That is going to be the headline associated with my name in the news. This is my rant about a healthcare system here in the desert.
This afternoon I ran into town to pick up a prescription for my daughter that I called into the pharmacy last Wednesday. Four business days ago in the healthcare world. The kind lady behind the counter tells me that they faxed it over once on the 16th but have not heard back from anyone. “Would I like them to try again"? she asks. What do you think, I called this in just for the fun of it! Of course I want the prescription.
So as I am lingering in the store
because they have good air conditioning and its 105 degrees outside, I call up the doctors office. Once I finally get someone who can help me, I discover that the doctor denied the refilling of the prescription without seeing the patient first. Now it would have been helpful had the doctor told us that an appointment is necessary to get prescriptions refilled.
Fortunately for us, we already have an appointment scheduled for this coming Wednesday for a separate issue, even though my daughter needed the prescription yesterday and we now have new issues developing because she will not be taking her medication for a few days. The nurse did kindly let me know that they are having similar issues with said doctor and that I should bring this up with the doctor on Wednesday. Think I won’t!
All of this is just the latest of issues I have been experiencing with healthcare in the desert. I too see a physician on a regular basis for two issues. Asthma and Insomnia. Recently I had been experiencing major issues with not being able to sleep, despite being prescribed some good medications. One afternoon I waited in the “waiting room” for over two hours. I was not alone, I estimate there was at least a dozen patients and their families waiting as well. And while we are all waiting, I notice a steady stream of pharmacy reps coming and going. One representative even brought in lunch for the office employees. Yet, no patients were coming and going from the examination rooms. Two hours after my scheduled appointment I finally got called back in to an examining room where I waited another 30 minutes to be seen by the doctor for all of 5 minutes.
Yes, I have nothing better to do than sit around a physicians office playing Solitaire on my cell phone for the better part of the afternoon. With as much time as I have spent in waiting rooms the past twelve months, I think I could make a career out of being a patient minus the healthcare benefits. I think $10 an hour is good pay for being a Professional Waiting Patient. I said past twelve months because last summer was another healthcare nightmare in itself.
About a week before school got out for the summer, my daughter caught sick, took her to the peditrition and she was prescribed antibiotics for strep throat. A few days pass and she is better and still taking the medications. About four weeks later she starts getting sick again. Took her back to the physician, they do another throat culture and more antibiotics. A few days my daughter is no better. The lymph nodes in her necking were noticeably bulging and she could barely get anything down. Back to the doctors we go. He starts talking about Epstein Barr Virus and orders blood work.
Of course it takes a day or so to get the blood results back. In the meantime, I am researching Epstein Barr Virus and Mono, and even spend time talking to a friend who’s daughter got extremely sick from EBV a few years earlier. Back to the doctors office again. Yes she is positive for EBV and switches her antibiotics to something strong. I bring up my research, mention Mono and reference a study where steroids like Prednisone were used in conjunction with antibiotics and patients recovered in a shorter period of time versus just antibiotics alone. He doesn’t believe in using steroids such as Prednisone.
Two days later, my daughter can not even swallow her own saliva. Neither one of us has slept in days. Fed up, I take her to the emergency room. They immediately hook her up to an IV because she was so dehydrated and got her some antibiotics and Prednisone. We slept in the ER for 6 hours till the next morning to call the physician to get her admitted. He never calls back. The ER doctor calls another physician on call and we get her admitted without hesitation. Because she was so sick and dehydrated, she spent 4 days in the hospital, all because her
former doctor did not believe in using steroids. But the steroids did work. In fact, my daughter received a clean bill of health two weeks later. Most patients with Mono are down and out for six weeks or more.
I know there are many people out there with similar stories. Like the mother and daughter I briefly met this weekend while photographing a Fundraiser Event at my salon. The daughter had been seriously injured this past December in a car accident. One of her injuries was brain damage. In fact she was in a coma twice. And all though she has made a remarkable recovery, she is still in need of further medical attention to fully regain her life. And unfortunate for her, her parents medical insurance won’t pay for that care. The event I volunteered for was to help raise money so the family could pay out of their pocket, the care their daughter needs. A most worthy cause in my opinion.
I wish I had the magical answer for the issues plaguing healthcare in the desert and all over the world for that matter.