It seems like one week I have too much to write about and the next week not enough. I spend one week on the phone making appointments and the next week going to them.
This last week I spent a lot of time on the phone making one appointment. Orion was due for a check-up with the neurosurgeon. This is a complicated appointment because it requires us first to visit radiology for a CT scan and X-rays and then to review them, and whatever ongoing care plan, with the doctor. And – It’s neurosurgery.
It doesn’t really matter which days the doctor is scheduled to do surgery and which days he’s scheduled to be in the office. When something comes up, it’s probably a priority. Of course the hospital doesn’t have an Operating Room dedicated just to head trauma so schedules jiggle all over the place.
Thankfully, I don’t have to orchestrate the whole thing. That’s the job of the doctor’s scheduling secretary. I made the initial appointment by calling her and suggesting which days wouldn’t work for me. Then she called me back and gave me a time, knowing she’d have to confirm it with radiology. She said she’d call me back if there were any changes.
Three times this week she called me back.
I know people’s appointments have moved for us plenty of times in the last 28 years. (Orion’s first neurosurgery was in December of 1988). It’s nice to be the ones who are NOT in a hurry to see the doctor. It’s been years since we’ve been in and these are people we’ve had a relationship with all of Orion’s life.
Everything is hunky-dory. Orion is stable. His scans look almost exactly the same as they did 3 years ago. I don’t look the same of course. The PA didn’t recognize me coming in with Orion until she turned face to face with me to explain the scan. The weight loss really is that dramatic, and she’s never seen me at this weight (although the doctor has). She’s going back to school for her doctorate this year. We’re going to try and squeeze lunch into the scheduling drama the next time we come in.
I also asked the doctor the unspeakable question. What are we going to do when he retires? Thankfully he’s still healthy and able. He’s not planning to retire any time soon. He hopes to continue working well into his 70’s. One of his regular consultants (an infectious disease specialist I have a respectfully contentious relationship with) intends to continue working into his 80’s.
That may seem odd, but for me it’s actually very reassuring. It’s hard to find good doctors and we have been a team on Orion’s behalf for a very long time. When you are doing something you love, something that’s challenging, it keeps you vital. Over the years I’ve seen first hand how devoted this doctor is to his work and his patients. Nice to know it hasn’t gotten old.