Tuesday, June 18, 2013
All Together Now Zzzzzzzzzzz…..
A couple of weeks ago I had some blood work done at the lab. Last Friday our GP's office called and said the doctor wanted to discuss my results with me, nothing urgent, was I free the next morning at 8:30 am?
Well I was not, as I have a standing (or lying) appointment with my bed at that particular o'clock. On the rare day when I have achieved something resembling consciousness by that time it's dangerous to assume I am coherent. So she suggested Tuesday at 10:30.
I laid out *everything* yesterday. I printed off duplicate copies of the prescriptions I needed to have refilled, with doses and timing, (one sheet for her and one for me). I printed the one question I had. I laid out my morning meds, made the coffee, decided what to eat so I could take the pills, decided what to wear, in appropriate layers. One layer = 20 C, two layers = 15 C, three layers = 10 C, four layers = 5 C. And if it's raining one additional layer to whichever choice was appropriate. (For those who are dying to know I went with two layers and a rain layer because it was raining buckets.)
I always arrive early so I have a few minutes to sit, quieten myself, counsel my doctor phobia, meditate a bit, and let my blood pressure and heart rate settle. Today, there were no handicap spots open and I had to park halfway down the lot. Rather than drown I hurried faster than I should have, so I really needed that "quiet time." But as soon as my butt hit the seat the admit clerk called me in, plopped me on the scales (yikes!), then took my still-elevated blood pressure and pulse rate.
Remember it is 10:30 in the morning and I am still stupid. The doctor comes in. She is a pleasant young woman in her early 40s, but she has a computer phobia which is unfortunate because she has to use it for every appointment. She approaches the computer as one would an erect hooded cobra which is triangulating for a strike. Fear stark on her face she slides into her chair, never taking her eyes off the screen.
"I called you in?" It is a question she asks the screen.
"I had labwork done."
She winces and touches the keyboard as if anticipating an electric shock, and brings up my file. "You need your thyroid medicine increased. It that all?"
"No, I need refills." I hand her my sheet, with prescription refills printed in 16 pt Georgian font, double-spaced. Clear, concise.
She looks at the sheet in dismay and pecks at the keyboard. A paper comes out of the buzzing printer on her desk. I am still stupid. I do not look at it.
"Call in October to book an appt." she says, and she scurries out the door.
I stuff the paper in my bag, hobble back across the parking lot through sheets of rain and drive to the pharmacy down the road. At the pharmacist's counter I take out the prescription sheet and ask for refills on…. I look at the sheet. Of the five medications I needed refills on there are only two listed, and I don't need either of them right away.
The two medications I need refilled now are not on the sheet. But I also need one filled for which I have a prescription on file. I ask for it. The pharmacist says I can't have it because it's 41 days early. I tell her that this can't be, as I only take half the dose of what's prescribed. Nevertheless the pharmacist insists I can't have the medication and suggests that I "go home and think about it". (???) But she agrees to call the doctor and get my refills straightened out.
I come home, look at the meds in my case. The one I need refilled was last filled in January and could have been refilled in March. I call the pharmacy. "Oh, we got the drug names mixed up," she said. "We thought you wanted the other one that you just had filled." (I toy with the idea of suggesting they all 'go home and think about it')
On a practical note I think we all ought to go home and go back to bed, sleep a few more hours and start this day again.