Shortly after our return from Kiev, Tom’s back decided it didn’t enjoy the ride. On Friday morning he coughed then found himself on the floor with a back spasm. The back pain had begun several weeks before, but it became acute at that moment. He recovered for about a week, but after a second similar incident of severe pain decided to see a doctor. Valerie had made a commitment to substitute teach at the school, so I took him to the doctor.
The doctor’s office was beautiful. It looked more like an embassy than a doctor’s office. One of the nicest places I’ve been. Apparantly he is a world-renowned back doctor.
Doctor said Tom needed an MRI, now, followed by a series of five “infusions” – which we assumed was a Hungarian way to say “shot.” It wasn’t.
Finding the MRI machine required driving down the road to the hospital. Picture an old city VA hospital for the setting. The place worked as a hospital, but it was an amazing contrast to the doctor’s offices; at least fifty years old and still looking like when it was built. Yet World-Class Doctor ran this section of the hospital.
After finding the MRI room, no small challenge, and finishing the procedure, it was on to the infusion.
First they led Tom to a clean bed in a room with two other patients, possibly two WWII vets. One must have just had surgery judging by the bags hanging around his neck, and both were lying in their underwear. Next to Tom, on the nightstand, was the leftover meal of his neighbor, and there was no TV in the room. They hooked up an IV with his pain killing drip, and we waited for the next hour while it did its job.
When it was nearly over I realized it was my job to find a nurse since no one had checked back on Tom the whole time. The hall had become deserted, and no one had given us instructions for what to do. I hunted down a nurse and told her “done.” She came, disconnected things, then left. If she said something we didn’t understand it, so we sat there and waited to see if anything else would happen. Nothing else happened, so I found her again and asked what to do. “Nothing,” she said. “You can go.” So that was it. We went back to the car and drove home.
Shortly before the infusion another doctor gave Tom the MRI diagnosis. You’ll have to read Tom’s blog to find out what happened.