The Mask

2015-06-30 19.04.40It was just another Friday morning, just another lab draw, just another blah, blah, blah…when I saw IT.

A poster.

Now anyone who is a first-born knows that posters are our Kryptonite. They mock us, own us, taunt us until we bow to its wishes. Shoot, we’ll even make our blessed OWN just so we have to follow the rules.

It’s totally a thing.

Case in point…

This. Poster.

Innocent enough except for the message: All immunosuppressed patients must wear a mask.

I resisted the first time.

But heaven help me if another one didn’t show up right before I checked in.

My eye began to twitch and then as if a woman possessed, I ignored the ladies behind the desk and grabbed a mask with an earnest that could only suggest that I thought the mask police were right around the corner, lying in wait so that they could take me to the holding pen at the cancer center????

Bless my mask.

So there I am, feeling all first-born awesome when I realize that my glasses are fogging up and I can’t see the piece of paper I am supposed to be filling out so I just say all cool like, “I’m just here for labs so I can totally skip this, right?”

She nods.

Whew. Disaster averted. So I take the glasses off.

And then somewhere between the check-in desk and my chair, I forget that I have a mask on because I settle in and promptly try to DRINK MY COFFEE THROUGH THE MASK.



Now I have coffee all over the girls.

On the upside, however, I can’t really tell because between the no glasses and the mask, I also have NO PERIPHERAL vision.

So I just giggle, act like it is totally everyday stuff and then heaven help me if they don’t call me right back up to get my labs whereupon I trip all over the joint.

Now my cane is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC but it is not a bloody miracle worker. I swear the lab tech said “Oh honey, are you okay?” like 20 times in 10 feet. And just about the time I was about to make the suggestion that they need to have a warning on their poster that says, “WEAR AT YOUR OWN RISK.” she says, “All done…and BE CAREFUL.”

It’s for this next leg of the journey that I kind of draw a blank…maybe it’s the short term memory…maybe it’s the lack of coffee…maybe it’s the fact that I pushed all the elevator buttons because I couldn’t see the right one…but clarity fades on this adventure until I get to the handicapped ramp out to the garage.


No peripheral vision. Everything is blurry. And now the ground is purposefully uneven.

AND I am still wearing the blooming mask.

Why you may ask??? Because that’s the other thing about first-borns. We need another poster to tell us it’s okay to take the mask off because well, refer to the mask police reference above…

So instead, I do a slow motion faceplant into the blacktop. And by the time I make it to the ground, I am laughing so hard that I cannot even breathe. But am I embarrassed?

Not even close.

Because to the blooming point, I can’t see if anyone else is even there.

So I crawl to the end of the ramp and get into the car where now I become completely undone. Gasping, snorting, guffawing. I’m doing it all.

It’s only after a good ten minutes of this utter hysteria that I finally compose myself, put my glasses on and start the car. But as I’m making the slow descent down the exit ramps, a sense of deja vu washes over me and I notice that I am squinting and things are getting foggy once again…

Now really, do I need to say anything more than this?

Behold the power of posters.

I. Told. You.

It’s totally a thing.


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