Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another of life's little practical jokes, in which I consider if pulling all my hair out would be worth the cost of a wig.

Today we had another fun filled trip to a medical appointment. Only this one had a very special twist in which I came close to having a nervous breakdown, so it was extra special.

I worked for a few hours this morning, and came home to pick up Jared and take him to his follow up appointment with the gastric doctor. We left in a bit of hurry. Jared beat me to the car and was sitting inside of it honking the horn in short sporadic rhythmic spurts. I was not amused as I was running around inside the house trying to gather a few things, like his shoes and socks that he conveniently did not put on.

So I jumped in the car and off we went. He hadn't had lunch, but a quick/not so quick stop by Wendys solved that problem.

I have only driven to this doctor office one other time and it was from the pediatricians office, so I wasn't quite sure about how to get there. Minor irritating details of life.

It is right next to the hospital that we went to last week, but after driving there, I was convinced that I had taken the scenic route, so today I opted for what I hoped would be the fastest route.

Our appointment was for 2:15, and we pulled into the parking lot about 2:05. Our parking karma seemed to be all used up. Not a spot to be found, let alone a handicap one. What is with all these handicap people and doctors offices?

After circling several times, I spotted someone walking to their car, and followed them at what I hoped was a distance that did not scare her, but at the same time let other drivers in my same plight know that I had staked a claim to the soon to be vacant spot.

At last she pulled out, and in my eagerness we almost kissed bumpers, but I manged to avoid the fun that comes with car accidents today. So I pulled in and felt triumphant. We would need to walk a ways, but Jared said he could do it.

As I got out of the car, and went to get the crutches out for Jared, an empty back seat met my ever widening eyes of terror. I looked again. Not much chance of missing crutches that are tall enough for a 6'2" kid. No crutches.

I said to Jared, "Why aren't your crutches in the car" To which he bravely/stupidly responded "I guess you didn't put them in". Oh Mylanta.

At this point I called into the doctors office and spoke to someone and explained the absurd situation we were facing.

Yes, we are here for appointment that is in 5 minutes, but we have no way to get up to the second floor.

Does the doctor make car visits? No I didn't think so.

Is it really necessary that he actually see the patient in the flesh? Yes, I thought you would say that.

Do you have a wheel chair in your office I could use? No, but maybe next door at the hospital.

OK, I will try.

As I was having this conversation I was walking through the medical office building looking for a wheel chair. No luck.

So I went back out to the car and pulled around the corner to the valet parking. No one was there so I left Jared sitting in the car and told him to tell the valet guy to just wait to park the car.

I entered the lobby, and saw a volunteer information desk that was unattended. So I went back to where we had been last week. Down several long halls. I came to a door that was stuck a little bit, but when I put my shoulder to it, it gave way and I went back to the surgery center.

It was barren as the Sahara desert. Not a person to be seen anywhere. Obviously they were closed today. So I tried to get back to the lobby, but the door that I had to push so hard on, it was now closed all the way and locked.

Great now I am trapped in side this place. It's not that I don't love hospitals mind you, but being trapped somewhere was not my idea of a good time as I was on a mission impossible. And what would I do? Call 911 and say, hey I am trapped in a closed, locked section of the hospital, can you send a fire truck or something?

Instead I gathered my wits, although sparse at the moment, and saw a door marked "Authorized Personnel Only". Now I don't know what they meant by authorized, but if they meant someone who was about to have a meltdown, then I was authorized.

So I pushed on the door, and it opened. And then I walked down a long hallway full of people, nurses, doctors, patients IN WHEEL CHAIRS. And no one even spoke to me. Do you think it was my crazed face of determination? And it was like when you want to buy a certain car and all you see on the road is that particular car, do you know what I mean? Surely not everyone had a wheel chair, but it seemed like it.

Eventually I found myself back in the lobby, where I felt as if I had just run a marathon, not that I would know what that feels like, but if running a marathon makes you feel like you want to fall on the floor and never walk again after throwing up, then that was how I felt.

I plead with someone at the express check in TO FIND ME A WHEEL CHAIR. Perhaps something in my eyes warned her not to trifle with me, and so she went to see what she could find.

She was not soon in returning, at which point I noticed that the volunteer desk was now occupied. I hastened to her desk, where she said I could use her wheel chair as long as I brought it back. I was desperate. I told her I would be happy to give her my drivers license/credit card/second born son (Jared) as a deposit. She said it wouldn't be necessary.

The good news during all of this is that Jared had lost his phone, and so I was spared the text messages and calls informing me of his impending death or blood clot as he waited impatiently in the car. The bad news is that I did not have my mp3, and even if I did, I do not have a playlist titled musicforthefranticsearchforawheelchairbecauseyouhavenocrutches. How unprepared of me. Surely I could have anticipated such a thing if I were only physic.

The wheel chair did not have any foot rests so he had to try and hold his legs up. We raced off to the medical office building. We sped by an old lady with a walker. On the bright side it was a nice sunny day.

After all of that, the rest of the appointment was pretty boring. The doctor told us that the biopsy showed that his stomach is a bit inflamed. This could be due to stress, medications, or other things. Although he couldn't really say why it was like that, he could give him some medication that would coat his stomach. He needs to take it 40 minutes before eating. Jared is to take it for a week and then if he doesn't feel better, the next thing is to have an ultrasound.

We checked out and headed back to get the car. It was at this point that I realized that I did not have any cash. For some reason the line from Pride and Prejudice came to mind: "I wish that I had saved up money with which to bribe silly young men into marrying my daughters, but alas I did not." Or something like that. I too wish I had a stash of ones which which to tip valet parkers for desparate times when we can not park our own cars.

Do you think it was too ridiculous to tip someone with two quarters? The guy was very understanding and didn't even give me a dirty look, but I wonder what he said to his co worker. Maybe they pool the tips. That would be good, huh.

And so another medical story comes to a close. I suppose I should be grateful for such good material to blog about, but I am not sure that I wouldn't rather be postless.


Heidi Ashworth said...

Oh mylanta is right! Sorry about that. I wouldn't have tipped at all.

Kristina P. said...

What a stressful day, Pat! I'm glad you made it through.

BTW, you totally inspired me to get avocados on my pizza today, and they were delicious!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I can't beleive you guys are still up.
Heidi, thanks for the sympathy.

And Kristina, I am going to have to go and get that pizza this weekend for sure. I am still craving it. Glad to have widened your eating horizons.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Oh, and Heidi, tipping is very big in Vegas so I feel the pressure, but I suppose I shouldn't. The hospital is paying them something, right?

Anjeny said...

I was totally sitting on the edge of my seat reading your post. You tell it so good it was like watching or reading a thriller. The hospital hallways, always a creepy thing when it's empty. I was holding my breath the whole time I was reading this post.

Thank goodness that ordeal is over. Do you mind if I ask what your son have? I miss the whole lot of your posts coming in the game later.

Hope tomorrow won't be as bad for ya.

April said...

Oh my stars!!! Seriously! Were we separated at birth? This gives me hope that I am not the only one that has odd stuff happen to them!

And a dirty look goes a looooong way when dealing with children honking horns and forgetting their own accoutrements. At least they do at our house! Because then all of a sudden my speed decreases by 50%. It's weird!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Anjeny, last summer her got a horrible staff infection that went septic and almost killed him. He was in the hospital the whole month of July. In November he had a total hip replacement, because the infection ate away his hip bone. Now he is complaining of having stomach pain, which could be an ulcer from all the pain meds he has taken. But it looks like it is not that bad, but it could be stress related because it got really bad when we tried to get him to go back to schoo. I think that he will ending up missing this ninth grade year and have to repeat it. We will be doing some home schooling, but I am a bit doubtful about how well it will go. Right now he just needs to get his strength back.

He is down to weighing 131, which is what he weight when we left the hospital last summer. He has lost 20 pounds since he started all of this and looks like a skeleton. So it is my job to try and get him fattened back up. But he is sometimes resistent to eating because of his stomach pain.

We have no more doctor appointments until Monday and my hope that tomorrow will be more about me and filling my bucket.

SEBishop said...

Can you say "VALET WHEELCHAIRS" That should be on your list of things to do--hospitals that have Valent Wheelchairs!

Eliza said...

WHEW! Just reading that made me feel like I was running a marathon! Good grief! Have you had your blood presure checked lately?

Go for the biggest pizza they have and don't share. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Hi - Our seminary class "heart attacked" your front door this morning! I tried calling you all day yesterday to "warn" you, but the line was always busy! How is Jared doing? The kids tell me that he isn't in school now either. I don't know how you are surviving all of this! We continue to pray for Jared - is there anything else we can do? Do you need a vacation? Do you have tickets to the BYU vs UNLV basketball game tomorrow night? Are you as passionate about BYU basketball as you are BYU football. A good basketball game would probably help your mental state alot!! Send me a quick e-mail and let me know how Jared is doing. Tell him I said hello.
My e-mail address is
Talk to you soon,
Melinda Ringer

Smart Helm said...

All medical stories seem to be blog worthy unfortunately, no matter the outcome, income, or any type of come.

Any time u want to ditch your children you are more than welcome to come over and veg in front of my "Pride and Prejudice" or just sleep in my back bedroom. Its really quiet and dark and cold which might be a good place 4 u :-). I have lots of blankets.

I'd take ur kids and let u veg at home but I might hurt Jared when he complains :-)

Marjorie said...

I have to appoligize for laughing so hard at your plight. It's just that you write so well! You make it so vivid. I could also feel the chills when the door was locked and no one else was there.

I get the part about not finding a parking spot. Our Med Center is sort of set up that way too being spread out between the office buildings and the hospital. Kris and I have spent some time hunting for an empty space and I even have two different kinds of parking permits! I am getting so that I try to remember to include a parking space in my morning prayers. I hope that is not too irreverent!

Here's hoping that the new medication will help Jared's stomach feel better so he can enjoy eating again. What a bummer to be a growing teenager who can't eat!!!

And I think it would be a good idea to take Smart Helm up on the offer and go out for some R&R! You deserve a break today! Hang in there, I love you.

val of the south said...

Oh my gosh! I don't know how you didn't just sit yourself right down on the floor and have a nervous breakdown! I think that would have put me beyond my breaking point - you are one tough sista!

Wish I lived close so I could bring you chocolate. It heals all wounds (or at least makes them bearable!)

You do have a way with the words - loved the story!

Anonymous said...

WOW. I've a had a few medical-related adventures lately, but yours went way beyond mine and was more like an episode of 24. I was very frightened when that door locked behind you (and I was waiting for you to steal a wheelchair from a patient in the Authorized Personnel area.)

The Crash Test Dummy said...


Oh goodness! Oh goodness! I don't why I love your medical mishaps so much. I think Gad gave you these mishaps just so you could entertain the troops. It's your destiny. I'm sorry about that.

Your title is hee hee larious. And Oh mylanta. How funny is that! You're such a hoot, Pat.


K said...

Okay. I am so tired now. I didn't even laugh - it was all too awful. But I was laughing inside. No wonder I'm tired.