Kidney Quest: Hurry Up and Wait: Interlude

Mt. Sinai Hospital is renowned for making clients wait.

Lugging my gallon jug of urine, my mother and I arrived for my 8:30 appointment. That’s a.m., as in having to leave the house by 6:30.

Other patients already filled the seats in the reception area. We approached the desk, gave our names and were told, “We don’t schedule 8:30 appointments.” The receptionist pointed us back to the room of other people apparently not scheduled. “Take a seat.”

We waited.

And waited some more.

And more.

Finally, at nine-thirty, someone freed me from my gallon of urine, and I was called in for my psych eval. All donors will have to meet with a social worker to determine if they are mentally competent to share a kidney.

“Why do you want to donate a kidney to your brother?” She asked.
“Because he’s my brother.”
“But why?”
Why? He’s my brother, and he’ll die if he doesn’t get a kidney. “He’s my brother.”
I guess they assumed I loved being dissected and my superfluous body parts apportioned out. I’d seen people like that on the TV show ER. But, I simply loved my brother and didn’t want him to die.
“Do you have any concerns about the surgery?” Her question interrupted my musing about her repeated question about why I thought Alan should have a kidney.
“You seem pretty relaxed. Any worries?
I wondered if I was supposed to be more worried. But so far, no fears arose about the course I was taking. “This feels right,” I said.
She asked a couple more questions and my interview ended.

After three hours of getting to the appointment, my psych eval lasted about ten minutes.

Thank heavens they were also taking a chest x-ray to check for tuberculous and an EKG to make sure I had a heart. Otherwise, lugging a gallon of pee for a ten minute interview would have been a long ordeal.

But you don’t need to know the ordeal the rest of the day proved to be:

  1. Mt. Sinai wouldn’t accept the information I gave them about Alan’s insurance (his would pay for my testing because this was for his health).
  2. forgetting to fax said insurance request to my brother
  3. waiting hours for this to not be done
  4. walking cross-town for the EKG–which wasn’t done at Mt. Sinai
  5. being told the address on the appointment form was the wrong address
  6. returning to Mt. Sinai to find the fax-lady was out to lunch

We were sent to a another receptionist. He looked at my chart, told me everything was there, had been there from the start and that we should have had no problem.

I went to another exam room, stripped, got x-rayed and finally could head home. (Remember, home was seven hours away–I’d head north the next day.)

Oy vay–and the testing wasn’t done.

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