Friday, November 21, 2014

More September

So last night I said I would talk about October and November weight loss surgery appointments next, but I completely forgot to mention the appointments we had in September that weren't for me.

When you go to the first appointment and you're filling out paperwork, one of the things you fill out is a sleep apnea self appraisal. You answer questions about how likely it is that you will find yourself falling asleep various situations, such as driving, sitting in traffic, while waiting for something, if you lie down in the afternoon, etc, and how often you find yourself waking up during a typical night. . They use this to determine whether or not you need to have a sleep study done.

K & I were fine on the appraisal. I do wake up at night, but it's because of my joint pain, not any apnea. When I wake up, I'm in pain. So I turn over and get comfortable, then go right back to sleep. They determined that L needed to have one done, though.

Aside about tonsils:
L has always had trouble sleeping. She used to snore really loudly, too. But since she grew up in the 90s, pediatricians didn't want to hear anything about tonsils. Hers were enormous, btw. "We don't take them out anymore." Uh-huh. Instead they dosed all the kids up with antibiotics every time they turned around, so now the whole world is dealing with all kinds of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Nice. Tonsil tip: if you think your kid might need them out, ignore the pediatrician and go straight to the ENT. The surgeon will actually tell you whether or not they need to come out. I wish I'd known that when she was a kid. A neighbor did that with her daughter, but she had tonsils so huge that she was choking on her food. And I thought that was pretty much the criteria for going over the pediatrician's head. Stupid. L ended up having them out eventually anyway, last spring, when she was 23. And it was miserable. I had mine out when I was 4, also for apnea. And I it did to me was give me a sore throat and a weird voice for a week or so.  Anyway, she had been tasting blood, having white pits in her tonsils, and generally feeling miserable. I talked her into seeing an ENT. He took one brief look at her tonsils and said "whoa. Yeah those need to come out." He said he sees a lot of kids in their late teens and twenties whose pediatricians refused to recommend tonsillectomy, but oh, surprise, they still need them out. He's also the one who pointed out the antibiotic resistance thing. So yeah. Get that done if you need it.

Back on topic, even though she had the tonsillectomy last year, they thought she needed a sleep study. So we had a consultation with the asthma & allergy group over in the hospital. The same day, they scheduled her for an upper GI (more about that in a minute). (Don't forget to call beforehand and preregister for every appointment you have over there. I think not preregistering creates unfathomable chaos or something.) IIRC, she was scheduled for about 9:00 am for the upper GI. It's about a 45 minute drive to Emerson from here, so we left a bit before 8:00. Plenty of time, even with traffic, yeah? No. There was hella insane traffic that day, and I still have no idea why. It's basically a straight shot down Rt. 2, but somewhere around Harvard traffic came to a near standstill. This was not normal rush hour traffic. It was crazy traffic. But eventually we got there, super late. Then we had to figure out where to park (parking garage, upper lot by maternity or the first lot on your left as you come in are all good spots). You have to pay for parking. Next we had to figure out where we were going (radiology: Go in the main entrance, veer left around the main desk and go straight back down that hallway until you can't go anymore and you're at another desk. Boom, Radiology.). They don't validate parking, apparently. I don't know what might validate parking, since there are "we don't validate parking" signs all over the place, but whatever.

We got to the desk, and she told the lady that we were late. She said that everybody coming from out our way was late that day, and not to worry about it. So she showed L & I where to wait, and told L what to change into. One johnny on the front, one robe johnny on the back. I waited in the room while she had it done. It didn't take long. She said she had to drink a gross thing through a straw and then stand against a machine, then the machine rotated flat and she had to turn over to get the pictures taken. They gave her back the drink in the middle and she had to drink more. (Remember this when I get to the October appointments.)

So she got dressed, and we left (pay for parking at the machine near the front desk - we paid $4, which means we were there from 1/2 - 1 hour (less is free, more costs more). Drove around Concord and the surrounding area. Found that they have basically nowhere to eat lunch. If you like health food for lunch, you could grab a sack of trail mix from Trader Joe's, I guess. We ended up eating at a non-chain pizza place across the street from TJ's. Not good. Skip the place. I got salad with house dressing and that wasn't even good.

After lunch we went back to Emerson for the meeting with the allergy people for the sleep study. Parked in the lot on the left as you go in. You go in a different entrance for this. It's across from the parking lot. You go into the building there, which is the John Cuming Building. They're not going to tell you how to get to their office. Either that or L didn't understand them (quite possible). You're standing in front of oncology or some other thing about cancer. You're not going there. Turn right. Walk past the food vendor cart and into the hall that looks like it's part of a different building. (Some kind of name plaques on the wall there for something on the wall in front of you. I didn't read them.) Now turn left. In a few steps, there should be an elevator area on your right. Go to the 4th floor. Follow the hallway around the corner until you see the first office. Something about Allergy Suite. It's the only "suite" on the floor, and like I said, it's the first thing.) That's where you're going.

Her appointment went well. They took her info and everything, and told her she could have the study done there or at their facility in Leominster. Leominster is way closer, so she chose that one. We were there a bit longer, so it cost $6 for parking.

So that was that day. Next time I'll tell you about October for sure.

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