Wednesday, August 05, 2009

SWMBO Report: SWMBO and The Tissue Sample

You may recall, those of you who are personally acquainted with SWMBO (She ... Who Must Be Obeyed) that my last update described our outing to San Diego in early July and the news that she had been accepted for an experimental 'genotyping' program out of Massachusetts General.

The first step, after enrolling (which she did a month ago) is to submit a tissue sample to the ancilliary facility at U.C. Irvine.

That "simple out-patient procedure" was performed last week at the local Hospital here in Oregon. It was suppose to have been done on Thursday, but due to a scheduling F...-up error she had to go back on Friday to have it actually performed.

The last time they performed this procedure, almost a year ago, they managed to collapse her lung and, in the words of the lead surgeon "we almost lost her on the table". Consequently, I was not entirely phlegmatic last week, but eventually they did manage to get her into the actual operating room and acquired the tissue sample by the simple process of shoving a horse-doctor needle through her ribcage and sucking "stuff" out of her lungs.

Whew! We're both glad that we got past that procedure okay.

That was Friday, July 31, 2009.

Today (Wednesday, August 5, 2009) I was asking SWMBO if she had any idea when she would get the results of her genotyping.

Turns out there's a story here.

Yesterday -- Tuesday -- she had an appointment with her local Oncologist. He hadn't sent the tissue sample out, yet. Why? Because he didn't have a mailing address.

Fortunately, SWMBO had the business card she had received in Irvine from the interviewer, Doctor Woo. (I may not have spelled that right. When SWMBO says it, it sounds more like "OO" ... no double-u sound, rhymes with "You". But I digress, as usual.)

After making photocopies of the business card, her doctor called Dr. Woo. No answer. No secretary (turns out she was 'at lunch'). No voice mail. Also, apparently, no back-up phone numbers on the card and who knows if there's an email address. Are these people barbarians? No email address?

So SWMBO mentioned to her Oncologist (who, she explained parenthetically, was seeing back-to-back patients all day, every day, and really doesn't have time to be making phone calls while his waiting room as a queue at the front door) that his Office Assistant seemed to have had no trouble making contact with the appropriate people at U.C. Irvine, and if he just turned the problem over to that lady she would probably manage to extract the proper street address where he should send the tissue sample ... which had been sitting in his office for FIVE DAYS!

[emphasis mine. SWMBO is much to refined to raise her voice unless she is the RO at a USPSA match, in which case, you had better "get off your ass and tape these targets". But that's another story.]

At this point in her story, I interrupted SWMB O:
  • (me) "Wait a minute. You told him how to run his office?"
  • (she) "Uh, well, yes. I guess I did."
  • (me) {laughing} "I think he should hire you!"
Okay, so maybe you had to be there.

The point is that the original deal was a vague explanation that it would take "two to four weeks" to process (is the correct word "genotype"?) the tissue sample ... after it arrives.

Which may be a while, because as far as either of us know today the tissue sample hasn't even been sent yet. But I think the local office has a mailing address, and I assume that they have acted expeditiously to get the dreck in the mail.


SWMBO was a little chastened when I pointed out that she had told her doctor how to run his office. "I guess I'm a Pushy Broad, huh?" she asked.

"No", I replied.

"I think you are your own best advocate. I think you are a resourceful, dynamic, strong and independent woman who has her best interests at heart and a clearly defined goal; survival. I think this is a marvelous opportunity for you to act as your own advocate. It provides a challenge for your mind and an output for your energy. And it also gives me something that I can do to help. Give me a white pleated skirt and a pair of pom-poms, and I will be your cheerleader."

We negotiated, and I won. No actual pleated skirt, and the pom-poms can be any color combination except Black and Orange (the 'school colors' of my alma mater and my employer).

Then we had a lengthy conversation about the atrocity God had visited upon us by inventing the deplorable color "orange". She likes it, I don't. But then, she grew up in a town where the university and the neighboring town adopted "Black and Orange". Pity, the lovely lady never had a chance.

And you thought it was Easy Being Geek.

No comments: