So Wednesday morning I went to the drs. Let's just say things are definitely run a tad different here. First of all, they wont open before 830am. This kinda sucks when you're used to popping in around 7am, getting in, getting out and gone before 9am. Early morning appointments used to be great because they could be done before hubby got overly tired after his night shift.When you go to sign in, it's not like the other place where you sign in with your name and the receptionist pretty much knows you on sight. The receptionist grabs your file out of the stack they have ready for her, starts the paperwork and takes your co-pay. The file's then put in the rack in the door for the nurse who then calls you back and takes your vitals, then brings you to your room. Here, they key in your medical file number and *poof* the file's there. Not a hard copy but in the computer. The receptionist checks off that you're there and takes your co-pay. Shortly after, a nurse takes you back and gets your vitals, then brings you to your room.
Once in the room, the nurse used to ask some questions as she was finishing up the paperwork for the doctor. Usual questions would be...how am I feeling....what am I in for....have my medicines changed since I was in last...have I changed my suppliments..... etc etc. Many times I was asked how hubby was doing as well (although 9 times outta 10 he was in the next room waiting on his appointment...LOL). Here, Im not liking it as well because it felt so impersonal. We get in the room and she pulls up my file on the computer. She had me check the address and phone number to see if it was right then asked me about my smoking and drinking habits (unwilling second hand smoker and an occasional drink). She also asked me about a couple other things (ladies you KNOW what Im talking about) and when I said that the one wasnt doing as it should her next question was "Are you pregnant?"...Ok...yes we're trying and yes it's possible but I dont know, I havent tested yet. I told her that usually the other dr would just automatically do a test to check. It got so I wouldnt pee before I went just to be certain I could when I was asked to. Do ya think they tested me? No. I guess I'd better do that when I wake from my sleep cycle. You'd think they would just to be certain they werent giving me anything that I shouldnt be having, right? After that...she scooted out the room. Right about now Im missing Anita, the nurse at my other doctor's, because she would have smiled and automatically handed me a specimen cup.
Usually, I'd have to wait for about 10-15 minutes before the doctor could see me (and this is in the early morning...afternoons were much worse). She'd sit herself down and ask how I was doing and go over every and any concern I had. If I had a list, she made sure everything got checked off. This one, popped his head in after 5 minutes and said he'd be with me in about 2 minutes. I didnt have to sit there waiting and wondering how long, I knew right away. Within 2 minutes he was back at the door and ready to see me. We only managed to go over the one main thing I came in for, my allergies (although I had two pages of notes of stuff he'd have to know), because I simply was put off by how the nurse had handled me and the fact this dr seemed to be watching the screen more than looking me in the eyes as I was speaking to him. Top things all off I felt rushed...he barely asked any questions either. At least not as many as I felt he should have. I mean, Im a new patient for goodness sakes, there should have been scads of questions popping out of his mouth. It was decided that it was time to do another blood workup on me (to get the baselines Im sure) and he asked if I thought maybe I should get tested for my allergies. I told him my brother had and found out he was allergic to damn near everything so maybe it was a good idea but it was up to him. I was asked which allergy meds I was on and when I told him the Astelin he asked why (because I guess that it's a non-formulate? whatev) and I told him what my opthamologist had said. I also told him that although the stuff tasted horrible, it seemed to work better than the other nasal sprays. I'd been on nothing but Flonase for the last two weeks and it wasnt even close to keeping up with my allergies. At this point he grabbed a tongue depressor and prepared to look down my throat. I informed him he wouldnt ever need one of those things with me (my first family dr had told me, if I didnt want one used to learn how to open my mouth WIDE....and then proceeded to show me how it should be done) and when I popped my yap open he realized he'd never need it. I wish the drs would think to ask first. LOL.
Sure enough the left side of my throat's a little swollen (coulda told him that too), Im betting the ears didnt look nice (coulda told him that too), and my nasal passages...well they never look right. So he goes to the next room over and calls someone (pharmacy or insurance..I dunno) and asks them about the Astelin and I hear him say that I was a new patient and that I'd been on this medicine "for a while now" to which they told him well then give it to her since she needs it. No hassles as to whether I really "need it" and "has she been tested"...awesome. He came back in with my paperwork for the visit and asked if there was anything else...I showed him the list...told him it was stuff he'd need to know if he wanted to go over it all. LOL He took the list, made a photo copy so it could be scanned into the database. I guess not. See my other doctor would have insisted on verbally going over everything one by one. As I was leaving, he wanted me to come back in in 4 weeks to check and make sure the medicine was working properly.
After making my appointment, I was pointed in the direction of the pharmacy. Hmm. I didnt have to leave the building with 4 different 'scripts to go to WalMart just to fill them. I can do it all right there. I hand over the paperwork and my card, they enter my file number and ask which ones they're filling today. And fast! Holy cow, I was sitting maybe 10 minutes at the max. At WalMart, I would have waited in a line to turn the 'scripts in, had to wait on them to enter my info, then normally I'd be told it would be at least 30-45 minutes or longer before they could fill it. Once the time passes, I'd have to wait in line again (God there was always a line there) to get my meds. Again...here...10 minutes and there were 5-6 people ahead of me. Your name would go up on a board like in the airport when your meds were ready and zoom...all done. Ok..that part I liked.
In the other place, when I went for labwork, I'd have to take the paperwork to the other side of the foyer, place it in the tray and sign in. Sometimes they got to you right away and sometimes it was a 20 minute wait. This time, again , they enter the file number and my file pops up. Then the receptionist prints a ticket with the file number and what tests are needed with a number. Like the DMV, when your number comes up you go in and get the blood drawn. I didnt much have the ticket in my had for maybe 2 seconds when my number came up. I dont like their chairs because I have to climb up and into them (they're tall like a barstool). I did like the foam arm brace support on the counter. I can tell you that was very much appreciated. The nurse I got was good too. You can barely tell where she drew the blood. I normally bruise up real bad but this time it looks like it was drawn last week there's so little bruising.
I walked out with good news and bad news. My weight's pretty much back up where it was *again*. However, my blood pressure was the lowest it's been since I was in the hospital for my gall bladder....a 114/74 ~grinz~. The only thing I can figure on that is that Im up and down the stairs 5-6 times a day which is more exercise than I was getting in Texas. The medicines were good news too. With the other insurance, my Singulair would have cost me $20 for 30 pills....here it costs me $20 for 90 pills. My Zyrtec was over $20 for about 30 pills (I have no clue what the generic OTC is costing I just know I had stickershock when I went to pick it up lasttime), here it cost me $8.99 or so for 100. The Astelin cost me $20 for a 180 metered spray bottle....here it costs $35 BUT it's 200 metered sprays which gives me 5 additional days of medicine. I have no clue how much my Flonase will cost as I havent filled it yet. No sense, I still have a whole sprayer I havent gotten into yet.
Before I left the building, I had to go back to the records area and fill out some paperwork. I basically had to give them permission to have all my other medical records. Unfortunately, in Texas, they liked to send you every which place and I had 4 doctors worth of forms to fill out and one more on top of that for the other doctor I had in 2004 when I had that nasty inner ear virus. That wasnt any fun filling out those forms. Thankfully I had the business cards for most of them and even some fax numbers so that should speed things up a bit for them. I told the lady behind the counter that I wasnt sure about the dr they gave me and she asked who so I told her. She said he's a wonderful dr at which point I told her I hadnt had a male dr in nearly 10 years. I asked her which of the female doctors would match up best with me and told her what I was looking for and she gave me a name. I think after the appointment in 4 weeks Im going to switch over. The lady was nice enough to say they had a separate section where some of the more female geared exams were done so that shouldnt be an issue. Well thank goodness. I walked out of there with all that paperwork done, my bloodwork taken care of, my medicine in hand and a referral to an allergist. One stop and it was all done. Do you think I coulda done that back in Texas? Not bloody likely with the insurance I was on.
Now anyone reading this is gonna be surprised with this one. You know how Im always saying that I had bloodwork done and Im just waiting on results then it's a week later before I say how good or bad I did? Well...with this place you can access your own medical files online and not have to wait on a hardcopy to come in the mail. Better still, the dr's office emails you to let you know your results are available on site. I got an email early Thursday morning and was able to see the results. Everything looked ok (some a tad high but a normal high or a tad low but a normal low but in essence normal) with the exception of my white blood cells...they werent looking good at all which means an infection somewhere. By Thursday evening, I got an email from the dr himself saying that the white cell count was high and what was the best number to call me at for a 130pm conversation on this matter. I sent him the home number and reminded him that he said my throat was swollen on the one side I was betting the ears werent too good inside as the left one's been bothering me for days now (it was real bad all day Thursday). That I suspected it was the allergies gone bad again and that this year was liable to be bad because we just moved here in January and I was being exposed to all sorts of allergens that I hadnt had to deal with before. He asked if I could take a certain antibiotic and I said yes...last time I was on it it didnt work so well and they had to put me on one that was stronger. He said since I hadnt been on this one for over 6 months it should work again. We'll see. I have a hunch he's gonna push for the surgery for the septum...I just have the feeling. He called the 'script over and I went to pick it up around 4pm or so yesterday. It was filled and ready to go ($9.80 for 30 capsules...over at the other place it would have cost me $15-20 for 10...on the upswing for that would be I'd only need to take them once a day and not every 8 hrs). I spent 5 minutes at the counter. Longest part of the visit was explaining that I'd been in on Wednesday and the dr called this in after he'd called me at home for a consult.I'll be calling on Monday to schedule the appointment for the allergist. Oh joy...I get to be stuck with ~things~ to see if Im allergic to any of it. *bah* At least I'll know for sure what all Im allergic to. Then maybe we can get a handle on these damn sinuses.