Friday, February 5, 2016

Visit #5 Silliness

The first blizzard of 2016 to hit the Washington D.C. area dumped 29.2" at the airport we hoped to fly into.  All flights were cancelled on the weekend leading up to my appointment (on Monday) at NIH.  Happily, by Monday morning the snow had stopped, and the airport had been plowed.  Our plane landed at BWI just a few minutes past its scheduled time.

We knew something was up when we reached the rental-car desk.  We were the only customers in sight.  "Maybe it's an early Monday thing," we thought to ourselves.  No.  It was a "snow" thing.  When we got onto the beltway, heading to the hospital, we had the entire highway almost all to ourselves.  This was a first!  Lanes were sometimes disappearing into snowbanks, but the areas that had been plowed were clear and dry.  "What's the problem?" we wondered.

We found out later that the problem is snow removal, or to be more accurate:  poorly managed snow removal.  I will spare you my ranting on this subject, except to say:  A little training could go a long way.

At phlebotomy, I took a number, as usual.  What was not usual is that the automated voice that alerts the next patient to come forward was announcing my number even as I was taking the ticket from the tech.  That's service!  When I confirmed what I was hearing by glancing up at the digital monitor attached high up on the wall, I was surprised to see the screen blank, except for one number.  Mine.  This never happens.  Usually the screen is filled with numbers; the waiting room full of people.  Not today.  Today, the hospital was a ghost-town.

Off I went to cubicle #1.  Guess who was waiting for me there?  It was the Celine Dion fan himself.  Of course it was.  I was ready for him this time, though.  I answered all of his questions in song.  haha, no I didn't.  That would be crazy.  I just spoke in French.  (I am lying.  I only know swear words in French.)

Later on, we decided to head over to the CT area to see if they would take me early.  I walked up to the desk.  The waiting area was almost empty.

Me:  Hi.  I'm a little early.  My appointment isn't for another 30 minutes.  I was wondering if you could take me early.

Tech [calling up my record on her monitor]:  OK.  Um.  See.  (furrowed brows) Your appointment has been cancelled.

Me:  Cancelled?!  Does it say why?

Sleen's Brain in a split-second:  OMG.  There is only one reason they would cancel my scan.  I'm pregnant!  Whaaaaat??!?!!!  omgiampregnant wait. no.  AAAAACK!  couldibepregnant?!?  What will Pat say?  What will the doctors say?

Tech:  No, it doesn't say why.  They've rescheduled you for tomorrow.

Sleen's Brain:  OK...OK...OK.  I'm not pregnant then (virtual collapse onto the floor) But...tomorrow?!  This is a Big Deal scan.  The one that will confirm my response to the treatment!  If I don't get scanned until tomorrow, then there is no way I'll get the images before I meet the doctors in clinic and I'll have to hear the news first-hand from them.  I can't take that kind of suspense.  I will have to stalk my doctor and watch him as he reviews the scan.  He won't allow that.  I'm doomed!

Tech:  Well.  Ima going to get you in now, since you're here.  Have a seat.

I've never been so happy to drink contrast as I was just then.

It turns out that the rescheduling was due to the snow.  Snow.  Not pregnancy.  Just snow.  Way to give a cancer patient a heart-attack.