At the risk of turning this into an all-bitching, all the time blog... let me just tell you about my doctor's appointment yesterday.
I went to an orthopedic surgeon last month to have my knee checked out, because it was still feeling awfully sore and ache-y, six weeks after The Accident. It didn't hurt per se, but it felt really sore when I did certain things, like "yoga" and "sitting cross-legged," and if there's one thing I learned from years and years of competitive running, it's that you don't mess with your knees. So, the lawyer that I have obtained to deal with the paperwork nightmare that is a personal injury claim set me up with an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon that they work with. Now, I've seen more orthopedic surgeons than I care to remember (see: years of competitive running), and I have yet to find one that I didn't want to kick in the teeth with the various malfunctioning parts of my body, so I was fine with going to whoever the lawyer recommended... especially because this meant they arranged the appointment for me and the bill went directly tot he lawyer's office (see: paying a lawyer to deal with my hassles for me). I went to the initial appointment and the doctor said he thought that what I had was a cartilage bruise, which would eventually heal on its own. Just to be sure, he sent me home with some prescription-strength NSAIDs and orders to obtain an MRI and return in a few weeks. Fine and dandy. I think that, including the time I spent filling out the load of insurance paperwork, the entire visit probably took 40 minutes.
Now, this is embarrassing because I used to live in the general neighborhood of this doctor's office, but I sort of got lost on my way to the follow-up appointment yesterday. The short story is that office is on a street that's one way running south, and I was coming up a street that's one way running north, and I thought I turned the right way to loop around past the office but I didn't. The longer story involves a panic attack as I tried to drive slowly down the (wrong) street, looking for the office's street number, driving about a mile in the wrong direction, a lot of cursing, and a long history of not being able to navigate my way out of a paper bag. When I finally got my bearing, I decided to just park the damn car and walk the two blocks to the office because I was really, really getting tired of wasting my entire afternoon off from work driving around one-way streets. Besides, I rationalized, there were all these signs up the last time about parking in this lot instead of that lot and how anyone who parked in that lot would be towed immediately, and you know what I really don't need? To have my car towed. Right, so I'll just park here behind this moving truck and would you look at that, the last person overpaid the meter and I still have an hour and forty-five minutes of time left. And... I guess I'll put the club on my steering wheel and take the radio face-plate off because wow, this area is a little more ghetto than I remembered.
Since I was running late by this point, I took a shortcut through an alley. This was, to say the least, not smart, but by this point I am sure that no is surprised. What's important is that I made it to the doctor's office with ten minutes to spare during his open clinic hours.
And then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. People, I sat in that horrid waiting room for nearly an hour and a half. To make matters worse, not only had I forgotten my book at home, but I was also the only person in the room who wasn't 1) faking a worker's comp claim, 2) suing Walmart, or 3) both. I was also the only person who noticed that one of the many screaming children in the "play area" had taken to throwing around duplo blocks, one of which hit me squarely in the back of the head as I was flipping through a year-old Time magazine article about the Dalia Lama. And the only person who was perturbed by the fact that there was not a scrap of toilet paper to be found in the single bathroom stall in the waiting area. Also: the only one without an iphone. Right.
After I'd given up all hope of getting anything done for the rest of the afternoon, I was finally granted my thirty seconds of doctor face-time. Happily, I do not have any torn ligaments. So... that's good.
I walked back to my car in a petulant mood, thinking of all the enjoyable things I could have done with that last two hours of my life when I realized that I'd indeed been gone for two hours. As in, fifteen minutes more than my parking meter allowed. Oh, shit, I thought. PLEASE let me have a parking ticket. Please let me have gotten a ticket in the fifteen minutes I was over the limit, so I can put it in an envelope and mail it to the lawyer's office with a note that says "PLEASE ADD THIS ONE (1) PARKING TICKET, ALONG WITH TWO (2) HOURS OF MY LIFE TO THE SETTLEMENT. AND ALSO ONE (1) DUPLO-SHAPED BRUISE ON THE BACK OF MY HEAD."
I walked closer and closer, with a sinking feeling in my stomach as I noticed that there were now far fewer cars parked on the street. Oh, shit, I thought (again). Was this a no parking between 4 and 6pm zone? I didn't even think to look since I thought I'd be out of there by 3pm at the latest, but yup, even the moving van I parked behind is gone.
And then I noticed that my car was gone too. And for one heart-sinking minute, I thought I'd been towed.
But then I found my car behind a white van that had just done a terrible parking job.
I got in and drove away. The end.
Good story, right?