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HEALTH CARE'S A GRIND
19 November 2012
My doctor was going to be so pleased. Usually she has to remind me countless times before I go in for blood work or to get my blood pressure checked. I put off the blood work because I know that it's going to be higher than it should be; I put off the blood pressure just because I don't want to drive across town to get my blood pressure checked.
I had a call from the doctor on Friday asking me for a routine blood pressure check. I was able to tell her I had a diabetes class on Monday and would have the blood pressure checked and my blood work done at that time. I have visions of my doctor fainting from shock.
The class was at 10, and knowing that it sometimes requires a bit of a wait at the lab, I decided if I came in at 8, I could get the lab work done, pass by the blood pressure station and have that done, rush out and get a bite to eat, and be back in time for the 10 a.m. class, probably with time to spare.
Sigh. No. Not really.
I was actually pleased that the blood work got drawn fairly quickly. Good. Easy peasy.
Then I went to get my blood pressure taken. As I sat down in the chair, I asked Sherry, the woman taking it, if she was ready for Thanksgiving. I wasn't aware that would set off a life story, including when her mother died, her father's remarriage, how she came to actually like her new stepmother (after feeling jealous at first), her stepmother's background and why it makes her cry to realize that nobody in Sherry's family actually argues, as they did in her family.
Whew. Lots of mileage for a simple question!
She took my blood pressure, which was fine (she was pleased), but she noticed that my pulse was one point above what it should be. Hmmm, she mused. This required a call to a nurse.
She called the nurse, and then told me to register at Medicine 1 and tell them that Sherry sent me. I did so. It took 15 minutes before I was called back and the nurse took my blood pressure again. Again, the BP was fine, but the pulse was still one point too high.
"I'll go talk with your doctor," she said, and was gone for 20 minutes. When she returned, she told me my doctor was still with another patient, apologized for leaving me alone for such a long time, and said she'd be back when she was able to get to the doctor.
I pointed out that my class was now in 15 minutes and that I hadn't had anything to eat yet, thinking that the blood test was supposed to be fasting (it turned out that it was not) and that before I went into a 2 hour class, I would need to get SOMETHING to eat.
She told me to go and that she would call if my doctor wanted me to do something else.
So I went and found food and got back to Kaiser at precisely 10 a.m. on the dot. I went to register where I have registered for all classes I have taken and the girl in the office said she knew nothing about a class and had no idea what to do about registration. She waved off in the direction of the hall and suggested I "go down there" (wherever "there" was) and ask somebody.
I went to the information desk and the guy there didn't know anything either, but my friend the blood pressure person did and told me I should register at Medicine 2 and that the class would be right where I knew it would be, where the woman in the office swore there was no class scheduled.
By the time I stood in line and registered and got to the class, it was 10:15, which made me very upset because I had arrived on time for the class and I hated coming in late. Fortunately, however, there were only two of us in the class.
The class was better than I anticipated and even encouraging, realizing that I'm not as "bad" as I thought I was. The woman leading it is the one who works with my doctor's patients, so she let the other woman in the class go and we spent about 15 minutes talking about me personally, which was also very nice. We're going to follow up by phone in a couple of weeks.
When I got home, there was a call from Kaiser. My doctor wants me to come back tomorrow for another blood pressure test to see how my pulse is then. Fortunately, Walt and I had already planned to go to Kaiser to get our flu shot tomorrow morning, so I can kill two birds with one stone.
I sure don't like this all-Kaiser-all-the-time business!
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