st. kitts beach, vancouver
i had my 3rd blood test today within the four months of learning i have diabetes type 2. as usual, i got there around 7:30am – half an hour before the lab opens for business. i learned long ago not to be even five minutes past this time. it’s the only way to ensure that i’m one of the first 3 people, and therefore, the only way to ensure little waiting time. by quarter-to, the line-up was standing people were already down the hall and arround the corner where the elevators were located.
i had folded up my old, long black coat into a cushion to sit on. i had my book, friendship, hateship, courtship, loveship, marriage by alice munro with me to help pass time.
being first in line, i was received into the room almost right away. the tiny room that seemed more like stalls as each person was instructed to go in and wait. with no food in our stomachs and worse, no coffee, most of the patients there were weary-eyed and tired. maybe a little weak, too.
i felt fine, though. fasting for 12 hours is nothing to me. in fact, i was only starting to feel a little hungry before entering the waiting area.
and so the process begins. an elastic band is tied tightly around my lower bicep area. i make a fist as the technician taps around for my vein. you have small veins, is the usual comment. yes, i know. it’s one of the things i worry about as i get older and maybe one day, will require an IV for a lengthy period of time. and the nurses will comment again about how my veins are too small and that there might be a problem.
but she finally finds one to tap into. after a slight prick, i watch as my blood flows down a tube into the three separate vials. my blood is flowing slower today. much slower and i’m not sure what to make of it. a mental note, perhaps, to ask my doctor when i visit him about my results.
afterwards, i find a tim hortons close by. believe me, i would have rather have found a starbucks. but it wasn’t so much as filling my empty stomach as it was to find a place for me to have my breakfast so i can also take my meds. meds must be accompanied by food.
as usual, it’s not always easy for me to order at a fast food place while being mindful of my diabetic lifestyle. thankfully, they have egg white and turkey sausage now. only, i asked the tim hortons’ employee, would it be possible to get the egg white and turkey sausage on the multi-grain flat bread they use for the panini breakfast sandwich.
i have not yet mastered how to ask for this specific order without causing confusion. it’s not confusing, really, but for whatever reason, anytime i go to tim hortons to make a request regarding the bread type for my breakfast sandwich, i end up having to wait for the employee to go to their supervisor/manager. as they are not sure if this request is allowed. or how to enter it on the cash register.
but it’s always allowed.
one time, i had such great difficulties asking for this request that i waited a very long time as the supervisor was busy. the cashier next to me, while i was waiting, put in the exact order for the gentleman beside me.
*sigh* it should be easier than this.
alas, i found myself a stool by the window where i could look out at the cold, winter scenery. the sandwich, even with all the trouble it took to receive it, was good. and while the coffee tasted like the usual water-down coffee tim hortons is famous for, the warmth served its purpose.
as i looked out onto the snow, i was suddenly reminded of our time spent in vancouver a couple of summers ago. i remember how being there for only several days, i felt completely like it was home to me. in an instant i felt a strong nostalgic pull towards all the wonderful memories made on that trip.
i miss the food, the people, the sights and sound. i miss the culture and the lifestyle. i miss being just a walk away from the beach one direction, granville island another direction, and just steps away from the city bus which took us downtown (a mere 10-15 minutes ride compared the 45-60min commute i would need to head to the heart of the city here in toronto).
perhaps i also miss how simple life was just two years ago. i didn’t know it at the time, but compared to so much that’s going on now, those were definitely simpler times.