Thursday, December 17, 2015

When complaining gets you nowhere

I might finally have to say goodbye to MART, the transportation authority that gives free rides to patients. In exchange for some good stories (another to come) and saving on gas, mileage and parking and fatigue in driving, I am not sure if it's worth it anymore, especially since I am now going every other Wednesday to get ECP, or extracorporeal photopheresis, the light treatment that has greatly improved the graft-vs-host disease that caused my skin to to thicken and harden.

If you are tired of hearing about this, you can STOP HERE.

If you want to hear about how I waited 45 minutes last night at Dana-Farber for the company to send a new driver from Springfield because the one who had taken me and who was supposed to pick me up disappeared, and how my new driver told me that he had five children with four different women and that he was a father at 14 because his then 19-year-old babysitter got pregnant after having sex with him since he was 8, and about how I called MART to complain for the third time and asked if that was enough to get a new service, and how the person said no, you have to complain several times, and how I said several is three, and how I called my efficient Turkish driver friend to see if I could get him back and how he said Westfield Transport is offering a lower bid, then you should continue.

If I get that company again I'll either drive myself and stay overnight at Margaret's or Diane's, or get a ride if someone wants to drive me and sit around or go someplace for the three hours. Actually it's fun at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center. The nurses are nice and friendly, and there is a camaraderie among the patients (when they are not sleeping) and the people who sit with them. When I left yesterday, I was a little sad to be skipping a week. It shows how perceptions can change because when I first heard I had to do this, I was not happy about it.

Since I have the number for Westfield Transport, I might also call directly and tell the owner not to bother bidding for me because I'm not going to go if I get them again.

My driver taking me to Boston yesterday was half an hour late. Someone asked why I don't drive myself if they are late. Firstly, I think they're about to come. Secondly, my car was in the shop getting new brakes.

When he finally came, he said his boss had told him to pick someone up in Northampton at 12:30 and take that person to the doctor, and when he told his boss that he would never be able to get me at 12:45, his boss said he didn't care. He also told me that the owner wanted him to drop me off in Boston and take someone back to Palmer and then come back to get me, and that when he told the owner that he would then be late for me, the owner said too bad.

I told him he better get me at 6:45. None of the drivers who take me have the time to do another run; they hang around in Boston until I am done. There was no sign of him at the appointed time. I called and he didn't answer. I called the owner, who impatiently told me that he would look for the driver. About 7:30, a different driver called and said he was stuck in traffic on Memorial Drive. When he picked me up he said the first driver had gotten a flat tire. I don't know how he got a flat tire when he was supposed to be waiting for me.

My new driver had been in the car all day. He had started at 4 a.m. and was just beginning to call it a day when he got called to come get me. He was pleasant, albeit telling me more than I needed to know about what his babysitter did with him. He asked if we could stop at a rest stop, and I said sure, why not. At this point I needed to decide if I was going to just eat the Cheez-its I had brought from the donor center or get something to eat. I knew that by the time I got home it would be too late to make anything. I thought I would get a slice of pizza, but that place was closed, so I got a cheeseburger at McDonald's. The less said about that, the better.

When we got to my house around 9:30, my driver was upset that I hadn't left a light on. Some people might think I should have left a light on, but I said I didn't want to use electricity all day when I wasn't there. Looking at the woodsy area around my house, he said, "A bear might get you." He waited to make sure I got in OK.

A touch of kindness in a crazy day.

Still, I had a bad headache, and after doing a couple of things, I went up to bed.

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