Wednesday, July 27, 2011


There have been times I have felt I spent my life waiting for something to happen in my life. This has been events centered in my earlier life such as waiting for people to give me lifts in their cars, waiting for people to call me about jobs, waiting for my grades to come in the mail, and so on. Now, I find I am in the waiting mode again. This time I am waiting on the Veterans Administration to tell me when my next medical test will take place and what is going to happen regarding the tumor in my lung.

I find the people I have to talk to are maddening with their explanations of time such as "it will take a little bit of time", "there are other patients", "someone will review your doctor's request in due time" and so on. I have learned that the people who make the appointments don't know anything about anything. I did not know the rules of the VA Hospital in Portland and lost some valuable time. Now, I know more but not enough. I sit here at home waiting and not knowing for sure if this is what I need to do. I talked with someone yesterday at a number I discovered on the Internet and he said that if I don't hear from anyone by 11 am this morning to give the same number a call again. It isn't even 9 am and I am waiting, checking my phone ever so often to make sure that the phone has enough battery to keep it charged up.

I listen to my body now and wonder whether or not every pain and discomfort is a sign that the cancer is spreading. My back is killing me because I have an old office chair and I sat in it too long or has the cancer spread to my back? I think my back is hurting because it is an old chair and the trip to Redding was really hard on it. It was seven hours one way. I took some pain reliever and am sitting in my bed with cushions because it is comfortable. I am waiting and carrying the phone around the apartment when I fix coffee or use the bathroom.

I know from experience that when you miss a phone call from the VA, they rarely answer it when you call back. One phone call that I got on the 15th from a doctor that I missed never answered my calls back. One time I had to go to the patient advocate to get an appointment at the cat scan which she did get for me. They would not call back.

I am a writer who has on occasion sent stories in and have waited at the mailbox. That was hard to wait for an answer on whether or not something was acceptable for publication. Then I was told that a check was in the mail for something and to wait for it to appear. I don't have much patience for boyfriends or I didn't years ago. It was not good form to call them and a woman had to wait. Many a woman's heart has been broken for the want of a phone call.

I remember once dating someone after I was divorced and I waited for his call and it did not come so I called him. He let me know immediately that he did not like women calling him. I thought the rules had changed but evidently they had not for him. We dated after that but I never called him again but waited for his call. I was glad when his job transferred him to a new city. He thought I would quit my state job and follow him. No, I would not. He thought I would move me and my children in with him and hope he would marry me someday. No thank you. I never regretted that decision.

This time, there is no romantic reason for my sitting here waiting for a phone call. I am not dealing with jobs or romances but a bureaucracy in an attempt to stay alive. There is nothing romantic about that.

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