I arrived to no one and after a few minutes, someone came in that didn't really know too much, and about five minutes after that, I got a printout of two forms, one on which I was supposed to verify some information and provide other information, and the other of which I was just to sign.
At 7:35, I returned the forms, and they said, "Oren will be with you shortly." I have yet to meet Oren, as this is my first appointment, and I have no idea, even, if it's a he or a she, or with all due respect to our transgender community, somewhere in between—which would have been fine, by the way.
In the meantime, there are several physical therapists standing around talking about their weekends, and then a couple of people come in, who are already "in" PT, as it were, so they say hi to their physical therapist and go right into the back. I watch this happen until 7:45. The person working the desk senses that I'm getting annoyed having waited ten minutes now, and she picks up the phone and says, "Oren? I just wanted to make sure you know your patient is here."
Another person comes in at about 7:50 and goes right back. Obviously all of these therapists are not Oren.
Finally, at 7:55, I walk up to the desk as calmly as I can and I say to the lady, "I"m trying very hard to remain calm, but I have been here since 7:30, early like I was told to be, my appointment was at 7:45, I have work constraints, which is why I asked for the earliest possible appointment, and I know Oren is here. If we don't get started in the next five minutes, I'm going to have to just leave."
She nodded with a look of "Oh we got a ticking one here..." and went into the back. Right after she came back, Oren followed, and invited me back.
After the initial awkwardness of him pointing at his little laptop and telling me, "I was just reading your history, since you're here for the first time, looking at what surgery you had and when, etc," and me thinking, "You could have called me back here to let me watch you do that so I'd've at least known what was going on," things calmed down and we had a very good exchange.
Bottom line is that he set my mind at ease that this pain, which he identified as most likely my sciatica is 1) from how I've explained it to him, quite a mild case (without dismissing my pain, though), 2) will get better, and 3) could take up to three months. If nothing else, knowing that it might take up to three months is a real help to me. I'm one of the most impatient people I know, so readjusting my expectations is good.
I left there with $40 less in my pocket (insurance co-pay), two more appointments, some helpful information about ibuprofen, and five exercises to do daily during the coming week.
I missed the 8:55 bus, so caught the 9:25 one and was at work a little after 9:30.
At lunch time, I decided to go up to Burger King and use a coupon expiring next week, and I evidently missed the 12 Method Road bus, which I'd take and get off at Meredith College and walk back three blocks to the Burger King like I did last week in the drizzle.
Once I realized I missed the bus, I waited a tad bit longer and the 4 Rex Hospital bus came. I got on and said to the bus driver, "Do you stop at Meredith College?"
"Yes," he said, and I hopped on.
Well, at Hillsborough and Dixie Trail, the bus turned right, off of Hillsborough on which Meredith College is, never to return to Hillsborough Street again. One hour later, I was back to where I started, and I still hadn't had lunch. I grabbed a sandwich at the Subway and walked back to my office. Crazy. But at least I got to see the complete 4 Rex Hospital bus route. I guess.
My manager and I attended a very interesting expo this afternoon, which was about how technology is enhancing (or not) learning in the classroom. A renowned professor from Harvard did a great presentation, which was followed by a panel of current NC State students who shared:
- What kinds of technologies are being used in the classes you're taking at NCSU, and how have you seen that change over the time you've been here, if it has?
- What future technologies do you see coming into the classroom that you'll be able to make use of?
- What don't you see coming that you think would be helpful?
- What Web 2.0 (social networking) kinds of technologies do you use in your personal life, and what are your thoughts on the integration of some or all of them into the classroom?
All in all, the presentation was very intellectually interesting and the students answers on the panel were very honest, though constructive, well thought-out, interesting, and at times humorous. It was time well spent.
I worked on my China presentation most of the night. Oh boy. Let's just say there's still a lot more work to do on it before Thursday's presentation of it.