I wish there was a way to keep track of the time we spend dealing with health. Even when I am doing well, as I am at the moment, it still takes time. Time that I don’t really have.
Example: My doctor wanted me to have my remicade levels tested. A simple blood test, done about a week before your remicade appointment. So I ask whether I just go downstairs to their lab.
No. Because this specific test has been patented, only Quest labs get to do it. I received a box with paperwork and a cooling package and was told to take it to a lab location. At any time- “just walk in”, I was told.
The one closest to me was still a 20 minute drive, but hey, why not. Because I am a freelancer, I can use my time flexibly. The lab was located inside a Safeway.
Safeway, as in, the supermarket??? Yes. It may feel kafkaesque to walk down the chocolate aisle to look for the lab where you have blood drawn, but why not. I find it, and walk in and there is nobody. An empty room. A trash can with what looks like the leftovers of an empty chicken. Great. Finally a nurse comes and greets me, leads me into a tiny, dingy office, and as I am showing her the box and the paperwork, she explains to me that, no, this cannot be done, because, I need to have the test done three hours before they close (and I had missed that by 30 minutes). Because, they close at 4. 30pm. I was told to schedule an appointment. I said, ok, and expected her to open a scheduler, she told me I had to go online. At this point I walked out without another word.
The online scheduler is ridiculous, and shows me no available times. This means that tomorrow, I’ll get up early, make my way to safeway, hoping I will get the bloodtest done. I have another appointment at ten however, so chances are, this won’t get done either.
That this is all time I could have spent working, i.e. billable hours, seems to not matter to anyone. I guess I’ll work tonight. How the ever-loving fuck people who have regular jobs do this, is a question that I keep mulling over in my head. When I was still teaching, there was hardly a day that I’d be back before 4.30pm. When I came home, I spent another 30 minutes calling my doctor, trying to figure out whether I need to reschedule my remicade appointment. They’ll call me back.
So this was all in all 2 hours of my day, spent in health related activities. Let’s see what happens next….