Saturday, August 16, 2008

Can You Spell F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.I.O.N.?

It's taken me a couple of days to write this post 'cos I really just wanted to put the whole experience out of my mind.

So when last we met, I was preparing to go to the hospital for an outpatient procedure to remove the titanium pins from the base of my first metatarsal.  Any operation requires a period of fasting, so I stopped eating or drinking anything (including water) at midnight on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Actually much earlier in the evening, after dinner.

There are four of these little beauties in my poor tootsie at the base of the 1st metatarsal.

Saint Paige picked me up at 6:15 am so we could get to the clinic by seven.  Now, the doctors have foot clinic until 10:30 so why on earth we had to be there at 7:00 is beyond me. But I like to follow orders, so there we were. Sitting in uncomfortable chairs and chatting pleasantly until 1:00 in the afternoon. We had a nice visit for sure. Then at long last they call me in to pre-op so I can strip down and put on the little hankie of a hosptital gown that is a fashion prerequisite for all hospital stays and have an IV shoved into the back of my right hand. I asked how long it might be and the nurse told me that the OR was ready and being prepped so just a few minutes. After a half hour I ask her to call and find out what was happening. The previous operation is still going on and it'll be about another hour. Ahhhh... So the OR wasn't ready and being prepped after all.  I see.

So, there I am. In the altogether protected only my my lovely blue and white hanky.  Cold. They keep the air conditioning up as high as possible to act as a preservative, I'm sure. Since it's going to be a while I ask if they can give my plastic hospital card to Paige so she can pick up a prescription I was having filled. I might be in recovery until after the pharmacy closes at 8 pm after all.

Now, I'm getting more and more anxious. A family member with an infant and a small male child are visiting with someone in recovery. Why, I don't know. But the small male child was running around and making noise as children are wont to do. I started to weep. I wanted to go home. I wanted underclothes. I wanted a sandwich.

At that moment Paige comes in to say she got my drugs and when I hear her voice, I turn around, tears streaming down my face. Her sounds of compassion get to me and I start to whine and complain out loud. I want to throttle one of the nurses. How dare they call me in there and prep me and make me stand around naked for hours if they weren't ready for me.

Calm headed Paige figures that it's not in my best interest to throttle a nurse and asks if they can call the OR again. It's 4:30 pm. The nurse picks up the phone and begins to speak. Then glances over my way and looks down. "The doctor will be out to speak to you in a minute" she says sheepishly. No operation for me today I think. And I'm right as rain.

The previous operation has taken much longer that they planned (hope the patient is okay) and since it's an outpatient clinic they have a cut off time after which they can't start a new procedure. We'll have to re schedule. I work weekends. I need recovery time. They only do foot operations on Wednesdays. It's not that easy to re schedule for me. But what am I going to do if I'm not allowed to throttle the doctor and the nurse?

So, yes.  I'm frustrated. In big elaborate bold capitol letters. F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.E.D. And that's putting it mildly. At least I have the whole weekend to do paperwork, get to my taxes (finally) and update my Etsy site (take a look this afternoon). There's gotta be a silver lining somewhere doesn't there? It might be a stretch, but a weekend off is a good thing. Stay tuned for more medical updates. If you dare.


HappyDayArt! said...

Ooo, all the grisly details. I'd like to throttle them both too! I like the way you call Paige a saint. I'll bet under her calmness she was pretty bothered too. Nice friend though. She's the other silver lining.

I hope that never happens to you again. Almost make a person resort to violence.


gilfling said...

Aaaaah I could scream for you Lora - I do hope you manage to get it all sorted soon. I can sympathise with the whole mini-back-open-to-the-world-gown experience - no dignity to be had whilst dressed up like that! Take care

Lora ~ said...

Thanks for the compassionate responses you two (and all the off line responders). I think the post was cathartic. I'm over it. At least until I hear if I can re schedule a class. If I can, then I'm a happy girl. If not, the frustration returns and I have to wait until November to get the damn things taken out. f.....ooey!

Tamra said...

I can't even begin to imagine what that felt like. I'm obsessive about appointments and time, and I know I would have been climbing the walls after the first half-hour past my appointment. And then to have to a) starve yourself, and b) sit around in hospital garb--kudos to you, Lora. OMG I would have been livid. ;-(

Something good's on the other side of whatever craziness that was.