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What Health Care Crisis?

I surfed over to my insurance company’s website to pull up listings for a certain “specialist” (nothing major or weird, but hey, y’all don’t need to know every detail of my life!). I live in an urban center, so locating said doctor really shouldn’t be an issue.

The original list contained 23 names.

5 were located at address A.
3 were located at address B.
Address A and address B have the same phone number. Upon calling, I discover that really only TWO of the eight doctors are actually in my area; the other six are scattered about Cleveland or some such.

The earliest appointment I could get was JULY 12th.

So naturally I begin scouring through the remaining 15 names.

Another 4 are at address C. But when I call, I discover the insurance company’s directory is F#@ked and that number is actually for a family practice.

Down to 11

Another number provided the message “This office is permanently closed….”

And yet one more provider “isn’t accepting new patients.”

9 and counting….

And yet another 2 at the same address, but way the hell on the other side of town. And I don’t mean ten minutes away, I’m talking a good twenty-five with the only route being south and east then north again, all the way around and through the city.

Where are we? Oh yeah, 7

2 more in the same practice, 2 (more) on the far east side of the city, one in a neighboring city/county….So out of 23, I’m down to 5 real possibilities.

But yeah, we don’t need national health care. It’s perfectly reasonable to have to wait FOUR MONTHS for a fucking doctor’s appointment.

One reply on “What Health Care Crisis?”

I’m sharing in your pain of health care but for a differnet reason. Yesterday I went to the ER because I coudln’t get an appointment with my doctor (not for lack of trying and going through the hoops to get the appointment. I’ve never actually SEEN my primary care physician because I’ve never been able to make an appointment). So, me, sore throat (self-diagnosed with strep) and a 100 degree fever sits and waits not one, not two, not three, not four, but five hours in the ER before punting and going to the Acute Minor Illness Center which opened at 4 pm. Was seen right away … bam, in and out (mind you the ER nurse triaged me and told me I was going to need an IV — so all signs point to being undertreated by this nurse. Of course it also begs to wonder why the million infants with the flu were more important then the highly contagious and feverish me.) The wait at the ER ensured that my temp was up to 104 degrees. There is nothing more fun than sitting in an ER with sick screaming kids, some woman eating chiken wings like it was her last meal, a woman puking into a trash can, and yet another lady and her “mentally disturbed” son as she put it, in a full argument over his cutting himself and his conversations with a 20 year old woman on My Space (He’s 15 after all and “that is not normal behavior”.) while her four year old played chase with a wheel chair.

Flash to last night. I get my meds (nothing narcotic which I found suprising but since I believe my chart has been red flagged for actually ASKING a doctor for codine once – forgive me for knowing my own body and that this medication worked best for my coughing), the nurse sent me home with ibuprophen (which I’d been taking for three days and had been doing nothing for me), penicilin (because yes, my diagnosis was correct – strep), and this lidocain mouth rinse which makes me gag because of the taste and its wonderful viscous snot like consistancey (supposed to numb my throat… it doesn’t. I spent the entire night with my head propped up spraying chloraceptic in my mouth, downing left over hydrocodone pills (which were not really helping the pain either) in conjunction with advil every three hours and I was still in sever pain with the simple act of swallowing my own saliva.

We arrive at this morning with me saying “this is bullshit”. I get back on the phone, doing the phone tree thing attempting to get a human to explain that I need someone to call some pain medication in for me. Surprise: The advice nurse line is full… “please try your call again later”. When I did get a human she says she’ll transfer me to the doctors office and they can page the doctor I saw last night. Nope.. they “don’t do that”. I call my doctor’s office and choose the option “Leave a message for your doctor”. A human answers. I explain the sitch. “You’ll have to talk to the advice nurse”. “I tried that, it says it’s full”. The human gives me the direct number. No good… still says it’s full. I call the human back. “You’ll have to come in and see the precept” (whatever the fuck a precept is). So I can just walk in and do that? Yes. Hmmm, we’ll see. I’m on my way there now. I imagine another five hour wait (which isn’t going to fly).

Didn’t strep used to be considered a pretty serious illness? I remember my grandmother got Scarlet Fever from it once. I remember being told once that it’s highly contagious. I was also told a high fever for long periods of time is not good for you. Maybe I’m imagining all of this. And if you saw my throat you’d wonder how the hell this nurse thought some mouthwash was going to take care of the pain I’m in. Gawld All Mighty (as my Grandmother used to say).

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