Mayo Day 4 – Code Red, Code Brown, and Bye Bye Wifey

Posted on January 25, 2014

We started out Day 4 with a trip to the Neuro-Opthalmologist. As the nurse was taking down my information, we hear “Code Red, Code Red in the lobby of the Gonda building”. Now cue the following conversation:

Nurse: Can you please confirm your birthday?
Liz: 4/16/82. What’s a Code Red?
Nurse: Oh, it’s a fire. And what are you here for today?
Liz: A fire? Oh I have vision issues. Are you joking?

She wasn’t joking. A few minutes passed and she asked us if we had heard the sirens. I had and there were a lot of them. As the fire trucks approach, we head down the hall to meet the doc. He asked me how I was doing and I said I was doing well, despite learning what a code red was during a code red. He asked me if I’d encountered a code brown yet. Once I realized this was a poop joke, I burst out laughing and relaxed to the point where I could ask questions I hadn’t had the guts to ask a NeuroOpthalmologist before. He eased my fears so I could be curious. If I could offer him one piece of constructive criticism, I’d say he was a little too calm, as I wanted to close my eyes while he was looking at them. I wish he lived closer to NYC. He was fantastic.


One of the coolest things about the office was that they still used some equipment from the 1940’s. It’s actually not just the equipment, but the decor. They’re all Mid-Century…not new Mid-Century but Mid-Century Mid-Century. I’ll try to sneak a photo of my Neuro’s Exam Table. It would make a great table base in my apartment. Anyway, eye/brain doc used this amazing vintage vision tracker (I think that’s what it was) and had it been a little smaller, I would have tried to put it in my pocket. It had a photo of a kid with a black eye, a photo of Wish-Bone salad dressing…it was hilarious.


Here’s a photo of another one with baby animals wearing various forms of head gear.


After the eye/brain doc, we had a quick chat with the Neurologist. I then took a 10 minute course on the blood ox meter that I’ll be wearing one night this weekend. Then I had my Pulmonary Function test. Then I had an MRI. And Wifey sat in the waiting room for all of it. Wifey shared my blog post on her Facebook page and one of her friends left her this comment: “thinking of you both… its hard to be the patient and its hard to be the caretaker.” And she couldn’t be more right. Rarely do caretakers get the credit they deserve. This week has been difficult, but I laughed a lot. When I felt like I was losing track of my goals, she kept me focused and positive. She even said that she would have held my hair back during my food poisoning episodes had I had long hair. She’s been reading a book she picked up at the worlds most beautiful/depressing Barnes and Noble (Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter) it’s been so funny hearing her laugh loudly in the quiet waiting rooms of The Mayo.


She’s leaving tomorrow. She’s gonna get our boy and then she heads back to work next week. But I’m so grateful and will be very sad without her. As much as The Mayo makes these trips run smoothly, and as much support as they provide to their patients, I could have never done it alone. So thanks Wifey. Do you think Bermuda has a good NeuroMuscular specialist?

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