When Butterworth and Blodgett merged and formed Spectrum Health years ago, I knew that some people were Butterworth people and some were Blodgett. I always thought of them as equals. Now I don't quite know what to think after a brief visit on a Saturday. The Google satellite view shows a big complex in East Grand Rapids, just off Wealthy Street near Lake. Yes, Grand Rapids has a Wealthy Street.
The parking lot isn't flat, at least not near the Emergency entrance. Unlike Butterworth, with its shiny renovated and expanded facade in the Medical Mile and free valet parking for handicapped hang tags, it's up and over a slight rise, then up to the entrance from handicapped parking. We pulled out the walker. The asphalt, sidewalks and curbs weren't in bad shape, but with almost no one around it looked... forlorn. Neglected. Hence my confusion as to Blodgett's status in the Spectrum Empire.
A single double sliding door into... a vestibule. Security cop holding a garage door opener greeted us. While he did get me a wheelchair from a side room, he said that for Radiology it was easier to go back outside to the Patient Entrance -- and he's never understood why they always tell people to come in via the ER. Mrs. Dr. Phil took the walker back to the Bravada. At the Patient Entrance marker there were two different entrances, but the slightly hidden one said Outpatient Services and Radiology, so that seemed good. No one at that entrance. We just rolled, followed some signs and arrived at Radiology Check in.
A sign said to check in at the iPad-on-a-pole. But a voice from the dividers down the way directed us to cubicle 2. Finally a person. We'd gotten to the point in the paperwork where I had to check No to a lot of boxes, when (a) there was a person trying to get an ultrasound scheduled when Scheduling is closed and (b) Gloria came in at 3:15 to see if I was there. On my first MRI last year, I selected Led Zeppelin for the Pandora music feed over the noise cancelling headphones. In May I picked Queen. Today? Oh let's go for Blondie. You need something loud.
Finally paperwork done, handed my camera, keys, etc. to Mrs. Dr. Phil and then wheeled back. The Butterworth MRI was a Siemens unit. This was a 3.0 Tesla GE machine. Took them a moment to figure out what camera to use. Since the first MRI was Siemens, apparently not a flex camera. (jargon-grin) This was to be an MRI with contrast, so they had to set an IV line to be able to inject the dye at the end. Too bad the PICC line is gone. First stick must've done the old slide off the vein trick -- no joy. So second try on the back of the hand.
Hardest part of the MRI is the leg has to be kept straight, because the foot is locked into a sort of boot. That puts pressure on my left knee. But they were able to use a wedge and a pillow to keep it in place. Nice thing about the GE machine is that there was a countdown clock on its face. First two scans, which I assumed were for alignment, were just 19 seconds. First real scan, 4:54. Others of various length. "Two more scans, thirteen minutes, then we inject the dye and do two more." Hmm, 6:47 and 9:57 or whatever they were total more than thirteen. That's okay. Rinse (inject), repeat.
And then it was done.
Hopefully I'll hear results on Monday.
Of course through all this I still feel fine. Only problems today was I noticed some overheating in the Bravada. Added some coolant when we got home. Mrs. Dr. Phil will stop by and have it checked Monday.
Entropy sure sucks.