Saturday, June 26, 2010


I went into Rush with my entourage yesterday, including my father. First we had a sumptuous lunch at the Grapevine and then it was off to see the surgeon for the consult regarding my port. Dr. Wool seems conscientious and kind and I am scheduled for Monday morning at 9:00 am.

I didn't mention this is in my last blog but as my second visit to Dr. Wool's office was so similar to the first I can't resist. Hopefully he's too busy to read blogs or at least won't have time before Monday when he's cutting into me.

When I went in last Tuesday to make my consult appointment it took longer to set that up than it took to get my chemo. There are two doctors that I have seen working out of this tiny office. There are many more listed on the business card but as I say I only saw two. Each has their own receptionist/assistant and Dr. Wool's is a very sweet diminutive lady, Ruth. My mom and I have decided that they kind of look alike or they might even be married as you know sometimes when you spend enough time with someone that can happen. They have an interesting banter that implies they have been together in some capacity for a very long time.

Anyway, on my first visit there last Tuesday this tiny office was packed and when it's your turn to check in you walk back to Ruth's desk. Earlier when I was sitting in the waiting room with my mom I kept hearing this odd sound and finally figured out it was a typewriter! Go figure. Ruth types everything up on a typewriter. I don't know about you but the last time I saw a typewriter it was in a resale shop and no one was actually using it. So, When I step back to her desk sure enough there it is.

Her desk is covered, and I mean covered with papers which are in turned covered with sticky notes. In the meantime the phone is ringing off the hook and this poor woman seems overwhelmed. I wanted to replace her with Kali, the goddess of time and change, you know the one depicted as having ten heads, ten arms, and ten legs but remarkably this darling little woman managed to get it all done and remain relatively unflustered. It took forever, but she did it.

When I went in yesterday I was curious to see if it would be a repeat from Tuesday. And sure enough Mr. Peabody, we stepped into the "way back machine" and the typewriter, papers and sticky notes were all still there albeit more organized.

It's easy to get spoiled by a place like Mayo which is almost beyond efficient. For my part, suffering with amyloidosis, a disease the medical profession is still learning about, that kind of efficiency is comforting. At the same time though this doctor and his office reminded me a little of the doctor Burt Lancaster played in Field of Dreams. Warm, real, a throwback and I found that oddly comforting as well. To them you are a person not an illness. I'm finding there is no "right way" to get treatment. It takes a team. My Mayo team gives me confidence. I know this disease is a priority and they are working towards treatment and cure. My Rush team, Dr. Gregory and all the chemo nurses manage my care and keep me as healthy as they can through treatment. As a result I don't find chemo frightening or depressing. And there are all the others like my nephrologist and cardiologist and Dr. Wool who step in at different times for different reasons or procedures. I am learning a lot about the medical profession. It can be incredibly frustrating for both the patients and doctors but is full of good caring people. While I feel it takes some managing on my part I feel like I have a great team. Unlike the Blackhawks, I feel no need to trade.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing them with us.