Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Well, what a crazy day this was!  Yesterday, I drove clear across town to the farthest southeast corner for some lab work in a Quest Diagnostic lab.  No other lab would do.  However, when I got there a sign on the door informed me that Quest Diagnostics was no longer at this location.  It didn't tell me where else I could go - just that this place was closed.  It was to be a fasting blood draw, so as my stomach very loudly was already protesting, I got online with my iPhone to see where another Quest lab might be. Of course, you cannot just talk to a live being, so I made an appointment at another lab that was nearest my house.  That just happened to be on the far northwest part of this very major city.  I realized that I didn't have time to get there for that appointment (or I just didn't want to put up with the hassle of all the traffic between the two places), so I called them back and rescheduled for today - 9:00 a.m.

I got up in plenty of time to get there, printed out the directions from the address via Google maps which directed me to this northwest part of town.  I arrived way early since I didn't really know where I was going.  I asked the young girl in the parking deck ticket booth where the ACC building was.  She said, "I don't have a clue - sorry."  I walked down long halls, turning many corners to get from the parking deck to the information booth.  I asked these two very nice elderly ladies where the ACC building was.  They had never heard of it but directed me to the out-patient lab.  The lab lady didn't know where suite 507 of the ACC building was either, but she directed me to the building across the street that did have a 5th floor.  I got off the elevator, looking for 507.  There was only a room #500 kidney-treatment-office.  I walked down the hall, trying every closed door.  Found one open, but it was obviously an equipment storage room.  I went back down the elevator, across the street, and decided I would try to find the main hospital lab.  One young very sweet nurse determined that she was going to find where I needed to go or bust!  (The main hospital lab was only for inpatient use.)  She made some calls, but didn't get any answers to my questions.  She personally escorted me to the office of the Director of Nursing.  There the most gracious Assistant Director of Nursing made some calls.  Then he escorted me along with the Director of Nursing to the out-patient lab - where I started in the first place!  He talked with the desk person, and she said they did lab work that Quest picked up.  That wasn't good enough, plus they had no record of my appointment.  He got on the phone, and as he was talking, I pulled up the Quest lab site from which I made my appointment and noticed it said Brookwood Hospital.  But the address was not Brookwood Medical Center Drive - just Medical Center Drive.  Now had it been Brookwood Medical Center Drive, I would have know instantly where to go.  By the time he got off the phone, we had both figured out it was at Brookwood Hospital.  After he escorted me back to the elevators that would lead to my car, I thanked him profusely for his help, and I took off to drive across the heart of downtown Birmingham - not a fun thing to do for any reason - especially when your stomach is growling loudly.  I did take my blood pressure pill before leaving the parking deck.  The rest of my pills would have to wait until after the blood had been drawn.  After parking in yet another hospital parking deck, I finally found room 507 of the ACC building (ambulatory care center).  I was over an hour late to my appointment, and told her (with a smile on my face and a chuckle in my voice) I had been from the southeast to the northwest part of town and now here.  I said, "And I'm not leaving here until you draw my blood!"  She chuckled, too, and happily drew my blood.  Whew!  Finally!  Now to get some food!!!  I knew there was a Starbucks inside the main hospital (after all, I had been bringing my students here for their clinicals for over 20 years!), so that is where I headed.  I got a decaf and a blueberry scone.  I relaxed, taking the rest of my pills (vitamin supplements), sipping my coffee (with an envelop of Nestles cocoa mix that I always carry, because I can't drink coffee without it), nibbling on my scone and reading my latest Karen Kingbury book from my Kindle app on my iPhone.  I just wasn't going to hurry anymore for the day.

Next time I have to have blood drawn from a Quest lab, you can be sure I'll know exactly where to go!!

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