Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Goodbye Marisela

My blood pressure remained that of a twenty five year old. 122 over 77, which means that I can continue to poison my popcorn with as much salt as I like. My temperature was a cool 97.8. My heart was pumping at a steady 68 beats per minute (pump on, dear heart, pump on!). I had even lost a little weight, 172 pounds, down from 180.
I must eat more donuts.
The nurse finished taking my vitals and asked me to wait in the adjacent room specifically designated for waiting. Appropriately they had comfortable chairs in there, magazines, and a television affixed high up on the northern wall so everybody could see it. The TV was turned off as I re-entered the waiting room, on the fourth floor of the large hospital (Building 500), at the Veteran's Administration Center in Westwood. There were about ten of us vets there, three siting with their significant others. Fortunately I had brought a book with me, still reading John Nichols, "The Magic Journey." I would finish re-reading this one that day, painfully experiencing the (Spoiler Alert) murder of April Delaney at the hands of the FBI.
What have you got to say about that, Scully and Moulder?
We were all there to see our endocrinologists. At least that was why I was there. I had been taking a lower dosage of my thyroid juice for over a month, and was there to see if my hormone levels fell within the normal range. This was happening last Friday, the 29th of May.
The last time I had been in that room the television had been on and I had sat through two complete showings of "Las Vegas." I hold little regard for the city itself, let alone a TV show depicting the inner workings of a fictional casino there, but it did have in it's cast one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Nikki Cox (pictured above), an LA girl, who, as it happens, is celebrating her 31st birthday today. Happy birthday, Nikki!
They fired her after the fourth season, and as I predicted, the show was canceled the next year. It can get really tiring being right all of the time.
The reason I watched two whole episodes was because they had me waiting in there for over two hours. They hadn't even taken my vitals in all that time. Somewhere in there between the second and third hour I just got up and left.
"Screw my thyroid," I told myself. A little gland in my throat began to throb.
Today, however they were right on track, and within thirty minutes after arriving my lovely endocrinologist doctor called my name.
That was good, as I was very pressed for time.
My lovely case manager, Erin, and I were set to go say farewell to Marisela, my lovely case manager before Erin came to us (also pictured above, seated on the left. To her right is her biographer, Traci, who seems to be having a marvelous time). Last Friday was Marisela's last day at SRHT (Skid Row Housing Trust), and she would be moving to Australia to continue her education. She was, and probably still is, extremely interested in the public's perception on judicial sentencing issues. I have no idea why. I have no idea why anybody would be interested in the public's perception of judicial issues, then again, I'm interested in the sex life of amoebas.
Anyway, I was to meet Erin at her office at 12:45, then drive over to the Abbey Hotel, where Marisela had worked after abandoning us. Then Erin and I would go pick up some pizza for Movie Day (Rodney insisted on showing the uplifting, "Valkyrie." After the end, after everybody in the film was executed (non-spoiler alert. This is history my friends. Look it up), all of us sort of were left speechless, staring off dazed into space, then wandering off).
"Well, its been a while since we've seen you," my lovely endocrinologist said. A brunette, Asian lady, in her late twenties.
"I first saw you last October, then we had an appointment in February, and we kind of got lost."
"That's one way of putting it, yes."
"So," she continued, "how are you feeling."
"Good, I feel fine.
"No hot flashes, feeling faint or sluggish... diarrhea?"
"How many times a day do you poop?"
"I give it the old college try on a daily basis."
"I see. Because looking at your blood levels, your thyroid level is still a little high."
"Let's see... you're weighing one seventy-two. Blood pressures good... Humm, that should be the right dosage for your weight, but I can't ignore the lab results, maybe we should try a lower dosage."
"Let me examine you, then I'll confer with my boss."
She examined me, feeling up my poor little thyroid, and making me swallow. Then she went away to talk to her boss.
She came back after a little while, and said, "We just want you to stop taking your thyroid medicine on Sundays. That should get your levels down to normal."
Naturally I asked, "Could I not take it on Wednesdays instead, because I usually don't have any errands on Wednesdays, and it would be so much more convenient?"
"Sundays would be better."
"Oh, alright."
"Now I want you to come back in two months and we'll check again."
I made the appointment, then left the hospital. By then it was eleven thirty and I needed to meet Erin in an hour and fifteen minutes, so I decided to forego the unreliable MTA bus, and just run home instead (see Memorial Day).
By the time I got back to my box I was a little out of breath. I got inside just as my telephone rang.
"Hi Rick, it's Erin."
"Hi Erin. What's up?"
"Uuumm, my roommate came by to take me to lunch, so I won't be able to go with you for Marisela's ice cream thing." Marisela planned to serve ice cream at her going away party. The flavor was not specified.
"Oh, alright."
"But I'll see you at Movie Day."
"Okay, I'll see you then."
I got up and walked over to the Abbey Hotel, right behind the Midnight Mission. It was fifteen to one. One of the resident's of the Olympia was outside waiting.
"Are you here to see Marisela?" I asked.
"Yeah. I asked at the front desk, and she's not here yet. They said she'd be back at one."
So we waited. We waited until one o'clock, then a little after. We waited until ten after, then twenty.
"Man," I told my fellow resident, "Marisela's never been on time for anything, and now she's late for her own going away party."
He laughed. I told him that I had to go, and to say goodbye and good luck to her when, and if she showed up.
Great, I said to myself, I've been stood up twice today by case managers! This was not boding well for my self esteem.
To Marisela, good luck my friend. I will miss you, your laughter, your point of view, and especially your chicken enchiladas. You still owe us some of those, and one day when you tire of gallivanting all over the world, I expect you to come back and make us some.

No comments:

Post a Comment