I barely had time to check my email when I was called back by a friendly lab technician. She made a fuss over my fluorescent pink running shoes, and said that people who wear uniforms all day are really into shoes. She asked if I had any conditions she should know about and I mentioned a funky, shaving-related rash on my underarm. She laughed at all my jokes, sympathized with my poor self image, and complimented how well I followed her directions. She sent me back to the dressing room to get dressed and let me know the results would be shared with my doctor.
No call back. No second look. I am in the clear for another twelve months. As I got dressed, I thought of my friends, way too many, who did not get to put their clothes back on right away. Who were forced to undergo more invasive diagnostics, and who got the news that no one wants to get. Did they enjoy or even notice the white leather chairs? Did they share jokes with the lab tech? As I passed by the women wearing gowns I realized that the odds are that one in eight of them were going to get a call back. One in eight of them were probably about to undergo the crappiest year of their life. I quickly wiped the relieved smile off my face, uttered a small thanks to God that I was in the clear, a prayer for the one in eight who weren’t and exited the building to the breezy, sunny summer day.