how I got accidentally locked in the UCLA hospital deli

 

 

So, while I have been recovering from my bout with c-diff I’m not all good.  It’s been a while since I was done with the medicine that is suppose to heal me and I’ve been going on C-diff websites where people say years later they still can’t eat what they use to.  Well, 3 weeks of No alcohol and mild foods is ok.  But, bland food is well bland.  A few times I ventured to the land of flavor and I pay for it the next day.

some days this is how I feel

some days this is how I feel

I went to the doctor last week.  She said it could take a few more weeks and if the issue persists or gets worse to come back and give another “sample”.  Oh joy.  The worst part is not having to be so close to my waste product, but having to DRIVE ACROSS TOWN to UCLA.  It’s all surface streets.  Always congested.  So, I waited till after 6 thinking I was outsmarting LA traffic. Wrong. Very slow going. The lab closes at 7 and I was hoping to get in there, get the “kit”, do the deed and go home.  I don’t want to have to DRIVE back ACROSS TOWN the next day with my sample.    I also had to do some grocery shopping. So I parked at Ralph’s in Westwood and ran to the lab.  It was 6:51.

I asked if I would have time to get this all DONE.  A nice lady named Marcella chimed in.  “I’m staying till 8pm.  If the gate is down just call for me and I will open it up for you.”  I told her how I had a dear Aunt who is also named Marcella ( she is now gone, didn’t tell her that) Thanked her and announced that I would have a cup of coffee and soon be back with my package.  I walked over to the Medical Plaza Deli.  Bought some expensive, but tasty cold brew. cold brew

I was feeling fine.  As moms often do I was enjoying having a little “me” time.  I sipped my brew waiting for nature to kick in as I fan geeked out reading all about my newest TV obsession, “Orphan Black”.

Don't go in there Sarah, you might not get out!

Don’t go in there Sarah, you might not get out!

I’m all caught up and don’t want to be a spoiler, but the most recent episode was juicy.  I switched to a big glass of water as the time ticked by.  The deli was quiet, just me and two workers.  A stray person here and there. Should I go to the lab bathroom?  Wait, think it’s closed.

Finally, I think I’m ready to finish the job I came to do.  I take my enormous brown paper bag the lab gave me. With the plastic bowl and other lab goodies and settle in the deli bathroom.  While I read an interview with the actor who plays “Felix” I start to get concerned that this may not get done in time before Marcella has to leave. I keep checking my watch. Alas, task complete.   I  put the charming little plastic bottle in my bag and am ready to high tail it to the lab with minutes to spare. Then I will go grocery shopping and just make it home in time to kiss my kids good night.

I walk out and I see it’s darker than it was before.  I go to the door.  It’s dead bolted.  I go to the side door.  It’s dead bolted.

“Hello?”  I call out.  Nothing.  “Hello?”  Certain that a worker will emerge from the back.  But, they don’t.

I start to get worried.  I jump over the counter into the back kitchen.  I open many doors.  Mostly closest.  I open one door that goes into a little alcove where there are two more doors and one elevator.  Oh, phew.  I almost let the door behind me close, but propped it open with my purse.  Glad I did. The other two doors are locked and the elevator doesn’t respond to the buttons.  The light keeps going out.  No up, no down.  I go back in.  I find a camera in the ceiling.  I jump up and down and wave hoping some security person sees this.  I go to the front door and yell between the crack in the door and bang on it as three coeds come by.

“Please help, I’m locked in.  Can you please go tell that police officer I’m locked in? ”  They are kind and rush over to the police car that is parked about 100 feet away.

locked inside.. hey Mr. Police man

locked inside.. hey Mr. Police man

I see them gesticulating, showing him where I am.  Phew, surely, he will be here on the double. Nothing else going on at this nearly deserted campus.   He doesn’t move.  I wave my hands.  He slowly moves his car down the drive toward me…He wasn’t 100 feet away.  Why did he have to drive?  He parks.  No movement. Is he calling for back up in case I’m armed with chips and Snapple?  I start rattling the door to indicate my desperation because I’m desperate.  If he doesn’t come over I think of pulling the fire alarm.  Marcella is about to leave.  I’m going to have to drive home with a canister of crap.  If I’m here at the medical plaza I’m probably sick, right dude?  Or have someone close to me that is ill.  Step on it.    My kids are home with a sitter I’m paying as I sit here.  I’m tired.  I’m hungry, but can’t really feast on the Good Humor bars or granola bars on the counter.  Hurry up copper! He saunters over.  I explain my issue.  He walks away.  Then he comes back to the door with a nice woman who works for UCLA security.

“We are trying to find the tenant who has the key.  Can you just sit tight?” she says.

“I don’t really have a choice.”  I say with a shrug.

anyone?  anyone?

anyone? anyone?  I was just a lady looking for quiet a can, then it got weird.

I get a text from a friend from my grief group.  She is having a hard time.  So often we don’t have time to talk to a friend.  Well, I have time.  I call her up.

I start with a joke.  “Guess where I am?  If you say locked in the UCLA medical plaza deli you are right!”  I get her to laugh.  Then we talk about feelings.  A couple of times I had to say, “oh, hang on, they are back.”  The police officer checks in, “We are still looking for the key.”  Another guard tries the side door.

It's getting darker

It’s getting darker

A UCLA guard, Jose, comes by.  “How are you doing?”  I get off the phone and tell him I found some doors that are locked, but there is an elevator.  Could he come through the elevator? He walks away. It’s now 8:30 and there is no way Marcella is still there.  They say the owner is coming, but maybe he lives in Sylmar.

More time.  I go back into the kitchen. Vivien calls me.  “mommy where are you?”  I’m locked inside the UCLA deli.

“You what?”  like a 9 year old has never heard that story.

“Honey let me call you back.  I want to check the back exit again.  I’m fine.  Don’t worry.” If she knew how close I was to a case of Pirate Booty she might have envied my position.

I walk to the back through the kitchen.  Open the same door that led me to nowhere, but this time the elevator is open!  I’m out.  I start shouting, running into the lobby.  The lady security guard welcomes me, “come out!”  Yeah!  They take my name and number.  They say that have to file an incidence report.  They say “the owner will want to call you.”

liberators

I thank Jose, my hero for getting the elevator open.

I know it’s futile, but I run over to the lab.  The gate is down.  “Marcella” I yell.  She jumps out of the office.

“You’re here!” I could hug her.

“I left, but came back.  I was worried about you.” the dear angel said.  I told her what happen and then my phone rings.  My kids are freaking out.  “Are you still trapped?”  Rex is starting to cry.   “I’m Ok.  I out.  I’m going to come home.”

Marcella says, “give it to me and go home to your babies.”  I hesitate.

She assures me.  “I’ve seen it all.”  This has been the most humbling, humiliating and hilarious experience.  I hand over my container. I thank her profusly.

I head over to Ralph’s and while I quickly shop I feel the adrenaline leave me.  I feel shaky and exhausted.  That wasn’t fun, I think.  Being imprisoned in an empty deli with soft drinks and a stool sample. My phone rings.

“Is this Daphne?” a man asks. “This is John, I own the deli.  I am so sorry.”  He was very nice and very apologetic.  “My team members should have checked the bathrooms before they left.”

“Well, alls well that ends well.” I say.
” I have enjoyed your matzo ball soup there before, but it taste better when I’m there of my own free will.”

John brightens. “Please keep my number.  Next time you are there ask for me and you get all the matzo ball soup you want.”  If he knew it’s one of the few things I can safely eat now he might not have offered.  Only the cross town drive is keeping me from cashing in that freebie.

Today the results are in. I still have C-Diff. Tomorrow I get a new medicine to try and clear out the infection or I am in danger of getting something more serious that can make my colon enlarge.  Sigh.  I’ll eventually get better, but now I have another problem.

Fear of abandonment.

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “how I got accidentally locked in the UCLA hospital deli

  1. What a story! You should incorporate it into an episode of your show. Make matzo ball soup with John in the deli. Just sterilize the story…For the show. Food and all. Sorry about the C-diff.

  2. 2 words…fecal transplant. It’s a thing, seriously – saw a whole news story on it & it specifically mentioned patients with ongoing cases of c-diff.

  3. Hah I feel bad laughing at your misfortune but that is a great story! I just discovered Orohan Black last month and I’m obsessed too!

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