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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Doctors, Doctors, Doctors! GAA!

I tell you, I am so sick of doctors right now,  I could just scream! We have two doctors' appointments this week, one last week, two next week and... I am just bone tired.

Bob has a neurologist, a urologist, an endocrinologist. He has a pain management doctor, a primary care doctor and an ear nose throat guy. Oh, and a gastrointestinal doctor. And they all want to see him every two months or three months or once a month (that's the pain doc).  My Bob's a popular guy!

Do these doctors know how difficult it is to get to places in a wheelchair?? Do they know what a hassle it is? Do they know how expensive it is? Of course, they know the latter-- these are the guys with the brand new BMWs, waterfront condos and the european vacations. They wear shoes that cost more than my car.

On Tuesday, we saw the neurologist for about 2 seconds flat. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. But not much, because the whole visit took as long as it takes to say this:

Dr: Did the Botox help Robert's arm?

Me: No.

Dr.: Hmm. Well, give it another week. Sometimes it's slow to respond. 

Me: OK

Dr: See you in three months!

That insightful appointment cost a $40.00 co-pay plus $8.00 for the wheelchair transport service. Not to mention it took all afternoon because--

To get there I had to schedule the wheelchair transport 45 minutes prior to the appointment time, 30 minutes for a "window" for the transport to arrive, plus 10 minutes of loading time and 5 minutes of drive time. The transport came on time, so we got there 30 minutes early. Then the doctor was running 55 minutes behind schedule, so I had to cancel our return trip and be put on "stand by" which means, basically, you call when you're ready then wait another 45 minutes for a van to show up. Not to mention another 30 minutes in the bathroom with Bob trying to pee and me, squished between the toilet and the paper towel dispenser, staring at the ceiling.

And do these doctors know how un-handicap accessible their handicap accessible bathrooms are???

Today, we are off to see the Ear Nose Throat doctor. yippee!

Well, that's my rant for the day. Bye!


Anonymous said...

I do believe our relationship with doctors is truely a "love/hate" relationship. When we absolutely need them, we want them right now and when it's a follow up we'd rather not see them. Perhaps as an appointment approaches and you don't feel Bob really needs to see the doctor at that time, cancel and reschedule for a later date. Like you, I don't always agree with the time frame the doctor sets, and I do cancel/reschedule my wifes appointments quite often.
Hugs, Dan

Barb Polan said...

For me to get to my PCP is simple, while the trip to my physiatrist involves the commuter train, walking to the hospital,etc; Neither one is difficult or complicated BECAUSE I'M MOBILE. Taking Bob would overwhelm me, and I mean pre-stroke me. The way I look at it is that I've seen more than my fair share of doctors the past 2 years, so I tend to throw a couple extra months in between visits. Which you must not do re Bob, given his assortment of troubles.
My husband tells me that I must not do anything dangerous - walk on difficult terrain, etc - because we have used our allotment of ER visits for the year. He's serious. And all we've had are 3 times in 2 years, including 1 for him.

Grace Carpenter said...

You are know about these strategies, but... I have an appointment for a specialist that I reschedule every two or three months--I don't need to see the dr unless something comes up. So far, they haven't complained.

Also, Neal always asks a new dr if they can be reached by email. Many don't, but a few do.

Shame on those doctors who don't even think about how much money, time and energy you have to use up for a 10 minute appt.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a care coordinator? Usually they can get all the appointments scheduled on the same day. That way it would save money and time on transportation.

Diane said...

Hmmm, what is a "care coordinator"? never heard of that. I guess I am the "care coordinator"! LOL

I once tried to schedule two appts. in one day, but with the transport time with 30 minute windows+ etc. it was like a mad rush when the transport got us, we almost didn't make it to the next appt. No time for bathroom breaks. And too darn stressful for Bob.

Anonymous said...

a care coordinator is someone who gets involved when a patient is complex and can have an increased chance of being readmitted. they go to the appts, help get them scheduled and just are the go to person when you need something. check and see if they have any in FL. Good luck with everything.

Barb Polan said...

My physiatrist is my care coordinator. He was assigned to me while I was in rehab even though I had to look up what a "physiatrist" is. I hope you can find one for Bob.

Rebecca Dutton said...

I stopped seeing doctors every three months. When the staff try to schedule an appointment as I leave the office I say I have to check my calendar and then never call them. I only see my doctors when I need to have my prescriptions renewed for the year. My endocrinologist made the mistake of telling me that clients like me (with a chronic condition)are his "bread and butter."

Anonymous said...

Would some of these docs do phone appointments? Insurance doesn't cover that, as far as I know, but you might ask if the cost is comparable to $48.

Anonymous said...

Ya , I have grown very cynical of the whole medical process. Don't get me wrong, I know they save lives and provide guidance and help through the critical stages of the hospital process through to discharge. Its after they've saved the life/identified the illness that the problems start. We expect too much from them, and pay them too much. Its a merry go round. I have stopped going to see some that just add no value. People who are old and sick keep going back looking for some kind of miracle that just aint there. The Drs dont tell you that because they want you to come back in 30/60/90 days so you can fill up their waiting room, so they can prescribe more meds, pay their over head costs and pay for the big houses, the vacations and the BMW's for their wives and kids.

They are just people. Just smart money driven business people working in the medical field.

Rebecca - You know it !!!!