Outside, Inside, Top to Bottom

Oct 31, 2017 | 1 comment


Yesterday, Nyel had two appointments at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland.  The first was a nuclear test to see if his DNA contains a certain kind of protein that would explain his Congestive Heart Failure.  The second appointment was with a cardiologist who was reviewing Nyel’s situation at the request of Dr, God (Nyel’s primary cardiologist whose team is associated with Emanuel Hospital).

The test took place in the Nuclear Medicine Department at Sam Jackson Hall at the top of “the hill” as the location of the main OHSU campus on Marquam Hill is called.  We’ve had long associations with that campus in past years and finding your way around is a Nightmare with a capital N.  If you go by car, as we did, finding your way hither and thither involves underground parking, several banks of elevators, sky bridges between buildings and maps and information desks at every turn.

OHSU Parking Map

Right here I need to pause to give a shout out to our friends Diane and Hal Buttrell.  Early in the morning, before Nyel’s release from two weeks of captivity at Legacy Emanuel, we received an email from Diane:  Can you use help with getting to the OHSU appointment? We know that they have dealt with OHSU more than most because of their granddaughter’s serious illness but… even so.  The offer was one of those ‘measures of friendship’ that are indescribable. We would have taken them up on the offer in a nanosecond had we not had two appointments and were then heading directly home – an all-day ordeal.

It wasn’t until we were at appointment #1 that we found that our second appointment with the consulting doctor was at the Bottom (with a Capital B) of the hill.  “Take the tram,” was the advice we were given. “It’s a construction zone.  There’s no way to tell you how to get there.”  Great.

There was a pretty brisk breeze outside (20 mph I heard) and  I am a weenie about heights — especially hanging-from-a-wire-heights.  We would have had to go down and then come back up for our car.  No way.  We fetched the car (four elevators, one sky bridge, two buildings) and gritted our teeth when our GPS took us (three times) to walled off areas full of hard-hatted-jack-hammer- guys, and finally found our way by accident and dumb luck.  It took 45 minutes (as opposed to the 12 minutes our GPS directions had estimated.)

Buddy System

Fortunately, he had time to spare, even accounting for our very slow walking progress once we left the car.  (Despite walking the halls at Emanuel, Nyel’s two weeks of being mostly bed-bound has left him very weak.  ‘Slow and Steady” are our operable words these days.)  We couldn’t help shaking our heads over the campus being all about sick people – the least likely candidates for negotiating the ups and downs and inside outs of it all!

Nevertheless, we liked the consulting doctor very much and have a follow-up appointment with him in three months.  Time enough to build our stamina and gird up our loins in preparation!

1 Comment

  1. Ruth

    Oh, Sydney and Nyel! I wish you could have had push-chair service the whole way, for the two of you, escort guides for all the confusing halls and elevators! As you say, people who must come to a hospital complex are the least likely to “enjoy” negotiating hallways, elevators, and distant buildings! Hooray for Diane and Hal for offering help, hooray for Maggie for her treats, hooray for the visitors, nurses, doctors who have cheered you, hooray for Sydney and Nyel for your absolute courage and patience!! I hope you are home and relaxing….Bless you! Ruth, for Burt, too


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