Is that clamp really checking my heart or my bra size?
That was the voice inside my head as I was getting the Chinese version of an EKG.
Welcome to China, as part of becoming a resident of this new world – you need a mandatory health screening. Everyone has to go through it. It’s a more uncomfortable experience than going to the DMV. This time you take a number and enter the assembly line. You grace the halls in your hospital gown – staring at other awkward-looking foreigners and demanding Chinese nurses pointing you from room to room.
And just as soldier-esque nurses point and make gestures there’s a real assertion with needles. No warning for the needle phobic or the weak stomachs. There isn’t any chit-chat – just efficiency. Stick. The voice inside my head:
Don’t faint, please don’t faint. You don’t want to be here longer than you have to. And who is really going to help you out if you do? Deep breath. Deep breath. It will be over soon.
You go into another room – eyes and ears checked. Of course, I have abnormal eyes – after all, I wear contacts. Clearly, I’m part of the population that has looked at too many computer screens and has watched too much TV (guess journalism does your eyes good).
Then it’s followed by an ultrasound, x-rays and the EKG. The EKG, besides the needles, freaked me out. I felt like I was being hooked up to jumper cables not a medical device. The voice inside my head:
I really hope this doesn’t conduct other metals, like my bracelet.
No shock, just clamps in all the wrong places. Seriously, that’s not my heart. That hurts. And why do I have cables on my ankles – what the hell does that test? I don’t have cankles. I’m not a doctor, clearly. M.D. is not after my name for a reason, but this is weird. At least in the US doctors tell you what is going on.
No words, just clamps.