It’s been a busy week, by retirement standards. Lots of writing, more reading than usual, a quick trip into Toronto, and a first meeting with two medical specialists. Well … one.
I woke a bit hung over from a new ‘sleep’ medication prescribed by the first specialist. My sleep has been ragged lately and it’s hoped a few nights with this medication will help even out my cycle. I frequently have a strong reaction to medications, especially the first time I take them, so it’s no surprise I woke feeling drowsy and fuzzy-headed.
Being a person of routine, I tried the usual. Fixed a bowl of cereal, fussed and petted Jasper (the family guinea pig) while he purred, then fed him his pellets, timothy hay, and treats. Started a fresh kettle of water, warmed a teapot, measured out Spring Lung Ching green tea, brought in the newspaper and left it at Marion’s placemat (I’m not a newspaper reader), ate my cereal while working on a sudoku puzzle. I’m thinking someone’s changed the classification scheme. The “easy” puzzle feels like “challenge”.
Marion comes downstairs — hugs and kisses — and she fixes her cereal. She’s already dressed and is about to head out to her Thursday morning art group. She shows me an abstract, surreal self portrait she worked up last night. It looks really good. She packs up her gear, says her goodbyes, and drives the car out of the garage. I finish my sudoku, my first cup of tea, and cut some fresh greens for Jasper. Redleaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, some green beans, a bit of parsley, a bit of dill, a bit of cilantro. He stands up against the side of his cage, eager to get at it. He lives to eat.
I clean up the breakfast dishes and pop into the living room to open my laptop and do a quick check on email and new forum items. And appointments. Ah, yes, 10:30 today with the gastroenterologist. Queensway W, right across from Trillium Hospital. A short bus ride. Hmmm, not that much time left — I’d better get cleaned up and dressed.
It’s a new doctor so I dress in the better of my two pairs of jeans and put on a proper shirt, one with buttons on the collars. What to take? Sibyl, of course. List of meds — shit. Got some new ones and they’re not on my spreadsheet yet, which I maintain on Google Docs. My time is running short. Fortunately my desktop is on and I try to access the spreadsheet, but it’s asking me if I want to sign up. Damn. I need to log in first. Go to Gmail and try to log in and the system is so slow I get timed out. Trev, right, he’s doing some massive downloads overnight and there’s no bandwidth.
Running out of time, I pull the plug on the basement segment of the network (advantage of having the central hub in my office), bandwidth is restored and I get my doc printed out. Along with the sheets from the drug store. No time to update it if I’m to get to the doc’s office on time. I still have to catch a city bus. I’ll pencil it in in the waiting room. I plug the network segment back in and head downstairs to put on my winter gear.
Okay, boots on — I hate boots and boot laces — coat, toque (hat), gloves, scarf. It’s -20 degrees Celsius and I’m hoping there’s no wind. Almost out the door. Crap. Forgot my bus tickets. I don’t take the bus very often. Pat myself down on the way upstairs. No cell phone either, no nitro spray, no watch. I grab them all and rush outdoors to the bus stop.
I’m lucky. A bus going north on Hurontario comes along soon. It’s cold. Even in the bus I leave my hat on and my collar up. I get to Queensway and step off to the sidewalk. Good, not too icy or snowy. It’s a big intersection and I have to make two crossings to get to the right side of the street.
I find the building — 101 Queensway West. Let’s see. No I can’t see. I left the referral paper at home. What was the name of the doctor again? Wait I remember it was suite 200 something. Elevator to second floor. Look at floor directory. Yes, that’s him!
Enter office. “Is this your first visit? Okay, please fill in this sheet and bring it back to the desk.”
I get out my stuff and fill in the meds I’m taking, the dosages, my main recent medical events, any medical allergies (does penicillin giving me diarrhea count?), and the reason for my visit. Reason? Possible internal bleeding. Reason enough?
When I take the filled-in form back to desk, the very polite receptionist thanks me, then says, “Mr. Wilburn, I wondered why I couldn’t find you in today’s appointments. I checked, and your appointment is for March 5, not February 5.”