1. I vaulted out of bed at 4:30 this morning and gathered what I needed to spring into the Sube and drive through the predawn darkness to Sacred Heart Medical Center for a morning of testing. I'm still not quite oriented when I arrive on the Sacred Heart campus, but, in short time, I parked and made my way to the surgery center where I registered. The registrar was cheerful, very pleasant to work with, and she set a tone for the rest of the day. I had about eighteen vials of blood drawn, had an EKG, and was administered an echocardiogram; in radiology, my chest was x-rayed, I got an abdominal ultrasound, and an abdominal CT. For each of these procedures, the people checking me in were warm and friendly, my wait times were short, conversations with the staff giving the tests were upbeat and uplifting, and I felt confident that I was in good hands. I had expected to be at the medical center until noon or so, but I was done shortly after 10 o'clock.
I think if you were to go back and read about the two different trips I made to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore for transplant list evaluation in 2015 and 2017 you'll find that I enjoyed the transplant center staff there, too. But, in Maryland, the only testing the center did on site was my blood work. That meant I returned to Greenbelt, contacted my PCP, requested referrals for cardiology tests and radiology work and then made several trips over about three weeks time to have these tests done. You might also remember that I used to enjoy driving around when I lived in Maryland, so these trips never annoyed me and I always turned them into something fun, but, I admit, I am very grateful that today I spent one morning getting these tests done, all in the same medical center.
And, as a bonus, the Sacred Heart transplant program doesn't charge me or bill my insurance for these tests.
What's next? On October 30th, I will return to Sacred Heart and meet individually with each member of the transplant staff and then, I'm not sure exactly when, the transplant committee will meet to decide whether to list me for a transplant at Sacred Heart.
2. I had been fasting for about sixteen hours when I left the medical center. Within myself, I had made plans to break this fast with a lunch at Ginger Asian Bistro, following JoJo's recommendation, but, since I finished early, I decided to go out for breakfast. As I left the medical center, I was tired and didn't feel like driving in Spokane to go to a breakfast spot, so I darted straight to the freeway and dined at the Breakfast Nook in Coeur d'Alene where I splurged and ordered a chicken fried steak with gravy, hash browns, eggs, and sourdough toast. I left feeling like I wouldn't have to eat again for a week.
3. Back home, I went straight to bed. I got a text from Cas inviting me to a "private showing" of the first game of this year's World Series at the Lounge. I drove up around five and the Deke arrived a while later -- we have two Subes now -- and joined Seth, Angie, Tracy, Cas, Ginger, Eddie Joe, Fitz, and Deanne for a fun time watching the Red Sox break open a tight game in the bottom of the seventh when Eduardo Nunez rocketed a three run home run over Fenway's Green Monster, catapulting the Red Sox to a 8-4 win. About halfway through the game, Tracy and Angie made a trip to Casa de Oro and Cas treated the party to Mexican food. I ate a couple or three tacos and a bunch of tortilla chips and salsa, all of which hit the spot, and spent the entire evening drinking ice cold glasses of club soda and lemon or lime. I returned home happy: the game was really fun, the food was satisfying, and I my system was free of alcohol, promising me a restful night's sleep to come.