Yesterday morning, I woke bright and early. After annoying my wife, harassing the cat, and getting growled at by the dog because I made her move from her spot on the bed, I prepped myself to visit the Health and Safety department of the hospital where I will be doing CPE at. I start on May 31st and I needed my paperwork verified and my skin was to be pricked a second time for another PPD test. I somehow made it to the right place at the right time (even though I did take the wrong elevator at one point). I was pleasantly surprised to see the waiting room for the doctors waiting to be checked out to be just as mundane as the waiting rooms for the rest of us. My name was called and the nurse brought me into one of the many medical rooms. She was very nice but noticed that my physical was missing some information. She asked my height, my weight, and whether I wore contacts. She then left the room briefly and returned with a little book. She needed to check whether I was color blind. I had no idea you could check that via a book.
She flipped open the book and asked me to mention what numbers I saw. The pages were covered in dots of various colors. The first three pages were fine – I saw the patterns of dots that made numbers easily. And then, on page four, the numbers vanished. All I saw were dots of different colors. I saw no numbers or any patterns that could resemble numbers. I saw nothing but chaos. My pulse went up a little. I squinted hoping I would see something. I thought about even making things up but that idea quickly passed. At the end, she closed the book and told me what K had suspected for years.
“Did you know that you’re color blind?”
Now, I’ve never been red-green color blind. I can tell the difference between stop lights. But what colors were I messing up? What colors did I think we’re blue but were really green? What about Navy and Black? Or Purple and Blue? How long had my eyes been deceiving me? Who could I blame? WHERE HAD IT ALL GONE WRONG?
It’s a little strange to find out that I am color blind. I do not have a feeling of relief – as if I thought something was seriously up and that, now that I know the answer, my life was somehow better. Rather, I felt strange, curious, and full of questions. But I wasn’t going to get answers that day. At the end of the blood work, the PPD test, and everything else, the nurse then told me that I was going to undergo a drug test. This wasn’t the first and and I’m sure it won’t be the last but I still have not gotten use to handing a bottle of urine to a nurse. “Hi, we just met and you’re very nice, kind, and you’ve made this whole experience rather pleasant so, as a special thanks, here’s some urine in a cup.” It just seems strange though I know that it’s only strange from my perspective. The nurse does this all the time and she’s seen worse. I bet she has stories that would make me squirm. But still. It something I am not use to.