Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hurry up and wait... and wait... and wait

Yesterday, John was scheduled to get his second chemo treatment. The hospital told him they would call us when a bed was ready for him. So we get his bag packed, get showered, dressed, because we want to be ready to drive in to Philly as soon as they call. It's around noon, so we go to our favorite diner for lunch.

By 1:30, we still don't hear from the hospital. John wanted to go to the movies to see the new Harry Potter movie, but I'm afraid they'll call as soon as the movie starts. The movie is 2 hours and 25 minutes long, and it's an hour drive to Philly if we don't hit a lot of traffic. So I talked John out of going to the movies and maybe we should just head on down to Philly and avoid the rush hour mess. So that's what we do, but the way we went (through North Philly... fun fun fun) takes us over 2 hours anyway.

We finally get parked and go to admissions and get registered. By this time it's around 4 pm. Still no phone call that a bed is available. Wander down tot he cafeteria, get a drink and a snack. Go to the car with a wheelchair and get his stuff out of the car, because we want to be ready when the call comes. Wander back up to admissions and sit and wait and wait and wait.

I get the brilliant idea to open his laptop and watch a movie while we wait. John packed his first 5 Harry Potter movies to see to refresh before seeing the Half Blood Prince. We get about 30 minutes into the movie when the supervisor, Carole comes out to tell us that they are SOOOO sorry, but a bed just isn't available for him today. She says we should have waited for that damned phone call before driving all the way down there for nothing. We told her we were just trying to avoid rush hour and he had this scheduled for a month! Carole then tells us that he can have a bed, but it won't be on the cancer floor. He can still get his chemo but he won't have his regular team taking care of him.... he'll have a resident and an intern.

Uh..... no. We'll wait for the bed and have his regular doctors and nurse practitioners take care of him. Carole tells us that we should go home and they'll call us tomorrow when a bed is available for him. Personally, I think they should have gotten us a room in a hotel for the night and not made us drive all the way back home to wait yet again... but that's just me.

So, now it's Thursday morning, John is at home, in bed, because he's being VERY lazy today and I'm back at Burger King (because John doesn't have online access at his apartment). If the hospital calls, he'll call me and we'll go. He's now missing 2 days of work and still no chemo. The man is not too happy right now.


In other news, you know when it rains, it pours? Sometimes I feel like the kid on Charlie Brown who always has the cloud over his head.

On Tuesday, I was at John's apartment because I'm on vacation this week. I had some errands to run for him. Did I mention that my inspection stickers had expired? And how I've been praying a cop wouldn't notice it? I need a catalytic converter to pass inspection and I was hoping to get away with it until next month when my next support check arrives. Well. Lucky me. A cop with very good eyesight spied the stickers and stopped me, And gave me 2 tickets totally $180. He told me to get the car inspected, plead not guilty, go to court with proof I have the inspection done and they'll drop the charges. Sort of like an expensive warning if I don't do it. So I get John to drive to my mechanic so I can drop my car off (we live about an hour apart).

OH! Before this happened, I went to the pharmacy to get one of John's RX filled. The kid behind the counter takes these boxes out of the fridge. They are John's Neupogen shots he'll need to take before the BIG chemo and transplant. I was planning to go straight from the pharmacy to the hairdresser, which are not close to each other. Now I have to go back to the apartment to drop these syringes off because they have to be refrigerated. THAT'S when I got the ticket! Once I get home, I realize the kid never gave me John's pills, the reason why I went to the pharmacy in the first place!!! GRRR!!!!! So it's back to the CVS, get the stupid pills, and drive an hour to the hairdresser. When I finish there (I feel so much better since I got my hair cut!) I drive back towards home to drop my car off at my mechanic for inspection, because I can drive John's car since he's not going to be using it.

Fast forward to today (Thursday). This morning, my mechanic calls. I need a catalytic converter to pass inspection. The funny thing is, last year, he told me I needed a catalytic converter to pass inspection, but we discover it's still, but barely, under warranty. so we take the car to the local Pontiac dealer and they run a diagnostic. They say, no, it's NOT the catalytic converter, but a computer issue (my mechanic is swearing it's the cat). The dealer fiddles with the computer and the check engine light goes off and I pass inspection. Three months later, the damned check engine light comes back on and guess what! It's the catalytic converter!!! Personally I think the dealer didn't want to do a free repair job and played with the check engine light to make it go off.

I called the dealer and told them what happened. I want to know if they'll honor the warranty since they didn't fix the cat when it WAS covered. He tells me GM has to make that decision. So he gives me the GM number and I talked to someone about my problem. She tells me to get a diagnostic done and then they can make a determination if they'll cover the new cat. My mechanic drives it over, they take one look at the mileage, say it's not covered and refuse to even look at it. Now my mechanic is driving this over as a favor to me since I'm not at home. So I had to call the dealer again and talk to them. So now they are going to do the diagnostic, the lady from GM is supposed to call me back this afternoon and hopefully, if Murphy's Law is NOT at work today, I can get this fixed for free and only have to pay for front brakes and inspection!

In yet other news, we did see Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince last night and it was excellent!

And in other news, I've been invited to be a featured blogger on the Wellsphere Healthblogger Network! Apparently they like my posts about John's cancer treatment and want to put my posts on their site! How cool is that! So I"m thinking about it and want to check out their site before I commit.

OK, I think I've let John sleep long enough. I'm going to head home and get his butt out of bed! I want to be ready to hop in the car as soon as the hospital call us!


Sally's World said...

suddenly my day doesn't seem so bad, i'm so sorry you're having to go through this...waiting is so hard, i hope you hear soon...sending love and well wishes xxxx

Ice Queen said...

Yeah...we definitely have the same kind of luck! It's always darkest before the dawn.

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

Good luck - I hope you got the call between 10am-2pm, between rush hour.

Pastor Sharon said...

Joanie, I'm sending you love and peace. It's hard to know how to schedule anything when you have to hurry up and wait and wait and wait!

Alix said...

Joanie, I have three words for you: wow, wow, and wow. You're not kidding about the black cloud business, but I can't help but believe it is just a trial period for you... you know, the Lord leaning on you a little bit to see how strong your faith is. Happens all the time. Keep that beautiful chin up, steel your resolve, and bulldoze through. The skies will clear, I promise. And what could be better than getting a standing ovation from God?

Your inspection ticket story reminded me of back in March when I got a speeding ticket (only the second one I ever got in my entire life) on my way to the nail salon. I was coming home from accompanying Larry to his sleep study doc, otherwise I would probably still be in bed. I almost turned into my subdivision, but decided to go, instead, a half mile down the road to the nail salon to get my nails done for my step daughter's wedding the next day. I got stopped ten yards from my turn lane into the salon parking lot, and after the whole ticket receiving ceremony, I continued on to the salon only to find it closed. Freaking figures.

lisa said...

Good God, woman....are you still standing?? That was quite a whirlwind of adventure. John is very lucky to have you. You're amazing. And don't forget to tell us about your guest posts! Well done.

Jim and Garret said...

I hope the cat converter works out for you... they can be expensive. I've worked at several dealers over the years, and 1 most recently as a service manager. Warranty repairs never come out of the dealers pocket. It still makes the dealer money but at a reduced rate. It's unlikely they wouldn't have "wanted" to warranty it months ago. Make sure you find out what the codes were previously and now. If they are the same codes you may have a case.

Joanie M said...

Thanks, Garret. I'll have my mechanic check that out.

Maureen at IslandRoar said...

Man girl, you got a LOT going on! Hate that car crap; hope it works out. And so sorry about the hospital waiting game; I think it's good he's waiting for his regular team.
It's the running around that gets us, isn't it? The damned pharmacy and then having to go back AFTER the ticket.....
Keep smiling. Thinking good thoughts for you!

Amy said...

Wow. You had quite the day, didn't you? You're a good woman!

The Retired One said...

Good Lord, woman!
Just READING about your day made me dizzy.
You are amazing.
Like the energizer bunny!