Funny you should ask, because I want to tell you what happened to me today when I went to get my six-year-old toothbrush splint replaced as it was beginning to fall apart.
First of all, I was to be at the outpatient hand clinic in the 2800 Building of the Abbott Northwestern Hospital complex. My attendant, Danyell, parked right in front of the building. My instincts kicked in and I hurriedly rushed to the outpatient clinic in the Sister Kenny building. Where I was told I was in the wrong building and I had to go back to 2800. That clinic is for inpatient patients and the 2800 Building is for outpatient hand therapy.
My original appointment was set for 12 noon. I got to the clinic with about five minutes to spare. They got me checked in and quickly assigned me to Teresa who helped me form the basic splint. That is the black part of this following picture.
After almost an hour with Teresa and forming the basic splint, I went back to the correct clinic in the Sister Kenny building and re-met a longtime acquaintance, Christina. She and I went on a great Odyssey over the next few hours! We went to the Occupational Therapy Department I have been in as a patient and visitor for many years. Christina did what she could, but we ran into a problem with riveting the straps to the split. The therapy department no longer has the capability to rivet; so, I mentioned the idea of going down to the maintenance department and see if they could help us. Eureka, we were greeted by several SEIU Healthcare MN members who took us back into their woodshop to see if they could help us get the straps riveted onto the splint.
It was about 1:45 and one of them said they punched out at 2 o'clock. A couple of them said I'll go punch out, but I'll be right back. They looked in every box they could find for the exact rivet I needed. That is when Jim went and got his own little rivet gun box with the exact rivet and four union members stayed for another half hour to get my splints made to fit on the splint. When they finished, I thanked them profusely and Christina and I were off to her clinic to finish the project.
The finished product looks like this:
The image from the other side looks like this:
As always, click on the image to make it larger. I am not sure what the final cost of a split like this will be; however, I can assure you it is in the hundreds of dollars range if not more than a four-digit number!
We were running late and Danyell's shift was way past 2:30 PM. When I got to the van, she was patiently waiting for me, as it was now just about 3 o'clock. She asked me if my blood draw went okay? That is when it hit me, I needed to go back to the main hospital lab and get my blood drawn. I was so proud of myself and finally getting my work done for the day, I forgot I needed to get a blood draw because another infection is starting and my doctor wants to check all of my blood levels.
I got back to the van and it was almost 3:30! The problem was besides her running on overtime was I had an appointment with my friend Mike Ross at 2:30 to help me fix my computer. I finally was able to call him and he had been sitting in my driveway for the last half hour! We had a discussion about what was going on and he agreed to come by tomorrow or the next day when I am here. He is my savior when it comes to keeping my computer running. He has been ever since we were friends in college in Berkeley in the 1974-'75 school year.
Back to my original point in writing this post was to show how creative problem-solvers and people who are committed to their work get things done. All in all I had a fun day despite everything that took longer than expected! Writing this post even went longer than I expected.
I look forward to your comments.