Leprechaun was a sign of what was to come….sabotage, but lucky in the end

We were approaching UCLA when I spotted a little person (seriously) in green ensemble with St Paddy’s accessories running across the street. Leprechaun siting! Then, almost out of nowhere was a  dressed in green cyclist with her green butt floss showing pedaling what looked to be “after the leprechaun”…Strange and I should have taken it as a sign. Jim and I walked eagerly to the upgraded “first class” suite and saw a giant sign stating, “all infusions will be done in suite 550”. We ignored the sign and walked into suite 510 and asked the receptionist about my appointment. She was very sweet and said, “honey, they tell me last minute and we are short staffed, so you are in the other suite.” Jim and I walked slowly into the stinky old other suite. Downgraded already and I had an email stating that this was not to be the case. No worries, I was told the internet works now. While waiting over 40 minutes, Jim pulls out his laptop. Nope, no internet. Same as before, so I quickly send an email to the director with my phone. Then, suddenly 2 girls (seriously girls) walk into the waiting area with a card for me. The director is sick, but gave us free parking. Yipee, Viva Las Vegas. It was nice of him because what could he offer, some saline or tissues or anti bacterial soap. While sitting in the waiting room, I asked Jim if he thought it was brighter in there. WOW, a new lamp with a lovely white lamp shade. Where did that come from? One improvement.  Jim had a conference call scheduled, so I asked who was my nurse, but no one knew…uh oh. Then, the door opened with the “bad nurse”. I told Jim that it better not be her. She was from 6 weeks ago and refused to listen to me about a slow drip. I had sent an email to my doctor to request that I never get her again.

Finally, I am taken back into a room to see my doctor.  All of a sudden a nurse appears (I have never seen her ever in the entire time I have had treatment) and asks if she can start my IV, but of course, never introduces herself. I boldly state, “no, I want to talk to my doctor first.” I begin to get emotional and Jim says, don’t worry I will be here and help you get a good nurse. I cannot help myself. I do not want to have the same situation as last time and considering I have lost some weight and am not in my “normal” state for getting my next treatment all due to the last “oopsie” I would rather have a nurse who knows what they are doing.  My doctor enters the room. I start with my list of complaints and ailments. I am sure they sound like nothing compared to some patients. He looks up and says, “you struck a nerve with your chain of communications.” Hmmm….I joked and said, “is a photo of my face posted in the staff lounge with an “x” across it?”  He agreed with the facility issues, but implied that I am the only one who cares because most people are in/out of the clinic in maximum of 6 months. Wow! He is too busy to notice that every time I am there with new patients or the 6 monthers that people complain, cry, faint, yell, or look so beaten up. His job is to heal and he is doing that, but he needs to open his eyes a bit more. I could tell I “bugged” him, but too bad.  Yes, I criticized their “home” and lucky for them the doctors are incredible because no one will want to “borrow an egg or a cup of sugar” from this “home”. He said he put a sticker on my chart and Jim explained calmly about the nurse and how I want to get a nurse who knows how to handle a slow infusion. We also mention that we never got my blood test (the one that measures if there is something brewing as far as potential recurrence). He walks out and says he will take care of everything. He also states most of my complaints are side effects that 30% of patients get. If they are not manageable, then we go to reducing dosage.  Next,  he hands Jim the blood test taken 6 weeks ago. Jim walks out and doctor walks back in and smiles stating that they will run the test today. Oopsie!  Okay, what would come next? THE BAD NURSE walks in and she does introduce herself and I said, “nope, I had you before and you did not do a slow infusion”. Instead of resolving this, she has to make her argument that it wasn’t her. I tell her that I sent an email to my doctor and she can ask him. With this fact, she states the names of the nurses that are here today and I claim 2 of the bunch who I know to be the best. She walks out.

My luck starts to change (yes, the leprechaun luck is coming) and my favorite nurse walks into the room. Yipee! I hug her and tell her we are so happy. Jim and I are thrilled. She is the best (in fact she is the charge nurse) and asks me to pick a chair. It is a full house. I pick one in the middle facing the wall and sit down only to flip backwards a bit. I laugh since in my “communications” I had stated “broken” chairs and was told there are no broken chairs. With this chair, I am unable to recline the chair or the nurses would not be able to get to the patients in the corner of the closet. Plus, with all 3 visitor chairs in the closet full, I offer Jim to sit on my lap getting a bit of giggles from the other patients. I guess I should have mentioned the flip backwards almost eject effect and broken really means split in 2 pieces or more? Jim has to leave and is reassured with my favorite nurse. Guess the one guest per patient does not really apply here.  But hey, a pillow is in every chair?! Hey, 2 new anti bacterial gel dispensers!  Drum roll please, the manager of the office is cleaning the toilet?!

It is a full house and Margie arrives to see that there is no seat available. When the patient next to me leaves, she attempts to sit in the chair next to me until minutes later the next patient arrives. She also gets the flip backwards effect almost like a spring toy. With some switching, a visitor chair becomes open and Margie quickly takes the chair. The chair with the broken cushion is still there and the women does the giddy up move to get herself out of the chair to leave. I am unable to put my tray up or there will be no room for my IV. Oh well at least I have a chair. My new neighbor is a woman from Japan who tells Margie and I that she is so happy to hear from her daughters who live in Tokyo. She has two grandsons and wants them to come to California. She is very sweet and explains she cannot hear so well, but it is due to age. She gets up to see the doctor and her chair is taken by another patient. Margie and I were laughing as usual and I was 100% better with the slow drip even able to go to the bathroom (clean bathroom alone). Unfortunately, I could not unplug myself, but thanks to Margie who went under and over cords, around the back of my chair, unplugged me to safety of the toilet. We did a little dance move together as I untangled myself with all my cords and IV. Guess if she wasn’t there, I would have had to have a nurse dance with me? Minutes later, all chairs including visitor chairs were taken by patients getting infusions. Our Japanese friend was one of them. How could this be? She even offered to sit in a rolling stool, but was told by my nurse that it wasn’t safe. These visitor chairs were safer, but had no comfort. So, Margie stood, for over an hour!! Luckily, this face the wall chair was under the vent, so we had some air. The bad nurse proceeded to “push” the patients out of the chair and said, “good, your done”. She tore off their tape with some little cries of “ouch” by the patient. The chairs were offered to the next patients who had been waiting a long time. One of the chairs was the broken cushion chair or should I say, cushion with no support preventing the patient from getting up once they sit down. I was almost done in the chemo closet factory when a man arrived with no throat and I was anxious to leave. I told my favorite nurse how perfect my infusion was and hoped she wrote every detail down. She replied, “I always write it down, but it would help if they read the chart.”

While waiting for Jim in the waiting area, Margie and I noticed another new improvement. The toilet key! The toilet key for the hallway toilet had a bright green polka dot bucket attached. Margie said it really brightened the area and gave it a nice cheeriness. Overall some small changes and the director left a message at home saying he still would like to meet me and would let me know who he is giving the info from my email. I was definitely drugged at the end telling Jim to turn right when I meant left and making no sense. I could not find my words and usually the wrong word came out.  Today, I am a bit nauseous, but not as bad as last time. So, my luck changed thanks to the green butt floss sighting  chasing the leprechaun or was it just the leprechaun?



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