Thursday, March 13, 2014

A wellness visit...

That's what they used to call "going to the doctor for a check-up"... but they can charge you more for a "wellness visit" than a check-up.

I was told I was going in for a prostate check and some blood work.  Yeah, that was part of it.  My favorite part was: "Take your clothes off and wait in this room - here's a wrap."  The "wrap" is like a slightly larger Kleenex tissue - that's not going to go around my thigh, much less my waist.  Good thing I'm not modest.

I don't know about you, but I feel going to the doctor is like inserting yourself into a petri dish: the waiting room is full of people coughing, hacking, sneezing, and wheezing.  Fine, if you are going in there with one of those symptoms... not so fine if you are the healthiest person in the room.

Then, after waiting for what the check-in people feel is an appropriate amount of time, you are escorted into another room... I call this one: solitary confinement.  It is a smaller room that has been recently vacated by one of those coughing, hacking, sneezing, wheezing people.  In this room, there are magazines for you to peruse... none more current than 2012, and all guaranteed to have been handled by persons of unknown diseasage (medical term).  No way in hell am I touching anything in that room... well, there is that exam table that is protected by butcher paper (well, not really butcher paper - it looks kinda like that, but butcher paper is thicker and less full of disease); you can sit your sweaty ass down on that.  And, why is my ass sweaty?  It wasn't sweaty when I came in here.  When the doctor asks if I have noticed anything unusual, should I tell her about this sudden onset asssweat syndrome?

After sitting naked in the room for a half hour or so, they come in and take your blood pressure... "Hmmm, that seems a little high."

"No shit, Sherlock - I've been sitting naked in a diseased-filled room for a half hour with nothing to do but imagine who - with what - sat here naked before me.  I'm amazed that it isn't higher!"

Apparently, this place only hires blood pressure takers without a sense of humor?  Maybe they are hired according to their disease immunity, working around this disease factory?

After another brief wait, the "medical professional" makes her entrance.  I think the blood pressure taker is like the old days when miners lowered a parakeet into the mine... if the patient doesn't strangle the blood pressure taker, or they haven't been overcome with disease, then the practitioner is safe to enter?

The prostate exam is like a really bad first date.  This lady is gentle and fast, though... it makes me wonder if the last guy who did this just really enjoyed his work - I remember that he spent a lot more time up there.  She tells me, "Nothing unusual - that's a good sign."

"Nothing unusual?  You just had your finger up my ass - that's a bit unusual for me."  This lady has a little more sense of humor that the blood pressure taker.  She looks, prods, pokes, listens to me breathe, listens to my heart, and asks a bunch of mostly personal questions.

I am allowed to put my clothes back on and then wait for the blood taker.  There are signs posted everywhere that they will need my insurance card for lab work.  I ask her if she needs my insurance card... "No, why?"

"I dunno, maybe all those signs... nevermind."

A quick poke and she draws a couple vials of blood.  "This device is to collect a stool sample..."  I quickly realize she isn't talking about bar stools.

That sounds like fun.  I gather my paperwork, get turned over to the money collecting woman who says, "We'll see what your insurance pays..." then I am free.

By the time I get back to the resort (a half hour away) I get a phone call from the blood taking person - she asks me about "Sonora."  As far as I know, that is a town and a large desert area... she seems to think it is something to do with my insurance, but I can't get out of her what.  "Since we seem to be speaking two different languages, maybe you could just tell me what you want from me?"  Sonora must be a lab, one specified by my insurance company; and not the lab they normally use.  So, I will need to go back to get a different "crap collector" (my term, but more explanatory than a stool sample device).  Fun, I get to go back to the disease farm again.  Oh well, since they wrote a prescription for something I take regularly for only half the time I need it, I would be going back to get a different prescription anyway.

Good thing I am feeling well... I'm not sure a sick person could survive this.


On edit: just got a call (shortly after posting this) - the nurse from the medical office said, "Can you bring that prescription back within an hour so we can amend it?"

"Sure, I need to swap out the crap collector, too - one stop shopping!"

No sense of humor there, either.

I remember the old days... when I was a kid, our family doctor would say, "You need to get more exercise and take better care of yourself," while he was smoking a cigarette.



Dave said...

I had the exact same experiance, different state though. I could have written this myself! I HATE getting a wellness check as I am always worried about picking something up besides the pen to write the check. Ugh! I did have a question,You stated that she poked you and prodded you while doing your prostate exam. Then she listened to you breathe. You dont really breathe through your pooter do you? Seems like a medical anomoly to me or that new helmets too tight. That will be $35 copay for my diagnosis............Your Welcome!

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Thanks for the diagnosis, Dave. $35 is a bargain! No, the poking and prodding were a different part of the exam than the breathing... although she did say, "Take a deep breath and hold it, before shoving her fing... um, nevermind. I'm really not a germaphobe, but I did bring my own pen! ;-)