Pass the effing sedatives

I had an appointment at the Royal Ottawa Hospital today to see my sleep doctor. This is the place with the small parking lot right in front of the main entrance, where every time I go I can't quite believe how easy it is to park.

Until today.

I don't know if it was a two-electro-convulsive-therapy-treatments-for-the-price-of-one Cyber Monday thing  (yeah, I shouldn't make jokes about the fact that the Royal Ottawa is for crazy people, except EVERY SINGLE PERSON I told I was going there for sleep stuff made jokes about me going to the Crazy People Hospital, and apparently if you're in a group you're allowed to make fun of the group, so...) but today the front parking lot was completely full, and there were cars parked all along the drive that led to.... nowhere. It looked like it should lead to more parking, because the lot in front is really quite small, but there was a staff parking lot, and a maintenance-and-delivery parking lot. You really had no choice but to drive along this path looking for a parking place, and then there was really no convenient place to turn around. There was a road that went nowhere, blocked with a concrete slab, so you could either make a fifteen-point turn or back up for half a kilometre, and then there was a big delivery truck I came face to face with and had to turn around in front of.

Did I mention I have pretty big anxiety issues?

There was another parking lot across the driveway that said private parking lot, which I thought maybe just meant more expensive, and I would have paid almost anything at that point, but I got over there and realized it was just a parking lot for some business that put its parking lot right beside the hospital parking lot just so they could experience great hilarity at the expense of hospital patients. Also, I almost slid into another car while trying to get out of that schadenfreude-laden parking lot, because did I mention it snowed a bunch last night?

My appointment was at 10:30. I got there at 10:20. At 10:40 I was still driving around trying to figure out what to do. Bursting into tears and going home was high on my list of preferential options. Heading for the nearest Tim's and filling my van with doughnuts was a close second.  I thought I should probably at least call the doctor's office and let him know what was going on.

Did I mention I forgot my phone?

I took one more pass. There was one spot. I would have to parallel park.

Did I mention I don't parallel park?

I took a first run at it. Ended up with my rear bumper against the curb and my nose sticking out into the drive. I thought maybe I'd misremembered where i was supposed to start relative to the other vehicle, so I took a second run. It was even worse. I figured I was remembering correctly how to do it, and remembering even more correctly that I sucked hard at it. I took a deep breath. There was no one coming down the drive behind me, so I took it as a sign. I tried once more. Now I will have to stop mocking movies where they do the big fake two-failures third-time's-a-charm thing, because I parallel parked that motherfucker like a rock star('s professional chauffeur). I got out and stood there gaping in admiration for a long moment even though I was later than I've ever been for a doctor's appointment by now.

Then I had my appointment and I've always liked this doctor but it was never more apparent than today that we just really don't speak the same language. He kept asking me things like "do you feel more rested in the morning? How much more? Is your reading comprehension better? How much better?" Um.... thirty-six percent? What do you want from me, Dude? I was sitting there feeling a bit demoralized that I don't feel that much better yet. And THEN he says, "well, the benefit from a CPAP machine really maximizes at four to six months". THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN HELPFUL INFORMATION TO HAVE UP FRONT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

He's a nice man. I hope I never have to see him again.


Amy said…
There was a day, the year that we broke snowfall records, that I had to go to the doctor. It took forever to find a spot and then when I came out there was someone parked behind me in a non-spot. Once I finally got out of my parking spot I had to squeeze between two cars that were parked in non-spots. I actually sat in the car crying before attempting it. I cried, I called my husband, I got out of the car and convinced myself I had the space, and then I went for it. I still think about it.
Hannah said…
I am so bad at parallel parking... I have actually parked illegally & braced for the ticket rather than attempt it.

It drives husband nuts, because he can parallel park anything, anywhere, and he keeps telling me it's an essential skill if you live in the city and I keep saying "nothing's that important, I CAN JUST GO HOME".

He wants to teach me. The very thought makes me want to vomit.
StephLove said…
Did you know I don't have a driver's license? There are a number of reasons but one of the most important ones is that I cannot parallel park and it's on the test in Maryland.

So kudos on getting into the spot.
Nicole said…
THIS IS A TEST. CAN YOU HEAR ME? Something is weird with my blogger profile and I'm using you to see if this works...
That parking escapade makes me feel a little stressed on your behalf. I can parallel park okay on the right side, but parallel parking on the left side is completely stupid. I'm fairly certain it's impossible and everyone else is trying to fake me out.
The Host said…
Oh, thank god. I have enormous anxiety at the thought of finding parking. I live in Toronto. Leaving the house involves walking, the subway or a lot extra time built into the schedule to make sure there will be a spot to be had.

When I was home on Mat Leave I would actually walk up to an hour ( each way, because I am a lunatic) to avoid the stress I felt around trying to find a parking spot with the baby in the car. But dammit, I was a lunatic with fucking awesome calves.
mindreader said…
I've watched people parallel park in Manhattan and bow down to their expertise (probably not everyone there can do it without playing bumper cars with the cars in front and back), but I was so impressed that they could fit their cars in what appeared to me to be impossible spots! For the parallel parking part of my driver's test many many years ago, the guy asked me to turn onto a side street in the very small town where we lived and pull up to the curb...ta da! I could parallel park and passed. We live in a fairly large city now and our daughter will be old enough to get her license very soon and other parents tell me they drive out of the city to smaller towns where their kids take the drivers test...savvy savvy parents!
StephLove said…
Parallel parking is the reason I don't have a driver's license. I just couldn't learn to do it and it's on the test.

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