Saturday, July 29, 2017

First a recipe. 

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Guacamole

Bake 4 skinny sweet potatoes in the oven. 40 minutes at 450. Or whatever. Crack open and slap a giant spoonful of store prepared guacamole upon the steaming orange flesh. Take a small spoonful of store-made mango salsa and decorate the top of the guac with that. Eat and rejoice. You're welcome. 


Do you know how you're starting a new job and someone will say." It's not like this is brain surgery." which I have always taken to mean-something like: Nobody is going to live or die if they don't get their library book/relaxation massage/unsquished bananas/publishers clearing house envelope/yatayatayata. (Altho me without a library book is a very bad thing indeed.)

Well, doctors appointments are brain surgery. They have information and/or tests or treatments available that need to be delivered in a timely manner so as to possibly reduce some pain and hopefully extend your time on the planet. Or whatever. 

Are you with me on this?

I had a catscan pre-surgery. It's purpose was to give the surgeon more information. I got a strange sort of copy of the report-it was jammed sideways into a excel cube-so it was very long and hard to understand but there were a few unpleasant key phrases that jumped off the screen. 

You recall there was some trouble contacting the hematologist before the surgery. She was away. There was a sub who read my stuff and who's pre-surgical requirements for me were so extensive that I had to cancel the surgery. I didn't have enough time to make the required blood thinner transition and so the date got changed and all was well with one small exception. 

My hematologist wanted to see me.

And it was impossible because I was going to be in there in bed, so I put it off. We nearly ran away from the whole thing. Oh yes, we did. On these big, dumb, stupid surgeries, there's a point where you're not quite up for a day at work, but you could manage to look out the window of your car, so we've taken some little car journeys along the way. 

It is not ideal but it was something. 

But, this time, financial considerations being what they are, and having this impending information delivery crisis on the horizon, I decided knowing was better than not knowing and I made the appointment.

You maybe have noticed, that I go to a lot of these things on my own now. P has several commitments. My health bullshit is a drain on our relationship(<-- understatement). He provides drains too. Nothing is perfect but there are no weekends in New Orleans when you're dragging yourself down a hallway on a walker in Maywood and if it's not going to be some sort of news relating situation, there's no need for him and his legal pad to screw up his entire day in which he secures rubles which can be exchanged for guacamole. Generally speaking? I got this. 

For this one, I asked him to come. But no banter, I warned. For some reason, this physician and he would get into this hard-core jibber-jabber cross talk and it was really pissing me off. 

The appointment was for 3:30. He had additional obligations and asked me if I could make it later. The doctor had closed out all the remaining appointments so, one day they were there? And the next day-no. 

Got there at 3:20. Entered the room at 3:25. She didn't come in the room until 4:00 and when she did she said something like, How long have you been been in here? Like we decided to go camping or something. 

She had a medical student following her. 

So, she said, what are you here for? 

I'm sorry, what? said me. We got the message that you needed to see me. 

What? No. I was wondering why you were even on my list of people to see today. We're not scheduled till November. 

I look at the medical student. You wanna learn something here? I said. Don't do this to people. 

(Good! said my Dad when I told him.)

There's more words from her. She had not reviewed the cat scan. She looks it up and begins to read it. Oh no, she says. You have to talk to a liver doctor. 

P negotiated with her for a copy of the cat scan. I got out of her waste of time office like a bat out of hell because it was after 4:00 on a Friday and I needed to get on the phone to Loyola-from Loyola-because apparently I needed to see my primary care guy for a referral to a liver doctor. I initially took the Monday at 9:15 but P waved me in the direction of Tuesday. I have got to get back to work. 

We were pissed/shaken/rattled/rolled/folded/spindled/but not mutilated. 

We sat in the car with the doors open. What do ya wanna do? Ice cream? Hole in the Wall? No, Polar Bear. He had a strawberry sundae, I had a root beer float. We sat there. 

My phone rang. It was the hematologist. She said she had called radiology and that their findings were unclear and that she was ordering an ultrasound so they would know what the status of the blood clot is(and you could argue that if we hadn't experienced this ridiculous appointment-this information might have never come out-so there's good in it somewhere-if you look). If the blood thinners aren't working, I need to make a change. If it's not that? It's something else

One of the changes, and I'm going to talk about this with the Primary Care on Tuesday, is who's going to be the replacement for this hematologist and when. 



  1. I am so sorry. That is outrageous conduct for a doctor. Can I share this with my friend who happens to be a doctor And president of that hospital?

  2. Funny because I just filled out a survey(regarding the last hernia surgery and how fantastic the doctor/nurses/experience was) who's cover letter was signed by that president and I thought, ya know, I wish I could sit down with that guy.

    Sure. I think he should know.