214) Waiting Room Doctor's Visit

February 5, 2008

El Milagro:
So today is one of the days when I get here on time and they are not in synchrony with me… they’re running about 30 minutes late. It seems like the center is running late a lot lately. So, I’m sitting in the weighting room and in pops Dr Rowder. “Can I do your doctor’s visit out here?” he asks. So what am I supposed to say? “No. I want a private office.” I do what I hallucinate most people do. “Sure.”: and then I say to myself… but, don’t expect me to discuss anything personal in front of these 4 people waiting here. The doc looks over my recent blood work report and tells me what it says; the only concern being my blood count being low. Then he asks how I am doing since my calcium crash. Then he asks if there is anything else we need to talk about. I am timing the meeting and it is over in 1.5 minutes. I am thinking about them charging my insurance company for this “drive-by” that is really nothing like a “doctor’s visit”. When I have more time and energy, I really need to take this practice on as a dragon to be slayed.

After Rowder leaves, Jennifer the Dietician stays on for awhile, sitting down beside me. She goes over my lab results in greater detail and says they are increasing my epogin because of my lower blood count. She adds that the blood count was low last time and is even lower now. I shared that I have been having daily nosebleeds but don’t think that should account for it. We briefly discuss my HHT and dealing with that.

When my back corner chair is ready Carol the Tech calls me in and Kim the Nurse cannulates me and does my nursing evaluation. I check my dialyzer and the baths to ensure all is correct. Kim and I discuss the doctor’s drive-bys, using my new tape, and her son’s not liking to wash his hair.

Once I’m all set up, I listen to NPR then watch the ABC News, the switch over to Jim Lehrer, and then finally back to ABC for the Super Tuesday coverage. I choose to make no comments in this blog at the moment about the primaries or candidates or my projections… it just seems like everyone is blogging about that stuff, so why add to the quagmire? However, I get immersed in these reports and the time passes quickly and all of a sudden it is time to get unhooked and head on home.

So it goes.

Notes: In at 78 and out at 74.6 Kgs.


Mel said...

What gall on the part of your doctor and dietician!

You have a right to privacy. You are not there for their convenience. They are there - and very well paid - for your health care needs.

Stuff like this smacks of insurance fraud. It doesn't legally cross the line but the ethics are very questionable.

At our FRESENIUS dialysis center in Lubbock, a doctor makes rounds during treatment time. He listens to my chest sounds, checks my eyes for redness, and pokes my leg to check for edema. If I need a script for an antibiotic or a refill he writes it on the spot, so that part is nice. There is no privacy whatsoever.

I suppose my lack of privacy is compensated by the next person's lack of privacy: they know all about me and I know all about them.

After 30 years of treatments it still irks me and I still have to tell myself to calm down. I hope your transplant is soon so you can regain a margin of your dignity.

Best of luck with dealing with these impersonal, desensitized medical 'professionals.'

Jack Nowicki said...

Thanks for the feedback Mel. This practie of the docs doing 2 minute, public rounds and then charging the insurance for a doctor's visit upsets me too. I have considered complaining to my insurance company, but the whole deal is complicated by the fact that my doc. is also director of the transplant team also... so I wouldn't want to rock his boat. As a second best option, I am just putting these "ethical concerns" out in postdom for everyone to read and think about. Maybe another strategy will come to us. ONWARD! JN