A.R.M. (kinkyturtle) wrote,

Ultrasound at the Invisible Starbucks

Went to the Medical Center for an ultrasound for my kidneys today (result: yup, there's two of 'em). But I wanted to hit whoever gave me directions to the building!

On the phone, I was given a street address of 26400 Fannin and told that the building had a Starbucks on the first floor. So I drove to the Medical Center. Now, driving in the Medical Center is tricky and scary. Fannin is densely packed, rigged with dozens of stoplights, and then there's the whole left-turn-lanes-being-located-right-on-the-Metrorail-tracks thing. So, I figured a Starbucks would be a lot easier to spot than a number on the side of a building. So I looked for the Starbucks.

I spotted it easily, but had trouble getting to the building because it was on the other side of the street and guess what! You can't make U-turns there! I had to drive north about a mile, leaving the Medical Center, before I could turn around. Anyway, I finally got to the building, parked in the horrible garage (it was mostly Reserved spots and I had to go up to the roof), and went down to the lobby and up to the 16th floor.

Guess what? Wrong building! Not only was it not 26400 Fannin, there's no such place as 26400 Fannin, and even if there were, it would be several miles to the south. The Medical Center covers the 6000 block of Fannin. So I guess either I misheard "6400" as "26400", or whoever I was speaking to was new there. The lady I spoke to in the Wrong Building guessed that perhaps the building I wanted was next door.

So I went outside and started walking. By now it was too close to my appointment time to move my car, I figured.

I kept walking. 6400 was farther away than I thought it would be. Boy, was I glad I'd bought a bottle of water at Quizno's.

I kept walking in the hot sun, and had to jog over to Main Street when I hit a building under construction that had the sidewalk blocked off.

I kept walking, tempted to turn around, drive home, call and reschedule.

But I got past the construction, jogged back over to Fannin, and decided to try one more block before giving up. Finally I found it! 6400 Fannin! So I went in, noting the presence of *another* Starbucks as I walked past. Of course. Oh, and this one was not visible from the street. Whoever told me to look for a Starbucks needed to be hit! Preferably with a thrown cup full of café latte or a scone or something.

So anyway, after half an hour of filling out some forms, waiting, talking to a clerk and paying, I finally got to be ultrasounded. This consisted of me lying on a table while a technician poked, rubbed and pressed at me with gel-smeared plastic sensor thingies and kept telling me to take small breaths and hold them. Every now and then I heard greatly magnified bloodstream noises, and when I turned on my side so she could poke at the left kidney, I got glimpses of grainy grey images of indistinct shapes.

Eventually it was over, I was given a towel to wipe the excess gel off my sides, tummy and shirt (oops), and I left. Not wanting to walk all the way back from the Invisible Starbucks Building to the Visible Starbucks Building (a distance I later learned was a hot sweaty half-mile), I took the Metrorail. Fortunately there were stops right outside both buildings!

So I went in, stopping at the Visible Starbucks to get more water, got my car and drove home.

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