I woke up before the buzz of the alarm clock. I laid there listening to the metronome of the second hand of my wall o’clock. As I got up, I cracked open the windows and visors. From the moment that my eyes greeted the morning light, there has been nothing but quiescence. There has not even been a “squelch” from my Sputnik. The noiselessness is torturous. I don’t like the deafening silence of my house. For this reason, I typically have the house system playing either music or an audiobook from my younger days. Sometimes I even play talk radio, anything to fight the isolationism of quietness. Sadly, this has made me a saturnine person today. Maybe this Sputnik is doing something to my brain…I don’t know. This seems to be one of those “forlorn” days. It looks like today I will have to go to Migro, to get this Sputnik fixed. I have put this off for months now, and my procrastination has gotten me nowhere.
I called Migro this morning, to make an appointment, because of my Sputnik issues. The woman told me that I did not need to make an appointment, as the people in the Sputnik trial would be seen right away. When I showed up, I realized that it had been nearly five years since I was here last. This meant that there had been plenty of time for a change.
Previously, everything looked like the “stereotypical” doctor’s office. The waiting room was covered in low pile carpeting. The chairs were metal framed padded seats that accented the color of the carpet. Beyond the waiting room door, the floors were austere linoleum tile. Cinder block walls lined the corridor to the exam room. Basically, everything looked very clean, like all medical facilities should look. The receptionist was dressed in business casual attire. Yet, all of the nurses were wearing scrubs, which were a variety of colors. Lastly, when I saw the doctor, he was wearing khaki pants, a green button-up dress shirt with a white lab coat. This was emblematic of all medical facilities and staff members.
However this time, everything was very different. Everything had a “sterile” look and feel to it. White, light grey and even some Chrome were basically the only colors that I saw. The receptionist was a nice looking woman, dressed in white pants and a white dress shirt. There was no hint of perfume, yet there was a smell of cleanness. She also had a slight whisper of make-up. The waiting room was void of any color. I felt like I was in an old black and white TV show. This waiting room had a white floor with white walls. There were chairs, which were framed in chrome metal with white padded seats. Everything was “lined up” in a precision fashion, like a platoon of Marines, standing for inspection.
I was told that approximately one-third of the patients that are seen in this medical facility, come in alone. I was one of the “loners”. I was very pleased that they had a staff member sitting next to me. This employee was dressed like a civilian. She was there to make sure that I did not feel alone, I was told. The staff member had a few minutes alone with me, and spoke about her role as a “patient advocate”. She said that all of the patient advocates are medical staff. This meant that confidentiality should not be a concern. She also made me aware that her role was to be “support”. She told me that she would support me, however, I needed. Depending on the situation, she could hold a hand or explain terms and procedures. Basically, she would do whatever I needed, like the concierge of a high-end hotel. To keep continuity, the same patient advocate would always be with me, unless I requested a change.
Twenty minutes had gone by, and I was walked to an examination room. This exam room looked like a white cube with lines on the walls. When the doctor began his examination, his medical tools were “hidden” in the walls. He took two steps to the right and pushed the wall in slightly, and then let go, the wall began to slide out. His medical equipment slid out on a shelf. Everything that he needed, including the exam table, was “in” the wall. I thought this wall storage was creative.
Using a machine for “imaging” they took pictures of my brain. They wanted these images, to view the connection between my brain and Sputnik. They took these pictures about ten minutes prior to the examination. The images were sent directly to a large table/screen, for all of us to look at. After he showed me the images, he explained that there was a slight complication. He pointed out the area of concern, on the screen. Thankfully, it did not sound like this was a dire situation. He told me that I would need to stay the night, none the less. They said that they would buy me the clothing and anything else, that I needed. Later, they took me to my room.
The room that I was to stay in, seemed to have been designed by the same person who did the examination room. It too was a cube that had white walls and a white floor. There were lines around the room, just like the exam room. My patient advocate walked me through the room and showed me various features. Where the first set of lines were, she pushed in slightly, and then let go. A full-size bed, ready to be slept in slid out of the wall. Another push of the wall, in a different location, and a “closet rack”, slid out. In another location, she pushed the wall in, and it slid open sideways. This was a full sized bathroom, with a shower, toilet and a sink. It was a very convenient “box in a box”.
When I am “old and gray” and I die, someone might find this journal. Those futuristic people may be interested to hear how Migro used to look. They might like to hear about the Migro medical facilities, and how much they have changed. My experience at Migro Medical was pretty good. I appreciated the patient advocate that they assigned to me. No one should have to be alone, ESPECIALLY IN A MEDICAL SITUATION. None of the study participants currently, has had any issues with Sputnik affecting their brain. The doctor said that it could have been, just one of those melancholy days. They were able to get my Sputnik active again. Now, we will have to see what tomorrow will bring.