While it’s not unusual that I misplace my keys, it is unusual to search for them in front of an audience. I’m in the lab reception area at the hospital. I’ve searched my bag, purse, and pockets and now I’m proceeding to entertain everyone in the room by emptying the contents of my bag onto the reception area table. “I know they must be here – bear with me just a moment.” I don’t want to get out into the parking lot to find that I need to come back into the hospital and retrace my steps in the search for them.
Where are they?!
I shake my bag to listen for the familiar soft clinking sound they make. Nothing.
Let’s see. I remember parking, getting out of the van. Did I lock it? Hope so, but I don’t recall specifically. Then I sat and waited in the chair nearest the Tim Horton’s in one of BC Women’s Hospital reception areas, writing in my notebook while keeping an eye open for someone to come and fetch me for my introduction to the CHILD Study. Still can’t picture having my keys. I had been startled when approached by a very young man who introduced himself as Michael, I quickly gathered my things and we chatted as we wove our way through the maze of hallways to the study’s offices. Did the keys fall out of my bag in my hurry to gather my things?
After reviewing the details and expectations of participating in the study, I signed the consent forms and Michael gave me the official “welcome to the study” schpeal. I asked, smiling and making gestures of fireworks exploding, if I could expect streamers and confetti. Good thing Michael had a sense of humour. We tried to plough through as many questionnaires as possible in the time we had before heading down to the lab to draw some blood. Such questions! What vitamins or herbal supplements did I take before I was expecting, and what am I taking now that I am expecting? How stressed or out-of-control versus in-control do I feel? What foods had I been craving or eating that are different than my usual pre-pregnancy choices? What did I consider to be my position in society? At the lab I waited for my turn to give my blood sample; Michael didn’t miss the opportunity to continue the questionnaire quest. We began filling out another very in-depth questionnaire about my diet. After two vials of blood were taken, I returned to the lab reception area and Michael handed me a large envelope stuffed with more questionnaires to complete and mail back to the hospital.
I’m slightly embarrassed by the sight of my personal things heaped on the table in front of me. I feel quite abandoned by my senses. Funny, none of the questionnaires asked how scatter-brained I feel. WHERE ARE MY KEYS? Finally, in a last-ditch effort I turn my bag upside down over the table. Clunk. They tumble out onto the pile of my belongings on the table. Thank goodness, what a relief!
As Michael guides me back to the Tim Horton’s I wonder if I’m being compared to other mothers in the study. After unlocking the van and climbing in, I laugh. Poor Michael, so polite and accommodating, I don’t think he knew what to do while I was hunting for my keys. I’ll bet he didn’t know what he was getting into when he decided to participate in the administration side of the study. Dealing with expectant moms day in and day out I’m sure has its challenges and bizarre moments.