Have you always suspected, as I have, that work (ach!) is bad for your health? Welp, maybe it’s the other way around. Yesterday a client’s convoluted PhD dissertation seems to have worked a small miracle.
To my annoyance, an appointment scheduled a year ago for a routine check-in with the cardiologist came up right in the middle of a very challenging editorial project, which we’re trying to get done on an extremely tight deadline. Really, I didn’t feel I had time to take off two or three hours to drive to the doctor’s office, sit around, jaw with the guy, and drive home for no very good reason. But neither did I feel like haggling with his staff, whose response (I knew from experience) would be to reschedule me for some equally inconvenient time.
So I took the laptop with the magnum opus with me, hoping to squeeze in at least a little work while sitting around cooling my heels…
I hate doctors’ offices SO much — and especially hate their waiting rooms, where you’re invariably subjected to television yammering on top of the overall suspense and discomfort and worry of a doc’s waiting room — that every time I go to a doctor these days, my blood pressure goes through the roof. To convince this cardiologist that I’m not, after all, at death’s door, I have to keep a running record of my b.p. for about six weeks before showing up in his precincts; that’s been the only thing that proves my issue is “white coat syndrome,” not near-terminal hypertension.
So I’m sitting in the waiting room reading variance analysis in Chinglish and in the background there’s the usual stream of babble about the 82,000 people evicted from their homes by a roaring wildfile that went from 5 acres to 25,000 acres overnight and they didn’t even have time to go home and rescue their pets which are now crispy critters and Donald Trump’s endlessly hideous emanations and car wrecks and child rapes and mother rapes and Syrians and and suicide bombers on and horrifyingly on (why do they think people who are dealing with some personal health crisis want to listen to stürm und drang?)…and, to focus on the copy, I have to really concentrate. Like focus on each. word. one. after. another.
As usual, His Eminence is running late, so I get a lot done — this is very nice. So I finally get in there and the cute young tech takes my blood pressure, and holy sh!t…it’s NORMAL!
I say, “Are you sure?”
He says, “Yeah, it’s right on the mark.”
Mwa ha ha!!!!
So His Eminence has nothing dire to say and no excuse to wave his prescription pad around, and this is very excellent.
Even though he and I agreed, a year ago, that in real life my blood pressure is in the safe range, I always register blood pressure numbers in the “alarming” range while in a doctor’s office. Particularly in the presence of a doctor with some frightening specialty. There’s nothing like an oncologist or a cardiologist to set your heart to going pitty-pat… Hell, even a dermatologist can do that!
On the way out the door, I thought, “That was weird!” Then I realized that I must have been so tightly focused on the golden words that my mind completely shut out the noxious surroundings. Because I wasn’t sitting there dreading having to talk with a doctor and gnashing my teeth at the time wasted and listening to annoying prattle or dire news, the blood pressure was not creeping toward the stratosphere.
Too, too good!
Keep on writing, li’l Chinese scholars…
3 thoughts on “A Strange Little Miracle…”
That is crazy!…What I hate more than doctor’s offices is the ER. Recently my Dear Mom took herself to the ER for a very sore right arm. She went there because the pain was bad and she thought she might have a blood clot. Anyway….they take blood for tests….run EKG…monitor her vitals….Then the Doc shows up who looks like she just graduated Middle School….I swear….and declared DM has a “strained or sprained” arm. They provided a sling…can’t wait to see how much they soaked Medicare for this….and began prepping her for release. So I ask what did the blood tests results show? So the nurse is stuttering and stammering and asks why do I want to know…I explained she is my Mother and we’d like to have a copy of her blood tests …it’s her right. Guess what? She goes away and comes back and claims the Doc canceled the blood work when she decided it was a sprain. So I explain we had better not get a bill for blood work….as no work was performed. Check your bills….I swear the medical field has went to “hell in a hand-basket”….
Holy crap! What a scam.
There surely are practitioners that scam Medicare every which way from Sunday. The life-care community where my father was living had an in-house doctor who was patently a quack. My father disliked him so intensely that he told the staff that this guy was not to come anywhere near him.
After my father had his heart attack, he convalesced in the place’s nursing home for a period and then was moved to their studio apts where nurses could keep a close eye on him, be sure he was eating, and see that he got his medications right. Well, some weeks later, along comes a statement from Medicare stating that this guy billed Medicare for a BUNCH of visits to him in the nursing home. My father said he’d never seen hide nor hair of him.
I asked my father to file a complaint with Medicare, but he refused to do so, because he was too afraid of rocking the boat. ANOTHER good reason to stay out of those warehouses for the elderly as long as you can. And maybe to pull the exit cord before you get too far gone to do so…
Then we had the bill that came from some lab the Mayo contracts to. This outfit billed Medicare, during the Boob Adventures, for a genetic test to see if I had a genetic flaw predisposing me to breast and ovarian cancer. To my knowledge, no such test was performed; had I been asked, I would not have consented to it. I’m SEVENTY YEARS OLD, for godsake: if I had a BRCA mutation, I’d have had REAL cancer (not DCIS, a non-cancer) long before this.
Medicare refused to cover it, not because they wouldn’t have, but because the lab had delayed billing for it until after the deadline. So the lab was trying to collect HUNDREDS of dollars from me. Many hundreds of dollars.
I called the Mayo and asked WTF. They said they had never ordered any such test. That would explain why I never heard the results of it.
I did send a complaint to Medicare, cc-ing it to the crooks. I think I refrained from threatening to sue their asses, but you can be sure I would have if they hadn’t stood down. They did, though. Luckily for them…
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