Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Series Of Unfortunate Events Concludes

So...when last we met, we were discussing my impending trip to the lady-doctor, with a detour after a day at waterless Newmentia where I missed my lunch, to my mom's house to drop off my boys for safekeeping. And a stolen moment to use her facilities, because I had to hold it all afternoon or use a port-a-potty frequented by high school boys.

After snagging a bottle of water from the fridge at Chez MaMa, I hit the road for my medical check-up. I was cutting it close with the unanticipated stop. The original plan had called for my mom to meet me at school and take the kids. I was barely on track. I had just enough time to park in the last row of the lot and take a leisurely ride up to the 4th floor in an elevator crammed with snotty toddlers. But before I could even get to the lot, in the final stretch before my final turn, I had to stop behind a school bus.

Normally, a school bus stop does not faze me. Students are my bread and butter, you know. So I don't usually fret when the wheels on the bus stop going round and round. This was not your average bus stop. There was a blacktop road down to an apartment complex, and apparently the families had to meet their children at the main road so the driver knew somebody was home for the small fry. As I sat behind the bus, 10 cars lined up behind me, I saw the kids climb down the bus steps and hop onto their blacktop road. Two boys began running down the middle of that road, weaving from side to side between the waiting parked cars, tossing a plastic football of the type handed out at homecoming parades or home football games. A straggler got up and walked down the bus aisle, then climbed off reading a book, also walking down the middle of the road. A gaggle of five youngsters climbed into the bed of a pickup truck, sat on the sides, and were whisked away down the road to the apartments. Thank the Gummi Mary, the school takes such safety measures to protect them, what with sitting while the bus is moving, pulling that ol' bus crosswise in the road when letting kids on and off so nobody can speed around it, and stopping at railroad crossings. But once they disembark, it's a fool's paradise, and anything goes.

I knew the bus would be pulling back into its own lane now, and I could get on with my business of rushing to the lady-doctor. But no. It remained parked. I looked through the glass of the emergency exit, and saw the driver, silhouetted against the light from the windshield, sweeping the aisle. I kid you not. In the middle of a main thoroughfare, one block from the hospital with its emergency room, the driver was blocking traffic both ways, with his STOP sign out, to sweep the freakin' floor!

After an eternity, the geezer sat down, buckled up, and reeled in his STOP sign. I proceeded at the breakneck speed of a crippled turtle to the hospital. Once there, I saw that they must have laid off the guy in the little trolley thingy due to the price of gas, parked in the back row, and hoofed it on into the lobby. I caught the first elevator, along with a mother and three snotty toddlers. She pushed '4', and I settled in for my express elevator to H*ll. Except that it stopped at floor 2, where an employee got on and pushed the '3' button. A perfect end to a perfect trip.

Once I got to the 4th floor, I signed in and forked over both insurance cards. I was given a checklist to fill out. I turned it in and sat down to read a new book, which was really an old book, ordered off Amazon Sellers for a pittance, an old favorite, One on One. You know, from the basketball movie with Robby Benson. I got to the second paragraph when the receptionist called me back to the window. She gave me my insurance cards and told me there would be no copay because I had two insurances. I put them away and turned back to the second paragraph. Then she called me back up, because she had forgotten to scan one of them. This time, I waited at the window until she was done. As I turned to go sit down, an old lady walked up and put her purse in the seat where I had been sitting, so I went to pick up MY purse from the seat right next to that. She turned to help her elderly rotund husband, who thanked her for her trouble by slamming face-first to the carpeted steel-plate floor, after first muttering, "Well, shi..."

This little incident was a bit disconcerting, what with the plethora of paraprofessionals who materialized out of various offices, including my receptionist, who, though I'm sure she meant well, would not be the first person I would chose to resuscitate me in an emergency. The old gent was shaken up, asking for his glasses several times, which his wife had picked up. Everyone told him to stay put for a minute while they assessed if he was a goner or not. He said he was OK, that he'd stubbed his toe on the carpet. A nurse from the office he had come out of asked him how she should go about helping him up. Several helpers hefted him to his feet, and a nurse from the lady-doctor called me in.

The only good thing about the whole day was that their scale was broken. I was put into a room to have my blood pressure taken. I warned that nurse that with the day I had just had, I was not giving any guarantees. It was fine, though, 128/72, which is what I pay good money for at the pharmacy. She told me the doctor would be in to see me before they tortured me, and I waited about 5 minutes, because they are usually pretty fast there. I heard them outside arguing about insurance and which one and how to change it and then I realized that they were talking about MY insurance. I commenced to feel a bit of anxiety and a touch of heartburn from the stomach acid eating away at my stomach lining, what with having a headache all day and no lunch and no water except for the ride over and the dude falling on his face and now my insurance snafu and the long wait when I just wanted this whole thing over. So I popped a Pepcid and took out my book and read to page 35 before Mr. Lady-Doctor waltzed in and told me he wrote the computer program that they use to track patients at that hospital and that it is being marketed, and I guess that should have given me more confidence in him but he's still the jolly white-haired lady-doctor to me. He asked why I was there, and I told him I was a drug-seeker, because I didn't think I could get another two years of prescriptions out of him without an office visit. He agreed, and we set on our merry way to make things right.

After all the rigamarole and a quick exam the details of which I care not to discuss and the squeezing of my goiter and the drawing of blood, he told me he would send my prescriptions to the pharmacy post-haste over the computer, and that he was tripling the dosage on my thyroid medicine. The quest for those meds has since proven this little adventure to be a walk in the park, but that is a story I may never get to.

All this reminiscing has left me exhausted.

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