Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fashionably Late

Dr. E's nurse had told me that she would have the woman at Nuclear Medicine confirm the dates of my breast scan by July 27. When I didn't hear from her I started to worry. Of course, this happened to me at 4 PM on a Friday, because I can't possibly worry about things in a timely manner.

First I tried calling Dr. E's office, but I needed to 'know my extension' and I didn't have that information in front of me. Then I tried calling the woman at Nuclear Medicine, but I only got her voice mail. Her office hours ended at 4:30, so I didn't bother leaving a message. There was practically no chance I'd hear from her before the weekend. Then I did something crazy- I read the fucking paperwork that Nuclear Medicine had sent me.

And that is where the information about my breast scan was. Right there on the first page. Of course, everything was dated chronologically, except for those two dates, making it sort of easy to miss. But it was there. I had to be there the following Monday and Tuesday mornings at 9 AM. This meant a panicked phone call to the husband to see if he could go in late to work on those days (he could). And another panicked phone call to a parent at my son's school. We had a school-related meeting scheduled at 9 AM on Monday. I told her that I would be late. Totally fine. No problem.

Monday morning I left in what I thought was plenty of time to get to Oakland. There were a few things I didn't count on. First, 8:30 AM traffic sucks. At least on Fifth Ave. Second, I was parking in a different garage than I had for my last few doctor appointments in Oakland. I parked in the hospital garage, but it took a few floors to find parking and I was completely on the other side of the garage from the elevators. Finally, when I got off the elevators, I had no clue where I was. I stopped at an information desk. They explained how to get to another information desk, where they could tell me how to get to Radiology. gah. The first leg of my journey involved a pedestrian walkway between hospitals? I think. And a set of elevators.

When I got to the second information desk, the very friendly lady told me to take another set of elevators then 'it's a right, straight, right, and you're at Radiology!'. Only that was wrong. It was a left, straight, right. I found that out because I went the wrong way first.

So, I was fifteen minutes late to my appointment. Being a Monday morning and all, the waiting room was packed. I sat and watched lots of people get called in before me. Even people who had checked in after me. Clearly, I thought, I am being punished for showing up late. Which meant I sort of just had to suck it up. Finally, after forty five minutes, a guy came out to get me.

We walked back to a room where I was left to sit while he went to get the iodine. When he came back there it was, in two small capsules. It was a low dose. I would take the iodine and when I came back the next day, they would take images of my breasts to see how much iodine was taken up. If it was a lot, that would tell them that I was still lactating. But if it was little to none (what I was hoping for) that would mean treatment could proceed.

So that was it! Lost for fifteen minutes, waiting for forty five, all so I could spend two minutes with a guy I just met while I took two low dose iodine capsules. What a perfect start to the week.

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