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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Doctors Make Bad Patients
Yesterday I called the allergist who is helping us sort through the many allergies and sinus infections my boy has been experiencing since last October. Without antibiotics, he relapses and gets a terrible sinus infection again. Even with a three week break just to see if his immunity would kick in over the holidays, he got sicker and sicker until asthma started to kick in. I had to take two weeks off from work. Unpaid leave. No one else could get his medications right and keep the asthma under control. It was also difficult since he would get afraid and cry, which made his asthma worse. I had to distract him and keep him content.
We got an appointment. We had a three-thirty time. We showed up at three-ten; we were early.
You know that part at the front desk where they take your copayment and your insurance card? It is called, in the business, 'the wallet biopsy'. I have to fill out those forms just like you. I dislike it.
So we sat in the waiting room and waited. We waited long enough for my boy to give me back his iPad, he was that bored.
We went into the examination room, and waited. We waited an hour. The doctor was frustrated because the boy did not improve after three weeks of antibiotics were done. I also misunderstood the plan from last time, and did not schedule intradermal allergy testing during the three weeks of antibiotics. The plan was for sinus x-ray (CT scanning is actually better, per my ENT friends), blood test for immune deficiency (Ig A deficiency, Kartagener's disease would have that too--but also situs inversus), and spirometry (blowing on a tube to measure for asthma and other lung disease).
I explained politely that I work a lot. I have a hard time getting off from work. And would it be possible to get more antibiotics, because he can't stay home this week and is just going to get sicker while we sort these things out? I also asked, politely, if there was any way we could get the spirometry test done today too? We could wait.
And wait we did.
I got on the phone to call radiology at the adjacent hospital to see if I needed an appointment for the films or could walk in--while we waited for the spirometry technician, I was on hold so long I took the 'call back' option which is like FastPass at the Land. Once on the phone, I felt like I was in an alternate Universe. The radiology clerk kept thinking I was at some clinic five miles away.
No, I am LOOKING at the Hospital; it is within walking distance from the medical office I am in.
My boy had gone from spinning in the doctors' chair to jumping on the scale just outside the spirometry room. Ever since he heard the word 'blood test' and 'needle' he could not control himself and got pseudo ADD. I would say, 'Stop it' and he would say, 'okay' and then he would do exactly what I said to stop doing again three seconds later.
It was having to schedule the spirometry test six months ago that made us stop with the work-up.
It was the nature of my work, and the unpredictable hours, that made us go to Urgent Care as our Family Doctor (they combine both).
It wasn't until the owner of the urgent care started over-testing to make more money that we stopped going to Primary Care all together.
That's right. I don't have a doctor. I am a doctor, but due to my scheduling at work, and how doctors like to double-book three months in advance, I never have the chance to go when I am sick. I have not found a pediatrician for my son for that same reason. They want an 'initial visit' --read, two hundred dollars--before you can go to them when you are sick. It takes one hour and a whole day off from work! I fired them too. (Once I tried sending Dad--he couldn't fill out the questionnaires and didn't have a copy of the insurance card for our son. I pay for all of the medical care. All of it. Even though the court said he would pay half of all the medical expenses. How do you collect? Ew.)
At the hospital, at the x-ray booth, I had to fill out more forms and undergo a second 'wallet biopsy'. I initialed and signed almost as many times as I did when I bought my car. All the little highlighted spaces on things I simply did not read.
The x-ray tech was quick, but then stalled about thirty minutes on the computer, trying to contact the radiologist with telemedicine (to look at the film remotely), and also to send the report/call the office of our doctor. I had to go look at a picture of him to make sure it got sent to the right place. Then the blood draw lady was waiting for us when we got out. She was nice but made me sit in a chair across the room instead of touching my kid while she poked him. There was a series of colored dots randomly placed on the ceiling; when he screamed she said, 'Find the red dot!'. He was faster than anyone she had ever worked with, and ran out of dots before the procedure was done. She had to improvise.
After this, he wanted the cafeteria for dinner. Yup. More Hospital Food!
I am realizing that for Raw Vegans there are next to no food options out there in standardized places. As my son tied his shoes outside Starbucks in the morning, I scanned the menus on two restaurants next door--one fine food, another a pub. Every entree had meat. Or cheese. At Target for lunch, we were both starving. He took the last cheese pizza. The next one would have been seven minutes. We didn't have seven minutes. I took the pepperoni and picked the pepperoni off. At the cafeteria, I had spinach blend, which I hate RAW--spinach doesn't agree with me, garbanzos, beets, tomatoes, and carrots with oil and vinegar. None of it was organic. I took a yoplait lemon because I needed something. It was the sugar and not the sweetener kind. I couldn't join my son in burger, fries and coke. It just didn't appeal to my appetite.
On the good side, all of the utensils and dinnerware were paper and recyclable.
Have you ever heard of a 'decree'? Here is a link explaining them. You can make them, too. Heaven listens, and the Universe provides. http://pleiadedolphininfos.blogspot.com/2013/04/andy-bojarski-create-your-world-through.html
I just made a decree for everyone to have a chance to heal using the best technology available in the Universe.
I like my job doing anesthesia. I love helping people. But in my heart of hearts, the entire health care system is in need of radical change.
No wonder why everyone wants Integrative Medicine and Alternative Medicine! The waits are interminable, the scheduling is too slow, and insurance is a nightmare!
Did you know that the family has retained an attorney to see to it that our mother's health care needs are met? A lawyer has to work against her health care system who is tired of spending money. She has been their patient in different facilities since the day after Christmas. She has almost died three times.
It's that bad.
So make a decree. Any decree. Stand back and wait for it to happen.
I guarantee it.
And while you are waiting, be sure to give yourself a great big hug from me and my boy and my family and mother. Thank you all for your caring support through these difficult times.