Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Strike Three

As I walked down that all-too-familiar hallway toward the Nuclear Meds Dept of WHC today, I thought to myself, “I wonder if today will be any different? Will I finally feel confident in this place?” I was going there to be DOSED for my scan tomorrow, a necessary precursor to the big deal on Friday.

I had followed the rules to the letter, not eating or drinking anything for hours prior to my arrival. I signed in and sat down to wait, watching while people came and went. At one point I saw my pal Yuri from last week’s visit go by and he actually shot me a smile, which was more than he was doing last week. After a half hour, I complained to the receptionist that I was not feeling very well and would really like to just take my pill and be done with today’s visit. Her reply was that they were PREPARING MY DOSE. Now I started to wonder at what horse-size pill this was going to be, imagining that I might even have difficulty swallowing it.

I finally asked to see Wayne, the director of the place, who had been enlightened by my doctor Deborah as to how to get results online from his own lab. His response was that my appointment was actually at 1:30 and that they just asked me to show up at 1:00 for paperwork. Are you kidding me? How much paperwork could you possibly need from me when I have all but signed over to you my first-born already? He also said something about MEASURING MY DOSE.

Finally after about 45 minutes, someone called my name and took me back to sit somewhere else and wait. She then proceeded to tell me that my pill had been delivered (by a courier?) and that the machine that MEASURED MY DOSE was not working. I’m thinking to myself – OK, you have my pill, but you don’t know what’s in it? God help me! After about 15 more minutes, another technician hurried in with a medicine bottle, someone poured a glass of water, and I got READY TO BE DOSED. I put out my hand and she shook a little pill about a half inch long into it. YOU MEAN THIS IS ALL I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR ALL THIS TIME? I swallowed it, asking if I could in fact drink all the water in the cup, since they had told me that the ban on eating and drinking extended to one hour after my DOSING. With a positive response, I gulped it down, and then bolted out of there as quickly as I could possibly move, still in slow motion. I wondered if I would feel anything as whatever was in that little pill exploded in my stomach.

Maybe my fourth visit when I go there tomorrow for the scan will finally be different. Maybe the equipment will work, maybe the people will care how I am feeling, maybe something will seem normal, but I am starting to think that nothing about this place is normal. It’s like something out of a bad sci-fi novel with mad scientists and equipment that has a mind of its own. The cast of unforgettable stars, like Yuri and Wayne, just keeps growing.


Blogger Kate said...

Hang in there, sweetie!

We are all pulling for you to overcome the idiocracy known as hospital beauracracy!

You are tough! You are strong! You are woman!

I hear you roar.


7:58 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

Ugh. These people. So scary. You need to have your husband with you as like, a patient advocate.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- I think I could write a book about how not to run a hospital after I am done.

Velvet -- He is coming tomorrow when I have to ask the big question about whether they are going to let me take my laptop into the plastic-covered lead-lined room of my 24-hour solitary confinement. He can be pretty persuasive, so we'll see. I agree, I am ready to rely on someone else to fight my battles with these idiots.

10:23 PM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

Maybe the book you will write is about your experiences with this tough time. You have the cast. You have the talent to write it.

When the book gets optioned for the movie rights, I hope I will get to play a nurse or something.


Thinking of you!

10:40 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Playful -- I don't think you would want to play any of the people I have met so far. But maybe before this is over there will be someone to redeem this crew. I'll keep you in mind for that role!

10:55 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

You will persevere. I love you.

8:46 AM  

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