Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Long day at St Jude's

Yesterday, after the frightening escalator experience, we had a great flight and didn’t experience our next snag until after we landed and we tried to locate the shuttle for St. Jude. We were told that they would be tracking our flight and someone would be waiting for us. They neglected to tell us that the shuttle constantly runs back and forth and that the wait could be up to 20 minutes. I tried calling the two numbers I had been given, but no answer, it was a holiday. After waiting for over 30 minutes, I was contemplating getting a taxi when the shuttle driver came strolling through. The ride was uneventful. They dropped off our luggage at the Grizzly House and then took us to the hospital. It was close to 8:30 pm (9:30 Michigan time) when we arrived at registration. We waited 20 more minutes for the registrar to finish with the patient in front of us. Once we were registered we were sent to the med room to get Lisa’s vitals taken and meet with the doctor on duty. Another hour of time slowly ticked by but finally blood pressure, temperature, height and weight were recorded and the doctor declared us healthy enough to stay in the housing. It took only a few minutes to check in, 30 seconds to order a pizza and 20 minutes later and around 11:00 we were feasting on Dominoes. Lisa filled her belly and went to bed.

We were given a whole days worth of appointments for today, starting with meeting the doctor at 8:00 am. It was rough getting up, but we did it and were there 10 minutes early. We checked in, were pointed in the right direction and went to the clinic. After sitting there for an hour, I asked receptionist if an hour wait was normal. She assured me it wasn’t, but with yesterday being a holiday things were chaotic. They moved us into a room 10 minutes later. We met with a nurse and the pharmacist and child life stopped by. We waited in the room until 1:00!! Lisa actually fell asleep and took an hour long nap. Doctor Navid introduced herself and explained the tests that would be done throughout the week; they are all pretty standard tests and Lisa has had them done at Motts in the past. St Jude’s needs to run all of their own test for baseline information if Lisa goes on the study. Once we were done meeting with the doctor, we went to have labs drawn. At this point, the schedule we had was totally void and the clinic sent us to lunch and moved some of our “meet and greets” until tomorrow. Lunch was fine except for Lisa lost her stuffed monkey and lamb. This is the second time monkey has gone missing since we got here; he really is up to some monkey business! Last night he stayed behind on the shuttle and turned up at the hotel compliments of the driver. So, today, to keep him safe, Lisa asked that they put a name band on him. Well, it’s a good thing because when he went missing at lunch his name turned out to be helpful. After retracing our steps and asking patient registration and security if he turned up, Lisa and I took the opportunity to roam the halls of the hospital looking for monkey and lamb. As we were wandering around we heard an announcement “Attention all family and friends, we have a new family here with us today and they have lost an important part of their family. Please look around you and your spaces to see if Monkey McMaster is near you, if you find him please bring him to security.” The announcement brought a smile to my eyes and Monkey McMaster turned up with lamb. They had been hanging out in the cafeteria. Good thing he had a name band on! Monkey’s disappearance not only gave us a good self-guided tour it also set us up with a good icebreaker. Signing into our remaining appointments for the afternoon, when a nurse saw Lisa’s monkey, she would ask “Is that the Monkey McMaster that was missing?” Lisa then would charm them with her smile and tell her story including that monkey and lamb were in time out for not staying with us.
Somehow we mentioned to finish up with our appointments an hour early. I think it was due to the fact that all the workers were tired and worn out after a long day of catching up from the holiday. Rather than go through minor details with us they moved the appointments to tomorrow. A good thing, Lisa and I were both tired. We got back to the hotel just before 5 when they served a turkey dinner. We ran into Kansas and her Mom who we met on the shuttle yesterday. We ate dinner with them and then Lisa and Kansas played briefly afterwards. Kansas loves babies more than Lisa…if that’s possible! It was a short play date because Lisa was tired. She was asleep in bed by 8:00 here. It will be an early night for both of us, it was long day, and while tomorrow’s appointments start a later in the morning, the day is filled with exams and scans so it’s sure to be tiring.
Hope everyone is well in MI and all the kids had a good first day at school. Maranda, Thomas and Christina sounded pretty excited as they shared their schedules and what friends were in their classes. Loving the weather here…still 90 degrees….hope we get some time outside to enjoy it. Now, it’s off to bed!

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