Sunday, October 26, 2014

Human Health Care

I had to have a stomach endoscopy last week.  I was amazed at how big an ordeal they make out of what was apparently a 3 minute procedure (I can't verify the time, I was too sleepy).  Anyway, let's start with scheduling.  You can't just call and schedule this.  You must talk to the scheduler at your regular doctor's office.  She will call the endoscopy center to tell them what is needed.  Then the endoscopy center call you back.  If you are also a doctor/veterinarian this will almost always be at time when you are unavailable.  The time offered will conflict with work forcing you to take an unpaid day off but since you are tired of being sick you don't wait for a more convenient day.

Fasting.  The instructions stated nothing to eat after midnight.  But this seems to a blanket statement regardless of when you appointment is.  So if your appointment is 8AM, great, if your appointment is 3:15....guess which one I got?

So we arrive at the center an hour early as directed.  I was already the appropriate level of cranky for someone who has not eaten in 15 hours and about to have a medical procedure.  When you check in they give you a pager-like at a RESTAURANT-and have you sit down to wait.  Insult to injury we thought.  When they page you they then send you to the insurance/financial person which led to Jerry and I having a discussion of whether or not that high deductible insurance plan was really worth it.  Anyway, up to the patient waiting floor.  Here is where they apparently have one person assigned to one task and only one task.

The first person took our paperwork and took us to a room, gave me a gown and requested a urine sample.  Since I was cranky, and not in a friendly mood I almost said something, but I was torn between "what for" and "are you kidding"-this would have been good to know ahead of time since  the only thing I consumed in the last 15 hours was a glass of water mid-morning, and I just used the bathroom before we arrived.  I managed though, and found out later they use to make sure you aren't pregnant before they give sedatives because they are afraid of being sued.  Never mind they didn't even ask if this was a possibility, apparently they don't believe you.

The next person came and took my vitals and asked what I wanted to drink after my procedure.  The next person asked a few questions and had my sign a few forms.  Another person put in an IV catheter.  Yet another person wheeled my down to the second floor.  He handed my off to yet another nurse who took me to the procedure room.  There she was joined by an endoscopy tech and the doctor.  Can people not multitask?  Every single person asked my name and DOB.  I appreciate the double checking but are they really that afraid they will get it wrong?  Maybe if there were less people involved...

After the sedative I don't remember anything until I was back in my room and Jerry asked if I wanted juice.  I was glad I asked for pictures ahead of time because I don't remember seeing anything on the screen during.  I also don't remember telling Jerry the same four things over and over again between naps.  I remember eating, but it wasn't nearly as satisfying as I had hoped. And apparently there is nothing seriously wrong with me.

This was much more of a production than when I had oral surgery to remove my wisdom teeth.  There was basically just one nurse (she did everything) and a doctor, maybe someone who had me sign forms, and they must have been unconcerned about a possible unborn child since they didn't ask for urine.  So who knew something far less invasive would be such a huge deal.  And also, apparently more expensive than the oral surgery, which actually involved cutting and blood.

I would post the pictures but they were boring, which of course, is good.

1 comment:

Melinda Wichmann said...

I am laughing. Been there. My hysterectomy last year was scheduled at 2 p.m. - no eating or drinking after midnight. Oh joy. And pee in a cup when I haven't had anything to drink in 14 hours? Yeah, I'll get right on that. Was asked repeatedly what my DOB was. Honestly, just scan my bracelet - do you think I switched with another patient when you weren't looking? Well, glad you got through it and hope all is well.