This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Misadventures in Health Care

I woke up in the middle of the night to find I couldn't open my left eye. Nasty case of conjunctivitis, and my eye got so swollen, it looked like someone punched me. I put a compress on it, and went back to sleep, knowing I wouldn't be going to the office in the morning, and need an antibiotic, particularly eye drops. I figured the eye was connected to the upper respiratory infection I had going on. I generally don't go to the doctor unless I know I need medicine, and I was willing to wait out the sinus stuff, but I rather need to use my eye. And not look like a freak show in court on Friday.

Since I don't have a primary care physician yet here in Small Town, and was not optimistic about getting an appointment anywhere in the morning, I planned on just going over to the Urgent Treatment Center, which is only a block from my apartment. Come to find out, they don't open until 4pm. So I called my paralegal and got the names of a few doctors from her, hoping someone would fit me in sometime in the morning. Nope. Not today, and not even this week. I went through the phone book and just starting calling general practitioners. No one would take new patients today. Some said they wouldn't take new patients at all, others said they could fit me in two months from now. I figure either my eye will have healed by then, or I'd be dead. Either way, I wouldn't need an appointment. I finally managed to get an appointment with an outreach clinic in a nearby town at 7:30 tonight. It was my last ditch effort before paying the $100 copay for the ER, which I would have felt really stupid going to, since conjunctivitis is definitely not an emergency. I guess now I understand why people use the ER as their primary care, and escalate health care costs because of it.

Finally made it to see the doctor. I think she was a doctor. Maybe. Regardless, she has a DEA number and called in my z-pack and my antibacterial eye-drops to the pharmacy that was fortunately open until 9pm. She wasn't optimistic that I would look much different by morning, however. If I still can't use my eye, I'm not going to work tomorrow again. Just typing this with one eye gives me a headache. I'm about to go to bed, even though that's where I spent my entire day. I'm just annoyed that I couldn't see a freakin' doctor 12 hours sooner, and if I'd started the antibiotic this morning, my eye probably would have been fine by tomorrow morning. If I'd been in The City, I could have had an appointment this morning. Particularly if I were still a student and going to student health. If I trusted myself driving on the interstate with one eye, I would have just gone home to see my family practitioner and been treated sooner. Ridiculous. I didn't even need a doctor; I knew what I had, I just needed a damn prescription.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, if you move to a new city, find a doctor immediately and go see them for no apparent reason, just so you're no longer a "new patient," and they'll actually give you a damn appointment when you need antibacterial eye drops because you have effing pink eye.

1 comment:

Eliza said...

I don't understand what happened to doc-in-a-box. I remember clinics that were not costly that could treat a person for colds, flue, shots, and things like the eye. I tried to find one a few years ago and couldn't.