Health Issues Not Go Smoothly

Health issues not go smoothly as Master Po ages

Tuesday, Oct., 27, 2015 – Master Po answer pre surgery questions on phone for 25 minutes with nurse at UPMC Altoona about upcoming knee replacement surgery scheduled for Nov. 12.  Master Po have phone next to left ear, THE ONLY EAR THAT WORKS, and he have phone set for SPEAKER PHONE TOO. He hear very distinctly – “Bring folder given to you by surgeon to meeting this coming Friday @ 9:00am.”

So I do….

Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, Master and Mrs. Po travel to Altoona Hospital parking lot and other than disagree where we’re supposed to park; all goes well…Until we enter building… We must have entered area for special needs employees because no one know where we are, nor where we’re to go, - All employees met, seem to have trouble even understanding our questions. Master Po, always conscientious and sympathetic of the needs of special people, happy to see that they are employed and contributing to society, but wonder if hospital is best place for this kind of placement.

Rememba too, Master Po, have severe arrhythmia, two synthetic heart valves, have defibrillator, bad knees, can’t hear and is color blind. And is a tad impatient too.

When we finally get to correct area, we learn Master Po bring big folder, but bring (as they say in China) “wrong one.” No one tell Master Po to bring White folder, so he bring Big Blue one instead. No ‘orders’ from surgeon in blue one.  No tests done here at hospital that day!!! No orders - and hospital nurses need orders!! – Master Po can see BLUE & WHITE, so he upset about not being told color of folder wanted by nurses….
Folders, above: As Mrs. Po remind me, if I would have only read the front of the folders, I would plainly see that it says to bring the White one with us

I wonder why Chinese invent dynamite and gun powder in 9th century, in Tang Dynasty ….  and man land on moon in 1969, and today we can facetime with granddaughter in MT with new technology, but “Orders” from one doctor in Altoona can’t be sent to hospital in Altoona a few blocks away.   They expect paper copies to be carried by patients instead. Master Po continue to get more upset as we make trip to hospital for nothing.

At 11:00am we have another appointment where we are to meet with surgeon at University Orthopedics, who was to get “pre – test” results from earlier appointment….but we not have tests, so Master Po wonder if surgeon might be upset too –

 Not to worry, surgeon not in today, and Physician Assistant as Bill Cosby might call him, “almost a doctor” is only one to talk to us. He basically tell us nothing new, but does somehow now come up with “NEW ORDERS” and his office schedule us for new tests in same building as he – Master wonder again, why this not done in the first place, earlier in morning …. ??With so many orders, here and there, Master Po check sign on medical building to make sure I’m not in a military facility or VA hospital.  

It now close to 1:00pm, and Master Po getting hungry… but we finally get in line in new place with NEW ORDERS,….

In early question session, Master Po refer to changed setting on his pacemaker, made months earlier in doc office. [instead of ‘tweaks’ – he call them ‘twinks’] – Mrs. Po laugh at loud because I say that other times in sessions too, so I just start calling them ‘twinks’ all the time, instead of ‘tweaks’ – it become family joke, and out of habit, I accidentally say to nurse the wrong word again today.  Mrs. Po not surprised that I use wrong word…I tell her it sub -conscientiously used because I’m hungry… [Hostess Twinkies] – Nurse just just shake head when I say that the Pacemaker ‘twinks’ have helped a lot. Nurse not find this as humorous as the rest of the Po family. 

Later, technician speak to me as she turn away. This not good for Master Po because he rely on face and lips to hear at times…. So I hear something like this…    “ yada yada, swab for bacteria, testing for MERSA” – She then turn around with long q-tip at end of long wooden dowel rod and I open mouth very wide for swabbing.  She laugh at loud, saying “I need to swab your nostrils, not your throat.” Master Po feel embarrassed and turn shades of red. [I assume because red, one color Master Po can’t see] But I feel red and hot too.

In X-ray area, Master Po going in for CHEST XRAY. He think he hear “put back against board and face machine” Only natural, right, since he getting chest picture taken.  Techies laugh again…”No, chest against board, and back to machine” is commanded by techies. Master Po assume he turn further shades of red. Still not understanding their ‘orders’ both ladies come out of safe radiation area, and physically turn Master Po into proper position against board with hands held over his head. One lady push so hard, Master Po (with all his balance woes) almost fall down. Master Po not get upset - strength of ladies, not their fault. Rememba, they abosorb much radiation rays in their job and they not know their own strength.

Not done yet… Master Po hear something like this from another techie… “We need yada, yada, yada, then you can go home.”  She turn around, hand me a bag, with a wipe up in it, and small plastic jar, with lid. She then point in direction of bi-sexual lavatory, with images of both men and women on door.  She say, “there’s the rest room.”  Master Po impressed as to how techie knows that Master Po is growing older and she assume I need to go pee. She even give me wipe-up to clean hands when I’m done.

I look puzzled though at bag and jar - and she say, “Didn’t you hear me? We need a urine sample! – and the towel-ette is to wipe off the top of the jar.”  

Next Master Po so gun-shy and worried about making more mistakes, I stare at images on lav door to make sure I don’t walk into the wrong restroom. [Yes, I do that before in the same building a few years earlier.]

She say loudly, “Yes, that’s the lav SIR!!”  Nurses feel they have to be formal at times, when patients like me can’t hear well. But Master Po feel he in military hospital again when referred to as SIR.  I check signs again to make sure I go into correct restroom.   

I pee, wipe jar, hand to techie and I hobble out of testing area, and we stop in at Friday’s for late, late, lunch, (3:30pm)  and down a few “Angry Orchard’s” – They do help…and thank good Lord, lavs there have only one image on doors. 

Master Po look like "Angry Orchard" tree trunk after day like this one.

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA