Kim Hedzik

Don't Blogger me, I'm writing.

What if I Have to Use the Portal?

I limped into the reception area with a hot metal spear sticking out my back side.

“I’m here to pick up my ex-rays and speak with Dr. K’s nurse, Sarah,” I said.

“You’ll have to call her. Here’s her direct line,” the receptionist said.

“I’m in a lot of pain…” I offered.

“Just call her.”

“Isn’t that her right over there?” I pointed.

“She’s probably busy.”

“I was just here yesterday and forgot to get my pain pill prescription. Could you ask her to come out for a second?”

“You’ll have to call her.”

Hey Sarah!” I yelled.

On the phone,” she said.


I stepped a few feet away from the receptionist’s desk. Sarah’s voicemail told me I could leave a message, but the fastest way to hear back from her was to use The Portal.

Beep–“Hi Sarah. This is Kim, Dr. K’s patient. I saw him yesterday and forgot to get my pain med prescription from you. I haven’t had a solid night’s sleep in weeks…PT is NOT helping and (sobbing)…. I can’t sleep…I can’t function (blowing nose) and I really need”—Beep.

“The CD of your ex-ray is ready,” the receptionist chirped in my direction.

“I got Sarah’s voicemail. It said to use The Portal,” I challenged her.

“Oh that’s right. They want everything to go through the portal now,” she smiled.

“I’m afraid of portals,” I stated.

“Me too!” she giggled.

“I have to create an account, think up a password, and log in. It’s too much!” I sobbed.

“It’s not that bad. I’ll send you an invitation.”

“To what?”

“To join the portal. It will assign you a temporary password,” she said.

“Uh huh.”

“You can change it later,” she smiled.


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I sat in the lobby and tried to use the portal. I got to the part where I had to think of a suitable password. I liked PainInMyA#&! but the system informed me it wasn’t strong enough.

I jumped back to the phone…please leave a message…Beep: “Hi Sarah. If that’s how you spell it. Listen, I left you a voice mail earlier that you probably won’t get. Per your suggestion, I tried to use the portal of pain. I have unbearable sciatica and I need pain meds or else I’m likely to rob a pharmacy! Call me. I don’t have a portal.”

That night I found hydrocodone from 2012 in my medicine cabinet. I slept well and woke up in a rational state of mind. Sarah called me at 8 am. She was apologetic and phoned in a prescription within minutes.

“Cool Sarah. I’ll pick that up later, right after my Pilates class,” I said.

I was singing Fight Song out the open sunroof when I swept through the CVS drive-through for my meds. I used the portal to order an MRI and connect with Sarah about the pros and cons of steroid injections. I am still undecided about injections, but this much I know: Sleeping well is the best antidote to an irrational fear of portals.

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