Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Counts were better, and clinic was crazy

My counts were mostly better yesterday. Platelets were up to 105 and hematocrit was up to 29.9. My white count held its own but is still kind of pokey at 1.4. I would love to take one of those Neupogen shots that is hanging out in the fridge behind the grape juice and milk, but Melissa said there's no reason to take something I don't need.

The computers were down at the Dana-Farber clinic, making the waiting room feel like an airport terminal when there are flight delays. Everything had to be entered by hand, backing things up even more than they usually are.

It was hard to find a seat in the waiting room. Some people took the longer-than-usual wait in stride, while others were clearly annoyed. At one point a technician came out of phlebotomy and called three names in a row for patients to get their blood drawn, and nobody answered.

"Probably went home," the patient next to me said under his breath..
"Gone," he said when the second name was called.
"Gone home," after the third.

A very thin youngish man sat across the room, joking with the people sitting around him. They seemed to be having quite a good time. Somewhere around 1 or 1:30, he went over to the infusion window and asked if his chemo was ready. "I've been waiting since 10:30," he said, almost cheerfully.

The computers came back up shortly after I was scheduled to be seen, so my wait ended up being about an hour, which was not bad at all. I come equipped with so much reading material -- usually a book, that day's New York Times and Sunday leftovers - that I have enough to keep me busy even if I waited the rest of the day.

It is, of course, interesting how things fall apart pretty quickly when there is a computer problem, and interesting that different people react so differently. It reminded me of system crashes at the newspaper where I work. Attitudes range from angry to merely annoyed to chipper, with people wandering around talking to each other more than usual. (Up to a point, that is.)

Tonight Katie and I are going to Meryl's for dinner and to watch the election coverage. 

We have been transfixed, and it's hard to believe that it's almost over. 
For good luck, we're both wearing blue.


Susan C said...

It's funny. I am a very impatient person, but City of Hope is the one place where I have endless patience. Like you, I always come with a big bag of tricks and I always expect delays. I sat in the exam room for an hour and 15 minutes yesterday before my doctor came in. I didn't mind because I knew I was on "borrowed time," meaning that they scheduled me to see him when he didn't have a time slot available.

My daughter voted for the first time and she was elated to cast her vote for Obama.

I'm pleased that your numbers continue to rise.

Anonymous said...

That's good that they're still able to function without their computer system, even if it is slow. So many things and people are completely dependent on computers and machines, it's pretty jarring to go without them for a while...

I'm glad your apparel brought good luck! : ) It's too bad Katie can't vote yet, next time!

One Mother with Cancer said...

I.U. Medical Center just opened a new Cancer wing... It's very nice, which is good for me since it looks like I'll be spending some time there once again. I'm like you, you never know how long it is going to take so I bring a book along.