Yeah, so, I have turned into a bit of a Kaiser dork. It’s perfectly normal to dork out about your medical provider, right? I’m sure everyone does it.
I’ve spent a lot of time at Kaiser throughout the past couple of years. After being diagnosed with breast cancer twice, I’ve been to Kaiser countless times for appointments, surgeries, chemotherapy, acupuncture, more appointments, more surgeries, etc. And in the middle of all that, I got pregnant and now have a 4-year-old son that’s been diagnosed with autism. So, yeah, I like I said, I spend a lot of time at Kaiser.
We live in Glen Park in San Francisco, so I’m always hauling my ass to Kaiser on Geary. There’s traffic no matter what time of the day, so it takes me about 45 minutes to get there, and sometimes it can take an hour. I have to park in the world’s most ridiculous parking garage that is always packed with people who think they are going to find a magic parking spot that puts them right on the elevator to go inside. That parking spot doesn’t exist, just in case you are wondering.
I’m friendly with a lot of staff at Kaiser now. Several of the nurses and receptionists on the second floor and the eighth floor know me. When I was dealing with breast cancer the second time, a lot of the nurses and receptionists said, “It’s good to see you but I’m also sad to see you here again.”
I’m always chatting and joking with the nurses, because I have a nervous talking thing I do. My oncologist told me that he knows what exam room I am in because he can hear us laughing.
Sadly, Kaiser has turned into my Cheers, but it kinda sucks that everybody there knows my name.
It’s great that everyone is so friendly, and I’m glad that I make a positive enough impression that they remember me, but also whenever I go to Kaiser now I get an overwhelming sense of dread. It sucks.
I had an appointment last week to get my Lupron injection, and just being on the eighth floor, which is where I did my chemo, makes me feel kinda nauseated. It’s the smell – that hospital smell – and the bleeping of the machines. Ugh. I hate it.
I said something to the nurse about it when I was there last week.
“The smell here reminds me of chemo. You probably don’t even notice the smell anymore, but someday when you don’t work here anymore, you’ll come back and say, ‘Ewww, it smells like work here.’”
So, because of all the bad memories I have about Kaiser on Geary, you will not be surprised to learn that I’m really excited about the new Kaiser buildings in Mission Bay. In fact, I would say I’m downright giddy. When I found out that my dermatologist and my gynecologist moved into the new building, I jumped up down with excitement and clapped. I’m not making that up. I literally jumped around and clapped, and then I told David about it excitedly, and it turned into this:
This is what I mean when I say I’m a Kaiser dork now. I got seriously happy that I got to see the new Kaiser building. It’s new! It’s different! I don’t have any bad associations. Woo-hoo!
I went to the new Kaiser building on Friday for a bone density scan, because being 45 and in chemically induced menopause is fuckin’ rad. It’s OK to be jealous.
OK, so, you guys, it took me 15 minutes to get there from my house. I know, right? 15 minutes! I was living the fuckin’ dream! Plus, there’s all kinds of parking. I got a spot on the second level, which are the first parking spots available for patients who don’t have electric cars. And, the parking garage isn’t a concrete cave. You can see the sky.
The buildings are all windows, so the building isn’t such a downer to be inside. There’s lovely murals and art all over the walls. The elevators are fast, and they don’t bleep at you. You get “Second floor” not “BLEEP!”
And here’s the really crazy thing … apparently, Kaiser patients don’t want to go to the new building. WTF?! I wish all of my Kaiser appointments were in the Mission Bay offices. My oncologist told me that they moved a bunch of doctors and departments to the new building, and Kaiser patients just switched doctors to stay at Geary.
Fine by me, weirdos. That means more readily available appointment for me. Wheee! I’m gonna thrive so hard, you guys.