Lost in the Towers

Never a big fan of doctor appointments, I’m not sure how I managed to make two on the same day. One in Palmer and the other in Anchorage. Ack!

Let me just say; I don’t go the the sprawling Providence Medical Center in Anchorage very often. I find the place huge, confusing and intimidating.

Today, you can add to that; running late, road construction and difficulty finding a spot to park in the five-story parking garage. Did I mention running late?

I had already needed to set my appointment back and hour because my morning appointment ran late (and thank goodness they were willing since a missed appointment is an automatic $150 fee, which is more than my actual appointment costs after insurance).

So, by the time I turned into the parking garage for Towers “S, T & U”, I had barely 10-15 minutes to get to the office, located somewhere in “Tower U”. I did NOT have time to leisurely wind my way up to the upper stories, where there was probably plenty of available parking.

So, on level three, I squeezed into the first (finally!) available spot and after parking and locking my car, made words I can’t type here as I realized I was at the far opposite corner from the elevator.

Pulling up my big-girl panties, I walked/jogged across the numerous rows of cars, using more bad words as I passed two open handicapped-parking stalls just feet from the elevator.

Of COURSE the only “Sky-Walk” connecting the parking garage to the medical suites was on level two (no wonder there weren’t any stalls available there, eh?), so I had to take the elevator down a level, sprint across the Sky-Walk to the main building and then take the nearest bank of elevators back up to the fourth floor, where my doctor was located. In Tower U.

I erupted from the elevator onto the 4th floor, somewhere in Tower T. Not sure how that happened. I trotted down a long corridor to an intersection, where a helpful sign advised me I was about to enter Tower S.

Ack! I’d gone the wrong way out of the elevator! Am I the only one who gets hopelessly turned around in these miserable, multi-level hamster-mazes?

Finally finding the corridor leading to Tower U, it was then a simple matter of counting office door numbers until I arrived, panting and out of breath, at my destination. At exactly 2:30 pm – right on time. I was impressed. The receptionist, not so much. She handed me a stack of paperwork to fill out and/or update.

After my appointment, I begged a bottle of water from the PA (thank you, Isaac!) and started trudging back the way I’d come … or so I thought.

After a couple of wrong turns, I found myself once again at an intersection with Tower T. Rolling my eyes, I looked around for the big bank of elevators, knowing I still needed to return to the second floor to take the Sky-Walk back to the parking garage.

I entered the elevator along with a man and his small son and, just making conversation, mentioned that I was struggling in this huge complex to find my way back to the Sky-Walk.

The man was quite helpful and mentioned he was also headed for the Sky-Walk, so I happily tagged along. It seemed like a longer walk than I remembered from my rush in from the garage, but chalked it up to being tired.

It wasn’t until we crossed the very lovely, once again longer than I recalled Sky-Walk and the man waved goodbye as he and his child turned into the door of the children’s cancer wing (gulp😢), that I stopped short.

Hmm. It seems there is more than one Sky-Walk within the Providence Medical Center campus. Who knew? There were some lovely garden and mountain views from this one, at least. I enjoyed them while I chugged water and rested my weary feet.

Ahead of me was the door opening into the main hospital. Not only was I not where I’d expected to be – I had managed to walk the entire distance from Tower U, through Tower T and Tower S and was (as best I could figure out) heading towards the Emergency Room.

From the windows of this Sky-Walk, I could also see in the distance the distinctive trio of towers (photo #2 above) from which I had so totally displaced myself. Oh my. I’m pretty sure my car was happily chilling in a parking garage on the far side.

I was easily half a mile from my car and completely turned around. Hospitals should have street signs. I don’t get nearly as lost when I’m driving. And hey … GPS.

I turned back, and although I can’t honestly say I retraced my steps (I did NOT recall passing this lovely sentinel on my way through the first time …)

Eventually, the most beautiful sight filled my eyes. It was a fairly short, unimpressive little Sky-Walk. At the far end was a small sign above the door. It read, “Parking Garage “.

I definitely got my allotted steps in today!

Published by 2dachsnite

I’m a RV Sometimer (less than full time, but more than a weekend warrior) living in Alaska, with dreams of seeing the country in my RV. I am 70 years old and married, but my husband isn’t a fan of RV travel, so my journeys are mostly solo except for my navigators; dachshunds Baxter & Rhonda. I’m also a spinner of tales - and a spinner of yarn (my other passion). My spinning wheel, along with the dogs, go along on all my travels. I look forward to sharing my stories, including photos and videos, with you.

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