Saturday, August 23, 2014

Life is a Series of Different Places to Sit...

This whole mess started around 8/7, when I had an appointment with my cardiologist. After sitting in his patients waiting area for over 90 minutes, they tell me my appointment was for 2:00 PM not 1:30. Although for the past 14 months the appointment card sat on my dresser and it read 1:30. No big deal right, only my time, but I'm 68 and get pissed off easily. The cardiologist, who I'm not too impressed with, makes no apologies and declares that I need heart surgery! I had an echocardiagram 5 months ago, in March and no one bothered telling me until 8/7, but now it's urgent. This is an example of a doctor being over booked and not having time to do any real help. They want to replace my aortic valve. All things considered, this terrifies me, so I figured my only option was to get mad and didn't mind who knew it. After my echo, I was told to see another person in the practice, who turned out to be very charming, but a nurse practitioner who only suggested  an angiogram, so I told her I'd discuss it with my doctor in August. He never mentioned that, but wants me to do a stress test on the treadmill.

Fast forward to last Monday and I'm walking through Costco getting my monthly supplies and out of nowhere, my foot starts hurting. I favor it a little but go on shopping. By the time you get to this age, you're used to unexpected pain. By Wednesday night, my foot looks like a balloon with toes and is red just before the youngest toe. I decide that I'll never be able to walk a treadmill with this swollen foot, so I search the medicare book for a Podiatrist. After talking to several receptionists and answering services that will not accept my part B insurance, I reach Dr. Mohamed who does accept United Health Care, Whew! Plus after hearing my sad story, Barbara, the receptionist, was willing to give me an appointment for 2 hours later in the afternoon of the same day, Thursday. Plus they were almost walking distance from my house! I arrive at the office right on time and am offered a booklet to fill out, oh God! Now why in the world do you need references to see a doctor? Not to mention that I'm there for a sore foot and why in the world do need to know what caused my parents demise? (I think it was from arguing so much).

After waiting for a half hour or forty five minutes, she calls "Mel". The pain in my foot was almost gone from sitting right under the air conditioning vent, it was about frozen. I still limp in, for effect. By the way, the waiting room was way classy for 1990, full of mirrors, chrome and glass top tables. I'm escorted to new place to sit by a really cute 18 year old blond girl, where I wait alone for about 20 minutes listening to laughing and giggling outside my door. I check my Facebook page and a few other places I like to surf and finally the door opens and a little guy, a few years younger than me comes in, along with his entourage of girls. A visiting female doctor about 25 and two other assistants. Turns out the little doctor is a comedian, let the fun begin. I volunteered that I'd had this same thing happen about 20 years prior and the podiatrist then told me it was a twisted tendon, gave me a cortisone shot and sold me orthodics. He laughed and explained that there no such thing as a twisted tendon. Everyone laughed but me! Dr. Mohamed gave me a cortisone shot and the pain started going away almost immediately, but wanted me to get an ex-ray and have blood drawn to rule out gout or a fracture, at two separate places on Friday. I told them that when my foot started hurting on Monday at Costco, I called a tow truck, but they wouldn't come, finally getting a laugh of my own! I left, walking somewhat normally.

Friday, I finally found Smiles, the imaging place and entered and was asked to sit with the receptionist to fill out pertinent information. I told her that I'd never been to their place before, but somehow she had my info in her system. She looked at me and said, Fisher, Mel? She then read off my social and address and told me that I'd been a patient in 1999. I asked what had been wrong with me and she said a lower lumbar ex-ray. I told her it was better now and thanks. I was then asked to sit in the general waiting and did what I was told. It was nice, but as soon as I got close, I noticed that there were about 5 people sitting there and 3 were asleep! I burst out laughing, is this the waiting room or the sleeping room? My laugh awoke an old man 3 chairs down. He looked and went back to sleep.

Next, a twenty something lady comes out and yells MEL! I limp her way and she takes me back to the inner waiting room where I'm asked to have a seat, (big surprise). Three chairs over is a woman wearing a terrycloth robe, also elderly and I look up at the TV and I Love Lucy is playing. Naturally, I thought I had somehow gone back in time! I asked the woman if that were Lucille Ball or my imagination? The woman brought her index finger up to her mouth and said, shhhhh....... Pretty soon my twenty something came back and said to follow her and of course I did. She walked me into the ex-ray room and asked to sit on the table. Again I complied. That's when she put on her rubber gloves. I asked her if she were old enough to remember NOT wearing rubber gloves for everything. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, no, gross...

From there I went to get blood drawn and you know what happened there. I was asked to sit in a few more places, when finally I left and got into my car to sit on the way home... Monday is my podiatrist appointment and then Tuesday is the treadmill and a bunch more places to sit!