I can’t WAIT to have some good news to put on here. I will tag it and categorize it and put it on facebook and twitter and perhaps even shoot off fireworks on that day. Today… is not that day.
We arrived at 9:30 for our scheduled chat with the head doc. Henrik something. The very same doc who teased the nurse last Wednesday, so my impression of this guy is not that great. But whatever. You don’t get to pick who’s in charge.
AGAIN there was no one at the front desk. Seriously. Perhaps at 4 or 5 in the evening, I can see someone having to step away to take care of something… but at 9:30 in the morning? And AGAIN… they were not ready for us. When the nurse finally noticed the two of us waiting, she immediately led us to a room to begin dialysis. She was ASTONISHED that Henning had an appt. to see the doctor.
Henning explained (as should be written somewhere in his chart?) that since the fistula was not working, they had told him to come in today to talk to the doc. Based on his bloodwork that was done Friday, then they would determine what to do. The nurse listened to the entire tale and at the end actually asked, “But, don’t you want to try again anyway?”
She left us in the doorway and … well, she just left us in the doorway. We found our way to a waiting area to… you know… wait.
About 10 minutes later, another someone (nurse? aid?) asked us if we wanted anything, coffee, water? I declined. The last two times we got all snacked up and comfortable, we were sent home. Henning had coffee. The main thought that I was having (besides existential thoughts like, “How big are souls, and how would you store them? Could eternal hellfire be no bigger than a votive candle somewhere on a shelf?”) was this: How in the HELL does hospitality compensate for a complete and utter lack of basic patient care?? But I digress…
About a half an hour later, we were told the doctor was busy, had NOT read the blood results, was all alone (yeah, poor guy) and would be with us when he could. Expect to wait another half hour or so… I should point out that we bring books, computers, snacks, etc. Not that we were happy, but at least we weren’t staring at the lamp, which was hanging by its cord, tied in THE most intricate knot, and no kidding, someone had used a PEN to tighten said knot in a very fascinating manner. Well… Henning wasn’t staring at the lamp, anyway.
Finally this guy shows up who is NOT Henrik something-or-other. He looks to be maybe 16 years old. That was Henning’s assessment. I would wager he has at least a decade more in him. But he DID look young, unseasoned, and worst of all, completely uncertain as to what to do next. He was also determined to call Henning by the wrong name. Which only enhanced my confidence. At least this guy wasn’t teasing anyone…
He had read the blood results and said yes, Henning (I say “Henning” so as not to confuse you, dear reader, because he persisted on calling him by the wrong name) needed a catheter. So… after talking to another nurse (the head nurse, apparently, who also told us that Henrik something or other was not even WORKING today), we headed downstairs where they would do the procedure. Today? Yes, today. I was not ready for that. I was gonna do more research…
We arrived downstairs (floor 9, as opposed to 11) and it looked EXACTLY the same. Except for one thing, THERE WAS SOMEONE AT THE DESK!! I know, I was astounded, too. But they were STILL not ready for us. Whew… I was worried for a second.
She asked for the paperwork. We didn’t have any… so guess what? I know, it’s a shocker. We were asked to wait. So we waited.
After a week or so, two nurses showed up to do intake. IN the waiting area. I kid you not. Vitals, questions, the whole nine yards. Right there. In front of God and everybody. For those of you not familiar with American slang, that phrase indicates a level of disbelief previously unreached. Which is saying something…
Then they came back a bit later, and started discussing the procedure… which was the WRONG one. They were going to put in the acute version… which is the one you get if you collapse on the street because ýou didn’t know you were sick. The one Henning is supposed to get is more durable, more workable for his lifestyle (he is still working, teaching, seeing clients, shopping, socializing, etc.), and has FAR less risk involved.
So… Henning told them that when they got it straightened out to call him back, we were leaving. And we did.
BUT… we were chased to the elevators by ANOTHER woman (higher up that the two with the vitals and intake forms, apparently) who all but blocked the elevator doors with her body as she pleaded with Henning to stay. She wanted to do more bloodwork (his level are pretty serious… yeah, we know this) to see where he is today (as opposed to three days ago) and was pretty worked up. As it turns out, his levels are no worse than they were last month, and yes, they suck. But no one was chasing us through hallways and throwing themselves down elevator shafts last month… so why now? But Henning relented, let her draw the blood, and THEN we left.
So now we wait… again.
Perhaps next time there will be fireworks? I hope so.