Adventures in Health Care

Yesterday’s doctor visit was . . . vexing.

The drive took far less time than I’d expected, resulting in me showing up forty-five minutes early. Initially, I stood around in reception for a few minutes, thinking I’d get checked in and then I could plunk down in the waiting room and spend the rest of the time writing, as I had my VAIO with me. But the desk was deserted.

So okay, the receptionist is off doing something and will be back in a bit. I’m due for my routine bloodwork in a few days; I’ll go down to the lab and have them poke me and save myself another trip. Alas, the phlebotomist I got wasn’t as skilled or gentle as the one at the Alpharetta location–how I miss her–and I’ve got the bruise in the crook of my elbow to prove it. Owch.

Pricked and bleeding, I headed back to the reception area. Still no one at the desk. So I stood there. And stood there. And stood there. Half an hour later, a doctor comes through and asks, “have you been helped?” After my emphatic “No!” she went off to find someone. Then the receptionist comes out. Did she apologize for making me wait or express regret for my wasted time? Course not. She snapped, “we break between 12:30 and 1:30.” (A fact which is not indicated by any signage, let me add.)

At my appointment, the nurse checks my blood pressure. “Hmm,” she says, “your blood pressure is a little higher than usual.” She checks my wrist. “And your pulse is kind of fast.”

“. . . yes, I know.”

However, the doctor, as always, was great. He’s the sole reason I’m still with this HMO, which is the most expensive one my employer offers. My rheumatologist got me out of a two-month long flare-up and has kept my lupus/MCTD stable for years.

But, when I went down to the pharmacy to fill my Imuran prescription, they didn’t have enough for my three-month supply. However, I could come back for the remainder, if I liked. Bloody effing no, I don’t like. So I asked them to transfer it to the Alpharetta pharmacy where I was going next anyway to pick up my Adderall refill from last week. It occurs to me to ask them to make sure Alpharetta has the hard copy of my prescription–since it’s a controlled substance, they can’t just fax it or enter it in the computer; they need the paper.

Glad I thought to verify, because Alpharetta doesn’t have it.

You’d think I would be inured to their bungling by this point. And yet.

No one knows where it is, so off I go to Behavioral Health to talk to the nurse from last week. She’s not there, nor is the doctor who signed my ‘scrip; they’re both in another office. But the receptionist sends the nurse an email. Would I like to wait for her reply?

If this can get taken care of now, I think, I can be off to the Alpharetta pharmacy, pick up both my meds, and the world will be shiny again. So I sit. Twenty minutes later, I realize that traffic is building on 285 with every passing second, and that I’m thoroughly fed up with my adventures in health care. I tell the receptionist I’m leaving and ask her to call me at home when she hears back from nurse or doctor. Thus, I do not depart for the Alpharetta pharmacy, nor do I pass Go or do anything else that would have resulted in some minor sense of accomplishment yesterday.

And, she didn’t called back. I’m relieved I decided to leave when I did.

The ultimate irony: Peppered throughout the medical center are framed “Our commitment to excellent service for you” signs.


Writing Stuff

– Galley proofs from DAW for “Honor is a Game Mortals Play” and a sample of the cover sheet of the Heroes In Training anthology. Yay!

– Hold request from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. My last submission passed their second round of reading and is shortlisted. Waiting is.

New Words:
– 700 on the Fox Princess novel.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4,995 / 40,000

Club 100 for Writers: 8

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7 Responses to Adventures in Health Care

  1. keesa_renee says:

    Ooph!! No wonder they call phlebotamists vampires…ouch! And sheesh…if the medical system gets any more difficult, it’s going to be less painful to just curl up and die! My deepest sympathies for having to deal with that today.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Aw, thanks, sweetie! Normally, the service is a little better than this with my HMO. I tell myself I’m lucky to have coverage, but I can’t help feeling shafted when one screw-up after another piles onto my doctor-going experiences. Blah.

  2. yukinooruoni says:

    I have no idea if you use stuff like this, but maybe this will make you feel a little better:
    Today’s giveaway is for a writing program called PageFour:

    PageFour is a tabbed word processor and outliner for creative writers. Where other word processors were designed with the business user in mind, PageFour aims to meet the needs of a different class of writer. It’s rich feature set includes Print Templates to make printing your manuscript as easy as possible, as well as Snapshot Copies and fully interactive archiving.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I use Word to write in. Not ’cause I’m so enamored with it, but because it’s a standard used by a lot of publications that accept electronic submissions. And ’cause I’m used to it. But thanks, anyhoo.

      It’s an interesting site. Scrolling through the freeware to see if there’s anything I might use . . .

  3. j_hotlanta says:

    The US healthcare system is 2 orders of magnitude more error-prone than airline baggage handling.

  4. esbita says:

    Boy do I sympathize.

    I can’t get out of my doctor’s office in under 3 hours…doesn’t matter if it’s early in the day or late. And this WITH an appointment. Most of it is just waiting time. And since I don’t get sick or personal time to speak of, their bungling delays cost me wages.

    I figured it simpler to taper myself off my depression meds, rather than deal with the greedy so-and-so. Who also decided to prescribe me a sleep study for the hell of it. All around the waiting room was posters and table tents for the regional sleep disorder center. And he doesn’t even bother explaining what he thinks he might find, and what could be done about it if anything was found.

    Spending at least $1200 for a sleep study, when he doesn’t even tell me what good it might do? I don’t THINK so. His overprescribing and defensive medicine basically cost me a shot at a disability insurance policy. No respect for my time and money = no respect for ME. So WHY trust these folks to poke and prod me in sensitive places again?

    It’s almost enough for me to say “screw this” and go straight holistic care 😛

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