My First Appointment

As I said I would, I took my cough medicine last night and went to bed. That’s when I had an episode of coughing that lasted for a good 15 minutes, at least. I was coughing and spitting into tissue when I decided I was going to use the whole box so I got up and finished coughing in the bathroom. At times, I felt like I was going to lose my supper. The left lung in the chest area had felt congested and I’d pounded on it with my cupped hand until I thought I might bruise myself. It was a long time until I was able to get to sleep.

Even after I snoozed off, I’d wake up every little bit. I don’t know if it was some chocolate I ate too late or if my impending appointment was on my mind. At any rate, I went fast asleep (does anyone ever sleep slowly?) sometime early this morning.

I was in no hurry to get up. It was 7 o’clock and after when I rolled out of bed. Twinkle met me as I came through the doorway. She was just being sociable. Her bowl still had a bit of food in it.

My morning routine was much the same as usual though I didn’t drink my water kefir or juice oranges. I took a shower, did my nails (they needed it) and hair.

When I’d told my cousin about my appointment with a pulmonologist, she not only offered to go with me—she said she’d take me. I had considered asking her to go but was a bit hesitant because I didn’t want to impose. I immediately took her up on her offer. That was the end of last month. She put it on her phone so she wouldn’t forget. I was most grateful.

The phone rang and it was a friend whose husband had an appointment in the same building as mine today. We wished each other well.

There was a knock on the door and when I looked out, I saw a package on the rail of the deck. It was Twinkle’s B-12 from Vitacost and just in time. Filling the dropper was getting harder and harder. She doesn’t like this as well as the Pure Encapsulations but it’s a fraction of the price and still methycobalamin.

I did a load of clothes and got dressed. When I went to my cousin’s house, I was 15 minutes early but better than late.

We got to the medical building in plenty of time. I showed her the way to the bathroom (I was the one who needed to go—again. I’d had to have her stop on the way, too.) and then I went to the information desk to make sure of where we were going. The nice man told us the 12th floor and the suite number. We were on our way.

I signed in, handed over my photo ID and insurance card, then sat down to fill out the forms. They were really quite painless and I was done. My co-pay went on my credit card so I’ll get 30 cents back. My cousin noticed a sign that said if a patient is late for an appointment, it’s a $5 fee. She wondered if that would be refunded if the doctor is late. I doubt it.

We visited, looked at magazines, talked to other patients and generally wondered how long it would be. We thought things were beginning to move along when one of the ladies was taken back but it turned out it was just to do her vital signs. I was called for the same plus weighing and measuring. The doctor had to show the nurse how to read the measuring thingy and I really don’t think I’m that short. I’m going to measure myself and see. My O2 sat was 96 which I thought was quite decent. Blood pressure was a bit high at 130/80 but that could be partly because of the situation, too. I was sent back to the waiting room. To wait.

The view from up there was nice. It overlooked the river. I would have been happier not to have so long to enjoy it.

My cousin went to the exam room with me. The doctor came in, had me get on the table while he occupied my chair and fired off questions. I was to stop him when I heard something that applied to me. Then he came over, stethoscope in his ears and undid my bra! He had me breathe in and out while he listened to my lungs.

He told me he wanted me to have a CT scan done plus some lab work and a pulmonary function test. Later, I might have to have a biopsy. He left and the nurse came in. I told her I wanted to have my tests done locally but I made sure she would get the preapproval for the CT. She went out, then came back and said she would have to let me know when my CT would be because no one was in scheduling at that hour. I asked for the order and told her I could schedule it myself. She was surprised and I said as long as I had a valid order and she could give them an approval, that was all that was needed. The lab work can be done there but she doubted they could do the blood gases and the PFT would be done in the office, no ifs, ands or buts about it. So…that’s another trip. And then there’s an appointment after that.

We left three hours after arrival and I was hungry. My cousin needed to pick up a pressure washer and some tools at her construction partner’s brother’s house so we did that. We discussed where to eat and decided Taco Bell would fit the bill. She insisted on paying. It was the first time I’d eaten there in many a year.

Checking in with her brother-in-law, my cousin handed the phone to me. He wanted to know what this was he was hearing about me. Something that had to do with my brain? HOW do things like that get started?? I explained, then told him it was the first time in years a man had undone my bra and to make it more kinky—my cousin was watching! He figured that was TMI.

There were a few things we both needed to get at Walmart. I was looking at mangoes when I heard someone call my name. It was a couple I knew from hospital days. She had worked there in several different departments, then retired before I did. We both have the joy of not working. She said it was six months after retirement she realized how calm she was. I experienced that as soon as I made my decision. We were visiting away when my cousin happened by. She waved and said, “Take your time!” My friend thought that was so cute—she didn’t realize it was my driver. We talked longer than we should have then said goodbye. When I got to the van, my cousin was talking to a mutual friend.

It was on home after a stop for gas. It was getting close to dark dark. My cousin hugged me and handed me my purchases. I came on to the house and Twinkle was waiting for me at the door.

Checking my email, I had a long list of messages and voice mails. I called my friend who shopped Costco for me and let her know I’d just gotten in. Then I called a number I didn’t recognize and it was the friend who called me this morning. They have to go back on Monday. I do hope I’m not going to have to keep the roads hot going to doctor appointments. I answered a few of the messages and here I am.

The current Wordscraper game is not going my way. I think Genese planned it.

I’m tired. I’ve walked more than the length of a football field (one of the questions) and haven’t really rested yet. My sisters both wanted and update but they can read it here. I think I’ll go to bed.

4 Responses to My First Appointment

  1. Lila August 15, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Hope you slept well last night! You deserved it, after such long and tiring day.

    • Tommie August 15, 2013 at 8:58 am #

      Yes, I did! Thanks!

  2. Mary Jane August 15, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    No wonder you were tired! Guess you really don’t know anything yet, except that you’re in for a bunch of procedures and tests.

    • Tommie August 15, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Yes, he said that I’ll have to do them before he can tell what’s going on.

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