The Insurance Is The Assurance

, , , , , | Healthy | March 14, 2018

(My spouse is on an organ transplant list. One of the many requirements is that you must always show up to your appointments unless you call with a really good reason. Failure to do so can get you thrown off the list. The transplant coordinator calls me and tells my that my spouse never showed up for an appointment with one of the doctors. I inform her that he most certainly did. He even had to leave a very important meeting at his office in order to do so. But the doctor’s receptionist and nurse told the coordinator that he didn’t show up for the appointment. This goes back and forth between the coordinator, the nurse, the receptionist, and me for over a week. The coordinator knows my husband and doesn’t believe for a second that he just blew the appointment off, but both the nurse and receptionist are adamant.)

Me: “Hey, [Coordinator], the next time you talk to [Receptionist] or [Nurse], tell them I am notifying my insurance company, because I have paperwork that says my insurance company paid out for an appointment, so in that case, the doctor’s office is committing insurance fraud.”

(The coordinator called me back the next day laughing because “all of a sudden” they found the paperwork showing my husband HAD shown up for the appointment. We are, however, changing doctors with the help of the coordinator.)

A Depressing Statistic

, , , , | Healthy | March 7, 2018

(I have severe ADD and take Ritalin. I have been seeing a psychiatrist every six months for over a decade because it’s necessary to keep my prescription up, but normally we don’t do anything else. He asks me if I’m having side effects, I say no, he asks how school, work, or whatever is going, I tell him, he writes me a new prescription, and we’re done.)

Doctor: “And how are your classes going?”

Me: “Pretty well, except for this one lab where the whole grade is based on group work and my groupmates have disappeared…”

(I’m very frustrated with my classmates, and as I explain the problem with the lab, I start crying.)

Doctor: “Here, take these tissues! I had no idea you were so depressed. I’m going to prescribe you some medicine, and I want you to come back in a week for a follow-up.”

Me: “What? No, I’m just sleep-deprived! Your office is an hour from my house, and you get behind schedule so fast that my mom insists I book an appointment at seven am. I had to get up at 5:30 to be here! I’m a night owl; I get up at 10 or 11 if I don’t have anything I have to do earlier. I always cry too easily when I’m tired.”

(He doesn’t believe me and prescribes the medication, anyway. A week later, I’m back in his office.)

Doctor: “How are you feeling? If we need to, we can adjust the dosage before your next follow-up next week.”

Me: “Fine, like I was before, when I had slept. I know antidepressants take a while to kick in, but I don’t think these are ever going to affect me, because I’m not depressed. And I really can’t afford to keep experimenting with them; you know I don’t have insurance.”

Doctor: “I tried to find the cheapest antidepressants I could. I thought these were only about $10 a bottle.”

Me: “Come here. I want to tell you a secret.”

(He comes closer.)

Me: “You know those nice ladies behind the window in your lobby? They make people give them money before we can talk to you.”

(It had never occurred to him that visiting a psychiatrist every week instead of every six months might be a little pricey! I went off the antidepressants and am fine, as long as I don’t have to get up before dawn. Doctors, I know that lots of people really are depressed and it’s a serious problem, but people also know their own bodies, minds, and situations. It helps to listen.)

They’re Actually Allergic To Self-Control

, , , , , | Healthy | March 5, 2018

(I work at an eye institute. One day, my coworker tells me about the following exchange.)

Coworker: “Do you have any allergies?”

Patient: “I’m allergic to whiskey.”

Coworker: “Okay… What kind of reaction did it give you?”

Patient: *completely serious* “It made me throw up.”

Coworker: “…”

When You Can’t Bring Mohammed To The Patient

, , , | Right | March 5, 2018

(I work for a group practice that has four different surgeries and almost twenty doctors, most of them foreign, and quite a few from India and Pakistan. Because many of our doctors have names that are nigh-unpronounceable for the very un-diverse, rural area I live in, many doctors are cool with patients calling them by their first names. However, that leads to this happening far too often:)

Patient: “Hello, I’d like to make an appointment, please.”

Me: “Sure. Do you have any particular doctor you would like to see?”

Patient: “Yeah, I usually see doctor… Mohammed?”

Me: “We have three doctors by that name. Which one would you like to see? We have [lists off the surnames].”

Patient: “Oh… I think it’s the Asian one?”

(Usually I end up giving them a random one, and I’ve never heard a complaint yet!)

Sexually-Transmitted Translation

, , , , | Healthy | March 4, 2018

(I am a foreign college student and I need to see a gynecologist for the first time. I also need to fill out a medical information form that’s all in Chinese.)

Receptionist: “Can you read Chinese?”

Me: “The basics, but I have trouble with medical vocab.”

Receptionist: “Okay, start filling what you can and come back when there’s no line.”

(I do so and the receptionist translates while I answer.)

Receptionist: “Okay, this says, ‘Are you sexually active?’”

Me: *circles yes*

Receptionist: “Okay, and this says, ‘What protection do you use? Check all applicable.’”

Me: “Okay, does it say, ‘dental dam,’ somewhere?”

Receptionist: “Huh?”

Me: “Um… for oral protection.”

Receptionist: “This is asking what you do to not get pregnant.”

Me: “So, it’s ‘contraceptive,’ not ‘protection’?”

Receptionist: “Same thing.”

Me: “No… It isn’t. Okay, where does it ask for the gender of my partner?”

Receptionist: “Gender?”

Me: “Yes. I’m sexually active with women, not men.”

Receptionist: *long pause, looks around as if for help* “Then you put, ‘No,’ for sexually active and skip these questions.”

Me: “Don’t you care about me getting STDs?”

Receptionist: “Huh?”

Me: “It means I can still get STDs, as I’m sexually active, but you want me to put, ‘No,’ for being sexually active.”

Receptionist: *blank stare* “Uh. Let me talk to the doctor.”

(I am not called back for a while, and when I am, it’s for the actual appointment.)

Doctor: “I’m sorry about the form. We never get people like you. Let’s continue.” *hands form back to me*

(I noticed next to the line asking about being sexually active, “lesbian” was written in, in English. She helped me fill the rest of the form, adding — in English — the details it didn’t support, with no further issues.)

Page 1/7512345...Last
Next »