Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bite Me!

Some pleasant surprises.

Today, I had my last shot of anti-rabies vaccine. I had to leave a conference call at a little past three in the afternoon to catch my 4:30PM appointment at the RITM in Alabang. There was traffic near Magallanes, as usual, and it was almost four when I got into the SLEX. Surprise, surprise... there was no traffic all the way to Alabang and I made it to my appointment with the last needle.

So off to Window Number 2 again, to see Ms. Grouchy Nurse. She was all smiles today, and even managed a jolly "Good afternoon!". I smiled back, returned the greeting and handed her my Orange Card. She wrote down the usual stuff on the prescription paper.

"You will pay only the consultation fee of fifty pesos. The vaccine is free.", and with the sweetest smile she asked me to proceed to the cashier, and then to the pharmacy.

After paying and submitting the prescription, I returned to the now transformed Ms. Sweet Nurse of Window Number 2. She handed me my number card. I was Patient Number 75. And so the final wait officially commenced.

In less than a few minutes, the voice on the loudspeaker blurted out, "Number 75!" I, Dennis E. Concepcion, nearing 43 years old, had become but a number in this facility. I surrendered my number card and entered the injection room for the last time. Another surprise await me. There were quite a few more doctors around, with nameplates saying "Participant" dangling from their necks.

"Wow, am I now Specimen Number 75?" I must have looked at them with curious stares, so Ms. Alpha Nurse offered an explanation.

"You are so lucky. There is a seminar today and your vaccines are free. Doc here is going to set up a bite center in their place." That explains the discounted fees. And I thought Ms. Grouchy Nurse turned Ms. Sweet Nurse was just glad to send me off after my last shot, never to be seen again in that facility.

I glanced at the middle-aged man with old-fashioned eyeglasses, checkered shirt and perma-pressed pants. I wanted to ask Ms. Alpha Nurse if she was sure Dr. Checkered Shirt was a real doctor and not a veterinarian. I crossed my fingers and prayed he learned enough in the seminar not to prick me in the wrong places.

First needle on the left arm, the second on the right. It was all over in a couple of minutes. Ms. Alpha Nurse told me not to lose my Orange Card, as if it was a badge of honor - or a Purple Heart for being wounded in combat.

"Your vaccination is good for three years. You can have yourself bitten by dogs as much as you want!". With that, she sent me off, reminding me to hang around for a while to make sure there will be no allergic reaction.

Three years of immunity. I felt like a Survivor castaway earning the immunity talisman for winning the challenges. Over a month of regular shots, no alcohol, and driving all the way to Alabang to catch my late afternoon appointments - all because of a tinnie-winnie dog bite gone awful. But all that is behind me now, and I can look forward to three years of worry-free dealings with dogs. I wonder if they have similar vaccines for annoying people?

So bite me. I'm 100% rabies-free.


Frankie "NC" Torres said...

Another award-winning post from The Garfield of Pateros! *claps* Very well written! :D

Usapang Pinoy said...

Good thing that you're done with your shots. Guess it's time to have the other type of 'shots' to celebrate...

Dennis said...

I'll toast to that. Cheers!