Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An 8-5 day

I am talking about a doctor day, not a work day.

The more I need done, the more doctors I accumulate, and the busier my check-up days become. I have become a master scheduler, cramming many visits in during a day or two rather than driving to Boston for scattered appointments.

Makes sense, I suppose, unless you consider the fatigue factor.

I had four appointments Monday, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 4:45 p.m., and one appointment today.

Monday morning, I took the T from Diane's to my first appointment to see Dr. Iwamoto, the surgeon who applied the graft under my eye, near Mass General Hospital. She said the graft was attaching nicely and told me to return in two months.

From there I walked over to Mass General and caught the shuttle that goes to Brigham and Women's, and then went to Dana-Farber (basically across the street and around the corner) for my 9:30 blood draw. I had a 10:30 appointment with Dr. Alyea, who pronounced my counts good (except for platelets, low but not worrisome); due to blood work a couple of weeks ago, I knew I was fine, but it was great to hear it from him. He told me I could go two months until my next appointment, a little more loosening of the leash.

He gave me a big hug and then as I started to walk down the hall, Dan DeAngelo, my first doctor, came out of a room and gave me one of his big bear hugs. I had known he was around, because I heard his distinctive laugh in the hallway as I waited for Dr. Alyea.

Next I ran back to Brigham and Women's for a quick lunch at Au Bon Pain with Margaret, who was in the area, and then returned to Dana-Farber for a 2 p.m. appointment with Dr. Goguen, aka the tongue doctor. As I waited for her, I leaned my head back against the wall and fell asleep. When she came in, she said, "Sorry to wake you." Well, she was just doing her job. She said my mouth looked good.

Next stop: Free food!

On the way up, I had seen them preparing for a dessert reception in the lobby for staff and patients. I wasn't going to miss that. I got on a humongous line that snaked around to tables laden with amazing-looking layer cakes, cookies and a token amount of fruit. The servers were piling one piece of cake on top of another on everyone's plates. I got two pieces of cake and one piece of pie, plus coffee, with thoughts ranging from, "You deserve this" to "This is a little bit much."

What can I say? The carrot cake, rich chocolate layer cake and mixed-berry pie were delicious.  I walked back to Brigham and Women's and my last appointment of the day on a sugar high, feeling like my head might disengage from my body and float away.

This appointment was with Dr. Shoji, an incredibly nice man who did the umbilical hernia repair. He said I could resume all my activities (hooray!) and told me I didn't need to come back at all, unless I wanted to show off my improved belly button.

Almost done...I walked about half a dozen blocks to the T and returned to Diane's.

Today I drove back downtown to see my dermatologist, Dr. Lin, who zapped off (with a freezing technique) the spots on my face that could turn cancerous as two others have done. She repeated that this keeps happening because, due to continued use of prednisone, my immune system is not operating at full capacity. She prescribed a new cream and said that if that didn't work, she would like to burn the skin off my face in two months.

That's not how she put it – it's called PDT – or Photodynamic Therapy – but I know that is exactly how it feels, because she did it about a year ago with good, though not lasting, success.

She scheduled it for Feb. 14, her Valentine's Day present to me.

As Scarlett O'Hara famously said, I'll think about that tomorrow.


Joanna said...

You certainly have crammed in the maximum number of doctor's appointments humanly possible. I complain if I have several in a week. You are a master at this "doctor thing."

I am glad you are back to no restrictions. Time for tennis???

PJ said...

Isn't it great to have the energy to run around like this? The dessert didn't hurt any.

Nelle said...

Impressive Day! I find I get so emotionally drained by some of the visits that two in one day are near my limit. That multi berry pie sounds so yummy. I am so looking forward to finishing my cardiac rehab next Friday. I tell you I need a nap after doing it. That's just 30 mins of excercise reaching target heart rate. I leave feeling "I'm just too old for this." lol