Thursday, January 14, 2016

After appointments on two days, a mixed report

The good news is that I have something to be upset about that is not as serious or sad as what has been going on recently, and that I have more crazy car service stories to tell, and that I think I have finally been able to get rid of Westport Transport, the company that has been giving me so much grief.

They took me to Boston yesterday for my checkup (platelets 240, yay) followed by ECP, and were supposed to bring me home today because I made back-to-back appointments and stayed overnight at Margaret's so that I could see Dr. Lin, my dermatologist, today.

Last night when I got the call from MART, which provides rides to patients making trips throughout the state, the automated voice said, "This is MART, calling to remind me of your pickup tomorrow at 11 a.m. for your appointment at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14."

When I called the vendor (Westport Transport), to say it would not be possible for them to pick me up in South Hadley because they had already brought me to Boston, the dispatcher or owner or whoever answered said to call back tomorrow (today), they were already done for the day. When I called back this morning, he said he couldn't afford to take a one-way trip.

I said they had done it yesterday, why not today, and since they had placed a bid for me they better get me home. He said to call MART, it was their mistake. After I waited on hold for 37 minutes, the woman who finally answered the phone put me on hold while she checked with the vendor. When she came back, she said that she would find another vendor because Westfield Transport was going to double its rate. I said that my appointment was at 1 and she said to put in a 3 p.m. pickup for my trip home because that would give her plenty of time to find someone else.

Dr. Lin froze more than a dozen spots on my hands and neck and then biopsied two more suspicious looking ones on my nose and cheek. With my face stinging, I went downstairs and used the automated system to check on my ride. It said I would be picked up by my old nemesis, Westfield Transport, the one that had refused to take me, at 3.

When I called the friendly dispatcher to find out if this was true, he said MART had canceled the trip to find another vendor but had been unable to find another and so his company was being kind enough to send someone from Springfield (he had just left) so that I would not be sleeping overnight in the lobby of the doctor's office.

My new driver arrived around 4:30. From the the car, I called the owner and asked why he had made such a commotion about bringing me one way when he had done it the day before. He didn't have a very good answer for this. I took the opportunity to tell him to NEVER place a bid for me again because I will have my tank full of gas and decline the ride. He said FINE.

Some people have asked me why I don't just drive myself since it is usually a hassle. I have done that occasionally. But I usually return to my original reason: It saves me money and the wear and tear of driving and the risk of getting sleepy at the wheel.

The driver regaled me with stories about the addicts he drives to methadone treatments. He said he could write a book. Most say they want the extra high and plan to keep on using. Some say they find  ways to get medical marijuana to double the fun.

After we got off at the Ludlow exit and were driving through Mount Holyoke, I told him to look out for students.

"A thousand points if I hit one," he said. I asked, "WHAT?" He repeated it.

I went straight to get Maddie out of the Pet Hotel, where she stayed because Jim and Jane are on a cruise. It was nice to see her. When I came into the cold house around 8, the smoke alarm was beeping. It needed a battery.

So that was my day.

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