Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pre-Surgical Hell

I had an appointment at the hospital for my pre-surgical exam. When they made the appointment they told me that it would take between 1 1/2 to 2 hours long. With that in mind, I made the appointment for 11 am, thinking I'd have plenty of time to get everything done and still be home in time for the kids arrival from school. You do know what's coming, don't you?

So first I forget to make an appointment with the Ride to take me. The Ride is how I get around, but you have to make an appointment 24 hours in advance and the hours are between 8-4. Not particularly convenient. With no Ride, I had to drive. I hate to drive to the hospital. It's quite close, down one busy roadway, and up a city street. Nothing taxing but the traffic sucks at all times. When I got close to the hospital I remembered that they're doing construction in front of the hospital so they've detoured traffic and it's totally snarled and a big mess. I struggle through lanes of SUVs with pissed off drivers screaming into cell phones, and lo and behold, there are two huge fire engines in front of the hospital blocking off the valet parking. Shit. I circle round the fire engines, hang a left into the parking lot driveway and wait. And wait. And wait. The lot is full and I have to wait until cars pull out. I'm getting later and later for the appointment and I don't have a working cell phone. I finally get into the garage and find that all the handicapped spaces are full, but I find a parking space near the door, so all is well.

I elevator it up 3 levels to the main lobby and hightail it over to the cardiology department where they tell me that my doctor isn't going to be in until 1. I say, "no, I have an appointment at 11". The receptionist checks and tells me I have to go to another part of the hospital to the pre-surgical center. Huffing and puffing, I find my way there and check in. The woman who checked me in was so bizarre, too. They send me to the waiting room, and I wait some more. After about 45 minutes I got so tired and annoyed because all the magazines were from last April, that I put my feet up and layed down and fell asleep on a tiny loveseat.

Finally they called me and sent me back to an exam room to wait some more. At 12:30 a nurse came in and asked me a bunch of questions including if I was pregnant. I answered with an resounding "No" and she wanted to know why I was so sure. That's getting a bit personal, I thought. I spoke to her for a while, and then waited and waited for the anestesiologist to show up. Dougie Howser arrived in the guise of Dr Daniel Fagin, and he too wanted to know if I was pregnant. We talked about the surgery, general anesthesia, etc. and then he told me to wait for the EKG and the phlebotomist. Now it's after 1:30 and there is no way I'm going to be home in time for the Boy's arrival from school, so I call the school and tell them to keep him there and I'll pick him up on the way home. Then I called his van driver and told her not to expect him, and the Girl's school to tell her to go home with a friend.

The EKG guy shows up and wires me up. It's alway so weird when a man does this because they have to fiddle with my left boob a lot. He does his thing, the phlebotomist shows up and takes 4 large vials of blood out of me, then sends me to do two urine samples. I go pee, return the samples, and they send me on to get a chest X-Ray. Across the hospital and downstairs I go, and sit in yet another waiting room with no magazines and only a bad soap opera on the TV. Finally they call me in, take the damn shots, and I can go home. It's 3:15 when I leave the hospital, and it cost me $8 in parking fees to spend most of the time waiting.

The surgery is getting more real now. I'm worried about how the kids are handling it. The boy refuses to consider taking any activity the following weekend because he wants to be home with me. He's worried, I can see it.

I'm going to take a nap now.
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Blogger Belinda said...

Let them be worried. It's OK. You're worried. And let him be home with you. That's not only OK, it's beautiful. Please be sure to let us know of the date and time of the procedure, so I can be prayin' for that anesthesiologist (always the part of the surgical team I care MOST about)!

And all the rest, of course. Yours is too good a heart to monkey around with.

10/11/05 5:47 PM  
Blogger Milt Bogs said...

That really is a beautiful piece of writing.

11/11/05 4:25 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I couldn't leave here, so I read on...(I did read about Pat Robertson, but I can't stand him sooo much that I just couldn't leave a comment!
This is different! I hate the way the medical profession treats your time as insignifent and unimportant! Bad Bad Form!
I think you were quite wonderful to even remain there without having a major hissy fit!!!

I hope all goes really really well with your operation. And I too hope you tell what the date is so we can all send the most positive vibrations possible.

12/11/05 12:43 AM  

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