Wednesday, November 5, 2014

All In A Day's Work

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the dread of going to the doctor's office to dress in a paper placemat  and lay the ground work for an upcoming international trip. My patient Doc gave me a list of things I'll need before the trip so my skin doesn't fall off upon return 

She'll need a Photo-Tony-Romo-Benghazi-Stripizoid in the next month. Oral. 
Follow that up with an ingestible Benzoid-Astro-Instagram-Drug-Czar-Typhoid-Anti-Hysti-Shine-Mine-Yours-Ours
Taken twice daily following her arrival in Argentina. 
Don't take that with milk - She'll regret it. 
Now, when she gets back...that's a whole other deal. 
Let's look into a Herbo-Phobo-Robo-Cop-Azoid, every other day, also skipping days that contain a "T" in the spelling. 
We'll wrap things up with an Ammo-Camo-Glammo-Trifecta-Othro-Moto-Oxtail. Hold the tail.
Yeah, that's it. 

and he sent me on my way. 

Turns out, that was the easy part. 

I made a few phone calls to see where I could find all of the immunizations required by our travel partners, and was surprised at the number of calls I had to make. The choice became 1. drive to Cincinnati to a clinic with tinted windows that also requires you to sit in your car and wait for your scheduled time should you arrive early (this place exists) or 2. Drive counties away but on two different days. I decided on option two; maybe I could get some harvest photos en route.
I called and made an appointment and arrived two minutes early. The office smelled like  a combination of old wood, burnt rubber and rubbing alcohol...there are worse things, I guess? I gave the gal my insurance card and in return she handed me seven pages of paperwork to complete. Listen, I'm all for questionnaires, but I prefer they give me some kind of valuable insight, like what my native American would have meant if I was born in 1891. Nonetheless, I went back to the waiting room to record my health history.

I could not pronounce some of the ailments listed on the form; and for that I consider myself lucky. 

No I haven't been in Africa in the last two years (only in my sleep).
Yes I experience over eating; daily. 
Can I commit to returning to the United States without manure residue on my footwear? "No promises" I scribbled. 

A young dad and two children came into the office as I was knocking out sheet number four - that sheet was my signature in three places so the IRS knew I was there....or something like that. The young dad had the patience of a saint and translation skills you only acquire through years of schooling; or parenthood. 
"Ugh romp fooey marb...geet fleep mappy troob" said the little girl. 
"No, we can't have McDonald's until we're done here..." he responded. 
I was impressed. 

I took my paperwork back and was greeted with a smile and "Our database shows you have no health insurance. And as you'll see on the sign (written on a post it note, hanging on the side of her computer) we don't take credit card; cash or check only."
Oh boy, this is going to be fun. 

After five minutes of me reading aloud the numbers off of my insurance card and the gal confusing zeros and "Os", she asked me to call the number on my card and ask them to fax her my proof of insurance. "Don't tell them where you are; they don't like government employees. Just tell 'em you need the proof," she said. 

What ev.
I returned to my seat and dialed the number, reaching "Raghuma Bob" who had a hard time understanding my request. He asked to speak with the lady behind the desk. I knew this wouldn't be good, firstly by her comment regarding government employees and secondly because two more families had entered the office. She was at capacity. Raghuma Bob gave me three different numbers for her to use to verify my proof of insurance in her system. I thanked him, hung up and found my place back in line. The office had gotten very busy. I looked past the lady at the front desk to the coworker behind her. Amidst the chaos, she was sorting band-aids by color and placing them in plastic bins in rainbow order. All in a day's work. 

I gave the gal my new proof of insurance numbers and she had no luck again. "I need you to call Bob back and simply ask what you insurance activation date is. That's all I need." 

Are you kidding me?! I thought to myself as I went back to the waiting room yet again. Why I am making all of these calls? Why am I not in the system? Why are there now seven children in the waiting room?  I called the 1-800-NUMBER again and got Kim this time. We communicated well, but the waiting room had become so loud that she was having a hard time hearing me. She, too, couldn't find me in the system. I told Kim that I just talked to Raghuma Bob five minutes ago and he found me. I stepped outside of the doctor's office in an effort to quiet the background noise. Turns out she was looking for Lindsay Sanki. I'm slowly learning that this new last name is a tricky one. I had a phonebook salesman call a year ago and ask for Lizzy Skanky. I can assure you he's never called our office again. 

Anyway, I received my insurance activation date and got back in line to visit ol' girl. She tried very hard to smile as I reached her desk but I think she was just about over me; as I was her. I gave her my activation date and BAM! She found me right away.....but then her hand went over her mouth. 

"Are you Lindsay Bowman?"
"I was. That's my maiden name."
"THIS WHOLE TIME I've been searching for you using your maiden name and those identification numbers! No wonder nothing has worked!" she revealed, laughing. 
I...was not.

"Do you mind needles?" she asked, wiping my arm with rubbing alcohol.
"Nope, I usually don't even notice the pain," I said. The needles are the least of my concerns at this point, I thought to myself. 

Within five minutes I had taken four shots in the arm and was out the door. 

With rainbow-order band-aids, of course. 

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