Cleveland Clinic: Appointments and Shenanigans

I’ve been hard on Ohio. It isn’t that bad, really. The roads are better than Michigan, but that’s not really a claim to fame. Forest trails are in better shape than Michigan roads. We arrived on the Clinic Main Campus about an hour before my appointment, but confusion over how the hell to park put me right on time. The main building stole my breath away. It was huge, beautiful, and all at once, I was so overwhelmed by not just the building itself, but the realization that, with time, this wouldn’t stun me anymore. It will eventually become a home away from home.

The main hospital building!

I got into my appointment and met my new doctor. We clicked pretty much immediately as he asked tons of questions, answered tons of mine, and performed dozens of physical tests to determine how my neuropathy is progressing. The short answer, it’s doing what he expected it to be doing. My reflexes are both over and under compensating, my heart rate is rocking out its POTSie self, and my blood pressure managed to confound both the assisting nurse and Dr. Shields as it remained the exact same no matter what we did while my heart rate went crazy.

Then came the time to schedule all of my tests. We were braced for the onslaught of testing needed to find more information about my conditions and had booked our hotel through Saturday to make sure we could do everything needed, but scheduling had other plans. Only basic lab work was available to me. We already have another trip booked for May, where I will spend roughly 10 hours straight in medical testing, starting at 7:30am.

It’ll be a long day.

I was a little disheartened by this, but Nikki had the remedy. We found one of the many restaurants hidden in the main building and she showed me all the cool things she found while I was busy being  quizzed by Dr. Shields.

I wanted to touch it!
A wall of silver.
This was Nikki’s favorite.

After eating and exploring a little, we headed to where I would get lab work. It was then where I was asked to sit perfectly still for 30 minutes in an uncomfortable chair, knowing that at the end of the 30 minutes, I would be faced with needles.

So. Much. Fun.

After an agonizing 30 minutes of not even being able to swing my legs or fidget, the wonderful lab tech came in and confirmed who I was and walked me through what we’d be doing. As she spoke, however, I found myself becoming more and more concerned about what she was doing, not what she was saying. I knew a blood draw was part of the lab work, but I watched with horrified humor as she seemed to pull vial after vial out.

I don’t need any of my blood, right?

It took one poke to each arm, but we managed to fill every one of those suckers. After the adventure of having all of my blood stolen by Barb the Impaler, we went back to the hotel where I promptly devoured almost all of our snacks and fell asleep.

Day two, now unencumbered by testing, started with food at the hotel bar, then we set off to Nikki’s touristy place of choice: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

In hindsight, I should have sat in the letters. 

They don’t really like you taking pictures in the Hall of Fame, but there was one exhibit we couldn’t resist. In pure good luck, we managed to visit at the time one of my all time favorite albums was being featured as their limited time exhibit.

All we are is just another brick in the wall.
You’ll never get your pudding if you don’t eat your meat!

To put it bluntly, it was cool as hell. Real props from Pink Floyd’s The Wall, along with Roger Waters’ explanation of what inspired the wall written on intermittent bricks. It was larger than life and I was giddy over it all.

Finally, fatigue got the best of me and we hoofed it back to the hotel for another calm night in. We depart for home tomorrow morning, with the possibility of more adventures.



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