It’s Veteran’s Day weekend. Since I work for a bank, and we get bank holidays (we didn’t at my last employer – but I did have five weeks vacation), it’s a three-day weekend for me. Took a half-day on Thursday, too. I think I stopped at Meijer after work – can’t really say on the way home, because it’s actually the opposite direction – and picked up a few things I needed. Yeah, that’s right, that’s what I did. Sorry, CKD brain getting worse; memory’s kinda shot. While driving there, I came across a detour of sorts. Well, more like a sign telling me that no through traffic was allowed. It was a large sign attached to two or three orange-and-white pylons, more visible than the old cones, and probably cheaper than the orange barrels. there’s a huge exchange being built for I-71 through an area that desperately needs it. There’s a lot going on right in that space, and getting on and off I-71 was tricky at the best of times.
So I maneuvered around the sign, since I wasn’t going through, I was going to the store. When leaving, I had to wait for someone who didn’t understand hand signals, particularly the ones that meant “move.” My patience is shot, too.
Friday morning, I had an appointment – getting a new baseline ultrasound of my kidneys. The last one is lost to the universe. While I was there, I figured I’d take care of the bloodwork my new specialist wants. Great, no problem, eat a late dinner so I’m not starving in the morning, pay a visit to the vampires, maybe grab something to eat before the ultrasound. The hospital where I was going to have all this done is undergoing it’s own transformation, starting last year. It’s a very big project, and it’s taking up a lot of space. The new Heart Center looks cool, though. It’s also affecting parking in a very big way, and navigation in a very big way. I had my first appointment with the specialist on Monday. I was fifteen minutes late. Not because I left late, but because I just couldn’t figure out where to park and where to go in. Eventually I parked in the hospital garage, and took an extensive tour of the grounds to the Medical Office Building, where I thanked the cell phone gods for reception while I called to ask where I was supposed to go. I had it written down – on my desk at work.
Friday morning, I got there before 11. My ultrasound was scheduled for 11:30. I stopped at the lab to see how long of a wait it would be – 30-40 minutes. Too long. Starving, lost, and a little confused, I tried to figure out where to go for the ultrasound. I stopped at the information desk just outside of the lab. She sent me to the women’s center where they do mammograms. Fortunately for me, the hospital’s computers are sync’d up, and the receptionist there was able to point me in the right direction – in the hospital, maybe half a mile away.
I set off on my journey to the hospital’s ultrasound lab. I checked my supplies to make sure I had enough to carry me to my next destination. Insurance card, check. Photo ID, check. I was ready. I crossed the narrow connector, braving chilly breezes and backhoe fumes to reach my destination. At last I had reached the hospital. My journey was far from over. I was able to enlist the aid of locals at the information desk to find out where I needed to register. Spent, and not a little frustrated, I found it. I took my seat in the waiting area, playing with my tablet and using the hospital’s free WiFi – I hadn’t been able to use it for months, not on my tablet, and not on the laptop I was given, back when I was out of work and nearly out of money. I recovered in the oddly-comfortable waiting area chair, anxious to hear my name, anxious to know when my journey would finally end. At last, my name was called; I was able to register! I still had fifteen minutes to go – I was going to make it! I followed the directions of the registration desk clerk, and wound up in the ER. *sigh* A kind nurse walked me to the desk I really needed.
Ultrasound completed, I made my way back to the lab. I’d made the trek twice before, so returning was much easier. Didn’t need an oxygen tank or anything. Waited, got my blood drawn, and started fantasizing about breakfast. Getting out of the parking garage was a piece of cake. Getting back onto Auburn Avenue was a little more challenging. Not that bad, but I was hungry and a little delirious, with visions of omelets and burgers dancing in my windshield. That might be a slight exaggeration.
I finally made it out of the lot, and back to the main streets. I turned left onto Reading Road (pronounced like Redding), after waiting for people to figure out how to use an intersection and acceleration pedal – remember that whole ‘patience shot’ thing. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was – before me was an orange construction sign, and orange and white pylons. The lane I was in was closed ahead. At least, that’s what the sign said. So, being the polite drivers we are, the person beside me drove the same speed, effectively trapping me in the lane, trying to force me behind him. Mind you, I was already in front. Red car. You know how that goes.
The sign was wrong – my lane was open; the other was closed. And again, being the type to return no man evil for evil, I kept driving so the jerk would be stuck in his lane. Once I got to Reading and Oak, it started to get interesting. There were construction machines, flashing yellow lights, and a lane full of cars that weren’t moving. Then someone drove in the closed lane. It was anarchy! For two blocks, the people in that lane made progress. Because of that, their numbers grew. It wouldn’t last forever, of course. That lane was actually closed. By that point, I’d found myself in that lane. I was stuck behind a white van, and there was a lot of stopping and starting – it just got ugly. At last, I broke free. I was hungry and tired, and not looking forward to ripping off the gauze from where they drew blood. That tape stings!
I managed to avoid the last of the construction in my path and get something to eat. Felt much better after that. I thought about going out with my camera, but I was going to see Peter Pan that evening, and I didn’t want to be too tired for that. Talented kids.
Y’know, this was supposed to be about construction in the city, accidents, and obnoxious drivers. I even had a bit about the Cincinnati Slalom in mind. Oh well. I suppose I shouldn’t be too terribly surprised – these never go the direction I intend.
For all those who are serving, and the families waiting for them to come home, Happy Veterans Day, and thank you.