Monday, January 25, 2010

Fill these out ...

the office nurse said, as she handed me a clip board with four or five sheets of paper, the doctor will see you in a few moments. My recent health issues the past few months have more than likely wiped out several forests and kept hundreds of workers busy chopping down trees, processing them into paper, printing, shipping them to their destinations, and finally giving them to the medical office receptionist across our area. Talk about a stimulus program, this is it.

I hate filling out medical forms, they seem to repeat themselves no matter how many pieces of paper are stacked on the clip board. If you sit in the medical office waiting room long enough you hear the complaints as the dreaded paper work is handed out to all the new bee's or those that haven't visited in the last 30 days. A lot can happen, in 30 days, trust me, I know. People start fumbling for their glasses, notebooks, bags of pills, phone books, insurance cards, work numbers, and on and on and on and on...

I made my first visit to my heart surgeon's office post op last week. Sure enough the receptionist handed us a stack of paperwork several pages thick. I'm thinking, hey, I just spent two weeks in the hospital in which your doctors spent one whole day extricating medical history for me and my family of every known fact in our medical genealogy, cut my chest and removed my heart, prescribed 30 different medications to take umpteen times a day, scanned my wrist band and talked to my insurance company for approvals everyday, and really, you don't have all the information you need about me? Give me a break!

My wife dutifully filled out all the sheets, just asking questions of me, she didn't already know off the top of her head, which were few. That woman knows me like a book I tell you.

Two days later I visited for the first time, the office of my diabetes doctor assigned to me while I was in the hospital. Again, a stack of forms too complicated to believe. My wife and I both have college educations, and have filled out medical forms as I said before, by the hundreds. My wife even worked in a doctor's office for three years doing this dreaded job of medical office manager and insurance information gatherer, but these forms today were special. She looked at me and started naming off medical history disease questions, that neither one of us could pronounce let alone knew what in the hell they were. I started looking around the office for the hidden camera, this was a joke, right? No joke, we sat there fumbling through the forms, making our best guess, and waited an hour past our appointment to see the doctor. I bet anything, he was reading the forms we had just filled out prior to our appointment.

In the mail on Friday, I received a large packet of forms to fill out for my heart therapy visit this week. The nurse at the therapy office called and said she may have sent some forms that didn't apply. She said that I should check the packet, and if any of the forms said pulmonary and not cardiac to skip them. She was emphatic that all other forms were to be filled out completely. I opened the packet and skimmed through the various forms. The first few forms looked to be the standard contact, insurance, medical history, and medicines routine. The next couple of forms looked to be an exercise or energy evaluation, and the last 10 forms, I kid you not, were what I would refer to as psyche or depression evaluation forms.

WTF is that all about? I thought it was heart therapy.

The hell with it, I began with the first routine forms. About two thirds of the way through I came across the question;

"Do you have any problems or difficulty with your periods?"

I remembered my phone conversation, like I said, she was emphatic that all questions must be answered. I thought about it, and then the answer occurred to me. I wrote, "No problem with my periods, but I am confused with the placement or use of comma's or semi-colons." The next question was much easier for me.

"Have you ever given birth?"

Oh hell yea! I remember this one time, I hadn't gone for days, and it took me a while, but that toilet, (by the way, my wife hates when I tell this story), oh yea, that toilet and my butt just wasn't big enough...

Can't hardly wait for the psyche evaluation!

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