Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Meetings, Two Schools, Two Doctors, One Day

Welcome to Patti's Pity Party. 

I'm glad every day isn't like today.  It wasn't necessarily a bad day, but the day just didn't want to end.  Why can't my days lounging around on vacation last as long? 

This was day 4 of our 5 days of teacher in-service, which means professional development out the wazoo.  For those of us who want to sound like we know what we're talking about, it's called PD.  The two meetings I attended today were great, especially the morning meeting with my elementary art cohorts.  This meeting is always coordinated and facilitated by yours truly, which is my pleasure, because, no matter the agenda, these gals (and now one guy) make it a pleasure to be together.  I love my fellow art teachers.  After working through the first few agenda items, we enjoyed a hands-on PD activity using Artists Trading Cards, presented by our very talented Cheryl.  Art teacher PD is the envy of all...or at least we think it is.

From there I grabbed a sandwich from the lounge, did a few odd jobs in my room, and checked email, before heading to SHS for our afternoon district-wide gathering.  I had to drive alone to this meeting, since I was to leave in the midst of it for a 2:45 doctor's appointment.  I usually enjoy the carpool there and back, but had to sacrifice that pleasure this year. 

What made this gathering so special was not the great speakers or wonderful entertainment from some amazing students, but the sea of pink in which I found myself.  Every Walker teacher wore pink, as a show of solidarity for Hope.  They even hung a big pink banner from our balcony seating with the word "HOPE" boldly printed.

Sadly, with a doctor's appointment looming, I had to depart this sea of pink and head for my car, parked further away than is my normal preference.  (Parking is an issue when we have a gathering of every teacher and administrator in the district.)  So I hiked that half mile (more like hauled butt) as the sky dripped (yes, dripped) rain on me the whole way, threatening to soak me, but never following through.  Just one of those rains that makes your car look like it has the measles.

I headed south to Fayetteville to visit with Dr. Bell, let him check my Powerport, and remove those steri-strips, of which I've become so fond.  This appointment should be a breeze, right?  Well it was...took about 5 minutes...after spending 1 hour and 15 minutes sitting in the waiting room.  When I asked what was taking so long, I was told I was next on the docket (of course), only to discover, following profuse apologies, that my virtual paperwork had been lost in the new computer system they were trying to get used to (and hating, apparently).  I was in there, only not where I should have been...or something like that. 

So, what should have been a 15 minute appointment, turned out to be 1.5 hours.  Don't they know I'm a teacher??  Don't they know those kids are coming on Thursday?!  Every minute counts this week!  And I do mean minute.

I left frustrated and grumbling.  Seriously.

From there, back to Walker to make an appearance at our back to school social and then head to Shaw (my 2nd school).  I ended up staying for the entire social and didn't get to Shaw until after 6:00, feeling some serious anxiety concerning not being nearly as prepared for the start of this school year as I usually am.  Not to mention being overwhelmed with the knowledge that my heart is just not as into it as it usually is.  Can you sense my stress level rising? 

I called my dad between schools.  (Please, no lectures about driving and using a cell - at least I wasn't texting.  This was my dad, after all.)  Have I mentioned that he is elderly and ailing and needs me quite often?  This cancer has really lousy timing.  I knew I wasn't going to get over there today, so gave him a call to visit and make sure he was doing well and eating. (He has a wonderful lady who cares for him weekdays, but I check anyway...weekends are the hardest.)  He was fine and very sweet with concern about me doing too much.  He's special like that.

As I arrived at Shaw, their back to school social was just ending and I felt some bit of guilt for missing it.  If only someone could clone me.  I spent a couple of hours tending to some last minute jobs in that art room, including running to the ladies room multiple times.  Recognizing some familiar symptoms, it was during this time that I came to the conclusion that I might just have a urinary tract infection.  Perfect.

I left around 8:00 and contemplated what the heck to do if I do have a u.t.i.  I have chemo in two days!  Something tells me this is not an ideal situation.

As I drove home, trying to remember if there were over-the-counter meds for this, I remembered that our family doctor's office has long hours.  Would they still be open this late?  Luckily their office is on my way home, so that's where I went.  Yes...hours were until 8:30.  God bless them!

Here's where this cancer thing comes in handy.  I asked if I could possibly see a doctor, nurse practitioner, or anyone who could write a prescription and was told that most were gone and they weren't taking any more appointments (I don't blame them...it was after 8:00 at NIGHT, after all.  I wanted to go home, too.).  So, of course, I leaned over the counter and pulled out the cancer card.  "Here's my problem...I think I might have a bladder infection and I will be starting chemotherapy on Thursday."  Boy, did that ever get results.  I think I know how the president feels.  I'm sure those sitting in the waiting room wondered who that important lady was who was ushered to the back and didn't get to partake of bad television and germy magazines. 

They handed me some papers and sent me straight to the lab, I handed those to Cute Lab Girl, was handed a plastic cup, headed to the bathroom where I did my thing, returned plastic cup, parked myself in a nearby chair, Cute Lab Girl came out with results and hunted down a nurse, nurse shuffled me to a room to wait for the doc...and 10 minutes later (balancing out the long wait this afternoon)  I was out the door and headed for Walmart with a script for antibiotic.  Infection.  Yep, I knew it. 

I camped at Walmart until it was ready...9:00.  I closed down the pharmacy.  Sweet.

Home by 9:15 and it never looked so good. 

Exhausted, but thanking God for a job I love, good medical care, antibiotics...but most importantly, a home that allows me to forget why I wanted to have that pity party.


  1. Oh, Patti. Such wit yet such honesty! (I had to shake my head on the clone comment...we would jut rather keep you ALL to ourselves at Walker!) It is SO hard for me to not question God on days like that. "Why, God, why?" Then I bite my tongue. "Trust, Reba, trust." He responds. Easier said than done. We are praying for you daily at our house. We will get through this. We will!

  2. Patti - you are going to be amazed at how many people will follow your journey and pray for you each step of the way. For every one that may comment, there will be several others who will silently follow along and never make a comment. You already have a taste of people you don't even know following you on the previous post. You will make the rounds of prayer lists around the world because those that love you will put you on theirs and their friends will add you to others and before you know it, you are global and God will receive petitions on your behalf at all time of the day and night. Know that you are loved, sweet friend! Kay