healthcare

Some health updates

So, since it’s pouring rain outside right now, I guess it’s the perfect time to update you on things that I haven’t had the inclination (or “spoons” if will) to cover over the past few weeks:

I’ll start by saying I had a doctor’s appointment for my insurance required annual physical. While it wasn’t a complete waste of time, I didn’t learn anything new from it… other than I forgot to post about my last visit back in October. I also forgot to mention (and the doctor forgot to ask about despite it being in her chart) the painful bubble in the knuckles on my left hand. She largely dismissed everything I told off out of hand as “normal aging” or “whatever, I send you to the lab for blood work. They can tell me if something is wrong with you.”

I only remembered the knuckle thing when I accidentally hit my index finger (the more painful of the two) against the metal penholder at their checkout window when I pulled out my checkbook out for the co-pay. It wasn’t even hard, I just grazed it against the side of it for half a second, and the woman sitting there had that classic “what the fuck” look, like she couldn’t say anything even she was allowed too (which as regular readers know, I get… a lot).

While I was out, I decided to walk up the road to Wal-Mart Supercenter (I keep thinking it’s a half-mile, but it’s actually 1.3 miles) to buy some important thing or another. But while I was there, I decided to check on when the earliest appointment I could get with the doctor at the Vision Center as the doctor is only there two times a week. I got lucky, not only was she was there today, but there were only three people in the waiting area and the rest of the docket was apparently blank. The receptionist said if I felt like waiting, I could be seen by noon.

I waited and, sure enough, I was seen shortly before noon. My script hadn’t changed, and I chose a new set of frames. Plus, I was actually out of the store by noon. I didn’t have the “spoons” to go shopping, so I came back to the apartment and fell asleep until the rain started.

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A laundry list of problems: Part 2

I’m led out of the Exam Room and pointed towards the tiny lab room.
The same lab I had a panic attack and nearly fainted in last year after the lab tech said she was prepping for my tests by tying a band around my arm and pulling out a half dozen empty vials and a needle twice the size of said arm! Thankfully, they had another patient in there when I arrived, so I had a few seconds to compose myself befo…

“Hey, you,” a voice shouted as I suddenly felt someone staring at me while I was scrolling on my phone. “I asked you: ‘what are you here for’… ahem, I mean, ‘sir’” (nice save, lol).

She calls me into her tiny lab room, takes the pink folder the doctor gave me out of my right hand and tells me to have a seat. She can see I’m anxious about this, but, obviously, she’s a professional. She knows what to do in situations like this.

“Are you… ok,” she asked with that familiar mix of disgust and contempt as if she “had to ask” but was clearly afraid I’d answer her. However, before I could, she rolls her eyes and snapped, “I asked if you are okay…um, sir” (not quite as convincing, but she’s trying).

She then turns around, flips through the folder, rolls to the desk, pulls out a disclosure form and shoves it in my face while rotely explaining how I agree to pay a $10 “convenience fee” for the privilege of getting the work done in house (so, I’m paying for the doctors’ convenience? Yeah, that totally sounds fair).

“If you don’t like it,” she said exasperatedly, barely looking up from pulling needles and vials out of the cabinet next to her. “You can go to any lab you want and pay whatever they want to charge you. We aren’t charging you to see a lab elsewhere – THAT’S why it’s a ‘convenience fee.’”

That argument makes no sense. I wish I could remember my exact reply, but I do remember asking if she heard that odd “echo” in the room as she seemed to say everything twice.
She takes a breath, shoves a grimy squeeze toy into my hand and snaps: “If you would a

nswer my question the FIRST time, I wouldn’t HAVE to repeat myself. So, STOP IT… sir.”

Yes, a 1.5 second auditory processing delay can just be turned off – like a light switch. It’s a neat little Aspie trick… but it doesn’t work, and people yelling at me for having it only makes it worse.

“Now, hold still. You can close your eyes. You can look away. Whatever you want, just keep still.”

I close my eyes and turn my head as far left as it’ll go since last year’s accident, grip the grimy squeeze toy and try to avoid thinking about…. SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY THAT HURTS!! Yes, I felt every millimeter of it and every pulse the needle made.

As a red film drips away from my eyes (like someone thrown blood in them), I could feel a light slap on my arm: “I SAID, ‘RELAX YOUR ARM.’ RELAX IT…sir.”

That was it, my vision slowly returned to normal and my ordeal was over. It was off to the checkout window (a whopping 15 feet away) to pay the co-pay and that was all… that I can remember as I’m posting this four months after the fact, but, as the title suggests, I’m pretty sure I forgot about laundry (which was never actually solved).

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A laundry list of problems

I just left the doctor’s office. I only got to tell them half of my symptoms. They said my blood work will tell me if there is anything wrong with me. Said blood work won’t be finished until next week. I’m hoping it isn’t too serious.

She seemed skeptical about the orange stains on my clothes and chastised me for not bringing them in for her (or her lab) to look at. I told her: “I didn’t get a chance to ask if you do those kind of tests here when talking to your receptionist on the phone.” She wasn’t impressed with that answer.

Yes, part of me agrees with her that it could be normal “food or coffee stains,” or even “sweat or other body functions” (in layman’s terms shit). Though I couldn’t help but be reminded of that condescending “you just don’t know how to do laundry” line maintenance gave me. Heck, even if their tests do show nothing out of the ordinary, it still wouldn’t explain ALL of it as some of them weren’t even worn!

I also have a large painful bubble in my one of my knuckles (index finger) and a non-painful one (on my ring finger). The doctor dismissed them as “nothing” and recommended I just “sit and watch it for a while.” I told her she should check it out anyway (because of my grandmother’s arthritis), but she replied I would need to see a specialist for that… but she wasn’t immediately sure what kind [of specialist] as it would depend on what the condition is. Umkay…

Hopefully, the blood work she sent me to get will provide some answers, and, sadly, that’s where this story goes downhill…

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UPDATE: Three Days, no solutions

Today is the third day since re-reporting my dismissed problems to the leasing office (they take this seriously, their maintenance team apparently does not). To my knowledge, not only has nothing been done, but no-one has been by to check on it. I’m beginning to think they aren’t going to come over the weekend either.

Yes, in the grand scheme of things, three days isn’t a long time to wait for something like this. I also know that a complex with 1100 units has a laundry list of problems on a daily basis… but something tells me that only are they not taking this seriously but that they are making me wait around for nothing.

Sorry, but, contrary to what most people think, I actually have places to go (I already put off a doctor’s apt because “omg, what if I’m not here?”) and things to do – and I’m going to do them. I refuse to be a prisoner in my own apartment. This lease can’t end fast enough…

 

Second update: As predicted above, no-one came by over the weekend either. But I did get a doctor’s appointment to see if it really is mold as someone suggested… or just IBS and strong allergies. This I know I’ll get an answer to this week… maybe. (10/7/19)

 

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A difficult week

This has been a very difficult week for me, not because yesterday marked exactly two months since my mother’s death or even the ubiquitous Mother’s Day displays springing up in all the stores or ads for specials at local restaurants shoved into my tiny apartment mailbox – no, it’s hard because, well, I can’t explain why.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s summer in Florida and the oppressive humidity is starting to get to me. Maybe it’s that the weekend thunderstorms are causing my arm/shoulder to hurt again. Maybe it’s that I’ve been stuck with terrible heartburn all week which makes me not want to eat so anything I force myself to eat only makes said heartburn worse. I can’t see a doctor about any of this because I don’t have insurance anymore (which apparently can’t be fixed until the exchange opens up again in December).

Perhaps, it’s the fact that I finally submitted my manuscript to another editor and have no idea whether they will praise it or tear me to shreds like my last two (which was why I waited a full year to submit it to another editor). Though part of me knows that it’s the waiting for their assessment that’s harder than anything they might say, the rest of me dreads any kind of feedback at all (though I know my work needs it).

Or I could just be bored. You wouldn’t think someone who covers theme parks for a living would get bored… but then again, I could be lonely too, but dating is probably the one thing scarier than anything my editor could possibly say to me. In fact, I should probably quit writing now, as I just realized: It was way too familiar blog posts about ableism and discrimination first thing in the morning that started this trend (thankfully, April is now over, so I should be seeing a lot less of them)… but the approach of Mother’s Day probably isn’t helping matters.

Categories: Autism, family, Health, healthcare, insurance, writing | Leave a comment

Photo: My right arm is fine though

Categories: Health, healthcare | Leave a comment

Photos: 2 months out

Note: I’ve been advised to “not discuss” my health in the aftermath of the my getting by a car on I-Drive two months ago – specifically regarding treatments, injuries, or insurance or my opinions on any or all of those matters – on this blog until litigation is settled. #lawyers

However, they said nothing about posting memes…

Categories: cartoons\memes, Health, healthcare, insurance | Leave a comment

Three weeks out

June 23, 2018 – I was with my mom and brother in Disney or most of this week (where I couldn’t take any photos because I couldn’t steady my camera without use of my left arm), so I don’t have an exact arrival date. But, as soon as I returned on Saturday, I found a letter from Florida Blue: “Our independent panel of medical experts have reviewed all documents associated with your claim and determined that it DOES NOT meet the criteria for a medical emergency.”

Wait, getting hit by a fucking car is “not a medical emergency?”

“…therefore, neither Florida Blue nor any of its subsidiaries are liable for any payments associated wit your claim.”

But don’t forget to keep paying us – that’s right, I have to pay them to not do the one thing I overpay (due to an error on their part but claim it’s MY fault for “not catching it sooner”) them to do

June 25, 2018 – I finally got the nerve to call the lawyer the physical therapist gave me, and he has tentatively offered to take my case. I meet him at the IPM offices on Thurs, which is good since I can show him the rejection letter from Florida Blue.

June 27, 2018 – Got a call this morning from an “unavailable number” who turned out to be the “Billing and Payment Office” at ORMC informing me that my insurance is not paying for my Emergency stay but SOMEONE is…and I get the distinct feeling I don’t want to ask who that “someone” is (especially since I was the one on the other end of their message).

If only, there was a way to prepay into an account in the event that something like this happened to me… oh, I do? Tough luck, kid, here’s your bill. Yes, you HAVE to pay it.

Categories: adventures, Advocacy\volunteer, florida, Health, healthcare, insurance, Orlando, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Slightly better Saturday

4:23am – I thought being moved up to the surgical suites would make the rest of my night quieter, but, no, there were still people pacing up and down the hall, staff laughing at the nearby nursing station and machines making various noises.

In fact, if I got out of bed to use the restroom and an ear-piercing alarm goes off so now a half-dozen (young female) nurses know I have to pee: “That’s why we have that pitcher next to your bed. Just go, we’ll turn it off.”

4:43am – I finally get my pants back up and my belt redone (neither task is easy to do one handed), and as soon as I’m back into the bed and almost asleep, a female Orderly comes in to clean the bathroom.

7:30am – Daylight.

Also, the time I hear the door to the room open and Dr. McDreamy from whatever that show was called walks in. He’s a surgeon, he’s gone over my reports and has determined I don’t need surgery after all. However, he still needed to hear a comprehensive medical history, a complete report on what caused the crash, a full list of symptoms (tbf, the pain had gone down noticeably overnight). He tells me “I’m not releasing you today” and leaves.

8:37am – A male Orderly comes in holding what turned out to be a standard Continental breakfast, and just as I’ve almost pulled myself up to an eating position… the NT comes in, takes my temperature, gives me a pain pill and checks my blu-presser: “Eh, eeeezzz still no good, but maybe better. 143/105.”

9:23am – Regular floor Nurse arrives (not the one from earlier). She tells my vitals, while “not good” appear to have “stabilized,” but the doctor said I’m “most likely” staying overnight again for “continued observation.”

10:29am – the exact same nurse walks in, and immediately asks: “What the hell are you still doing here? You were discharged over an hour ago.”

12:29pm – Yes, I am still here, but I just finished the saddest “Turkey Club” since my mom packed my lunch in the 4th grade, but at least, I got to eat it sitting up. I’m told the discharge papers should be ready any time now.

As I force myself out of the chair, I see a familiar chocolate colored boy in a tight, black shirt ambling down the hallway before the door next to mine slams. Apparently, you can have the same highlight twice on the same trip. Who knew?

1:15pm – The nurse comes back in with a copy of my discharge paper which she rather quickly goes over with me. No weight on shoulder, contact primary for folo in 5-7 days, pills every four hours… when I asked when the cab was coming to get me, she just looked at me blankly. Why not just drive my own car back? Oh right…

2:29pm – The nurse just happened to be outside my room (walking an elderly patient) when her cell phone rings telling her the cab was “en route” and would arrive shortly so she had to quickly (or as “quickly” as hospital staff move) her patient back to her room and get a wheelchair out of the closet at the end of the hall for a leisurely trip down to the lobby.

2:43pm – Finally arrive at the main entrance where, yes, a cab was already waiting. Surprisingly enough, the driver was friendly and managed to get me back to Williamsburg in decent time, despite “heavier than normal” afternoon traffic.

I get out of his vehicle, go up to the unit, open the door and see the time on the oven was… 3:15pm.

Categories: florida, Health, healthcare, Kissimmee, Orlando, Osceola Regional Medical Center (ORMC), Williamsburg | 2 Comments

WORST Friday ever: part 2

Midnight in the ER is nowhere near as quiet as certain 90s TV shows liked to portray. Sure, the old lady next to the doors for Radiology who spent the past 3 hours bitching about being in a hallway was replaced by a black family who spent the last hour walking up and down the hallway until the doctor (or billing agent) came to see their daughter. Also, the two cantankerous old men in the rooms behind and across from me had finally gone to sleep just in time for the relatively quiet woman in the bed next to me to be wheeled upstairs to be quickly replaced by another accident victim (a hot chocolate colored skin dude in his mid-20s with a tight, black shirt).

While the billing lady was taking his information (in Spanish), two doctors showed up by my bed again (apparently, they’re like buses) the one in the lab coat said he was “familiar with my case,” had “thoroughly examined” my Radiology and CT reports… but still needed a full history, description of the accident and complete list of all my symptoms anyway.

He completely ignores my ankle, but takes a slight interest in my stomach cramps, dizziness and lightheadedness… until I told him it was probably due to lack of eating in past 10-12 hours (my mom nearly died last year from something called “Glycemic Shock”) before abruptly moving onto the guy in the bed behind me (in English: Korean SUV, rollover crash, works as a dishwasher at Bob Evans, also has a fractured shoulder).

An hour later, the younger doctor comes back with a portable EKG machine just to “rule out” more serious causes of my stomach problems. It was patently clear this was not how he wanted to spend his Friday night. Luckily, all I have are Kidney/Gal stones, but nothing to actually worry about. He wipes that weird gel off my chest and pushes his cart away.

A half-hour later, an orderly comes by and wheels me through the labyrinthine, semi-lit hallways on my way to the “brand new” surgical wards. It certainly LOOKED newer, and the room was easily TWICE the size as the ones downstairs (with a large clock on the far wall).

Unfortunately, the two nurses there were anything but helpful. Particularly, the male nurse (who was easily half my age) yelling at me for “not transferring properly,” and then making a HUGE deal about being asked to put my shirt, sandals and the envelop with my checks in it on the counter behind him.

“Why the hell do you have a check for $8,152.68 here – in a hos-pit-all at 1:15 in the morning? Why didn’t you just take it to a BANK like a norm-”

“Where the fuck did you THINK I was going when the collision took place? Oh, wait, sorry, I forgot I’m Autistic, we stand in the middle of the road and flap our arms for fun.”

“DON’T YOU DARE TALK TO ME LIKE THAT,” he roared pointing his finger at me threateningly. “I AM TRYING TO HELP YOU HERE. HELP YOU.”

“By opening it, reading it outloud and questioning me about it in the most judgmental way possible? That is being ‘helpful?’”

“UM, YES, BY DETERMINING IF THIS ENVELOP ACTUALLY IS YOURS OR NOT. BUT SUUURE, FINE, WHATEVER, IF YOU THINK I (scoffs) ‘OFFENDED’ YOU, FINE, I’M ‘SORRY,’ BUT I WILL NOT PUT UP WITH YOU OR YOUR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR ON MY WATCH. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?”

He walks over to the door picks the ugly camo gown of the hook and comes back to throws it at me before storming off in a show of maturity.

“That was unnecessary,” the female nurse said taking the gown off my head.

“I’d say so.”

“I was talking about YOU. He was merely doing his job, and you were an ass… jerk to him for it. Now, I know you aren’t going to be happy about this, but I need to ask about your history, what caused the crash, a full list of patient symptoms – plus a number of additional questions guaranteed to ‘piss you off’ further.”

As the nurse continues her rather long list of questions, a Nurse Tech with a thick accent comes in and puts a pair of yellow ankle socks and a straps a foam brace on my RIGHT foot. As I am about to correct her, she pulls out a similar brace to that as well. She then leaves unceremoniously as the nurse leans in to explain the TV and lighting controls on the remote.

Unfortunately, the recessed lighting directly above the bed stay on for “safety reasons” so I’m stuck staring into them for the rest of the night so I pull the second pillow over my head… and the Nurse Tech returns with another Motrin and a Blood pressure wrap.

“Blu-presser esteem high. 150/105. Very, very bad!”

“It’s not like something stressful could have happened to me in the last 12 hours to cause it….”

Categories: florida, Health, healthcare, Kissimmee, Osceola Regional Medical Center (ORMC) | 2 Comments

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