Friday, June 3, 2011

This isn't even "think horses, not zebras"; this is "think horses, not squid."

I went to the doctor yesterday because, after spending a week in North Dakota, I once again caught the Midwest Superfuck Bacteria, which is generally comparable to having your lungs, throat, and sinuses filled with homemade napalm. When I say "doctor," of course, I actually mean the broke people's version, the Hope-It's-Not-An-Emergency Room—Urgent Care.

Based on the fact that I've ever been sick before, I could say immediately that it was an upper respiratory infection (also based on the fact that it was my lungs and throat that were burning and full of shit), so I figured that it would be pretty quick—look in the ears, listen to the chest, prescribe some antibiotics, send me on my way. Based on the fact that I've ever been to Urgent Care before, I should have known better than to think it would be so simple.

Here's the rough timeline of my experience:

12:00 PM
Registered for web check-in, described symptoms of upper respiratory infection. Said I lived 10 minutes away.

12:15 PM
Received call saying I should come to Urgent Care because the doctor would be ready to see me in ten minutes.

12:25 PM
Arrived at Urgent Care. Filled out unnecessary number of forms, considering I'd been there before and also gave them all this information online ten minutes prior.

12:45 PM
Was called back. Temperature registered at 98.8°. Answered questions regarding symptoms I'd already described in web check-in. Said "no" to questions about fever.

1:30 PM
Doctor finally fucking shows up, looks in ears, listens to chest. Then she tells me she's going to order a chest x-ray and blood work because I have "all the symptoms." Of what? Apparently it's their policy to order all this unnecessary shit for patients who have a fever and chest pain, because they hate Occam's Razor.
Me: I've never had all that done in almost 30 years.
Her: Well, have you been here before?
Me: Like three times. For exactly this.
Her: Because it's actually our policy to do that for patients with a fever and chest pain.
Me: I don't have those.
Her: The nurse said you did.
Me: What? I was 98.8°. That's not a fever.
Her: Well, no, it's not by our standards, but you told her you had a fever.
Me: I said "no" when she asked that. Is that what "no" means? I'm pretty sure I just have an upper respiratory infection.
Her: Well, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to prescribe some antibiotics? Have you ever taken Amoxicillin?
Me: Um, yes.
Her: Is that what you want?
Me: I want the proper treatment that will make me get better.
Her: I'm going to put you on some Amoxicillin. Do you need a work note?
Me: Yes.
Her: Which kind?
Me: *has a stroke*
Her: Work or school?
I never realized that you could just go to the doctor and tell them what you think you have and what you want them to give you for it. Yeah, I have whatever it is that means you need morphine and medicinal marijuana. Thanks.

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