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Waiting is the Hardest Part

May 22, 2019
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I pick the most scenic spots

Question

Why did you spend so long in the Santa Fe area, Suebob? Well, now the truth can be told: I needed healthcare. A mammogram, specifically, and of the difficulties I have had on the road, accessing healthcare was the most intractable so far.

Round 1 in the healthcare battle

I found a lump in my breast. I mean, a DIFFERENT lump in my breast. I have plenty of lumps. So many that, so far, I have had one surgical biopsy, three needle biopsies, five breast ultrasounds, a bunch of follow-up mammograms, and a partridge in a pear tree. But this lump felt different – harder and less slippery. It felt, frankly, like a lentil. Small, which is good, right?

So I took myself to one urgent care where they said they would not refer me for a mammogram, and to another one where the doctor said she would, but then when I called the next day as she told me to do, they said they wouldn’t.

“But you’re not an established patient,” the referral person said. So cold. So uncaring. I spent about 45 minutes on the phone, most of it on hold, while they decided to reluctantly grant me the permission to get a damned mammogram.

Round 2 ding ding

Then the mammogram place didn’t want to take a referral from an urgent care, and was so brusque and imperious about telling me I HAD to get films sent from my last 5 years of mammos, and if they didn’t get them, they would just have to reschedule, and their next appointment wasn’t for 3 weeks and no, they probably wouldn’t have any cancellations.

The person on the phone was just so mean. It was like it was a game to her to keep me from getting a mammogram. It was so awful and disheartening and makes me wonder how anyone who is truly ill receives healthcare at all.

So that’s how I spent 3 weeks in Northern New Mexico – I wanted to be within an hour of the imaging center, in case they did have a cancellation, though with the way Sandra treated me, I figured no one would be calling, and no one ever did, so I waited the entire 3 weeks.

The Decision

The mammo was fine. I had a weirdly inflammed tiny lymph node.

Meanwhile

I fell in love with a lady. A lady named Genoveva Chavez.

Well, I actually fell in love with a community center named after Genoveva Chavez, a center located conveniently about 400 yards from where Gladis was parked at the Santa Fe Rodeo Grounds.

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El Rodeo de Santa Fe

Yes, the rodeo seems like a strange place to park, which is why it was perfectly suited to me and Gladis. They had about a dozen RV spots in a gravel parking lot near some horse pens, and it was cheap and super low-key, so there I stayed. You just called a number on the gate and the guy assigned you a spot. “Do you ever want to get paid?” I asked him. “Eh, I know where you live,” he said. “I’ll come by sometime.”

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Where you can find the cowboys. Also, directly behind Gladis.

Genoveva Chavez Community Center (GCCC) is a gem. They have a huge swimming pool, a giant kids’ pool with slides large and small, a basketball court, weight rooms, a dance studio, meeting rooms and an ICE RINK. They are open from about 5 am to 9:45 pm every day.

I was in heaven. This was honestly one of the most beautiful and functional civic buildings I have ever been in. This is the kind of thing you want your tax dollars going to.

So every night after work, I would put on my swimsuit, grab my backpack, and make the short walk over to visit Genoveva. I asked who she was and the lady at the front desk said “She was a mariachi.” Ok, then. Thank you, Genoveva, for making my extended stay at the Rodeo grounds so enjoyable.

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Genoveva, I love you.

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An ice rink. In Northern New Mexico.

A

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I also got to pet horsies every day. This is Doc.

 

 

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Christine Voth permalink
    May 22, 2019 23:34

    Glad that the mammo didn’t reveal anything more to challenge your access to healthcare.
    Maybe the real reason for the delay was so you could get to know & use Genoveva! Sounds like a real gem!

    • May 23, 2019 05:42

      I’m glad I got to know Santa Fe and Taos better and that I went to Ojo Caliente. So it worked out. Texas, on the other hand, I’m just trying to survive.

  2. May 23, 2019 06:22

    I am so glad every thing checked out okay, but man does your story make me ragey. I spent many childhood summers in the Taos / Santa Fe area. It’s beautiful and hypnotic. Good luck in Texas.

    • May 23, 2019 19:15

      I loved how beautiful Taos was especially. They sky was so blue. Texas has tried to kill me three times. Maybe that’s a charm.

  3. May 24, 2019 09:07

    I’m glad your mammo turned up nothing serious and angry that no one just let you get one as soon as you turned up with a lump. “Not an established patient”! Good lord. That is one of the problems with U.S. health care. You either can’t get it or they give you too much. I once had a needle biopsy from a doctor who acted like a cat and have tried to avoid breast doctors ever since. Anyway, good to know you’re fine and hope Texas is treating you better. I’ve always wanted to go, but I’m afraid I might see Ted Cruz and then my whole trip would be ruined.

  4. May 28, 2019 20:29

    Glad to hear it was just a weirdo thing, the bid is one mass o’ ippy bits that do what they damn well please when you least expect it. Sorry to hear you had to deal with the horrors of healthcare. I worked in it for 30 years, and tho it would pay and insure me and my family better, I can’t stand the thought of going back to it. Keep doing you.

  5. June 8, 2019 18:51

    So many curse words to our broken and heartless health care system, but I’m pro horse pets for always.

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