What A Diabeetus, Part 10

, , , , | Healthy | October 13, 2019

(I work as a receptionist and an assistant for an optometrist. Multiple patients are very ignorant about optometry; they say they need to update the “medicine” in their glasses or tell me I shouldn’t set their glasses down a certain way because the “medicine will drain out,” among other similar statements. Some people just don’t understand that it is the way lenses are shaped and that fixes their vision, not an actual medication. But some people top the cake. This patient has insurance.)

Patient: *answering my questions* “Yeah, I do have diabetes, but what does that matter? I’m just getting my eyes checked for glasses!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I understand. However, if your sugar levels aren’t stable it can cause a drastic change in your prescription. For that reason, since you have stated you are almost never stable, the doctor may find it in your best interest to check you and have you come back in a couple of weeks, at no extra charge, to make sure the prescription does not fluctuate before finalizing it. This is to ensure you do not purchase lenses that may not work in a few weeks. However, the doctor will discuss this further with you in the exam room to see if this applies to you or not.”

Patient: “You saw my [relative] a few months ago and this wasn’t an issue! You’re just trying to scam me! Her blood sugar is never stable, either!”

Me: “Ma’am, like I stated, it is truly up to the doctor, and you may not have to come back. Also, the followup would not charge you any extra.”

Patient: “Fine. I don’t want to be seen. I’ll go somewhere that knows what they are doing! You just didn’t bother with all of this with [relative] because she was a cash payment!”

Me: “No, ma’am, that is certainly not the case. Each patient is different. In this case, I will guess that the doctor was okay with finalizing her prescription based on the exam, and that just might be your case, as well. I am just informing you of the possible outcomes. Also–“

Patient: *cutting me off* “NO! I DO NOT WANT TO BE SEEN! I NEED MY EXAM. TODAY! NOT IN A FEW WEEKS! I’M DONE WITH THIS AND I’M LEAVING!”

(The patient storms out of the office. The doctor has just finished the exam before her.)

Doctor: “Did you mention that she could possibly get it today, but I’d have to see her first?”

Me: “Yes, sir, but she seems to think we were trying to scam her because her [relative] got hers the same day, and since she’s using insurance, unlike her [relative], we’re trying to get more out of her and take advantage. I remember her [relative]’s name. I’ll pull her chart…”

(A few minutes pass as we’re looking over the relative’s chart.)

Me: “Huh… [Relative] said nothing about being diabetic or unstable with her blood sugar.”

Doctor: “Of freaking course. Did you get a chance to tell her we get paid more from insurance versus cash pay? So really, [Relative] got the better deal?”

Me: “Well, I tried, but she stormed out calling me a scammer and a dumba** before I could.”

(Yeah, our cash price can range from $20-80 LESS than what insurance pays us. It’s fun working in healthcare! I mean, we’re only there to write prescriptions and not check anything else, right? Trust me, your optometrist or ophthalmologist checks A LOT more than just your prescription. Gets your eyes checked, people, even if you don’t need correction. Sometimes health issues pop up with no signs!)

Related:
What A Diabeetus, Part 9
What A Diabeetus, Part 8
What A Diabeetus, Part 7

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Eye Have No Idea What You’re Saying

, , , , | Healthy | October 12, 2019

(I work as a receptionist and an assistant for an optometrist. I am discussing the exam costs with a patient who has no insurance.)

Patient: “What?! Why does an exam cost that much just to get a prescription?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, my doctor also checks the health of your eyes, not just giving a prescription.”

Patient: “That’s just stupid. Eyes are always healthy unless you need to see better!”

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The Optician Needs To Check His Eyesight

, , , | Working | September 9, 2019

(I am eighteen, and unfortunately, my usual glasses break. I decide to go to the ophthalmologist to get a new prescription. Usually, I can’t decide on a new pair of glasses on my own, so I take my mom. At the optician, I explain that I am looking for new glasses. The optician doesn’t really address me, but my mom.)

Optician: “Ooh. No problem. We will find a nice pair of glasses for your daughter. No girl should wear such ugly glasses! Who chose them?!”

Me: “These are my sport glasses. My usual glasses broke. I bought them here last year.”

(I find it a little strange that the optician mostly addresses my mom, or when she does speak to me, it is as if I am a child.)

Optician: “Uh-oh, okay! Well, we have some beautiful frames for girls! Or do you want to have something like for adults?”

(While saying that, she looks at my prescription.)

Optician: “Oh, tomorrow is your birthday! How old are you going to be? Eleven, twelve?”

Me: “Tomorrow I will turn nineteen!”

(The optician’s face turned red and she excused herself. I felt really embarrassed that time but today I can laugh about it. Poor optician. I guess she felt as embarrassed as me.)

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They Work In Eye Care But They Cannot See

, , , , | Working | June 5, 2019

My eye doctor retired a couple of years ago, right around the time his practice stopped taking my insurance, anyway. As a result, I pushed my contact lenses to the limit, because finding a new eye doctor who would take my insurance was troublesome, and I initially wanted to go to a different practice. At last, however, my contacts are so old that I’m worried about damaging my eyes if I continue to wear them, or ripping them with no replacements, so I’m ready to bite the bullet and try a walk-in eye care center for the first time.

It’s late afternoon on Black Friday, and I’m desperate; this is the first time since the situation became dire that I have had any time to do this, and my mother agrees that we will go to the eye care center in the mall, since she has other shopping to do, anyway. We walk in. There are some other customers, but not a massive amount, and there is nobody at the reception desk in the middle of the room.

A young man in his late teens or early twenties comes by a minute later and greets us, but says he can’t do anything for us; he seems to be a low-level employee whose only job is cleaning. A woman stops by at last, and we explain that I need an eye exam to renew my prescription and will make an appointment if none are available for the rest of the day. She says she’ll be with us in a minute, tells us to take a seat, and proceeds to go over to a pair of customers who are looking at glasses and are extremely picky. That’s their prerogative, of course, but after waiting for fifteen minutes with every apparent employee focusing on various glasses customers when all we want is to make an appointment for later if the doctor can’t see us now, I insist that we leave, resigned to having to wait another few days until I had the time to try a different store on the other side of town.

As we are pulling out, I realize that there is a different eye care center in a strip mall right across the street! We walk in; there are three employees sitting behind the counter who greet us immediately, and have no problem squeezing me in for an appointment the next morning when they see how crestfallen I am that the first one they offer is too late in the afternoon, when I’ll already be at work. I have since had nothing but rapid, excellent, and affordable care from them.

If only the employees at the other eye care center had bothered to speak to us for two minutes, I’d be their new patient and customer, instead!

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Not Even Faintly Sympathetic

, , , , , , | Related | May 16, 2019

I have the fun combination of vasovagal syncope and orthostatic hypotension. In layman’s terms, I faint. A lot. I’ve gotten fairly good at knowing and avoiding my triggers, or at least being able to recognize the onset of an episode early enough to mitigate it. That said, I do still actually faint at least once or twice a year, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s honestly more annoying than distressing.

Understandably, though, the people around me are less nonchalant about it. It probably doesn’t help that according to witnesses, my eyes don’t close when I faint.

My favorite example of this is the time I went to the optometrist after many years without seeing one. He used what is apparently either an outdated or just very intense test for glaucoma, because everyone I’ve ever described it to says they’ve never had anything of the sort done. It involved placing my chin on a rest inside this terrifying-looking contraption while he very slowly pressed a little rubber stopper against the surface of my eye. As it turned out, this was a trigger that I did not previously know about — because I don’t make a habit of pressing objects into my eyeballs for minutes at a time — and I passed right out.

When I woke up, I was on the floor with a very flustered nurse keeping watch over me. This was where it got funny, as often when I faint there will be people who simply will not accept my insistence that if they just leave me alone for a few minutes, I’ll bounce right back. The nurse was one of these sorts, and she insisted that she should get me some water, or an ice pack, or anything. I consented to a glass of water more for her sake than mine, but she wasn’t placated. She insisted that she should get my dad from the waiting room. Now, my family is just as used to my little spells as I am, so I warned the nurse that he was not going to be as comforting as she thought, but if she really wanted to, she could go get him.

She came back minutes later, and as soon as my dad saw me lying on the floor in a dark exam room — because the nurse also insisted on turning out the lights for some reason — he just gave a long-suffering sigh and informed me, and I quote, “You’re such a wuss.”

I cracked up laughing. The nurse was horrified.

I got up and walked out under my own power five minutes later. I now warn my optometrists before any and all glaucoma tests, but sometimes they don’t listen and I get to relive the whole situation over, though unfortunately without my dad’s commentary.

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