Saturday, March 1, 2008

In Sickness and In Health

This week took a turn for my on Thursday. I was feeling sluggish since last weekend. I thought it was just a really bad hangover from Friday that wouldn't go away. However, I had a routine doctor's appointment on Thursday morning (for my cholesterol- but after that I went to McDonald's), so I figured I'd ask the doc if there was anything wrong with me. He checked me out like normal, gave me a Lipitor refill and said he'd see me in a few months. The nurse came in and took my blood (and now I have a bruise on my inner elbow), I paid my copay and left.

A few hours later, Dave calls me. I'm back at work. He also had to call the doctor about something and they told him that they had a prescription for me for my sinus infection. My sinus infection?! Why didn't they tell me while I was there. So, I went back to the Dr. and filled my prescription. I felt 90% better later that day. Not that I want to be on meds or have something wrong with me, but I am glad I found out what it was. When I notice I am quiet and not as chipper, I start to wonder what is wrong.

But this leads me to another thing. A co-worker of mine said that them telling Dave was against HIPPA. I'm not mad; it was a sinus infection- not something embarrassing at least. But.... on the flipside-it's like the medical industry does all this stuff to protect our privacy, etc. and yet it means nothing. In this case, I don't mind. I actually felt for once that they liked me at my doctor's office and made the connection between Dave and I.

My dentist on the other hand-- nice guy. Like him a lot. However, he's in Scranton. I chose him because 1) his ad said "PAIN FREE" and 2) because he was close to my job when I worked in Scranton (yes, to all the readers outside the area, THAT Scranton, as in The Office). But now, I live about 30 miles from Wilkes-Barre in the other direction, so that makes my dentist over an hour away. I find it very difficult to keep appointments. The one day, I overslept and knew I wouldn't make it, so I rescheduled. Then, the next week, I missed it because I got lost on the way there. Got off the wrong exit and tried to find my way and realized I was almost back in Wilkes-Barre. So, I called them and said I had to be at work at 11:00- is there still time. They said no and I rescheduled again.

So here my dilemma. I have been going t0 him for three years now and I like the consistency and feel obligated. Do dentists and doctors feel hurt when they lose patients, or would they understand that they are just too far and it's nothing personal? A few coworkers have made some recommendations to me-- and they are super close. Oh, what to do!

And on a final note, I made a new discovery- Emergen-C. This stuff rocks and is better than an energy drink. It's a vitamin cocktail- powder you mix in water. It smells weired and tastes kinda funny, but its effervescent (I like that word) so it's fun to watch. You just chug it, and then feel better. I bought a 36-pack and have been sharing them at work. So, between that and the sinus medication, I feel better. (PS-- when I did a Google image search for a pic of Emergen-C- there was one of people snorting it???)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I thought I would give you some of my "insider knowledge."

HIPPA - Developed to protect the patients privacy as well as to allow coverage to go from one carrier to another (w/o pre-existing condition). With this being said, your doctors office should NEVER give any information to Dave or Lori, for example. The only exception to this that I am aware of is what Rob and I have done. You can sign a waiver allowing them to release infomation to someone. This is something that is normally asked on an initial visit. I am on all of Robs paperwork, as I handle all of our medical needs. The form normally also asks what info you would like released as well as if you would like messages left on voicemail.

LEAVING A PRACTICE - As one who has worked on front end staff at differnt medical offices, we have had several dental patients deactivate themselves due to cost or location. This would sometimes be done by just canceling appointments and after a period of time, we would stop calling. My best answer would be to just be honest. They may be upset to lose you, but they won't be offended. They are adults and have the same concerns with their practictioners.

I like these types of questions, as it is something I can actually give honest opinions on. So for any further questions, just ask. I have worked in physical therapy, dental, medical equipment and now long term care. I have done everything from assisting, medical insurance billing, office management, etc.

GOOD LUCK! Theresa