credit:  Online Stock Photos

credit: Online Stock Photos

Last week was a heck of a week for me as a patient. Let me tell you about it . . .

On Tuesday, Sept. 23 I had an appointment at 8 a.m. for a lung function test.  The test was to be done at a new office to me located in a nearby mall.  I had never been in this mall before though so I wasn’t sure where to go.  I drove through the parking lot trying to find a sign to give me an indication of where I needed to be.  I found an entrance next to the Walmart, saying Northgate Professional Centre, so I parked there & inside the building found a map showing where I needed to be.  It turned out the office I needed was on the other side of the mall on the second floor so I boarded the only elevator & went upstairs.  Once there I had to wend my way around a couple of corners before I found myself in the actual mall.  I set off walking slowly due to my breathing problems & bum knee.

It was interesting to watch all the mall walkers getting their exercise as they passed me hobbling along with my cane.  Little did I know, this particular mall took up 3 blocks of property.  I kept walking & walking & walking.  Finally I saw the name of the clinic I needed to attend.  Just before I got to the clinic I took note there was a Dynalife office next door.  I had a full PFT (pulmonary function test) done.  When you have a breathing problem this test is very exhausting.  While I was in the chamber I could hear my cell phone ringing in my purse.

When my test was done I went to the Dynalife office next door.  My pulmonologist had been bugging me to get some blood work done & I had the requisition with me.  When I walked in the door almost every chair in the waiting room was occupied & there were 3 people ahead of me in line.  After an hour of waiting I was called in where they drew 5 vials of blood & then did an ECG to check my heart.  Finally done, I made the long walk back to my car.

By the time I got to the car I was exhausted, but checked my phone to see who had called.  It turned out it was my primary care physician – he wanted to see me & they could squeeze me in right away, so I rushed to his office.  After waiting for half an hour the doctor informed me there were problems with my stool sample (from my annual physical the week before) & I needed to have a colonoscopy.

As soon as I left my doctor’s office I had to rush off to my psychiatrist’s office for my appt. where he kept me waiting for half an hour.  By the time I got in to see him he remarked I did not look happy.  Apparently they had changed my appt. time to half an hour later than I was originally told & according to his records, the girls at the front desk had “left a message.”  I did not get the message.  Medications didn’t need any further adjustment at that time so I went home.  I was thoroughly exhausted & had a long nap.

When I awoke from my nap, my right wrist was so sore I could barely move it.  I couldn’t figure out what I had done until hubby came home from work & suggested it was probably a result of having to use my cane for so much walking that day.  Luckily I have a brace so I put it on for a couple days & then it was fine.

On Thursday I had an appointment for a chest CT scan.  I had been waiting for this appt. for 6 months but I was definitely not looking forward to it.  I am extremely claustrophobic & during other scans I have had panic attacks & had to be pulled out of the machine in the middle of the test.  Hubby had driven me because I was sure I was going to have to be sedated.  Why is it no matter what test I am having done it’s always a long walk away from the handicapped parking?

Even though I was a half hour early for my appointment, I was taken in right away & given a gown to change into.  A very chipper aide came to get me & take me to the room with the machine.  She joked all the way there & made me feel so much more comfortable.  When I entered the room I involuntarily let out a groan.  The aide was at my side right away.  Luckily it was one of the new machines with the wider opening.  She explained exactly what was going to happen & kept reassuring me the test would be over in 2 minutes.  Of course I didn’t believe her.  She got me positioned on the table & slid me into the machine feet first which was a great relief to me.  My eyes were in the machine during the test but the top of my head was not.  I just closed my eyes & held my breath when asked & 3 minutes later the whole test was finished!  I thought they were joking – I had gotten myself all worked up for this?  I won’t know the results until next month when I see my pulmonologist again.