How to make an otherwise monotonous workday a bit more interesting…
1. Leave work at noon.
2. Fight traffic between Mission Viejo and Huntington Beach for an hour.
3. Grab a quick bite to eat, head to your parents’ place to start looking for your birth certificate so that you can request a passport for the trip that you are hoping to take next month.
4. Check the clock and see that your appointment with the doctor down in Newport Beach is in 20 minutes.
5. Drive to the doctor’s office, ask if they accept credit/debit cards for their $5 co-pay, but find out that they charge an extra $2. Find out that there is an ATM across the parking lot and they will accept payment after the appointment. Find out that the ATM charges $3. Decide to go home and let them bill you because a stamp is cheaper than $2-3.
6. During the appointment, you need to give your entire life story to the doctor that is covering for your regular doctor. All of this is just to get a referral to see the specialist you’ve been seeing for almost 5 years, and the only reason you are seeing him is to get your standard prescription refilled.
7. Figure that since you have already made the trip, you mention a couple of small things that you have noticed. These symptoms are not really bothering you, but are something that you think may be worth mentioning.
8. You show the doctor that a small area on the side of your nose has been slowly swelling for the last few years. The doctor takes a look. He does not feel it is vascular and is probably not related to your previous congenital vascular malformation, but feels that it may be a cyst and may be worth removing.
9. You mention that you have a small, purpleish spot inside the arch of your foot that has been there for the last 15-or-so years, has not really caused much trouble, but has recently had the occasional dull, aching feeling.
10. The doctor takes a look, pushes around on the area for a bit, asks you to look at your other foot for comparison, states that it is certainly some type of “vascular anomaly” and is not concerned about the bruised-looking spot itself, but is concerned that there is swelling around it and the way that it goes away, then refills after pressing on it says that it may very well be related to some type of AVM.
11. The interim doctor writes a referral to your usual neurologist/epileptologist, but says that he will need to look into the nose/foot issues and wants to keep the appointment with your GP that you already had scheduled for June 6th so that he can get another opinion before sending you to another specialist.
12. Go back to your parents house and search for another two hours before finally finding your birth certificate, which, for whatever reason, was not with the birth certificates of your three other family members, but instead, is crammed between the original copy and photocopy of your Bachelor’s Degree.
13. You call home to inform your spouse that they can stop looking at their end, because you have found the birth certificate. In the background, you hear your 3-year-old screaming his head off as your spouse says, “I’m done… I give up. He’s just going to have to stay in bed until you get home because I can’t take it anymore.”
14. By this time, it is 4:00 pm, traffic is getting heavy and it takes more than an hour to drive just over 20 miles on the freeway.
15. The day’s only saving grace? The screaming 3-year-old was calm and playing with toys by the time you arrive home. In the meantime, however, you have an appointment pending to find out whether or not these additional "vaslular anomalies" are in some way related to the congenital defect that caused the AVM that you had removed from your brain 5 years ago and leaves you wondering how many more of these may be found throughout your body.