I once claimed that carrying sperm-less soup to the urologist was the most awkward errand ever. I was wrong.
Today, I go to my first GI appointment to figure out what’s up on with my stomach issues that I’ve had for the last six months. The doctor listens, and I feel great that he’s being thorough. So thorough in fact, that when I show up to have my labs drawn they refuse because I didn’t have my sample yet.
Phlebotomist: Yes, we can’t split up your order. Here’s the tube and seat and gloves because it can get a little messy. The sample needs to reach this line, and try not to get any urine in it.
Me: That’s a lot of crap.
Phlebotomist: If you can’t get here today, you need to freeze it.
Feeling like the phlebotomist is saying, And I will forever know you had a poopsicle in your freezer, I head home determined to be back with a vial full of stool. I HAVE STANDARDS.
But while I may have diarrhea of the mouth, my other end is feeling shy so I make some phone calls.
Suddenly, I have a hello from below.
Me: I gotta go.
Friend on phone: Wait, can I ask you one more thing?
I walk into the bathroom armed and ready to get what I came for even though, as I explained to Scott, I’d have to pee and poop separately.
Scott: What? You just pee first.
Me: Well, for guys it must be different because you have to always decide: Urinal or Toilet. I don’t have to think about it much. UNTIL TODAY.
Scott: So you just sit down and WHO KNOWS WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN? You shouldn’t say I’m peeing or I’m pooping. You should say I’m peeooping. Because you never know!
I work through my peeooping tendencies as best a lady can, and I glove, scoop and give my phlebotomist a mental shout out for suggesting I write my name on everything BEFOREHAND because she was right, it is a messy business. When I reach the very high line on the vial, I want to shout: I HAVE DONE THE DEED.
Except the errand has only begun. I have to brown bag it.
And I have to pick up my daughter first because my bottom did not time dropping off its own kids at the pool around me picking mine up.
I slyly look out my front door because not only do I have a brown bag, I have a special seat to catch the stink crew, and I refuse to throw it away in the kitchen trash can. However, I can’t pull off small talk with all this poop in my hand. Luckily, the only people outside are fixing a neighbor’s roof, and I decide that they won’t suspect a poop seat if I act nonchalant as though it might not be a poop seat.
I also make no eye contact so I have no idea if this plan worked.
After tossing the seat, I put the brown bag into the car, and this is when I decide that my current errand is more awkward than the deposit errand I ran two years ago. My errand smells like butt.
I drive to my daughter’s school and lock the car because I don’t want to have to scoop my poop ever again or take it for scenic drive around town. As we walk from school back to the car, I mention an errand but I don’t give away the details because for the first time in a long time, I want her to stay innocent of what the world holds for her. That sometimes when our stomach hurts for longer than six months, medical science will punish us by making us poop in plastic tubs and spoon them in plastic tubes and brown bags that we then have to carry to strangers.
As my daughter and I walk into the closest drop-off place, I repeat to myself DIGNITY DIGNITY DIGNITY as I employ a half-smile, blank-stare down the longest hallway in Richmond, Virginia.
The phlebotomist behind the counter looks at the sample and says: Who told you to use this tube?
Me: She didn’t give me her name.
Other Phlebotomist: It’s the wrong vial. You need two different tubes for this order. I have to toss out your sample.
As she walks away, I am crestfallen another person is throwing away a plastic bottle of my turds.
I pitifully reply: You know this was the most awkward errand ever.