It probably would created a shocking gasp on Gray’s Anatomy if T.V. Dr. Meredith Gray saw a black cricket on the floor next to a patient’s gurney. But there was no fanfare for me. I just smashed it with my shoe and hopped up onto the bed, not really sure if the nurse had changed the green sheets or not from the previous patient. Yes, I said GREEN!
St. Joe is a very old hospital, probably as old as the biggest city near where we live. At one time they had a pediatric and OB ward however it has been farmed out to the larger campus in the Lutheran network of hospitals. If mothers arrive in the ER in labor then they are put in a transport vehicle of some sort sent to pick her up by the staff at the other campus. Surely lotsa babies are born en-route or in the parking lot with this crazy system! Who ever heard of a hospital not delivering babies? We’ll see no-mo babies any more at St. Joe, just a few black crickets to match the worn linoleum flooring. I did notice 2 months ago however, that they finally replaced the bedside tray tables — the ones with levers that were duct-taped together! Now that was sanitary, eh? Er, no!
The outpatient nurse, Mary, is as sweet as can be. Since the hospital doesn’t have their own outpatient clinic, her charge nurse assigns both outpatient and ER patients to her caseload. She runs around the whole time I am there for my monthly appointment. Yes, I still have my infusa port flushed every month so I use the opportunity to take in some extra fluids if I need them and have any labs ordered to be drawn at the same time. I just bring a lunch bag, binge on HGTV, and make a day of it! Unfortunately my appointment in the ER was a bear this past Friday. Six and one-half hours after arriving, I felt about as much like “toast” as that crushed bug still on the floor when I left. It shouldn’t have taken that long. But every month, I end up hanging out with Mary for at least 4 hours for a one-hour procedure. It’s just the way it goes.
This time, it took the first 3 of those 6 hours to determine that one of the blood work panels would require 15 vials of blood if I were to have it drawn at the ol’ St. Joe! Maybe I forgot or maybe I never knew that there’s another lab actually closer to our home that has a special kit for this particular panel; the kit enables multiple tests completed from a few vials of blood. St. Joe could do the panel but I would probably be billed over $400 more and not be able to walk out of there due to the resulting weakness from the drawing of so much blood. So it was not to be; we just some other routine labs, and finally AFTER EIGHTEEN HOURS OF FASTING, I ate everything I had with me! I should have taken Mary up on her offer of a box lunch as well. I was sooooooo hungry! All of this probably contributed to the convulsive episode that followed the de-access of the infusa port and an extra 3-hour nap the next day. What a life, I tell ya!
Someday I hope to have the infusa port removed. My Doc may be reluctant to order this procedure since it was only 3 months ago that I needed six days of IV antibiotics for pneumonia. That was another fiasco of a story left to another day. If only I could go to the newer hospital closer to my home this process would be less exhausting. Can’t do that either in case things should go wrong and I end up in the chamber room of the abusive nurse in the ER who might still work there. Better check on that one sometime: does he still work there? Regardless, I seem to benefit from regular infusions of fluids when Mary flushes my port at the ol’ St. Joe. Things shall remain status quo for now.
The monthly sojourn to St. Joe will henceforth continue until an insurance denial, a swarm of locusts, or maybe even something wonderful happens first. Something wonderful? We can always be hopeful right? JJ
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming [a]locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.” Joel 2:25-27a