It was last Thursday in fact. There I was at the VA getting my knee poked and prodded by a Physicians Assistant with the bedside manner of a sand dune. I was determined to get an MRI so that I could get a surgery consult. I had already had my knee poked and prodded by a doctor, with the bedside manner of a Marx Brother – I really felt like I didn’t need a second opinion just to get an MRI, especially considering that I would still have to have a consult to review the MRI.
After just enough poking and prodding to make my stable-but-injured-knee feel like I had reinjured it, I was sent to the receptionists desk to be placed in the proper waiting lines for the MRI and surgery consult.
The receptionist looked up at me and said it was going to be 3 months for the MRI line. I looked at her and was about to say something when all of a sudden and out of nowhere I started uncontrollably bawling. I don’t mean a silent tear or a sniffle, I mean the people around me were surprised that I was not on the floor kicking, screaming and 6 years old. The receptionist handed me a tissue, made some calls, got up from her desk and presumably talked to people about what to do with me and perhaps asked someone for a sedative.
She got back to the desk and apologized that she could do nothing for me. She then told me to go see the patient’s advocate on the first floor. I collected myself, by which I mean started bawling harder, blew my nose and made my way to the elevator. I started breathing a little and choking less while crying my way to the advocate. They had to page her. When she came up to me in the hallway outside her office she had the sweetest face. The kind of face that when you haven’t cried at this level in maybe 16 years and have started letting the waterworks out you just look at it and practically spit your tears into her mouth because suddenly you have lost all ability to control your crying outbursts.
It took us about a half an hour for her to understand the words I was choking out. But, eventually she did and made some calls. She told me to call her Friday if I didn’t hear from scheduling.
I stopped crying around 6:30 PM which was fortuitous because Andrew and I had a dinner date at 7 and it was hard enough for the waitress to understand my order.
I didn’t hear from scheduling until today. It seems that if you ever cannot get an appointment you need at the VA the trick is to lose your g0ddamned mind. My MRI is on November 18th and my new surgery consult is on November 28th.