Monday, May 20 was just the beginning. I loaded the car, picked up my coworker and visited two patient homes before noon. With each home we take in a very large computer bag filled with ultrasound equipment. We also bring in a very large bag on wheels that contains the rest of the gear and towels and wires she needs to perform the ultrasound on the patient’s neck and arm. I carry in two folding tables and a folding chair. For the next hour-and-a-half, I get to watch her work, the adult son sell drugs from his bed room, the wife smoke, the children scream, the dogs bark, the husband mindlessly view ESPN or any other activities that you can think of.
We did that twice.
After I dropped her off at her office, and unloaded the equipment, I stopped in my office for an hour and dropped off files and picked up more files. I carried out two CPAP machines, my laptop bag, and more patient files and then drove to three patient homes to follow up on their CPAP use. I replaced one machine in a home that was so filthy that the dirt had clogged the flow of air.
From there, I drove to a sixth patient home to complete a sleep study (to determine if they have sleep apnea. Monday was rather warm but not warm enough for the patient to open a window or turn on the air. For two hours, I stood behind him, attaching wires, making small talk, making sure equipment was properly connected.
When I was done, I loaded all my gear and headed home. By the time I walked in the door of my house (15 hours after leaving in the morning), I was hot, sweaty, tired and agitated. The worst part was knowing that I would get to turn around and do it all over again the next day.
It wasn’t a good day for my diet, my exercise or my mental well-being. And the week had only begun.