possible malady. And nowadays, most doctors do labs and studies to cover their asses; at times this comes as a great financial cost to the patient. I’m tired of hearing the words, “We should check this, just to be sure.”

  31. HAAA!!! Hilarious in so many ways, Bella. I’m horrified you have any reason to see a vein doc, but what a great story. You definitely earned a stop by the Abercrombie poster on your way home. With a latte.

    1. Lori, thank goodness the eco showed there’s no need for alarm, I have no circulation trouble. The varicose veins have yet to appear! And yes, on my way back I totally oggled the Abercrombie guy with the six-pack abs! hee hee! :)

  32. Bella, I hate hospitals. I’ve always hated them since I was a kid–and both my parents are medical professionals, so I dunno if that contributes to my feeling about hospitals or not. hahahah. I agree. There is something about the smell of “sterilization” and those disgusting, oozing people. I also hate than I seem to always be doing something “wrong” with my health whenever I see a doctor. It’s always, “this can be improved, that can be improved” and all I really want to do is go home. Shudder!

    1. Laura, I’m with you, sister. With me, it’s always having to hear, “You could stand to lose weight.” Argh! Enough already! Both parents medical professionals? How fantastic! :)

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