Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This is pretty much how my Tuesdays start.  A splash of sass and Eve's good to go.

I'm not sure if this is related, but I've documented puddles of sass on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays as well.  Sundays are upgraded from sassy to oh-no-you-didn't! which means she most certainly did and you most certainly aren't going to like it.  Kind of like the Sunday Eve pierced one of my ears.

(Well, she re-pierced my ear.  One of those holes that I hadn't worn an earring in since 1997.  Although, the look on her face showed just the right amount of determination that if the ear hadn't once been pierced, she surely would have done it with nothing but a rusty, sharpened paper clip.  Luckily for me, she just removed an earring I was wearing and then forcibly shoved it into the old hole.  And I guess forcibly was an unnecessary adjective there because no one really shoves on accident.  The piercing was pre-meditated but it wasn't too bad because I had self-anesthetized with some cheap red wine.)

Anyway, end tangent.

This is pretty much how my Tuesdays look an hour later:

The ink they use at ballet for hand stamps smells really good, apparently.  So then we spend some quality time together scrubbing Eve's face raw before the ink has a chance to become stubborn (which it will...ASK ME HOW I KNOW) and we sing songs of little ballerinas who should stop rubbing ink all over their faces and who should definitely stop sticking sharp objects through body parts that don't house a port-a-cath and maybe it would also be awesome if said ballerina could, for once, please put her cowgirl boots in the shoe bin instead of the middle of the stairs for mommy to trip over only to land barefoot on a pile of Legos...but this last line really throws the timing of the song off and I lose my audience and once again someone's coming at my ear with a corroded thumbtack.

On days when I'm not being attacked or taking steel wool to my daughter's face, I like to go to Duke and get lost in the new cancer clinic.

When I say lost, I don't mean my plane crashes and I am stuck on this tropical island that shifts through time.  I mean that I come on campus and it takes me forty minutes to find the radiation-oncology clinic.

We only have to come to rad-onc once a year, and it's about the furthest thing from the children's hospital.  I can't begin to explain how lost we were without giving myself another headache but it all started when I realized the walkway that connects the hospital to Duke South had disappeared.  I kept accosting orderlies pushing empty wheelchairs to ask directions, and stopped listening after the first three instructions each time. I can't handle more than three turns at once.  I will just keep finding new orderlies pushing empty wheelchairs and accost them until I get the next three turns until I reach the sub-basement (SB).  SB is always the last button I'd want to push on the elevator unless we're being attacked by the Soviets.  Otherwise, it's just kind of a creepy floor, no matter where you are.  I don't need to be that far below the earth.

Apparently all that hard work paid off as I found the magic elevator that takes us to the dungeon.  And when we got off, there were no patients in the waiting room.  Or staff at the front desk.  Or nurses in the hallways.  Or lights on.

There's a dimly lit sign that basically says, "Yo, dumbass, if you had taken the time to read all those materials we sent you about the new Duke Cancer Clinic instead of throwing them away since they had nothing to do with the Children's Hospital, you might have realized that we've moved there.  So now you're in this dark dungeon, thirty minutes late for your appointment, and there are no orderlies pushing empty wheelchairs around here.  Serves.  You.  Right.  Leave earlier next time and read your mail.  Oh, and good luck trying to call someone because the lead walls down here kind of eat up all your cell signal."

Or maybe it just said something like, "We've moved to the new Duke Cancer Clinic, Floor 00."

This time we went back upstairs and found an orderly pushing an empty wheelchair and made him escort us all the way to the rad-onc clinic.  Which is on Floor 00.  Which sounds less-dungeony than SB.

I was kind of blown away by the waiting room.  It looked like an IKEA showroom.  It was Swedish dungeon done right.

Eve dug it.  Although she pretty much digs any place where adults compliment her on her outfit and bring her cereal held together by melted marshmallows.

I thought it was nice, too, especially since we had to wait extra long because we had missed our appointment time.  Then I got to listen to the volunteer tell me why her daughter must be crazy if she thinks she's going to pay for law school and all about the awesome girlfriend that her son had, who unfortunately did not turn out to be her son's wife.  I was just getting to the good family dirt when our Outback-style pager started vibrating and we went back to the exam room.  My only disappointment was that there were no cheese fries waiting for me after the arduous walkabout to get there.

No pokes, no jabs, no pleasepeeinthiscups.  With the exception of me logging in some hike training before the appointment, it was easy as visits go.

Eve's doctor said everything looked good, but we need to watch a couple of spots on her back to see if they change because apparently people get skin cancer after radiation.  I would have applied sunscreen had I known.

The good doc also said that she knows we visit Duke often enough and I shouldn't bother learning my way around the Cancer Clinic because she never wants to see us again.  So yay, if I ever find my way out of this labyrinth, I won't have to figure out what the hell happened to that walkway.  I could probably finish the Ultimate Hike faster than I could find my way in and out of the rad-onc clinic.  But even though we won't be coming back to the big people side of Duke anytime soon, I can still pepper Eve's doctor with questions because she's hiking 28.3 miles with us next month.  And that's pretty cool.

And sweaty.  It's definitely sweaty.

Since I didn't see any orderlies pushing empty wheelchairs, a very kind nurse volunteered to lead us out of the clinic back to the parking deck.  Which took twenty minutes without being lost.  Although we very well could have been lost at one point or another, because twenty minutes seems like a pretty long time if you're in good shape in okay shape able to walk for brief stretches without having an asthma attack not walking alongside an orderly pushing an empty wheelchair.

No comments:

Post a Comment