I arrive at IMMS Clinic 39 at 6:50 am. Hundreds of people mill about waiting for the doors to open. Nearby vendors are selling atole, pan and tamales. But that will have to wait. I am fasting for this blood test.
The doors open and I follow the crowd to the stairs. This time I don’t even attempt to check the elevator to see if it’s working. Miraculously there are only two people ahead of me at the lab. The clerk asks for my card. I tell her that I don’t have a card yet. That will come after the blood test. She shrugs her shoulders, takes my requisition and motions me over to a woman at a table with a multitude of tiny test tubes for urine samples. I’m prepared for this one. Pedro gave me the vocabulary and I purchased a “real” specimen container at the pharmacy, not like the test tube pictured below.
“What? You want me to transfer my sample to this tiny test tube and bring it back to you?” I ask incredulously. So off I go to the bathroom to perform this ridiculous task. When I return to the table, she takes the test tube from me and discards the remainder of the sample I had brought in. She then points to Puerta 2 where I need to go for the blood test. I walk into a room with about a half a dozen desks with technicians. I am taken immediately and Winnipeg technicians can learn from these Mexicans. I didn’t feel the needle go in at all, and there is not even a hint of a bruise.
Now it is time to get my card. Up the stairs I go to Ventanilla 3. What? It doesn’t open until 8 am? OK. I head downstairs to the street and get an atole and a pan. I then trudge back up the two flights of stairs. At 7:55 staff arrive and I am the first at the window. Everyone else in the waiting area flocked to Ventanillas 2 and 4.
Oh, we don’t need any photocopies. My passport, an original utility bill, my social security number and a photo will suffice. I am then given an identification paper with my photo stapled to it. I ask her if she needs to stamp the document that Oscar gave me at the other IMSS administration building. She says it isn’t necessary. Oh oh! Oscar will not be happy. He is expecting me to come back with a stamped document. And here at the clinic they tell me I don’t need to go back to see Oscar. Who to believe?????
So what do I do next? How do I find out the results of the lab work? Back I go to the director’s office. So apparently I need to go to Desk 10 which is only one more flight upstairs. And my identification paper is now stapled into a nifty little booklet with a horrendous amount of new Spanish vocabulary for me to master. After much discussion, I am given an appointment to come in to see a doctor on December 19th.
I guess if anything is terribly wrong I will be contacted before that. After all, they have my phone number. Yikes! I better head to Oxxo to put some credits on it! And I had better find that damn Blackberry! I usually use my iPhone for What’s App or Facebook that work off of WiFi. Maybe it’s time to ditch the Blackberry and get that iPhone unlocked…………..