Note: I started to write this on Wednesday, May 26 and am only getting back to it now. I’ve been a lazy, lazy boy. However, re-reading myself and completing the entry brings back the feelings that I felt two weeks ago . . . I don’t think I can ever forget that.
As regular readers may have noticed, I rarely write the sort of post where I actually describe what I did on a particular day. However, today is worth describing. I was a nervous wreck for most of the day as I waited for my 1:20 PM appointment with my endocrinologist. It was my second appointment with him and he would have access to the results of my blood tests.
I foresaw three possible outcomes:
1) He would give me my script for testosterone.
2) He would tell me that I had to lose 20 pounds and bring my blood pressure down before he could give me the prescription.
3) He would say that there was no way in hell he could give me a prescription for whatever health reason.
So the butterflies in my stomach multiplied as I sat in my office in the morning, trying to get some end-of-semester stuff done. I would manage to get my mind off of it for brief increments of time but I would suddenly remember and there I would be: anticipating again.
Finally, it was time to leave the office and make my way downtown to the endocrinologist’s office. Appropriately, I was listening to Blur’s song, Girls and Boys, on my MP3 player. I got there 20 minutes early, even though I knew I was going to wait for at least an hour like last time.
My nervousness intensified. What to do while I waited? There was no way I would get any marking done. No way I could focus on reading. I decided to go online on my piddly little cellphone, which is something I rarely do. And here comes the fun part: I went on Facebook and updated my status to say: “Jacky is in the waiting room with 4 people ahead of him. The suspence is excruciating! Anyone feel free to text me to keep me company.” Then I texted a couple of people. I needed company and, since it’s rude to talk on the phone in a waiting room, I thought texting would be the next best thing.
Over the course of the next hour, as I waited, I played text message tag with about 5 people. Some very memorable conversations happened as a result. For anonymity’s sake, I’m making up new names for my friends. If you recognise yourself, feel free to claim your convo. For the most part, the conversations were supportive. For example:
Jack: Dude. U at work?
Belinda: No. Why?
J: Waiting for the endo. Hope to get my RX for T. Fucking nervous.
B: It’s going to be fine dude. Have faith. Whatever happens remember that you are stuck with me. Nothing could be worse than that!
J: Thanks dude. That’s a strangely comforting thought 🙂
B: That’s what I am here for.
Some other conversations demonstrated that my friends think I’m a big pervert who things about sex all the time. For example:
Charles: Hope it all goes well – Cheers.
Jack: Thanks! I’m so nervous I want to puke. I hate puking. Thanks for the note! I really appreciate it!
C: Take a deep breathe and think about sex 🙂
J: Haha. Then I’ll have to go relieve myself and miss my appointment!
C: Hmmm. Eat something then. Ah never mind.
Loris: Deep breath, deep breath…you know, as opposed to heavy breathing.
Jack: As if I even would’ve had such a thought! (read indignant tone)
L: LOL yeah right. It’ll be over soon.
J: The breathing?
I felt blessed that I have such cool people in my life who would answer my call-out for support and accompany me during this stressful time at the endo’s office. The texting back and forth kept me busy, even if it didn’t take the nervousness away.
Finally, the endo came out of his office with the patient that was last before me. He grabbed a file, which I assumed was mine. He went back into his office instead of calling my name which I thought was strange. To calm myself, and to get an accurate sense of the time I would have waited rather than assuming it was a million years, I counted the seconds. I had made it to about 75 seconds when he re-emerged from his office and went to another room. I heard himself fix himself a cup of tea or coffee and sympathised. His office had been like a revolving door for the past hour and half.
He came out with his cup, looked at me and did that little head signal that means: “Come here.” Why he didn’t say my name, I’m not sure. My file is under my girl name and my boy name was in the letter from my endo, which he may not have had time to look at a second time. So I’m assuming he didn’t want to disrespect me by using a female name.
I made it in: he was as pleasant at the first time. A semi-heart attack nearly came on when he asked me, with a quizzical look, if I had done my blood tests. I replied, panicking, that I had done them 3 weeks ago. He looked at my file: “Ah, yes. Here they are.” Now, my endo has something I’ve never seen before (no, not THAT!). He has some kind of electronic notepad that he keeps patient files in. So consulting a file consists of him using an electronic pen to check off boxes here and there on his flat horizontal screen. Entering data consists of him using that same pen to write things. I’m including this info because it gives a very different sensory experience to the whole doctor-patient experience. I’ve spent a life time seeing Dr’s leaf through beige folders with the sights and sounds that come along with that. Having a Dr. do it this newfangled electronic way made things feel a bit more space-age than what I’m used to. But in the end, he prints things off on his printer and his handwriting is just about as illegible as any doctor’s so at least that part hasn’t changed.
In any case, a few “mm-hmm’s” later, as he scrolled down through the results of my blood tests, putting little checkmarks, occasionally lifting an eyebrow, he said that everything looked normal. (Under ordinary circumstances, I’m insulted when someone calls me that but I wasn’t about to complain if this would lead to me getting my T).
He took my blood pressure again and indicated that it was high enough to warrant medication. I must’ve given him my best little puppy dog expression because he said he would give me 3 months to bring it down. Then he said that he would give me my script. Woohoo!
So I walked out of there with a script for T and syringes, an appointment with the endo in three months and the number of a nurse at the affiliated hospital who teaches people how to self-inject. I made a beeline to my local pharmacy to fill my prescription.
My second semi heart attack of the day nearly came when the pharmacist said that she wasn’t sure if she had any left. I looked after her longingly as she went to the shelves. She finally found some and said I could have a seat while she prepared everything. I don’t know if I’m just paranoid (I try not to be) but she and her colleague looked over at me with weird looks several times as they worked on getting my stuff prepared. The guy who came over to ring up my tab (Ha! What an old expression! As if cash registers still made those ringing noises.) gave me a weird look throughout the whole transaction, as if I had tattoos all over my face, or leprosy.
That was NOT in the least bit enjoyable but I was pressed for time. If I get that next time, I will see the manager and if the problem is still not fixed, I will write to the head office of that pharmacy and go elsewhere. So far, on this journey, all of the professionals that I’ve dealt with have been super cool. So I’ve grown to expect this, as any person should. I will not let anyone get away with intolerant and disrespectful behaviour. It won’t change things for me but it hopefully will for the next person in line. (I should point out that I’m the type of person that frequently gives other customers shit when they’re mistreating a cashier or other customer service personel.)
Anyway, in the end I got my stuff, took it home and looked at it. Then I put it away. Then I took it out and looked at it again. Then I called the nurse and made my appointment for the following Monday at 10:30 AM. And that, my friends, is the story of my big adventure of obtaining testosterone.