March 25th, 2020

Completely different

This Mornings Appointment

When I got to Ochsner Hospital this morning for my "pre-admission testing" appointment, I had no problem finding a parking spot close to the entrance for a change. When I entered, there were three tables set up by the doors directly inside. I was greeted by a nurse with gloves and a mask who took my temperature with an infared thermometer, then asked if I'd been experiencing any coughing, diarrhea, fevers, sneezing, shortness of breath, etc., and if I had been outside the country recently or if I knew if I had been around someone exposed to the coronavirus or not, and my reason for being there today.

I informed her I have coughing and occasional diarrhea, but it's side effects of my esophagus surgery, and I haven't been outside the country (heck, haven't even been outside the STATE in nearly 20 years!), and as far as I know, I haven't been in contact with anyone I know of who has been exposed to the virus. She then sent me to a second table, where a person, also in gloves and a mask, asked for my Social Security number, which was typed into a laptop. After they confirmed who I was, I was given a sticker to put on my shirt to show I went through the "checkpoint".

I then proceeded to Central Registration to check in. After that, up to the second floor where the pre-admission testing is done. Everything at that point was "business as usual", since I go through the routine monthly. They don't draw blood EVERY month, but did this time... two vials. I asked about the day of the procedure. They always want you to have a driver, since they sedate you completely while performing the procedure, and Mom is my designated driver. Normally, she sticks around in the waiting area with my bag of belongings until the procedure is finished. On April 3rd, she will only be dropping me off and picking me up afterward. No one else allowed but the patients. I assume they will put my bag of belongings in one of the lockers that are in the changing rooms. Not going to bother bringing my wallet, since I won't need it anyway (no one asked for ID, except for Social Security number). They got all the info they needed today, and I've had the procedure done so many times, most of the people in that department know me by sight now anyway.

When leaving the hospital, I had to stop at the third table by the front entrance and hand my sticker to another person in a mask. I also noticed, when entering and exiting, there were two armed guards present.

Spooky times we are living in, to say the least.