Friday, September 7, 2012

Grumble, grumble, health care

I guess the real doozy of U.S. Healthcare is that for as expensive as it is, you'd hope it would run like a fine oiled machine. But it doesn't. It's pretty repetitive and wasteful.

For example, the hospital that my surgeon is doing my procedure in next week called. It's the same hospital system as my primary care provider -- the one I have had since 2003. 

Turns out that the physical I had wasn't within 30 days, and even though my primary said that doing everything then was fine, the surgical aspect of her hospital disagreed. 

So, I get this nice woman on the phone. And she's not exactly clear, but she's very serious. She starts asking me all kinds of medical history questions -- questions that are on file already with her hospital from the 10 years of medical records she has in her hands. 

What's worse, is she has to ask things like my husband's name. It's like there's no carry over of information from place to place and it's 2012. 

My favorite health question was, "Do you have any swelling in your hands or feet?"
"Yes, in my right foot."
"Does your surgeon know this?"
"It's the reason he's operating."
"Uuuuhhhh, ohhhh! Wait, isn't the surgery your left foot?"

Now I sat with my doctor for 30 minutes this week while he carefully wrote out the surgical instruction of what and where he was going to do things. He had to fill it out twice. Once for his medical clinic and once for the surgery center. I had to sign both of them. I know what they said. 

I read somewhere that I should take sharpie and write on my left foot, "No!" I thought it was odd. Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a bad idea. 

Plus, she said that I failed to get a check up before surgery. I had to explain to her that my primary had messed up, not me. Then she said I'd have to see some random doctor for it. And I had to correct her that I have an appointment with my primary on Monday at 9. She didn't believe me. So she looked it up -- and yes, I had the appointment. Sigh.

My doctor gave me a list of things I cannot take within 7 days of the surgery. They included NSAIDs, aspirin, fish oil or Omega 3 supplements and any diabetic medication. He said I was fine to continue taking my Vitamin D, iron and multivitamin, as well as the fiber I sometimes have to take to help out with the iron supplement situation. 

Apparently, the hospital has blackballed my fiber. And I totally am going to ask the doctor why when I get in there. Are they afraid I'm going to "be regular" on the table for the less than 3-hour surgery? 

Then she said, "And I guess because of your age, you don't have a power of attorney for your health care or a living will."

"Actually, yes, I do. I've had them since I was 28." 

"Who has your POA?"
"My husband."
"I'm sorry, what was his name again?" 

It's just all very odd -- and annoying.


Debra Crabtree said...

In the hospital they SHOULD write NO on your left foot and YES on the foot they need to operate on. Every single surgery I have had... even the one where my bone was obviously broken *won't go into those details* had them clearly marked. So yes, make sure they mark you up. Good luck on the surgery.

rajeshkumarngn21 said...
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