Friday, June 27, 2008

Part II, J's results

As I mentioned, we did the second blood draw on Monday and waited for the results, which would be at the doctor's office by Tuesday.
10am, Tuesday morning. I called from work and left a message for the nurse to call me at my work number with the results. I reminded my fellow coworkers that I was expecting a call, they would ask for J's mom, so they would be asking for me under a different last name. No problem, they all understood how important it was for me to get this call. So I went about my business, waiting, working, waiting.
3:00 pm, Tuesday afternoon. I had yet to hear from them. I know from working in a clinic most test results are reported back to the patients immediately after lunch, before the office opens up again. It is a planned time for the office to catch up on paperwork, and this office is no exception. I called again, stressing that I wanted to hear back from the nurse, even if the results were not in, so I would not be worrying over them. I then left my home number for them to contact me and said they could even leave a message on the machine if need be. No phone call ever came.

8 am, Wednesday morning. I leave a message again telling them I really would like to hear from someone. No phone call.

2pm. Wednesday afternoon. I call again. I ask the answering service when does the nurse normally return phone calls. I am told "between patients". Since I've about lost my patience, I snarkly reply, "So, they've not had a break from seeing patients since yesterday morning?". The answering service lets me know that they will send another message.

2:30 pm. I finally get my call back. The nurse starts telling me that his numbers are a bit high, and that the doctor would like to have him retested in 6 months. I stop her, asking for the acutal numbers. She then suggest a fasting blood test. Argh! I tell her it is a fasting, and a retake. I then ask, "Did the Dr. actually review the lab work, since he is the one that ordered the retest because of those high numbers. Did he really take the time to look at the chart?" At this point she back peddles a little and says she will have the doctor look at them again and will call me tomorrow with his response. I honestly do not think that the doctor had looked at the test results, I think she was giving me a standard response. Why do I say this? Well....

1:30 pm, Thursday. The nurse calls me back and informs me that after reviewing his results, and the results from the last few tests plus his chart, the doctor is recommending we see a GI specialist. We have some concern about liver functions. They are doing the referral paperwork to day and will send it to the specialist today. I am to await a phone call from that office.

So we are waiting. I do know referrals can take some time to go through. So I'll wait until next Thursday before I start calling and harassing the doctor's office again. If need be, I may just sit in the waiting room, until the paperwork is done. This is my son's health, it is something I take seriously. I will not allow someone elses incompetence to jeopardize his well being.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

J 's doctor visit, part I

J went for his annual check-up last Friday, and several things have me thinking it is time for a new doctor's office for him.
Let me back track to the scheduling of the appointment. One thing I like to do is get the blood work which I know will be requested done before the appointment, so that we do not have to schedule a follow-up visit. When I called to make the appointment, I mentioned this along with the fact that it was J's 10 year old well child visit. The scheduler asked me when his birthday is (July 4) and then could not get it through her head that even though he was not technically 10 yet, we still needed to book the appointment. She kept saying things like "so this is for his 9 year old appointment". Even after I explained that my insurance covers it, she still said "well, I'm making a note that you are the one asking for this appointment." The same thing happened with the blood work...she would not believe me that he had to get it done before the appointment (even though his chart has the order in it).
I got the results of his blood work before our appointment, with the results being high and not what was expected. When I expressed concern, the nurse said we should try again with a fasting blood test...but that was what we just had done! When I pointed that out to her, she suggested my son must have drunk soda before the test. One, he is not allowed to drink soda except special occasions, and two, he understood perfectly well what "fasting" entailed and was not going to put himself through the torture of more needles for a snack.
At the doctor's office, I expressed my concern and the doctor says the same thing, that we should get a fasting test. Exasperated, I point out that it was a fasting test, that the numbers are off the wall and that family history has me concerned for my son's health.
To give the doctor credit, he stopped, took the time to really review this year's and last year's results and apologized and thanked me for making him slow down to review what was in front of him. He agreed that the results were screwy and that it might be a lab error, so he ordered the blood work to be done again. He finished his exam, left, and we waited for the nurse to return with a vaccination for J.
And we waited...and waited..the doctor came back in, asked if we had been seen, went back out, chewed out his nurse (I could hear him), came in again, apologized for the wait and had the nurse come in.
Now, J had had the blood drawn on his left arm and wanted to have the vaccination in his right arm since the other one had already been traumatized. When he asked the nurse if he could do this, she said no, it has to be in the let arm. What?!? Both J and I asked at the same time "why?"(it is intramuscular, the arm choice does not matter).
The nurse got flustered, couldn't really give an answer and had to go confirm with someone that it was indeed OK to have the vaccination in either arm. After getting the vaccination in the arm of his choice, we were off, to return Monday for more blood work.
The blood draw was fine, it was getting the results that cause some trouble... (to be continued)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hubby's work

I've never mentioned what hubby does for his job, since it is a security-sensitive job. However, I will say that he works to help stop the scum of the world from causing harm to the innocents of the world. His name is Clark Kent and he often wears a red cape....
Seriously, his job does expose him to some of the seedier sides of our dear state. Usually I don't know what he is doing (security reasons) but I sometimes get to find out later. Our normal dinner conversations will go something like this.
Me: How was your day?
Hubby: Busy (and that is all I get)

I might get a the response of "It was really interesting...I wish I could tell you". Hubby also will ask things like "did you see the news today?" (the answer is always no, but then I know whatever he was doing has become public knowledge and I can at least read the news article on-line to get an inkling of what he has been involved in).
Today, I do know where he is headed. I also know that if he "succeeds" at his job today it will be a very sad day for him, because it involves children, very young children, and he won't be able to save them.
Hubby has always been a serious man, reserved and quiet. Since he started his superman job, he has become more withdrawn. His job does not allow him to discuss the details with me, his confidante. I often wonder what kind of pressure that has a person, and just how much can a human being absorb before it effects his soul in a negative manner. It has changed him already, to be more cynical of our society and to lose a bit of faith in humanity. I just hope it doesn't change him too much.
I do know that when he comes home today, he will look at his son and probably give him a hug.
J-man, being 9, won't appreciate it since he won't know what his dad will have witnessed today. I'll be hugging hubby - he'll need it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Locker room etiquette

Jman had a field trip at daycare today, so I had just enough time to go to the local YMCA to work out before I had to pick him up. As I was coming from work, I had to get changed completely once I was there. I walked into the woman's locker room, started to get changed, and noticed that there were several children in there as well. There were 3 girls and 2 boys...boys that appeared to be older than the "5 or younger" age limit which is allowed in the woman's locker room.
So, I asked them how old they were and one of the girl's told me that the boy's were 5 and 10 years old, and that their mother was getting changed (on the "wet" side of the locker room). I mentioned that they should let their mother know that they were too old for this locker room, but that there was a family locker room they could use.
I was waiting, and waiting for the mother to come out, since I was not going to get undressed in front of a prepubescent boy. The mother finally came out (she was not finished changing), and I started to mention to her that there is a family changing room right next to this one, since the boys were too old to be in here. She interrupts me to tell me she speaks English..OK...I again say there is the family dressing room next door...she interrupts again to tell me she can read English. Great, if only she could understand it and follow the rules. As I try to continue to talk to her, and ask her to have her son go at least go into the closed off area so he is not staring at everyone.. she goes off on me. She tells me I can change in the toilet I don't think so. I mention again the family dressing room. She has the audacity to say that she does not want get undressed in from of him, and that is the way the room is set up . What? So it is OK for me to get undressed in front of him? I finally have had enough and go to get one of the staff.
At the same time, I run into another friend of mine. So, the staff member gets ahead of me a bit as I'm explaining to my friend that she may not wish to get changed into her swimwear just yet since the dressing room has some older boys in there.
I walk in and hear the staff member explaining the rules to this woman. The woman starts saying how she does not want to leave them alone while she gets changed, but obviously "she", meaning me, "who doesn't have children wouldn't understand". I replied, I do have a child, and he's a boy too. The staff member, who was quicker to the point, mentioned that the YMCA offers daycare (free) for this purpose. The woman makes a snide comment that she'll be sure to keep the boys out when "that woman" is in here. The staff member responded with, "well, it is all the time...they are not allowed in here at all".
It's funny, I probably would not have involved the staff if the woman had just acknowledged that I had a right to feel uncomfortable with her 10 year old boy in the locker room. If she had said something like"I didn't realize anyone else was in here..." or "I didn't know there was a family room" or "let me gather our stuff, we're all done here". Instead, she wanted to insist that she didn't have to follow the rules and she thought that if she confronted me I would back down. I don't think so. The rules (which, by the way, are printed in big letters on a placard in the locker room) are there for a reason.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Grocery shopping

As everyone knows, grocery shopping is more expensive now than it has been in decades. Used to be that we could buy a weeks worth of groceries and it would cost $70; now, it costs $140. Every penny counts and I strive to make my money last. Every once and awhile I do manage to find some bargains, yesterday's shopping trip being one of them. My bill originally came to $134.00. After all my coupons - $80.90! Woohoo! I had some super coupons worth $5 and $7 off, plus some awesome deals.
As an example, my grocery store does "convenience packaging" for dinners which will contain all the ingredients to make a well balance meal, ie. a raw pork roast, fresh carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions. This package can easily feed a family of 4. I don't normally buy them since they're over priced; however, yesterday was a different story. I found a package that had been marked down to just $2.99 (it's freshness date was today) and I had a coupon for $2 off any meat purchase. Our meal last night cost us a grand total of $.99! Try finding that on the McDonald's value menu!
My family laughs at me when I cut coupons, but hubby admitted last night, there is a reason why I do the grocery shopping.