When this appointment was set a month ago, we figured it would be a typical two day trip to Houston. That all changed when we tried to get a room in our usual hotel, MainStay Suites.
Uh. Wrong. MainStay was booked solid. We tried the Holiday Inn. Booked solid. Rotary House. Ditto. Every hotel in the Medical Center area was booked solid. It seems there was a big Offshore Technology event at Reliant Stadium. That’s when we knew yesterday’s trip was no ordinary expedition to MD Anderson.
We weren’t the only ones with this problem. We heard about one person who somehow managed to spend the night in the cafeteria. I guess he hid under a table until everyone left and closed shop. Another man was going to sleep in the lobby but was granted a reprieve at the last minute when a room at Rotary House unexpectedly opened for the night. We are not THAT adventurous.
Our choice was to make the round trip in one day. Uh, did I say we weren’t adventurous? We had never tried this before. The doctor was kind enough to change our appointment to a mid-morning time to allow us to arrive in Houston, rush to the lab for my blood draw, wait for the doctor before rushing to the cafeteria for lunch, catch our ride with Houston Ground Angels (HGA), rush to Hobby airport in time to catch our flight home, and we had to drive to and from Hot Springs and Little Rock – an hour each way. Whew! I’m out of breath just thinking about it.
So, yesterday began at 3:00 AM when I woke to prepare for our 4:00 AM departure to the airport. Everything was running according to schedule until we reached our connection in Dallas. That fight was delayed 30 minutes. I texted our HGA ride to the hospital the new arrival time. Things began to flow smoothly again. We arrived at MD Anderson in plenty of time to make my appointment at Fast Track Lab … and waited. It was only 10 minutes late. I can’t complain. Sometimes they are 30 minutes early. Since it was only about 45 minutes before our doctor’s appointment, we waited … and waited … and waited. I really can’t complain. Dr. Tapan Kadia has sometimes seen us as much as an hour early.
Then came the phone call. Dr. Kadia’s assistant, Jennifer, called. The doctor couldn’t see us until 1:00. Uh oh. I explained that we had a 1:30 PM pickup to get us to Hobby on time for our afternoon flight. She rescheduled us for 12:45. It would be tight, but we could do it. We packed our Kindles and headed for Café Anderson for lunch. Before we could get out of the waiting room, Dr. Kadia came rushing in waiving his hands. He said he was over ruling his staff and would see us immediately! We L-O-V-E Dr. Kadia. This isn’t the first time he has put himself out for us. (Melanie here: Dr. Kadia REALLY likes Harley. He always asks how the blog is coming. His staff calls him their famous author.) After we finished with him, we had just enough time for lunch before our ride arrived.
The return flight was uneventful until Dallas. What is it about Dallas? Another delay, but only 10 minutes this time. It didn’t really matter. We were on our way home and no one was waiting for us except Molly, Pepper, Zephyr, and Ravi, our pets. They can’t tell time, though sometimes I wonder about that, besides, they didn’t know our schedule. We finally made it home at 8:00 PM. Long day for sure.
I suppose you might wonder what the doctor had to say. Everything looks great. The things that we want to go up are still trending up. The things we want to go down are sinking in the ratings. I am healthy and still have a go for the transplant.
We have hotel reservations for the next visit (audible sigh): CT scans on Tuesday, visits with Dr. Kadia and my transplant doctor, Dr. Khouri, on Wednesday before our return flight. Then comes the final push at home: sorting, packing, finishing what I can on the To-Do list, packing, and packing for the L-O-N-G transplant stay in Houston at the end of the month. T-49 and counting for departure day.