I went to get a pelvic ultrasound test for my latest round of hypochondria. The radiologist was a small Asian woman with a dour demeanor. “My name Tran,” she said resentfully.
We started a test with the thingy on my belly, which reminded me of the ultrasound tests you get when you’re pregnant. It was a nice feeling. I asked Tran, “Do you have kids?” and she said, “No kids. Not enough money for kid.”
Uh-oh. Now I felt sad. Here I am, a middle class white women who could afford two kids, and this poor immigrant is servicing me, so to speak, on a crappy income, unable to live the life she deserves, that everyone deserves.
“Yeah,” I said stupidly, “They are expensive!” “What are you doing tomorrow [Thanksgiving]? I asked next, hoping to cheer her up with conversation. “Sleep,” she answered tersely.
Oh god, okay. So I said, “Oh, I love to sleep too! It’s my favorite thing in the world!” She brightened up a little.
Next, I had to get undressed and she stuck the thingy up inside me. With my legs in stirrups, and the internal “discomfort”, I remembered the feeling of giving birth, the agony and the ecstasy, and it was shockingly visceral. I wanted to give birth with all my might!
But then it really started to get uncomfortable and I said OW. I asked her if she saw anything awful and she reminded me that she wasn’t allowed to say anything.
She stayed in the room while I got dressed and I asked her in a sympathetic tone when she could go home. It was around 4. She said 4:30. I said, “Oh good! It’s coming right up!” She told me I was the last patient of the day. Then she told me that it was the last day of her job.
Shit! Had she been fired? Or was she just moving on? I asked her what her plan was and she said she didn’t know. “But I am healthy, I have brain, I can do work!” she said plaintively. “I not going to kill myself!” she exclaimed, as though meaning the opposite.
Fuck! What was going on, I wondered, my brain whirling. “Of course, of course, you can get any job!” I told her. “You didn’t like working here?” I asked her. She looked down as she straightened things up. “They don’t like me. They not happy with me. Say I am mean to patients.”
Well, she was kind of mean, but that no longer mattered. I told her that she could start a new life, she was just 40 years old, not too old to have a family or do whatever she wanted. I told her about all the places I’d worked where no one appreciated me, about the time I called my boss a cunt and got fired, the fact that I could not work with people looking over my shoulder and telling me what to do. She listened intently. She asked a few questions.
Now she was smiling a little while we talked about our mutual dislike of cooking on holidays. I thanked her and said it was nice meeting her, and added, “Hopefully, I won’t die from a gigantic uterine tumor the size of a cantaloupe!”
She smiled and said, “You have nothing to worry about.”
One thing I’m good at is tricking the radiologists into telling me what they saw. You don’t get to be my age for nothing.