Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Being Radiated

I took a pet scan yesterday at an university that is connected to the Portland Veterans Hospital. It was an odd day. The campus is connected by an enormous sky bridge that I took to a campus that I did not even know existed. The university itself is connected by a tram that goes up to the top of one of its hilltop buildings and the machine that took the pictures was the very floor it landed on. Walking on that sky bridge as it is called, a young man walked by me and told me that he loved me. I never seen him before. That was just the beginning of a rather bizarre chain of events that day.

There were small coffee shops everywhere but I could not have a cup of coffee as I was on a fast for the test. That is in a direct contrast to the VA Hospital where the only coffee shop is on the first floor. The campus is spread everywhere but no one knows how to get from one building to another including the information desk that I saw immediately after I got off the sky bridge. I was not suppose to exert myself because of the test but had to climb up and down stairs. There were elevators that I could not use as I was not staff. There were also lots of people who felt very good about telling me that I could not use them. I almost went home.

Finally, I found a information booth that had someone who did know how to find an elevator I could use. It was apparent that patents had a low priority at the medical university. Since no one is going to tell me that I am inferior without my cooperation, I did not cooperate. I asked them to stop with the game playing and just tell me how to get where I need to get to. I could not believe that a new campus such as the one I was in could not have a way of transporting the patients. I found out later they did.

I found the waiting room and the bad treatment of the patients continued there. The receptionist insisted before I could say anything that I fill out forms with a pen tied to a flower. At no point was I asked for ID. At the VA, I would have had to present my VA photo card. Luckily, the woman in charge of the test itself was not that way(She was very nice.) and I took the test which lasted two hours. They inject radium and then take pictures of the whole body. I had never heard of the test before.

Then on the way back to the VA Hospital, I saw a woman with a baby carriage on the sky bridge and causally looked in as I usually do to see the baby and saw that in it was a full grown terrier dog. If all patients are treated as badly as I was at the medical university, I could see someone bringing their dog. People here in Oregon, as a rule, are very nice and friendly; but at that place they were mean and rude. At one point, I went to a doctor hoping he would be the exception but he barely spoke English. At least he apologized that he did not. The staff at the VA Hospital are thankfully not that way. I have no idea why this is so. I was never so glad to see the VA Hospital again at the end of the Sky Bridge.

Maybe, I was just in a strange mood. On the way back to the VA Hospital, I found someone at a information booth who told me the correct way of getting to the VA. I took the correct elevator and then found the signs who told me to follow them to the VA and I never had to climb mountains of stairs. I don't know why the other stations did not know about these detours or shortcuts to the VA. What I do know was that it made a scary procedure even more scarier and I don't know what I would have done if I was in a wheel chair. These were people being trained to treat patients and their teachers. Again, maybe I caught them on a bad day. I was glad to be home and not have to see any of them for a week.

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