Saturday night is not the loneliest night of the week. All nights are lonely for me. Especially these days and nights, when I am worse and can’t sleep. I keep asking doctors to help me, but they are deaf. The system we belong to, MDVIP, is very costly, but we need to have easy access to doctors and hospitals. The primary care physician (pcp) is expected to help with specialists.
I had asked my pcp, Dr Pennington, for help. I had received a recommendation for a top endocrinologist from another top doctor, through good Facebook friends (they seem to care more than others who know me personally…) Dr P told me to call Dr B (the endo) first, and if I could not get an appointment until March, he’d call himself — typical copout! So, I called for an appointment, only to be told there was nothing until July! 😦 Back to Dr. P, who said he’d call. All this happened around last Christmas.
Last week, upon returning to work, Dr P told me “I called his office today and his scheduling staff is requesting an appt. sooner than next July. Waiting to hear back from them”. I was quite incensed , but told him nicely “Thanks, Dr. Pennington, but I think it would have been better if you talked directly to Dr. Burman rather than to his scheduling staff. Dr. T said we could use his name, too. Every little bit helps!” He must have been pissed by a woman daring to tell him how to do things. He has not answered.
So, here I am, getting worse and not knowing what else to do. I can’t go to a doctor on my own. I need an advocate! This reminds me of what happened on exactly 3 April 2007 (and I still have the message I sent then), when Guido was so sick:
“Dear family and friends,
Today was exceptionally strenuous. We were supposed to go to see Dr. Bayless, the gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins, but Guido couldn’t get out of bed. This time I told him I had enough, and called 911. They came right away and took him to Suburban Hospital. I followed the ambulance in my car. After they did several tests, they told him that, since they had found nothing wrong, he had to go back to his doctor. What??? We had just seen him yesterday!!! Just then … our guardian angel appeared — Anne Petrone, the Executive Assistant to the Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, had found out what had happened and rushed to the hospital. When she heard what they had told Guido, she got on the phone, called his doctor, the gastroenterologist, and after many exchanges, managed to have them agree to admitting Guido to the Johns Hopkins hospital!
I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. She claimed to be our only relative in this country, introducing herself as “Anne Francescato”, and told them that I was too upset to talk. Even when Dr. Galotto said that he did not want to have Guido admitted, that he first had to go and see Dr. Bayless, she somehow managed to convince him by first calling Bayless’s nurse and explaining the problem to her. If it hadn’t been for dear “Annie” we would never have been able to get Guido to the hospital today! You should have heard her talking to the doctors! We then rushed back home, collected a few things, and went to Baltimore. She insisted on driving us there! We arrived at around 1:30, and Guido was finally shown to a semi private room at around 4:00, but, since we wanted a private room, we had to wait for another hour, but we got it — again, thanks to Anne’s power of persuasion!!!! We left the Clinic at around 6:30pm, but the traffic in the city was murder, and there had been an accident on Highway 95. I got home around 8:45 pm! I am now exhausted, as you can imagine. I had not had time to eat anything during the day, and neither had Anne, who, on top of everything, had to drive all the way back here, and then to her home.
I have already called Guido, and he told me that he felt better being there, under constant care, and that he didn’t know how to thank Anne. Well, I think I know why she does this: she has always told me that Guido is the only faculty member who behaves like a gentleman towards her, and that he always gives her good advice. In her Christmas card from last year (which I keep), she told Guido that he was her hero! And she is ours now!
Tomorrow, V will drive me to Baltimore, and on Thursday another colleague of Guido’s has volunteered to do it. We are very fortunate to have such good friends. Let me remind you once again that we are all alone in this country. Besides our daughters, who live far away, we do not have any other relatives. That’s why we have to rely so much on our friends (and guardian angels, such as Annie). Let’s hope that they can find what is causing Guido’s problems once and for all. Don’ t forget that The Johns Hopkins Hospital is on a par with the Mayo Clinic! To get to the latter we’d have to fly and be away from home. Baltimore is not too close, but it’s not the end of the world! I am incredibly tired, but I had to write this now! I had so many messages and e-mails when I got back that it took me a while to read (and listen to) them. Please excuse me for not answering them individually. It is impossible for me to do it now, as ” Now I lay me down to rest”… Love to all, martha”
This is what I need: an advocate. Another Annie who can scream for us and be heard!
And now I have reached the end of another horrible day for me. And I need to stop…