Thursday, October 15, 2009

The drive-thru doctor visit

So I went to the doctor today. I'm not really a go-to-the-doctor kind of gal. I never get sick (though I might have been mildly fluish once last year). I take B12 daily and have the kind of job that you can't be sick at. God only knows why Nicky and Amanda roped me into getting that flu shot, but I'm pretty sure I just wanted to go on a field trip.

I've never had Kaiser before because my mom was in the healthcare field for years (administrative) and never liked them. Said they were shoddy and you never saw the same doctor and the care was like going to a drive-thru doctor. So I always chose like Blue Cross or Aetna or something like that. But what I hated about them is that you always have to have a primary care physician and I have moved around way too much to actually have my own doctor. So I'd sign up for an insurance company and then try to figure out what doctor in the plan would be close enough for convenience and sucky enough to not have any patients and could take new ones on. Essentially. Once when I had to change carriers for some reason or another I had a loan officer client find me one - he had the time and I didn't. I don't actually remember seeing any of these doctors, but you had to have one in order to like be seen at an urgent clinic or get stomach medicine. The way I understand it is that if you don't have a primary care physician, and someone sticks a knife in your thigh, the urgent clinic won't have anything to do with you. It's never been a huge problem for me, again, because I don't go to the doctor, but still.

So this last November (not 15 days from now but a year ago) during our annual enrollment for benefits, I took a look at the costs of the plan (which I never do) and saw that Kaiser was $10 a month cheaper than Aetna. So I changed. Because I never go, what difference does it make, and anyway, a lot of people I know like Kaiser and are still walking around. I'll take the $120-a-year pay increase. How bad could it be?

Today I found out.

My left ear is a mess and it's been hurting and I thought it was infected so I took some amoxicillin (because I have it) for 10 days and nothing happened, so I just let it go, because that's what I do. But I was thinking I probably just needed to have my ears.... washed... like they do there at the doctor. I used to have to have that done fairly regularly. Some people just produce more.. product.. than others (but I'm a really good cook). So I set the appointment, and when I called (Tuesday) they said, we can get you in on Thursday, what time is good? Which was sort of surprising. Noon, I said, and today I went over there and prepared to wait for hours on end.

And that didn't happen. I was in a chair by 12:05. Some sort of almost-nurse started the flushing procedure by 12:06. She was done (in theory) within 10 minutes.

I say in theory because as it turns out, that wasn't really the problem. She went to get a nurse to look at them (and the nurse said to me, I see a lot of scar tissue in there. The left one looks pink and enflamed so it's probably infected, but the right one has just a ton of scar tissue and all sorts of crazy stuff in there. "All sorts of crazy stuff"? Like what? A banjo? A ball point pen? A slinky? Define "All sorts of crazy stuff". She didn't.). She told me she would get a doctor to confirm the infection. I again expected to wait but the doctor came within 3 minutes, looked in my ear, confirmed infection, prescribed some antibiotics*, told me to schedule a hearing test when I was done with the drugs, and left. It was roughly 12:20.

So I am then instructed to sit tight and wait for the exit paperwork, but the original Ear Flushing Woman was chatting me up some and asked, hey, do you want a tetanus shot? And I said, well, why? I don't intend to play around any rusty nails, and she said, because you haven't had one in ten years. Um. Okay. Then she said, hey, when was your last mammogram? to which I replied, Shut up! She started hitting me with the paperwork and telling me we were scheduling one whether I liked it or not because I'm 44 and should have had 4 by now (does anybody get by now why I don't go to the doctor?). So some other chick came in, shot up my arm and scheduled the mammogram. For fuck's sake.

I then proceeded to the pharmacy, where I waited the longest. Roughly 8 minutes. Paid my $9.80 and hit the road. Back in the office by 1:05pm. I have nothing to complain about. Except that I have to have a flipping mammogram in December.

Oh and I wasn't charged anything, besides the pills. Do they bill me? I have no idea. I don't even think they know where I live.
*Here's a bitch, as well. So while Nurse All Sorts Of Crazy Stuff In There was waiting for Ear Flushing Woman to go get Real Live Doctor, we were chatting about my ears. I confessed that I self medicate. That I go to Mexico and buy penicillin there, because I know when I have an ear infection and why go to the doctor for that. She grimaced and told me never to do that because you don't know what's in it and besides, not all penicillin is for every infection. We each gave equally convincing arguments to the cause (she won) but in the end, I didn't tell Real Live Doctor about the bottle of 500 mg Amoxicil in my cupboard. So what does she prescribe? 500 mg of amoxicillin. I had to go flipping pay $9.80 for something I already had in my cupboard, just so I could get the dosage. I'm not THAT bitter, but still. It's the same dang stuff. The moral? Don't judge people or penicillin just because they crossed the border illegally.


At 2:49 PM, October 16, 2009, Blogger Gringa-n-Mexico said...

OOoooo you're going to be pissed but HHHHHOOOORRAAAAYYY for them busting out and working your ass down with the shot and MAMMOGRAM !!! (okay so the shot might have been a little weird but I'm all for preventive so NAH) Go get your boobs smashed and be a good girl.

So what WAS a the crazy shit that they were talking about in your ears? Did the doctor ever TELL you?? (banjo, that made me laugh) :P

At 10:16 AM, October 17, 2009, Anonymous Jackie said...

I got poked and prodded by my doc Monday. Got the flu shot.I have a mam scheduled for next Friday.

At 12:22 PM, October 18, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm laughing out loud ... cause I work for doctors (and I hate 'em).

You're gonna love the mammo, I can't wait to read all about it! HA!



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