Friday, October 17, 2008

Ups And Downs

The Bad Feet are still here. The neurologist has offered me a different SNRI this time, a different drug to Effexor, called Cymbalta. I just popped one. It also has a warning against Serotonin Syndrome if you are on Tramadol (an opioid pain reliever), which I am. A 1% chance of getting hit with that again. Let's see what happens over the week-end, hopefully not a repeat of last time's waking nightmare...


Do others find the lift at the Gleneagles Medical Centre as shitful as I do?

There are six lifts in a semi-circular foyer in the clinic entrance at, strangely enough, Level 2.

There is always a crowd there, gathering in the vast tracts of time between when lifts going UP arrive, as the lifts are never going in the right direction. I am on the verge of being late. I had long ago decided, coming here frequently both for myself and work, that it is best to get into a lift that is going DOWN to the carpark levels rather than to wait the interminable wait for one going UP. That is because lifts from the carpark levels will be full when they arrive at Level 2 on the way UP. That is not necessarily because lots of people got in at the carpark levels, but because other people got in at Level 2 when it was going DOWN, because they couldn't be fucked waiting for one going UP, and because they *knew* that when it arrived it would be full because other people like themselves who had gotten in the lift at Level 2 when it was going DOWN as well in order to ensure a spot in the lift when the left stops at Level 2 on the way UP again. Exhale.

When a full lift on the way UP stops at Level 2 because someone has pressed the UP button, all the other lifts that were DOWN in the carpark level, and they are almost empty unless someone from Level 2 has already gotten in when it was going DOWN, they keep bypassing Level 2 on their way UP because there is already a lift stopped there marked as going UP.

Then it takes ages for the doors on the lift that has stopped at Level 2 on the way UP to close. Just when they are about to completely close so that the full lift can go UP and away and allow another lift going UP to stop, some bright spark presses the UP button again... and so the alarms Pings loudly and the doors reopen on the full lift and all the other lifts continue going UP and bypass Level 2 again. The people in the full lift that have been standing there for 5 minutes (they've probably gone DOWN in order to go UP too) stare daggers at the fuck-wit who just pressed the UP button. When the doors starts to close again, usually there is yet another fresh fuck-wit just rushing in from the taxi drop-off, late for an appointment, who presses the UP button again. Ping! Open! Sighs of anger and frustration arise from both the lift passengers and from those in the milling crowd who are still waiting to get on a lift going UP for their appointment - which they are now late for as well. Here we have a lift trapped, not between floors, but on Level 2 because of the stupidity of these people and the incredibly bad computer system which fails to prioritize Level 2 as an ALWAYS stop level for all lifts...

A lift comes, going DOWN, announcing itself with a loud Ping! A few people get out and I get in. No-one is left in it to go DOWN, so I wonder why is it marked as going DOWN? There are no other lower levels highlighted. Fucking stupid computer system, like I say. A few others join me, realizing they too must go DOWN before they can go UP. I press Level 5 and the door closes. Ping! It opens again, with the UP button now lit. Other stupid people get in and start pressing all sorts of numbers and I am forced the the rear of the lift. When the full lift reaches Level 5, I have a crisis of confidence. Shit, no, my Doctor is on Level 7. I stay there minding my business, and people in the lift look around for who was the fuckwit who pressed Level 5 and didn't get out. I look down at my watch, suddenly concerned about time; shit, am I that late? My second hand has come unstuck, I notice. It flops around as I move my wristwatch. Fuck. Level 7 Pings. As many people had gotten out on Level 6, the lift is not so crowded. I wander out and look for the directory of Doctors on the wall. Mine is not there. Shit. It WAS Level 5.

The lift has gone; it was going UP anyway. I press the DOWN button. Pings are resounding everywhere. The semicircular arrangement of lifts resonates the Ping from all levels and all lifts with very little attenuation. They Ping really loudly no matter which Level they are Pinging from. I am forever turning around when a Ping goes off behind me, but there is no lift there, just the sound ringing from some other level where a lift has arrived.

I see the lights of a lift going DOWN come on long before I hear any Ping. Then, Ping! I join the people in the lift going DOWN and press Level 5. I am thinking how stupid I am to think the Doctor was on Level 7. Am I on drugs? There is a Ping and the door opens. I wander out and look for the directory of Doctors on the wall. Mine is not there. Shit. WTF?

I go back to the lift foyer and press DOWN. I wait for a lift to take me to Level 2. Ping. Ping. Ping. I am really late now. Finally I get to Level 2 and check the complete directory of all floors. My Doctor IS on Level 5. WTF? I SHOULD be on drugs, it might help...

Again, I am on Level 2 with the UP lift problems... [Reread those paragraphs.]

I get to Level 5 eventually. Ping. I see my Doctor's name on the directory, which is laid out differently to the one I had looked at when I thought was Level 5 a few minutes ago. I must have got out on *Level 6* last time! I had heard the Ping and had gotten out when the lift stopped, without checking the level. Shit!

I rush as fast as... well I hobble up to the Doctors office at my max speed. I know he has 15 minute slots, and I am now 12 minutes after my time.

"Take a seat," says the receptionist. The waiting-room is empty. "The Doctor is running late."



Indiana said...

Cabs, Elevators...anything that moves is a hassle huh?

Good thing we have alcohol.

savannah said...

damn, sugar, i could swear i was on drugs reading that post! xoxox

(oh, wait, i AM on drugs!) ;)

monkey girl said...

Careful with the Cymbalta, the side effects can be shitty. Weight gain, water retention in legs and ankles. Good luck, hope it works!

expat@large said...

Thanks Monkey: good thing I read the package note; I am dropping my Tramadol for the whil and, maybe it won't churn me over the way Efexor did. According to the liner notes, it drops the nerve pain in 50% of sufferers by 50%, but you only need take a six week course so I wont be on it for all that long. No added benefit by extending the course. Only Day 2, feeling a bit jittery, but that could be the hangover...

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