Friday, October 15, 2010

Ah The Healthcare System

Hello everyone from Emory Midtown University Hospital.  Things are going well this morning, though humor me as I walk you through a scenario:

Imagine you have an 8:30 flight one morning.  You go through security and get to the gate on time, where you find out that your flight is actually departing from another nearby airport surprisingly.  This is no big deal, so you drive over to the other airport and get past security and get to the gate.  You find out that the flight is running late now, so you sit at the gate for 2+ hours waiting to board.  Finally you board the plane, but now you are informed that you have to wait on the plane for another 5 hours before taking off.

If this happened to you I bet you'd be pretty mad huh?  Yeah me too, but for some reason we have to live with these inefficiencies regarding the healthcare system.  This is basically what happened to me yesterday, as a series of delays kept me from starting my drip until 7pm, whereas I usually start around 2pm.  The problem with this is it will delay my departure on Monday from around lunchtime to potentially after dinner.  As someone who has studied healthcare a little, I can't help but not get too upset over this, after all, this is the most inefficient industry in the country, but I digress.

But yes, I'm back at University Hospital off Clifton Rd this weekend, room 702.  This is where I was during my first cycle and there are huge differences between the two facilities.  For one, the rooms here are bigger than at Midtown, and the window is wall to wall, which really opens up the natural light.  That definitely makes a big difference when you are to be here for 5 days just sitting around.  Another weird aspect of this facility is I strangely feel like there is a greater attention to detail by the nursing staff than at Midtown.  Here there is more double checking and oversight, but maybe that is just me.  This is no indictment of Midtown, but just a slight difference we noticed.

Tonight is a special night for me, as a lifelong Texas Rangers fan, this our first trip to the ALCS to face the Yankees.  I have been a Rangers fan ever since spending my first 9 years within earshot of their stadium in
Arlington, TX.  These years have been hard, as until this week's victory they were the only MLB team to never win a playoff series.  I wish everyone could have seen or heard my good friend Adam Powell (big Rangers fan) as we watched the game at my apartment on Tuesday.  If you could only hear us when the game ended, it sounded like Justin Bieber walking in on a room full of 5 young girls; I mean we were squealing with excitement.  For those of you that haven't watched this series but might tune in tonight, there are a few hand signals you can do at home that you will see the Rangers do:  "Moose" -  this is where put your hands up by your head like antlers, you do this after one of the Rangers steals a base or has a great play involving speed, then "Claw" -  for this you outstretch your hand in a claw shape when a Ranger gets a hit.  It sounds weird I know, but please join me from wherever you are, because I will hopefully making lots of "Moose" and "Claw" signals here alone in the hospital.

Thank you again everyone for the well wishes, I hope the weekend is great for all.  I leave you with another underdog team that also was also trying like heck to get to the World Series:

Thank you for the support!



  1. Michael, not only do I have your back on this cancer thing, I have your back on the Rangers winning it all thing. Since I have personally witnessed all 28 of your years, I have observed you to be the faithful, loyal Ranger fan that only a baseball fanatic can be. I'm pulling for the Rangers as hard as I have ever pulled for a team! And, you know why? It takes a die hard baseball fan to understand!

    On another note, in about 14 hours the Hillview boys will be boarding Dr. Joe's 40' love bus. We will be traveling to Lebanon, IN to play 27 holes at The Trophy Club. We are dedicating this trip to your honor. We promise with all our being to work as hard at having fun tomorrow as you are working hard to rid the crud within your body. You'll be updated with pictures. Please don't call the fun police on us.

    Go Rangers!

    Uncle Dave

  2. Michael- So glad you can see the humor in whatever you have to face! When you consider what the healthcare system is making on an hourly basis, you would think they could/would run more efficiently....or maybe not! It is a gorgeous day here at the Lake and glad to hear you have that large window to at least appreciate this great Fall weather. Mike is out playing in the Member-Member golf tournament and I am sure enjoying this day! Almost at hump day --you will be there in 4 more days! Keep up the great attitude.

    Bette Grotke

  3. Went to bed with the Rangers leading 5-0. What a great victory for Texas!!!

    What? You say what? The Rangers didn't win?
    OMG. Call the police!!!

    Oh well. There is football today. You can't lose - with either Vandy or Georgia, you are a winner! Of course, we prefer it to be the Dawgs!!!

    Your Father

    PS: Did they have to re-attach your tubes after that 8th inning last night???

  4. Wow....big delays, messing up on a basic, LIKE LOCATION, when awaiting something you're secretly dreading, makes me want to beat someone up for you, Michael!!! Crapola, man. Couple of months, and it'll be history with the chemo visits, sooooooo hang in there. Meanwhile, visualize that pesky mass shrinking in submission.
    Hugs and prayers, Michelle on Westview

  5. Michael,

    I just came across your blog and am sorry to hear about the cancer. I amazed at your positive attitude and sense of humor through all of this. Very inspiring. It seems like it was just last week that we had lunch together. I'm wishing you the best in your journey and will be praying for you.

    Chad Herring

  6. Ahh the delays . . . what memories that brings back. My chemo schedule often "slipped" in that same way. One time, in fact, my triple pump got unplugged, the batteries went dead, and my "sentence" was correspondingly increased by another 12 hours. It happens. But man do I know the feeling of wanting to get out of that place ASAP!