Today was my first time going to the doctor on my own since going blind. I’ve only been a few times, twice for physicals and once for a mole removal, but those times either B drove me or a friend went. The first time I had a physical, a friend actually stayed in the room until the doctor came in, helping me change into the paper gowns and such.
The second time I had a physical, my friend stayed in the lobby and I used my cane when they called me back. Today I went with Jayden and took paratransit. I was like 6 months overdo for my physical. Oops!
I was a little nervous about how it was all going to work with paratransit. Since I schedule a return trip, it’s a little nervous making when you can’t be positive how long you’ll be at a place. When I used to work in the lab way back when, I’d have patients take paratransit there. We were a walk in lab, so you never knew how long it was going to take. You can do a will call, so you don’t schedule your return trip; you call when you’re done. I would have patients waiting for two or more hours for their return ride, because they have to fit you in since you don’t schedule a return. No way in heck I’m ever gonna do that.
When I made my appointment, I told them I’d never done paratransit there and was there any way I might be able to guestimate how long I’d need. We decided to schedule me for the doc’s first appointment of the day. The physical is a thirty minute appointment, but she recommended leaving a little leeway time in case things ran late.
I had an 8:50 appointment, and decided to schedule my return at 10:15. So to get picked up, my window was 7:50 to 8:20 and my return was from 10:15 to 10:45.
I was dreading being up and ready to go by 7:50. I was picked up at about 8am and got a little nervous when we encountered traffic and still had to pick up one more passenger. I wanted to have plenty of time to get in and use the restroom and stuff. We got there about 8:30, perfect.
Jayden had never been there before, so I asked the driver if we were right in front of the door and we were. I remembered that it’s a somewhat long sidewalk to the door and told Jayden to find the door once we stepped off the van. I love it when you can feel them sight in on what you ask. As soon as I said the words, we were off. He lines me up perfectly to reach out and grasp the handle. Wow.
I knew the counter was right to the left once we walk in, and the receptionist had actually seen me get there and had come out to sign me in. I asked if I had time to use the restroom and she asked if I knew where it was. I said I did and directed Jayden to find the door. I felt him sight in on the door into the office and I saaid “go right, find the door” and then I felt him sight in on the restroom. Wow.
When I was done I said to find the chair and he took me right to one. I already knew he was good at that lol.
The receptionist called through the window that she had a sheet for me to fill out.
“Oh! I knew that,” nervous laughter.
I laughed back, “No problem, do you need my Medicare card?” She did, so I had Jayden find the counter. “People ask me if I need light, things like that, all the time,” I said, “I even seriously thought about borrowing a book from my sighted boyfriend.”
I’ve noticed that when people do that kind of thing, it helps if I tell them it happens all the time. Jayden found the chair again and then we were called back.
He did great while I was weighed and measured and when the vitals were taken. Then we went into the exam room and he stayed by my feet. Suddenly I had to pee again. Carin, remember mafia guy bladder? Yeah. Crap. It’s my appointment time, but there’s no way I’m gonna be able to manage the doc prodding my abdomen. I began cursing the one cup of coffee I’d had in the morning along with my glass of milk. There was no waiting.
Now, before Jayden, this would have been a pain, to stik my head out and get some help. Instead, I walked out with Jayden and ran into the doc, asking if her if I had time to use the restroom, saying I was sorry with the bad timing. Jayden got me back out to the restroom and back into the exam room no problem, and quick. Would have taken forever with my cane.
When the doc came in she asked who the great dog was, but didn’t try and pet him. In fact, no one did. They all said how beautiful he was but everyone knew the rules.
The doc always does the interviewing part before the xam part and Jayden lay quietly at my feet. About a week ago, I had asked Carin what she does with Trixie while at the doc, because I honestly didn’t know. Do I have him lay beside the table and hold his leash? Carin said she just loops the leash around the chair leg and I figured that would work just fine. I don’t think it’s even necessary to tie Jayden to anything anymore, but it helps just as a precaution.
I warned the doc and the nurse that Jayden would probably give them the evil eye, as he did with my massage therapist when I first started seeing him. It’s like Jayden is saying, what the hell are you doing to my mom? He indeed was giving them the evil eye, which they thought was really cute, but once he realized that I was ok, he took a nap.
Everyone raved about how good he was. I can’t tell you how awesome the whole experience was, being at a place I knew and knowing I could show Jayden where to go. He understood “counter” and “door” and “chair” no problem.
When my doc said what a good dog he was, I made sure to say it was all in the raising. I told her his raiser was a teenager and he had been her first dog. My doc said, “she did a great job!” Yes, yes she did.
We’ll have another doctor adventure some time soon, as I need to see a specialist. It’ll be a place I’ve never been, but my doc’s medical assistant called around to find the most accessible location for me. I’m sure it’ll go off just fine. Everything’s ok, it’s an auto immune thing and now that I have Medicare, I can actually see a specialist.
My vitals and everything were good, I just need to get my labs done, which will be another adventure. I’ve got to find the best place to go. I’ll be cabbing that trip for reasons explained above. My doc was majorly excited about my weight loss. I told her I’ve lost 20 pounds. (I was glad to see that I hadn’t gained any weight even with Thanksgiving and my inactivity. Looks like my metabolism knows how to act now, and I’ve got enough muscle to keep the fat at bay.) My doc was curious and looked up what I weighed when I first started seeing her in 2004. Since then, I’ve lost a total of forty-six pounds! She reminded me that I was drinking back then, and she was happy to find out I’m still sober.
Oh yeah, I was freaking out a little bit after the second bathroom break, thinking that my doc had to be in there by at least 9:30 so I’d have time to use the restroom again before my early window time of 10:15. Damn mafia guy bladder. Sorry if TMI. 😉
I heard the van arrive right at 10:15 and made my way out to it. The driver took me home right away and no one else was on board, so the return trip went off without a hitch.
Oh wait, need to tell you about the lady on the way there. So another passenger gets on and of course she comments on how beautiful my dog is. Then she coughed and said, “sorry, he looked at me.” Alrighty then. She said, “he must have thought I was barking.” I forced a giggle. Then she asks if I’m training the dog. I explain that no, he’s my eyes. She asked how long they train. I explained about the puppy raising and then the guide work training. I can’t remember how I said I hadn’t always been blind, but she said, “it’ll be nice when there’s no blindness in the world.”
“Yeah, someday…” I said, thinking about stem cell research but deciding not to bring that up. It’s a touchy subject.
“Oh no,” she said, “it’s promised. The heavenly father said so.”
What to say. Anything? Hmmm. That’s your belief, I’m not gonna disagree. But hmmm.
“Actually, my life has gotten awesome since I went blind,” I said. It has! She didn’t speak again. What do you say to something like that? I mean, the God I believe in has no control over what we consider to be tragedies. Or maybe he does. I don’t pretend to know God’s will. I wasn’t going to have a theological debate with her though.
After I got home, I’ve literally been on the phone the entire rest of the day. Except for when my battery died and I turned the phone off to get a quick charge. Then my doc’s office called back while I started this post, I tried scheduling the specialist but they have to wait for the records to arrive, another call came in, and now I’m finally finishing this post. This day literally flew by. Wow! It was a great day. I’ve been so absent from life since not knowing if I was sick, starting the novel, the weather turning cold so I cuddled with Jayden and read books and ate pie and now it looks like I’m back to my regularly scheduled program. Ries are scheduled for the gym next week. I need my routines back! =D