Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta test. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta test. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 4 de agosto de 2016


   When Jake entered the pharmacy, he went to grab every single item he had forgotten to get in the supermarket. Of course, everyone at home was mad at him because he hadn’t gotten every single thing they had been waiting for. Granted, he had been in charge of groceries and so on that week but he was too busy with the presentation of his next book coming so fast. The only thing on his mind was how not to feel overwhelmed again when telling people to buy their book.

 As he walked through the dental aisle, he remembered how he had started as a writer. The truth was that he had never really considerer writing as an option to win a living. After school, he had fallen in love with the idea of becoming a news presenter in television. For some strange reason, he had always thought those men and women were always the peak of the journalism profession as the used their faces and knowledge to make people learn about daily events.

 So he went to college and outdid himself in order to become a proper journalist. From the first moment, he knew he wanted to do an internship at the end of his career, one in a television channel in order to start climbing steps right there. He would become a sensation and people would discover him there and everything would be perfect for him. Each semester, he convinced himself his path to success had absolutely no floss and that he was in it to win it.

 Unfortunately, life is not about what we want but about what we get and do with it. The only internship available when he had to get one was in a editorial company involving books by the most boring authors he had ever heard. They published a lot of self-help books and guides to do things like learning yoga or how to make your dog a nice little cape. It was the only thing he could get and was obliged to stay there for a whole year.

 Suffice to say, the experience was a nightmare. Not only did his boss take her job a bit too seriously, the people he worked with were too sensitive about everything. Apparently one of the conditions to properly work there was to believe in all the crap they sold and he certainly did not buy any of that. However, he got his first writing gig there when his boss asked him to write something about anything, as long as they could fill their obligations of that period.

 Jake was annoyed by this obligation at first but then he realized he could use it to make something good. He had wanted to make something very focused on journalism but rather ended up writing the story of a disgruntled man who failed once and again when trying to become a real journalist. The small short story was a huge hit.

 As they really didn’t publish literature there, his boss was king enough to send his work to other places and he got a call from a company called Walrus Publishing when he was asked to come on board as an editor. Mind you, this was only months after graduating from college. The rest of his classmates had barely had a couple of job interviews. He was very lucky.

 He already had a large amount stuff in his basket at the pharmacy when he entered another aisle and laughed so hard some people turned around and looked at him as if he was mad. He had laughed because he had seen all the condoms on display and every time he saw those small packages, he remembered his first book.

 Work on it had started about two years after he had started working as an editor on Walrus. People were much nicer there than in his previous job and he really enjoyed everything that he did. However, he realized he wanted to keep writing so he did it on his spare time and planned to show his boss once he finished the whole story.

 It was going to be a science fiction dystopian novel about an invasion. He pictured everything in a serious note and had planned every single aspect of it. So much so that he had even made drawings about the protagonist and of the planets he talked about in the story.

 However, when time came to show his boss, he really hated it. He thought the story thought too much of itself, it aimed at being too serious and it really wasn’t that much of a deal. Of course, Jake was very upset by this and had a long period of time when he realized he wasn’t really a creative person but rather that guy that gets it right once and that’s it. He then decided not to try again and just deliver himself to everything in life that may help him be less sad.

 In other words, he started to drink more, to smoke and to have sec with almost complete strangers. It wasn’t like him to do that but, now that he lived by himself and was so depressed about his talent, it really felt like the moment to lose himself to all of that. So he attended a lot of parties, where he would always be smoking and he would disappear in weird moments at the same time that someone else.

 It was in such a state when he got a very awful virus that made him say in bed for two straight weeks. He had a sore throat, his eyes were always bloody and his whole body hurt. He never went to the doctor but this time he was scared the flu wouldn’t leave him. The doctor told him, very alarmingly, that he should get and HIV test, just in case.

 If he was pale already, Jake turned into a piece of paper when the doctor said those words. He drank the medication he gave him and he postponed several times going to get the test. But realizing his former crazy life could not go on just like that with that on his mind, he decided to go on a Saturday, as they had consultations every single day.

 In the small waiting room there were few people other than him: a young boy and girl couple, a pregnant woman and a guy about his age that couldn’t keep moving his leg. He seemed very agitated and looked at the ground as if he was attempting to make a whole in it with his sight. Jake tried to ignore the people around him to be lees worried but actually the opposite worked better: when the guy stood up, he stepped on himself and almost hit the counter where the nurse that called him waited.

 People got up, as to help him, but he stood up fast but instead of grabbing the counter to straighten himself up, he grabbed a big fish bowl full of condoms which made him fall into the ground, showered by a rainbow of colors corresponding to many small packages of condoms that had rained on his head.  The worst thing was there were also small packs of lube in the bowl, so when he tried to stand up fast, he just went back down as he had stepped on some of those and the jelly like substance had made him fall over again.

During all of this, Jake tried not to laugh but it had been impossible by the end. As everyone helped the guy, he just laughed. The nurse asked him to walk to his test and he was so relaxed he didn’t even think too much about it. Not until he met the guy again when coming out of his consultation. He was outside, on the phone and hung up at the same time Jake came outside. He seemed very bummed out, about to cry.

 Something on his face, his body language, attracted Jake to talk to him and ask what was wrong. The guy, instead of telling him, started crying. And as he cried, Jake could see the guy had a condom pack right on his shoe. He grabbed it, laughed again and that’s how they decided nothing was that bad. They went out for a coffee and got to know each other better.

 As Jake went back home after buying everything he had missed in the supermarket, he entered home and found Greg, the condom guy, with little Grace and Mark sleeping on his lap as they watched TV. He kissed him softly on the mouth and, out of nowhere, threw him a pack of condoms. Greg laughed so hard he woke up his son and daughter and the two of them had to carry the kids to bed, as they remembered that one time when a condom had made such a difference, again.

domingo, 7 de febrero de 2016


   No tengo ni idea de cómo habré dormido esa noche. Me atrevería a decir que como todas las otras noches de mi vida pero al parecer eso no sería muy cierto. No era todas las mañanas que me despertaba con un brazo colgando del cuerpo como si fuera uno de esos pollos de plástico que usan para bromas. Seguramente me acosté sobre mi brazo, algo que suena extraño y no sé exactamente como es, pero es la única explicación que tiene el hecho de que en vez de un brazo sano y normal tenga algo que se siente más como un pedazo de hule colgando de mi costado.

 Apenas me desperté lo sentí. O bueno, no lo sentí porque era como si lo hubieran arrancado o mutilado, no se siente nada. Solo ese peso extraño en el lado del cuerpo, como cuando te pones el abrigo encima de los hombros y las mangas cuelgan tontamente a los lados. Era más o menos así, excepto que con un solo brazo y que el peso que percibía era mucho mayor. Al fin y al cabo era carne y huesos y musculo y piel y demás. Intenté tocarlo para reanimarlo pero eso fue peor porque entonces sí lo sentía pero porque una descarga eléctrica recorría el brazo, torturándome.

 Lo cómico de la situación, que de hecho era desesperante, era que ese día debía ir al médico a dar una muestra de sangre. Jamás doy sangre voluntariamente pero esta vez me lo habían pedido a raíz de unos exámenes médicos obligatorios que había tenido que hacerme. Al parecer habían visto algo raro en mi sangre y querían repetir el proceso. Me dijeron que no bebiera nada de alcohol ni que consumiera drogas de ningún tipo y eso fue lo que hice. Pero, cosa importante, debían sacar la sangre del mismo brazo. Yo eso no sé porqué pero resultaba ser el brazo que días después colgaba inerte a mi lado.

 Me puse de pie, saliendo de la cama al frío de la mañana. Eso tampoco hizo mucho por mi brazo, que seguía sin responder ni reaccionar de ninguna manera. Traté masajearlo con suavidad pero más descargas electrificaron mi brazo y entonces ya no era hule sino una fuente de dolor horrible. Fue como un castigo por mi impaciencia pues el dolor se fue intensificando y me empecé a marear seriamente. Tuve que echarme en la cama de nuevo y respirar controladamente para tomar las riendas de la situación, que claramente no tenía.

 Cuando el dolor se detuvo, hice lo posible para no golpear el brazo contra ninguna superficie. Se me iba a hacer tarde entonces me entré a bañar y tuve el mayor cuidado mi brazo, como si me estuviese bañando con un bebé. No sé si fue el agua caliente o el vapor, pero por fin empecé mi brazo a reaccionar pero de nuevo fue a través del dolor. Fue como si se estuviera formando de nuevo ahí, en ese mismo momento. No cerré la llave del agua por temor a que sin ella el dolor fuera más intenso.

 Creo que estuve en la ducha mucho más de lo recomendado. Normalmente era muy cuidadoso con mi gasto de agua y electricidad pero con ese dolor tan tremendo me dio un poco igual lo que tuviera que pagar en el futuro. Quería que el dolor se fuera pronto. Entonces empezó como a cosquillear y decidí cerrar la llave. El dolor todavía era intenso pero por primera vez esa mañana pude sentir que mi brazo era algo más que solo una cosa colgando a mi lado. En verdad parecía sentir que se formaba rápidamente ahí a mi lado: podía sentir los nervios hilándose y los músculos tensionándose. Era simplemente horrible.

 Salí chorreando agua y apenas capaz de secarme el pecho y una pierna. No tenía tolerancia para hacer nada más. Desnudo como estaba me senté sobre la cama y esperé a que el proceso en el que estaba mi brazo concluyera. Miré mi reloj alarma y vi que tenía algunos minutos extra para no llegar tarde a mi cita en el médico. Decidí que lo mejor era aguantar el dolor e ir adelantando tareas. Fue mientras me ponía lo calzoncillos donde debían estar que sentí de golpe el hormigueo en mi mano, que todavía pesaba. Traté de moverla pero el mensaje al parecer no salió del cerebro o no llego a ningún lado pues ninguno de los dedos no se movió.

 En ese momento fue cuando el pánico en verdad me atacó pues no parecía ser algo muy normal que no pudiera mover los dedos. Eso sí, tampoco era normal que uno amaneciera con el brazo inerte pero al menos eso no molestaba como tal, en cambio el dolor en el brazo pero sin capacidad de mover los dedos era simplemente tétrico. Intenté varias veces mover cada dedo pero era inútil, seguramente tendría que esperar a que la sangre recorriera todo lo que tenía que recorrer para recuperar mi brazo. Y eso lo único que me decía era que algo definitivamente no estaba bien conmigo.

 Como pude me puse las medias, algo torcidas, y me decidí por el pantalón más suave y holgado que tenía. Hubiese sido imposible ponerme cualquier cosa apretada con mi limitación temporal y la verdad era que todo mi cuerpo estaba empezando a sentirse cansado por el esfuerzo. Ponerme la camiseta supuso otra corriente de dolor que me impidió tomar todo el contenido de una taza de café.

 Desayuno prácticamente no hubo, en parte porque no podía comer y en parte porque no tenía hambre. La verdad era que el estomago me daba más vueltas que nada y casi podía jurar que ese desayuno tan pobre podría resultar fuera de mi cuerpo en cualquier minuto, y eso era mucho decir. Ya listo para salir me revisé que tuviera todo y lo tenía excepto el control de mi brazo y el movimiento de mis dedos. Pero iba a una clínica así que seguramente podrían ayudar.

 Menos mal no era hora pico ni tampoco se demoró el bus en pasar. En poco tiempo estuve de camino, mirando por la ventana un poco desesperado por llegar. Me faltaban solo algunas calles cuando solté un gritito y varias, si no es que todas las personas en el bus se voltearon para mirarme. Había sido inevitable pues un corrientazo había recargado el brazo y ahora podía sentir como la electricidad recorría cada uno de mis dedos. Dolía demasiado y tuve que limpiar la humedad de mis ojos pues si no lo hacía seguramente lloraría del dolor y eso sería más para el público del bus. Así que una vez más, me contuve.

 Cuando me bajé del bus y empecé a caminar las cinco calles que me separaban de la clínica, tuve que dejar salir una lágrima y tratar de respirar lentamente para controlar el dolor. Era tan intenso que en un momento tuve que sentarme en el bordecito del jardín frontal de un edificio para descansar y tratar, una vez más, de ver si podía mover los dedos. Me llevé una sorpresa cuando mi índice se movió torpemente. Otra vez intenté y el índice y pulgar se movieron como marionetas.

 A riesgo de perder la cita, me quedé allí ante la mirada de los transeúntes chismosos, recuperando la movilidad de mis dedos. Pasados unos diez minutos, mi brazo ya se sentía normal aunque adolorido y mi mano empezaba a moverse lentamente, como un animal drogado. Era mejor así que de ninguna manera entonces me puse de pie y caminé lo que me quedaba hacia la clínica.

 Allí me anuncié y nadie dijo nada sobre la hora. Me senté a esperar un rato y cuando me llamaron me recibió la misma doctora de la vez anterior. Como un desesperado, empecé a contarle todo lo que había pasado desde que me había despertado. Incluso le dije que esa noche, a diferencia de muchas otras, no había tenido pesadillas ni nada por el estilo entonces que no entendía lo que estaba pasando. Dije tantas estupideces que en este momento ya no las recuerdo todas.

 La doctora estaba sorprendida y me tomó el brazo con cuidado y verificó con su tacto. El brazo estaba ya normal, los dedos algo torpes pero nada grave. Me miró a los ojos, todavía algo extrañada y me preguntó: “No tenías miedo de la cita de hoy?” Yo creo que al comienzo no entendí la pregunta porque en verdad no la entendí. Pero luego no la entendí porque no quise entenderla. Ella solo me miró y no dijo más. Tenía listos todos los instrumentos que necesitaba y sin demorar más, empezó a sacar sangre. Sacó dos tubitos completos, lo que me hizo sentir algo vacío, y los dejó a un lado. Encima de cada uno escribió “Test ELISA” y mi nombre.

 Me aconsejaron comer algo al llegar a casa pero simplemente no lo hice. No quería nada de nada y ya no me importaba mi brazo que estaba más normal que nunca. Ahora sí me había golpeado la realidad en la cara, cuando vi los tubos al lado de mi brazo antes inerte y cuando la doctora me habló en términos matemáticos. Todo retumbaba en mi cabeza y entonces cerré los ojos, rogando que cuando me despertara lo único que tuviera para preocuparme fuera un brazo dormido.

miércoles, 29 de julio de 2015

Blood test

 As far as I could remember, I had never had blood taken from me. I had never been sick and, being a man, I had never being pregnant. So the thing was very new for me and scary. It’s kind of silly to be scared of such a silly thing but aren’t we always scared about the things that we don’t even understand? Because I didn’t even know why they wanted me to give my blood after just a routine check-up. The doctor said it was good, once in a while, to do something like a full scan of the body to be sure nothing was off, nothing was out of place. But taking blood from my body seemed very invasive.

 I am the kind of person that takes days to talk to you, even if I have seen you for a year, at work, at school or wherever. I am the kind of person that always tries to be in relationships were the other person wants more love than sex. I’m the kind of person that would never put on a bathing suit in front of someone else or shower in a public place or something like that. I would die first to be honest. So giving away a sample of blood was just as if someone had forced me to give up something that was only mine and it didn’t felt right. Besides that, I had never done it and felt silly because I knew it was something positive to do. After all, he doctor was right: I needed to get to know what was happening inside my body. I had not being in a doctor’s office for five years or more and if he wanted to know what was going on, he was the doctor after all.

 I woke up really early to give my sample. I tried not to think about it until the moment was imminent. So I just woke up, showered, put on some loose clothes and walk out home. The weather was strange: it seemed that it was going to rain but it didn’t, as if the sky was waiting to make a more dramatic storm later in the day. I just thought the weather sometimes behaved like a moody human. I walked to the bus stop and waited there for the bus that would take me to the hospital. It was such a sad thing, to be going to a hospital. I thought tight there that I pity every single person that has to go to a hospital every single day of his or her lives. All that sadness and stress and just negativity…

 I mean, I’m not the most positive guy you’re going to find, not at all, but I do try to be objective and working in the health sector must not be an easy task, maybe if you are the head of a pharmaceutical company or something. When my bus stopped, I walked inside like a zombie. I hadn’t had anything to eat, as asked by the doctor, so I felt a little like walking on air. The bus was filled with people so early in the day so I just stood up by the exit and waited for my stop. As I did so, I noticed that most of the passengers in the bus were women and then another fact of life hit me in the face: women are so under appreciated. Not because they carry life but because they keep it going. All those ladies in the bus were proof of that and I felt bad as a man.

 One of them was talking about the day she was going to have. I couldn’t hear the whole conversation, but I could guess she was a housekeeper. She was telling another woman that she had asked her boss to give her two days off as she was feeling really tired and had many things to do at home. The other women asked her if her husband helped around the house and she answered that he did but that things were still backing up. She hoped to get those two days to run some errands and just be with her children for some more time that week. That was all I heard before I stepped out of the bus, twenty minutes after I had gotten in. I felt bad for her but I thought that at least she had a steady job. Things could always be worse.

 As it was very early, there were no traffic jams on the streets and no overcrowded sidewalks. The few people around were workers of stores or vendors that were installing their posts in strategic places for the morning rush. People were going to need their coffee, their newspapers and their dose of sugar and they were going to given them all to them. I walked past them and then through a couple of blocks where not a single soul was seen. It was the perfect time of the day to shoot a zombie apocalypse scene. I imagined it and smiled for myself. I finally got to the hospital and went straight to the second floor, where I was charged for my blood test. Then I sat down and looked around.

 Besides me, there were only two other people: a teenager with his mom and an elderly couple. The teenager was obviously checking social media and seemed very focused on it. His mom seemed moved her feet and legs without stopping. By her outfit, it was obvious she worked in some office and that she needed to get there as soon as possible, which was curious because wouldn’t you open up your morning to be with your son? Then there was the elderly couple, two lovely older people that were chatting about their pills and if they had them all in the woman’s purse. She pulled them all out and I was surprised to see at least ten little orange bottles in armrest of the chair. They were saying their properties, as no one ever knew the names.

 The teenager was called first and then the couple and when more people were coming in, I finally got inside too. I got into a small cubicle were a nurse checked my arms for the best vein and the she told me to look the other way, as it may look a bit too scary. I did exactly that, as I was not really looking forward to see my blood spilling out of my arm. As she did her job, she told me that the results would be available in two weeks. I wanted to complain but my arm hurt too bad and she told me, after putting a circular sticking plaster where she had put the needle on.

 When the pain passed, I asked her why it took so long to have the results. I told her it was just a routine procedure for my doctor but she told me that all exams were the same and that they checked the blood for every possible disease I could have: hepatitis and several sexual transmitted diseases includes syphilis and HIV. When she said the last part, I got even more scared that before the needle went through my skin. I didn’t ask anything else or said anything at all. She just gave me a sheet with which I could claim the results in two weeks time. Five minutes later, I was already outside walking home. Somehow, I didn’t want to take the bus back. I had too many things in my head and only wanted to vent a little before freaking out once again. 

 As I stopped to buy something to eat, I thout about the reason why I was freaking out. Exactly five months ago I had gone to a party and, strangely for me, I had gotten really drunk. The friends that had invited me there were just laughing their asses off because they had never seen me drunk and because, strangely enough, I was a very funny drunk guy. I told just, funny stories I didn’t even know I had and I talked to people straight away, even going so far as to ask them if they have had sex that day. Bare in my mind the party was attended by, at least, forty people and only knew a couple of them. I drank a lot and, the next day I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t vomited or anything gross like that all night.

 What was weird was that I woke in one of the bedrooms of the apartment were the party was held and I happened to be only wearing my underwear and with someone besides me. Now, I didn’t know if something happened and to this day I have no idea. It was just as if all memories produced after two in the morning had been erased by the computer that was my brain. I only know I grabbed my clothes, put them on and just got the hell out of there. Days later, I spoke with one of my friends that had been in the party and he just said he found me funny when drunk. But he never said anything about me kissing or talking in a “unique way” to someone. So I didn’t mention it and I had forgotten everything about it until the day of the blood test.

 The following two weeks were torture. Every time I had a moment to think about my life, I found myself wondering if I had sex that night of the party and if it had been unprotected. As I didn’t recall anything, and I didn’t really stayed in the room the next day to see if there was a condom wrapper around, I just didn’t know anything. I just knew I was very nervous and jumpy every time someone was looking to talk to me about anything. Days were long sometimes and I just wanted the hospital to call me and tell me they need me to pick up the results earlier but maybe that wouldn’t have been a very happy call.

 Anyway, I waited as patiently as I could and when it was time, I went to the hospital and asked for my results. It was very frustrating that I had to wait several minutes for them and that I had to go through them with a doctor different that the one who had asked for the damn exam. She must have realized what was going on inside my mind because she just said “You’re fine, honey”. I felt like an elephant had ben lifted from my back and I could finally worry about other things, like my life in general and the fact that I suffered from anemia.