(Pre-blog side-note: That website front page for AZ Cardiology is kind of ridiculous. Maybe it’s just me … but look at it. I mean, really look at it, Notice anything just … off… about any part of it?)
8:19. I know i am late – by four minutes. Normally, i’d be all harried and apologetic … but cancer has seriously impacted my daily pace and pretty much everything i try to do; i no longer seem to feel guilty when i am late anymore. I check in but don’t get too comfortable; i anticipate them calling me back for my echocardiogram any moment.
8:30. I look around at the almost empty waiting room and wonder what’s taking so long. Maybe i am being punished, for being late. My dentist does that. Whenever i am early or on time, i get sent into one of the rooms right away … but when i am late, there is always a 10-30 minute wait. It’s passive-aggressive, but i don’t blame them; i am pretty sure i would do the exact same thing if i were a doctor, and my patients were late to my appointments.
8:46. “Miss Ashburn?”
There’s no “h” in my name, but that’s cool. I’ve heard it all my life. Hooked on Phonics didn’t work for everyone.
I follow the technician into a room and proceed to change into a 3XL dressing gown. Pink. Again. This makes the third time.
I wonder if they give males blue gowns. I ponder what they would say if i brought my own dressing gown with me. (I have two. They’re my size, and they’re pretty. I wore one for my mastectomy and will wear the other for my reconstructive surgery in a few months.)
I lay down and stick my head inside the slightly enclosed part of the machine. I wait. for minutes. I think about getting up and grabbing my phone to track how long this will take. I wonder why i care; i am in absolutely no hurry to get to work. I pass time by recalling the 87-point word i played in the waiting room on my Words With Friends game, criticizing myself for playing that word but STILL being behind in the game. I have a coughing spasm, and my nose starts to run; i wipe it on the dressing gown because i have no tissue with me. I end up being glad that i didn’t bring my own gown after all.
Seriously, what time is it?!
The technician comes in and starts fiddling with the machine. I hear some noises. I can’t, for the life of me, remember how my last echocardiogram went. I don’t even remember when it was. Was it before chemo started? How long does it take? What’s the difference between an EKG and an echocardiogram again? Why can’t i seem to remember any of this???
More time passes. Slowly. Suddenly, from inside the machine, i hear the technician pipe up. “Either there’s something wrong with you, or there’s something wrong with the machine.”
“That’s not funny,” i instantly reply.
It turned out there was something wrong with the machine, so i had to reschedule for tomorrow. Twelve hours later, as i sit here typing this, i am *still* wondering what the heck is wrong with some of these medical personnel. Last month, i had that Lab Corp lady tell me all about her parent dying of cancer as she’s doing my blood work for chemo, and now i have this AZ Cardiology technician making jokes about my heart when there is actually a serious risk of heart complications from taking Perjeta.
I mean, seriously lady – CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE is a potential risk of this chemo drug. It’s serious enough that my oncologist has required that i get echocardiograms each month for the duration of treatment, and you think that it’s a good idea to be cracking jokes about my well-being while i am inside of your ultrasound machine?