Thursday, July 10, 2008

Amanda's Surgery time is Scheduled/Trouble on Sunset Blvd.)

Amanda had her pre-op today, July 9th, 2008.  We have a surgery time for July 14, 2008-four days from now!  We are to arrive at 5:45 AM and surgery is scheduled to start at 7:30.  It was QUITE a day!  But not for reasons you might expect.

Actually, the pre-op stuff was a breeze....long but relatively uneventful.  It was the after part that got "interesting."  

Amanda's appt. was at 1:45 PM in Los Angeles, CA, which is just over an hour from home, without traffic.  We met with her surgeon, Amanda received a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV), we conferred with an anesthesiologist, met with a health educator and then the last step was that Amanda was the final patient to complete her pre-admitting process.   We left the bldg at 5:30 PM, walked out to our van, which had been parked on the street....!

After a series of frantic phone calls we tracked it down and were relieved to find it had ONLY been towed--and not stolen.  Apparently instead of being parking spots, as they are MOST of the time, between the hours of 4-7 PM Sunset Blvd gains an extra lane....and we were blocking it.  Hence the tow.  No blame placing...but someone who parked the car hadn't checked the signs.

Relieved as we were to only have been towed, it posed a major dilema!  Joseph, Amanda's brother has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and can't just hop in a taxi to get to the tow place. We explained the situation to tow guy on the phone and he suggested one of us coming, getting the van and going back for the others.  Since tow guy said it was about two miles we started walking.  We had about and hour and a half to get there because they closed at 7:00 PM.  Turned out tow guy grossly miscalculated.  It turned out WAY too far to walk.   

We realized it would be impossible when we attempted to cross the street at a major intersection and there was no curb cut out for Joseph to cross so we went way out of our way to cross.  We saw some UPS people and asked which way was such-and-such a street.  They couldn't contain themselves when they realized we were attempting to go on foot/wheels about 6 miles from where we were. 

Since we didn't have much choice, we continued on.  Oh, and by the way we had been traveling in the wrong direction.  One of multiple people we encountered and asked for directions offered to take one of us to get the van.  She was a real lifesaver!  Kam.  Great gal!

Kam didn't feel comfortable with my husband, Gonzálo being the chosen one, so I went.  In the confusion and haste, I didn't consider taking Gonzálo's keys with me. MINE were locked safely in the van, in my purse, under the front seat, at the tow place.

Kam and I navigated our way through trecherous LA in rush hour and made it there just before closing time at 7:00.  I thanked her profusely and she went on her way. After tow guy slim jimmed the door so I could get my purse and registration, he realized the van wasn't registered in my name, but Joseph's.  Didn't matter that the insurance card bore my name and that we had the same address.

Tow guy wanted to know why Joseph didn't show up to reclaim his van.  Must have been a different tow guy than the one I spoke with on the phone.  "Joseph is stranded in a parking lot because you guys towed his van," I explained.  "Plus he can't drive anyway because he's in a wheel chair and has no muscle strength."

"Well, we can't release it to you.  Joseph has to sign for it."

It went from bad to ridiculous.  "Is he near a fax machine?" tow guy asked.  "Actually he's not," I responded with as much restraint as I could.  "If he could fax his ID, that would help," tow guy offered.

We ended up having Gonzálo take a picture of Joseph holding his ID and another close up of his ID and send it from his Sidekick to mine so I could show it to tow guy.

So, a $152 tow place fee, plus a City of Los Angeles parking violation fine (which we haven't deciphered as there were two amounts on it and we aren't sure if we get to pick the one we like best or have to add them together) and two extra hours of vehicle retrieving...has made for quite a day!

Now if we can just keep Amanda healthy for four more days we get to go back to lovely Los Angeles for surgery!

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