LOOK, MA, NO
4 March 2003
Today was another day in the wonderful Adventures of Being a Diabetic. The jury is
still out (in my mind) about whether or not I'm diabetic but since Cindy tells me that
technically speaking everybody is diabetic, and it's just a question of when the
blood sugars get too high (mine are all fine), I won't quibble.
In the meantime, I get all sorts of instruction.
Today it was on diabetic retinopathy and I have to admit that this was a session I was
kind of interested in. I know that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and since I
only have usable vision in one eye anyway, I'm very leery about things that could cause me
to lose my vision.
For starters, I didn't really know what, specifically, diabetic retinopathy is and the
film they ran showed it beautifully as a red splotch in the middle of your field of
vision. Kind of like Jackson Pollack tossed a dollop of paint in your eye. Unfortunately,
they were putting drops in my eye when they went into detail about the various treatments,
but I did hear thewords "surgery" and "laser" and "possible
recovery." That's enough to make anybody watch her sugar grams.
Then when my pupils were fully dilated, they checked the back of the eye to look for
possible signs of bleeding, which would indicate early retinopathy, but I got a clean bill
of health and a reminder to come back again for another dilated pupil exam in 2 years.
They had said to bring a driver because of the drops in the eyes and I had made
arrangements to call Walt when the exam was over, but with those cute little stylish
plastic wrap-around sunglasses they give you, I could see just fine out in the sun, and
it's a short drive to the office, so I just drove myself.
We are entering an interesting period at the office. I sort of feel like we're about to
make a major shift. For one thing, we have added a DEXA machine in our spare office--this
is the machine they use to do bone density exams, and Dr. G took a course to become a
certified bone densiometrist. We will be doing bone density exams two days a week, and on
Saturdays. There is a smaller exam that apparently any idiot can run, which does a
"peripheral" exam, which examines your heel to see if there is any indication
that you should have a full body scan.
In addition to being office manager, bookkeeper, appointment scheduler, medical
assistant, transcriptionist and janitor, I'm now going to be bone density exam giver as
well. Fortunately, I got a raise for my birthday.
However, with the addition of the new equipment, we've also hired a radiology
technician who is supposed to be learning my job in her spare time, in case I should ever
want a day of sick leave or...maybe even a vacation? Today I was to start showing
her how the job goes. I had to keep telling myself "I'm the boss...I'm the
boss..." Her experience in doing what I do is more intense than mine is and she would
ask questions that one would ask of someone doing my job in a larger medical office. Our
office is so casual that I have no "routine" per se and a lot of the things she
assumed I was doing just don't seem to apply in an office as small as ours.
I've been saying all along that I kind of missed the camaraderie of working with
other people (Dr. G doesn't count), but it's been a year and a half and I've gotten used
to the silence and by the time she left at the end of a few hours, my ears were hurting.
It's going to be an adjustment process.
But along with hiring a rad tech, I've also turned over all of patient billing to our
new biller--I took the initiative of doing that on my own without checking with the Big
Boss. I think this new system will work much better (especially for me!). And I
hired someone to come in and clean the office twice a month. With a "deep
cleaning" twice a month, Dr. G can live with my "touch ups" and not get
apoplectic because there is a speck of dust on the baseboards.
So it seems like overnight we've gone from a 2-person to a 5 person office. While it's
true that the cleaner, the rad tech and the biller aren't going to be around all the time,
there is suddenly a lot more activity in the office than there has been for awhile.
I guess I'm going to have to get myself a routine before somebody notices that I
haven't done much for the last year and a half!