Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Rough week?

So I wake up on Mom's couch on Tuesday morning and I can see, pretty easily, that the foot's swelling has increased again, just a little. It looks okay colourwise at first but seems to get redder and bigger during the day. I have a 1:45 appointment for the doctor, so I work on some writing for West Ender and Mom and I relax a little, watching Paul Schrader's remake of Cat People. I don't know if I'm going to get a chance to talk to Lynn Lowry but I want to see a few more of the films she's in, if I can. Besides the obvious detail that the young Nastassja Kinski spends 80% of the film naked - if you like that sort of thing - and that you even get to see Annette O'Toole's boobs, which was unexpected - Lowry's scene, as prostitute named Ruthie who gets mauled by Malcolm McDowell's panther-alternate, is perhaps the high point of the movie. It certainly isn't drawn out and boring, which I can't say for the rest of the film; and Lowry somehow is allowed to keep her clothes mostly on (she mustn't have been Schrader's type).

Anyhow... I hobble off to the doctor - my usual, a young guy here in Ridge - and he's shocked to learn that the only thing that the Burnaby people tested me for is gout. He doesn't seem to have access to the bloodwork I'd done previously, but he thinks its obviously wrong that I've been sent away after only three days of IV antibiotics, AND he does something that no one else has done: he really listens about the aches and pains in my wrists (and elsewhere), examines them and finds them swollen, takes my temperature and finds me running around 38 (100 F). (I also have a mysterious lump by my right elbow which he examines and agrees is troubling, and he doesn't actually write off the whole food-borne illness speculation that I previously mentioned). He sets me up for another round of bloodwork and another round of intravenous IV, and I end up on a rush to get to Maple Ridge Hospital, since there's space for me if I make it there soon. I hobble back to Mom's with needed milk and cookies - because I have to take care of her at least marginally while all this is going on - and make a point to quickly shave my forearm, so no further hairs need to get ripped.

Then I call a taxi.

Almost immediately on arriving, I smash into hospital bureaucracy, running into one of those "take a number" types who doesn't seem to understand or care that my priority is saving my foot, not getting bloodwork. Turns out she's going to let me sit there with my number, waiting for the lab to see me, even though she believes that the intravenous IV area ("ambulatory care") closes at the same time her lab does. I get a bit steamed at her, blow off the bloodwork, and hobble downstairs.

A helpful, friendly nurse gets me to ambulatory care, but it turns out they can't do the admitting, so I have to hobble back to the main floor to register. Stairs are involved. But my foot isn't actually hurting that much, it just strikes me as ridiculous, since when I register, they basically just confirm all the information that is in the system from my visits in Burnaby. "Are you still at _____?" Yes, yes I am.

It's going to sound pretty cranky in this context if I say that it took about an hour and twenty minutes, five tag-team nurses, and seven pokes in each arm, fishing around, before anyone found a vein, but in fact I don't blame anyone: I'm fat, I'm swollen, and when you poke me with a needle, I tend to cringe, which doesn't help matters. And everyone was really really nice. One nurse got to listen to me ramble on about Nietzsche. Everyone was pretty indulgent of my weirdness and they really did try to use the left arm for the needle, which is great, because it's the one I'd shaved. Eventually someone found a vein and I got my first of what is now looking like the first of NINE MORE ROUNDS of IV antibiotics.

I go again today, with a detour to a different lab to get my blood tested, because I don't want to deal with the lab at that hospital if I can help it.

Actually, it occurs to me that Mom and I watched Who's Life Is It Anyway?, an excellent right-to-die drama with Richard Dreyfuss, John Cassavetes, and Christine Lahti yesterday, and that Cat People was the night before. I'm kinda in the mood for some hospital movies, for some reason. We started Bang the Drum Slowly last night, but I'm not quite sure I'm enjoying it yet...

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