Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wish I had a river

I wish I had a river I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long I could teach my feet to fly
-Joni Mitchell
Today was the appointment with Valley Medical. The rehab medicine people that are supposed to help me move forward. 

One thing is clear: you all are buying iPhones and iPads. On Highway 280 the Exit Only lane for De Anza Boulevard is backed up onto the freeway and there's crazy merging of Apple employees in their vehicles. It's 9:40am, or Geek Rush Hour here in Silicon "we call it flex time" Valley.

I didn't even lose it on the freeway with the desperadoes and cement trucks, or during the 10 minutes it took to get to the roof of the parking garage at Valley Medical. Didn't lose it when the desk person asked for Danny's birthdate again (identity theft, anyone?). Didn't lose it when she put another one of these on my wrist:

Didn't lose it when the nurse said to me "THAT's a pretty top!" as she put on the blood pressure cuff. Didn't lose it when the young doctor came in with his white coat and he was not Benton Giap, the doctor that was recommended. Didn't lose it when there was no explanation why not. Didn't lose it when he asked for the name of my primary care physician. And why was I there? What with both these pieces of information already in the computer. I just quoted to him directly from my referral paperwork.

I thought I was doing pretty well.

Then he wanted me to go through the entire story again, from the beginning, with all my symptoms and gruesome details, which I already did at the clinic in order to get this appointment. And countless times over the last four years to various professionals who couldn't give a flying you know what. Or maybe they do, kinda, but are never going to see me as a person like them. Who sooner or later because of their own limitations would decide I was a "bad patient". That's when I lost it.

Poor guy. You know, he's just out of med school, probably in debt up to his nametag, and no one's told him yet that the system he bought into is totally inhumane and so far, useless. He doesn't understand that there is no way I am going to trust him and his white coat until I see some results. No, I am not going to run around to audiologists and psychologists and physical therapists and what-not. It's not helpful to me to drive the freeways of the Bay Area getting lost, going through the front office routine with a different set of people each time, getting copay bills that I forget to pay, and still not having a job. Just on the off chance that some of this might make me something like a regular human (though different). 

Not going to invest any more in this shipwreck story until we make some progress. That's my new rule.

The young guy eventually brought in a senior doctor, who among other things "just wanted to let me know" about some medication for people who get angry too easily.

As if this has been easy.

Afterwards I drove to Palo Alto and met Vic and Carolyn for a ride around the Loop. Two charming people on their tandem, experiencing the iconic Loop to Woodside for the very first time. Lunch on the terrace. A lovely fall day, sunny and low 70's. The best medicine anyone could hope for.

And then Danny came home from work. I'd done nothing about dinner. At least I can sob in front of him and say "I just wish there was some place I could go to, far away, where no one would notice". 

Some place that already has a village idiot so everyone can focus on that person.

1 comment :

  1. :( You are not an idiot. I am absolutely sure of this.
    Did you eventually extract something useful from this latest round of helpers?
    I'm so sorry this wasn't immediately the right answer. Maybe they'll get it right soon?