Thursday, October 8, 2009

Remicade Round III, and Other Stories

Epic events of the week of October 5th 2009:

1)  My boss brought up that he finally noticed that my face had become a planet.  He had been watching for it, apparently.

2)  I lifted an older woman off of the concrete at the entrance to the Hospital, where she had face-planted after tripping over that obnoxious yellow striped curb.  Approaching the scene, I was about six feet away from her when she fell, headed speedily toward my bus.  Seeing her mid-flight, I surveyed the number of samaritans around that might save weak, immuno-suppressed me from having to be the one to lift her off the ground; a hospital guard, the Veterans' bus driver who delivered her, and three other Veterans were present.  Nonetheless, none of them moved toward her... they just kind of peeked over at her without wanting to get any closer -- yes, the Veterans Hospital GUARD and the Veterans Hospital ESCORT -- and so I was forced to diverge from my path.  Crouching in front of her, I did as I was trained to do as a physical therapy assistant back in yesteryear, blah blah, a crazed and delusional encouter occurred.  I got her to a stable upright position, and glared mercilessly at the guard and escort who had stood by and watched a fellow employee of half their stature do their job for them.  "Is she okay", the guard shimmies toward me with his arms crossed to ascertain the liability of the situation to the hospital.  All she was able to coherently report was that she was fine and that she had fallen over the curb, which is what I relayed to His Daintiness.  Little does he know -- if he didn't deduce from my glare of death -- that he almost got his face punched in.  I may still have the compact build of a gymnast and walk like I'm six feet tall and own the turf beneath my feet, but it just doesn't strike me as logical to let a little girl pick up an older woman twice her build (indeed) when that kind of thing is in your job description for the express purpose of hospital liability.  Hopefully this woman was just crazy, and not carrying any diseases for me to contract.

3)  Monday's Bus Attack was mimicked yesterday.  The pattern of the Weekly Episode has been aggitated: this fourth "weekend" attack which I currently attribute (perhaps erroneously) to the shortening in Bisquik, has officially been three-days prolonged (possibly by the beets, for they were first ingested following Monday's original attack).  We're still looking at three days negative Throughput.  [What this means, I couldn't say.  Neither could my GI, because he is incommunicado.  Neither could his nurse, for she is not allowed to make medical speculations, apparently.]  Fortunately, I got home before the worst set in.  Unfortunately, I had to tank up on oxycodone before heading to my third Remicade infusion, which was delayed by an hour and a half because Wednesday nights are apparently peak traffic time for the Infusion Center.  No Tylenol because the oxycodone was based in Tylenol.  No Benedryl because Benadryl + Percocet = exaggerated sedation and constipation.  No poor reaction because, well, I'm a rock star.

4) Today, I learned to inject rats.  My coworker is on vacation beginning tomorrow, my boss is in New York until Monday, and I -- the Mouse Lady -- have been commissioned to do some palliative sucrose care for some rats who are not recovering ideally from past weeks' surgeries.  Coworker is the Queen of Rat Handling, among other things, and has prepared me well.  The only thing that can stop me from cosseting these sicklings is if my allergy to them activates, which, with the help of Remicade-Prednisone-Purinethol, will not be a problem!  Pretty sweet luck, eh?

5)  My new favorite part of the weekday is Breakfast.  In attempt to develop a habitual food-drug ingestion pattern, I've begun frying an egg with a piece of toast every morning, accompanied by the first of the day's drugs, and a few rounds of board game with H.B. before meandering off to the transit center.  The food is rather crucial to the Prednisone not causing nausea (and thus the additional ingestion of Promethazine).  The board game is essential to getting face time with H.B., which is minimal these days, and for pacing what would otherwise be an unnecessarily rushed morning (id est, I wake up at 530am and leave at 7am instead of 6).  Huge. Fan.

6)  The Pharmacy has me disgruntled.  They did not think that it was necessary to notify me that my GI being incommunicado, they did not successfully get him to renew my Prednisone prescription, which was, consequently, not prepared for me.  At all.  They thought it would be opportune to wait to tell me this until I confronted them.  Fortunately, I had some expired pills from last year's bout, for whatever good they did.  Unfortunately, the pharmacy only gave me three days worth of hold-over pills until such time as they could... do not a damn thing to move the instigation process forward with my GI. 
"Ma'am, I can see there is a record that Dr. S has been notified," says the kind pharmacy technician.
"Yes, I understand that, but he is out of town until the end of October and hasn't responded to the notice.  Since I need this prescription within the next two days, would it be possible to forward the renewal notice to my PC?"
"No, there is a notice for Dr. S so he should respond to it within two days."
"... <dumbfounded pause> Alright, but if he were going to respond, it seems like he would have done so already since I initially called in the renewal ten days ago.  Is there no way to renew the prescription through someone else since it is critical that I pick it up within two days?"
"No, the notice is in the box so he will respond.  If he doesn't respond within two days we will send a notice to someone else," she's quite on-the-ball, this one.

"... Is there a reason we can't just do that now given the time-sensitive nature of the situation?"
There wasn't a reason.  But there was also no going-around said non-existent reason... so I'll be calling again tomorrow.
I don't understand why they don't understand how to pick up a phone, but I know enough about the language and intertwinings of medical services to beat them at their own game of Feigned Idiocy... so I'm on them.

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