Friday, August 5, 2011

A Promise Is A Promise!


Okay, I'm back. I brought my previous blog to critique group last night and there were great suggestions for me to take and correct. I will when I add these stories to book three, ( but for now, a blog is a blog...

And a promise is a promise. Right? Not in Chicago last week.

I'm really trying to look happy ... really, I am.
After I got dried up and changed and had some lunch, I headed back out to go to my 1:15 PM appointment. I dressed in cooler clothes, had water with me, and stuffed my food logs for the dietician in my purse. I was glad to have time to see everyone and get some questions answered. Better diet to lose more weight? What over the counter meds should I avoid? Can I proceed with different exercise now? What other precautions should I take? Who do I contact to send a letter to my donor family? (Very important and sensitive question.)

I stuck with the bus and arrived at the clinic early. I had my mini laptop with me so I could go over changes for book two while I waited. Once I checked in, I sat in the lobby and was ready for a long delay.

But a nurse called me within five minutes. Wow, that's like, really fast. Oh well, more time to ask questions. I made my way to the hallway leading to the exam rooms. The nurse checking me in weighed me and took my blood pressure and temperature. All was well and I told her I was feeling great. I don't even know who she was. She may have been a post transplant nurse, but she was non-expressive.

I entered the exam room and instead of the surgeon who made me PROMISE to be back in six weeks, another doctor came in. She was tired looking and seemed preoccupied with other issues.

"Where's Dr. Olsen?" I asked.

"He's out of town for another three weeks." She answered as she glanced over my lab results. I sat there shocked.

"But Dr. Olsen made me promise to be here today to see him in particular. I guess seeing you is fine. As long as I was doing good, I don't have to come back for another three or six months." I hardly cared about seeing her, but I was disappointed as I did have some very specific questions for the surgeon.

"Oh, you will have to come back here in three weeks when Dr. Olsen is here. After all, you made a deal with him and you have to hold up to your end of the bargain." She was not interested in how far I traveled and how much money it cost me to be there.

"I'm not coming back in three weeks. I'm here today. I saw you. That has to be good enough."

"Oh no it's not," she reiterated. You made a promise to see the doctor.

"I know, and I'm here now." This became a debate and competition to see who would get the last word in. There was no longer any concern about the issue I had with sharp pain weeks before, my anti-rejection levels, lab work, questions I had for some of the staff. This was a test of wills.

We went back and forth a few times. I gave up on seeing any after-care nurses. There were none around and no one even asked me if I had any concerns. I eventually got into a tug-of-war with the doctor about how long before I came back and she finally agreed to let me schedule September 21. I wanted to wait until October even if I agreed to return. She tried for the beginning of September.

"Well this wasn't a fair deal," I complained.

"I met you half way," she insisted. And after all, you promised to come back.

When I confirmed the appointment with the scheduler, she said, "I'll make the appointment for September 21, but we don't really know if the doctor will be here on that day."

I grabbed my paperwork and walked out of the office, defeated. I'm not coming back in September. This is out of control. I walked to the back of the hospital campus to catch the bus to the apartment. An older, foreign speaking man tried to peddle some gold jewelry on me.

"I ain't got no money for you. And I don't want no jewelry. Do you think I'd be waiting for the bus if I had money to give you?" He walked to the next person with his hand open. I was foul. I was not in the mood. The disorganized mess from the transplant clinic staff, the doctor insisting I simply return in three weeks, the oppressive heat and humidity, and the constant harassment of city peddlers, caused me to disdain anything in my path.

I had some salad for dinner, called my husband and vented, and tried to sleep so I could be ready for the trip home in the morning. Even that was a disaster. Storms delayed flights and the roof at the airport was leaking badly so that there were basins everywhere you walked. It was a zoo.

Yes, I made it home safely. No, the trip was not productive. Yes, I was aggravated. But I had to let it go. I will not allow the frustration to fester. I will cancel my appointment until this mess gets straightened out. I hope it does.

Author's note: This post is a bummer. A good sign to get off the Chicago topic. 8^) I am doing great and will put this saga to bed.

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