Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kleptomediac

So we…along with many others reading this here post…have been spending way too much time in medical facilities. You know, doctor’s offices, hospital rooms, padded psychiatric evaluation cells…whatever. The reasons don’t matter. The point is that I’m we're there…and I’m we're bored.

One time, I was at the eye doctor for my dad. There was no cell phone reception (notice I didn’t say “no cell phones allowed” because, c’mon…who listens to that?)…I had no bars. Not a one.

At one point, they’d kept us waiting just long enough that I decided to use the restroom. Think of it as the party guests' opportunity to sneak a peek into the host's medicine cabinet. Not that I ever do that, mind you.

THAT’S when I remembered that I was out of toilet tissue at home and would have to make a special stop to pick some up.

Or, would I??

Exhibit #1:


There were plenty of them…all neatly lined up. Surely no-one would miss just one? I stuffed it in my father’s duffel bag that he takes on all doctor’s appointments to carry his plethora of lists of medicines taken and medical conditions (past and present and projected) and insurance cards and extra notebook paper and plenty of extra pens, in case his daughter (the writer) doesn't have a pen. Don't even get me started...but I figured if we get caught, who’s gonna yell at at an 80-year-old toilet tissue thief with bad eyes?

Then there was the doctor visit when Taylor broke his hand. The nurse kept going into this cabinet and bringing out these bags that she would karate chop to activate and they’d get cold. I wondered if one could come in handy someday.

Exhibit #2:


Maybe I could keep it in my car for emergencies...I could save someone's severed thumb in a terrible car accident by karate chopping my instant ice bag and gently wrapping said thumb for the harrowing ride in the ambulance. I'd be a hero! And I'd be sure to thank the people at Taylor's doctor's supply cabinet for keeping extras on hand for just such an emergency.

Then my sister Kerry had some problems with her knee. She had several casts and this involved many forms of gauze, tape and plaster. It looked very soft and almost…cloud-like. Cute attendant-guy said I could take some…so this one isn’t really stealing, permanently borrowing, right?

Exhibit #3:


I do believe that cute attendant guy's actual motive for giving me extra was because he could see that I had absolutely zero coordination in controlling my sister's wheelchair and she'd already howled in pain several times as we'd navigated the hallway leading to the examination room. So, in all actuality, he was being very prudent. Don't you think??

We then had a follow-up visit for my sister’s leg and I found myself thinking that it really made no sense to have the gauze if some regular old scotch tape wasn’t gonna stick to it anyway….and my sister bristled at the idea of using rainbow shades of duct tape, which I thought was a stellar idea.

Exhibit #4:


This stuff is really pretty close to duct tape but a yawn in color. On the plus side, it stuck well to the hairs on Taylor's arm when I tested it, so it's a good back-up to my packing-tape-in-place-of-hot-wax-for-hair-removal-Lady-MacGyver idea....so, it's a keeper. Plus, you can wrap a part of your body up and get tons of sympathy from people for unexplained reasons...

Then I had to take Connor to have a strep test done a while back. The nurse used this really long Q-Tip…and I found myself thinking that there were probably at least 847 times I’d wished I’d had a Q-Tip of that exact length.

Exhibit #5:


Oh, c'mon! You know you want 'em. They're great for getting the last little bit of eye cream out from the bottom corner of that bottle that you overpaid for at Macy's...and how about fishing out that drop of ketchup someone accidentally dropped into the vent of the air conditioner whilst simultaneously eating a hot dog and watching someone set off fireworks out the window? Not that this has ever happened...

I must point out that I never considered myself to have a problem of any kind with procuring a seemingly insignificant number of items that surely would never be missed by anyone…anywhere. Surely the benefit to ME would WAY outweigh the odds of anyone realizing they’re short 10 unusually long Q-Tips from a supply cabinet, right?

But then, I accompanied my dad back to the eye doctor for a post-op visit.

Exhibit #6:


There was a whole drawer of them…just sitting there. I could smell that new plastic smell as I slid open the drawer in (you guessed it) the rest room. I don’t know what I was thinking as I deftly slipped one into my bag….other than, “it’s sterile. Maybe I can use it to hold paper clips, or tartar sauce, or something…”


Crap. Okay, so maybe I have an itty-bitty problem.

"Hi. I'm..."Gwendolyn"....and I'm a kleptomediac. I may, possibly, probably need some help."

(Just don’t tell my dad. He’ll never take me anywhere again…)



**Author's edit: To those who were interested, the lovely and talented Lynn @ Allegria Images left the info about that blogger who used the intriguing method of answering comments at the bottom of her next day's posts. Just scroll down to the bottom of the comments under here to see what she had to say. Thanks, Lynn!

Lynn said...

Verdict? Guilty. Sentence? Therapy. And chocolate. Lots of it.

Nance said...

They say that kleptomania is exacerbated by severe stress. I think the stress of waiting forfrickinever in doctor's offices counts. I'm going to do a study as soon as that research grant comes in. You're Exhibit #1 in my grant proposal.

If they don't buy that and send me money for it, I'm going for Munchaussens by Medical Supplies.

In order for me to make money off this little problem of yours, you must continue to produce symptoms and journal examples. I'll give you some of the money. Deal?

kathryn said...

Lynn: I'd like to plead insanity, your honor. And I'd like my therapist to be handsome, single and preferably a fan of high-end gift-giving for progress in therapy. The chocolate goes without saying. PS: Did you see? Many (including me) were intrigued by that blogger who posted comments on her next day's post. If you ever run across her again, shoot me an email.

Nance: (Hangs head) I always knew it was simply a matter of time before I became someone's Exhibit #1. I like the idea of the Munchaussens as a backup...since I am technically drawing attention to myself by posting about it here on this here blog. Since I can only assume my journal examples will be public, we'll need to add an additional $100k to the grant proposal for emotional pain, suffering & embarrassment...which I may or may not feel...but better to be safe than sorry. I'm IN!

Krista said...

LMAO... oh dear. The urine sample container had me giggling out loud. Glad I'm alone in the office so far.... LOL!

j.m. neeb said...

You very well might have a problem, but I'd advise against going somewhere to get it diagnosed. (I'm just thinking of the poor bloke who would most likely end up missing his therapist couch.) :)

Alan W. Davidson said...

Har! Never pegged you as a medical supply pack-rat. And I won't say a word about that klepto business...I mean, there's got to be a hundred practical uses for pee bottles, right? Hey, I've got a sister named Kerry as well! Snap!

Dorn said...

Tartar Sauce huh?

I took this photo while waiting in an exam room.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_HYMPAHT9VEk/TCwfvFKY44I/AAAAAAAAAvs/H3eKsSnDQrA/s1600/Semen+Analysis.JPG

Yep, just chillin' there.

Think twice my dear.

diane rene said...

OMGosh I thought I was the only one who did this! when I came home from a doctor appointment with a box of beautiful purple non-latex gloves, hubby was appalled! I told him I needed them for when I dye the girls' hair - plus, they were the perfect color!

hello? what do we pay all these high insurance premiums for??

kathryn said...

SMOOG: Urine sample? But. It's sterile, right? And empty...right? I mean, it doesn't have to be for pee pee, right?? I figured it was a nice, clean, clear jar with a nice, tight, screw-on top. Maybe this is one impulse-grab that should have remained...untouched!

j.m. neeb: Oooooo....a nice leather couch! It's probably leather, so it's easy to wipe away all those therapeutic tears, right? And I could always use an ample supply of tissues with my allergies and all. Can I borrow your truck?

Alan W. Davidson: Hey, one of these days, someone's gonna get hurt on that basketball court...and you're gonna WISH you had some of my cloud-soft gauze and super-yawn-colored-ducttape-tape. THEN who'll be laughing, eh? I love the name Kerry...who couldn't love someone named Kerry??

kathryn said...

Dorn: OHMYGOD. Could it BE any more obvious?? What I found hilarious is that the bag is sitting on top of what looks like a greeting card...and on top of that looked like a mass card to me...which can't possibly be right.
I'm sooooo glad you took this photo...and no worries...I won't be touching a damn thing in that office!

KellyGrrl said...

That's too funny! I totally do the same thing....... haha

Kimberly said...

I was good until you took the urine sample bottle. Really?! You thought you could use that without being reminding that it is intended for someone's pee? :)

With my many recent visits to hospitals and doctor's offices, I have had quite the opposite response as yours. I want nothing to do with the "stuff" they have there. I just wanna go home. And never ever ever ever go back!

kathryn said...

diane rene: I KNOW! I've often considered the gloves...but I have a JUMBO-sized box from Costco at home, so it would be a waste. See? I only pilfer things I genuinely need. And HEY. The day my copay actually covers the entire doctor's visit, I'll rethink it.

KellyGrrl: I'm glad I'm not the only one then! Question now is: Is this a girl-thing? We need the guys to weigh in on this one...if they'll be honest!

Kimberly: OF COURSE I knew it was meant for pee...but "sterilized" is "sterilized", right? I wouldn't feed someone from it (altho, I wonder if I could?), but surely there's a perfect use for it out there somewhere. And that's the other thing...it has no bad associations with it, so I'm golden. I can totally understand your position, though...

sage said...

You should get yourself some latex gloves for when you're called into the big leagues of crime, you'd not want to leave fingerprints... Funny post and you're crazy! But I know the feeling, I was in a hospital today with zero bars on my cell phone--but I read and then closed my eyes and slept until I heard my name called...

Gigi said...

You've made it all so clear! The reason doctors and hospitals charge you for every little thing (look at the line by line bill and you'll see they do) is because they WANT you to take the stuff that they are charging you for! You are brilliant!

Hey - got any long Qtips I can borrow, I need to clean some hard to reach places in the kitchen....

Carol said...

My ex husband always did that! I would be writhing in pain and he's going through the drawers in the ER looking for stuff to take home.

brite said...

and how about fishing out that drop of ketchup someone accidentally dropped into the vent of the air conditioner whilst simultaneously eating a hot dog and watching someone set off fireworks out the window? Not that this has ever happened...

Of course not.

kathryn said...

sage: What? You slept until your name was called? That means you were there for...you?? How, in God's name did you read and sleep? Did you consider moaning and writhing in pain in the middle of the doorway? I find this method to be quite effective. I hope you're okay, mister...and I'll be picking up some latex gloves to store away for the future!

Gigi: See? We just didn't realize that we were supposed to take all that sh!t!! Funny how they never explained that. I might be able to spare you a few...I'm telling you...these things are like GOLD. Probably why I felt I couldn't steal (I mean, permanently borrow) more than about 13. Why don't they sell these in the stores, I wonder? They're freakin' handy-dandy.

Carol: Ha! I would've been yelling, "PAIN MEDS! FORGET THE STUPID BAND-AIDS! FIND THE FREAKIN' PAIN MEDS!" Yikes! Don't they know it's all about prioritizing?? You only take the good stuff!

brite: Huh. I may be mistaken here...but I'm sensing a bit of sarcasm, missy. I'm actually thinking that you're thinking that the event mentioned may have actually occurred. You wanna know the truth? Well, I'm taking the fifth.

Lauren said...

But at least you can use your blog as proof when you plead insanity. I mean... yeah... that's what I meant. Sorry.

Gay Guy said...

Lots of issues to overcome here, my friend.

First, that toilet paper looks thin and uncomfortable. Spend the dough and get the kind that's like a duvet. It's worth it.

Second, I don't care about your . . . let's call it a shopping issue . . . I just care about your reputation. The last thing you want is reaching into your bag for your checkbook or wallet and all that product come rolling out. No one likes that.

Thaydra said...

When my kids were babies, I would take a couple extra diapers for the diaper bag, or the squeezy ear wash thingies... Sometimes the tongue depressors or q-tips. I mean, these things come in handy someday, right?

Missed Periods said...

You may be single-handedly responsible for rising health care costs.

Vince said...

We cannot swipe anything for the medical-B's keep the stuff under lock and key. So we don't even have the easing of nicking something from those 'persons' in an futile attempt to balance the scales. Our lot could give lessons in charging to yours and often do.
I really would love if the Governments opened up the medical schools. For even in the US it is DC that controls that aspect, operating hand in glove with the AMA. Now that should soften the cough of those medics, were there a 100% increace in their numbers over a 5 year section.

Spot said...

Oh Holy Hell! You made me spontaneaously bust out laughing loudly in my empty house when I got to the urine speciman cup. I was totally with you til then. (I love those extra long q-tips) But that might have been one step over the line there. =]

♥Spot

Heather said...

I don't see anything wrong with getting some supplies for the house. It is for the "Just in case" moments and who knows when those will happen.

My dad has this habit of taking sugar packets and napkins. We always teased him but they do end up getting used and the napkins do come in handy in the glove box!

carissa said...

I loves it. I haven't (knock on wood) had the opporutnity to steal from many medical places.. but i steal from hotels like crazy. Raid those carts.

Jen said...

You are a klepto. That's okay we've all done it. Sorry I've been MIA. Been kind of in my own world this past week.

kathryn said...

Lauren: HA! I think the next-door neighbor heard my bark of laughter at this comment! Yeah, I suppose I'm setting myself up for those men with the white coats...but will anyone really be surprised when that day arrives? Seriously??

Gay Guy: I am in complete agreement with you over the t-paper, my friend...(and your concern for the comfy-factor of my tush is soooo touching, btw). Truth is, that roll is still un-used and is truly delegated for extreme emergency only. You'll probably hear my howl of pain if I ever need to use it. As for my upstanding-rep...so we're seriously thinking I still have one? Even after all these posts? I love you, man....I really do.

Thaydra: That is absolutely correct, my friend. Those extra-long tongue depressor have a 1001 uses...and maybe we won't want to have to buy them in gross at some craft store. So, where's the harm? I'll bet they expect us to pilfer something...like the soaps & shampoos from the hotels.

kathryn said...

Missed Periods: HA! Wow....at least I'm single-handedly responsible for something! I'll bet there's people out there that hoard this stuff, right?

Vince: No...no access to the supplies? Under lock and key, you say?? Would a credit card work? I mean, here in the US, they keep you waiting so long in that little room, you'd have lots of time to give it the 'ole college try.

Spot: Yeah...(hangs head) I figured I'd better fess up when it came to that little cup. I guess I realized I may have crossed some imaginary line....if even I think it's over the top!

kathryn said...

Heather: It's so true! I can't justify throwing away those ketchup packets or extra napkins or plastic silverware they throw in the take-out bags. Ya just never know when you might need them, right? Right!

carissa: Well, it's the same principle. Just a different venue. Probably less stressful...but then, you have to worry about the maid coming out of the room and catching you red-handed...

Jen: I am. (Hangs head again) But I'm happy to hear that I'm not alone. Honey, everyone's been out of it lately....WTH is going on? Is it something in the freakin' water?
Weird...really weird. Can't seem to stay on track.

Jerry said...

I've seen TV and I know a confession when I see it....a typed confession signed at the bottom.

Now searching for a reward offering.

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