Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Rhino Virus, NOT an endangered species

Living now for the past 11 days in my sinuses, just behind one eye or the other, creating that 'spot' at the back of the roof of my mouth... it hurts to breath, hurts to blow, hurts to swallow... conclusion: I have a cold.

B, the Saint, asked if I was going to go to the doctor. Now, lemme think. Even though my employer has one of the best health plans going... If I did visit a physician I would...

  1. Take time off from work.
  2. Drive across town.
  3. Wait
  4. Fill out a form, again.
  5. Wait
  6. Ushered into an exam room.
  7. Upon cursory inspection be told that my blood pressure is high.
  8. Explain, again, that it is always elevated when I am stressed by the prospect of seeing a doctor.
  9. Be retested for blood pressure, follow-up note in chart, again.
  10. Told that Doctor will see you shortly.
  11. Wait
  12. Read the cute anatomy chart.
  13. Wait
  14. Read the new and improved nutrition chart.
  15. Wait.
  16. Greet the doctor. Remove my shirt.
  17. Endure the cold stethoscope, front and back.
  18. Say 'Ahhhhh' for the tongue depressor.
  19. Hear Doctor confirm my self-diagnosis: rhino virus. "You have a cold."
  20. Hear Doctor confirm my self-treatment plan: Plenty of fluids, rest and a commercial antihistamine to dry up the runny nose.
  21. Hear Doctor confirm, "There's alot of this going around."
  22. Hear Doctor confirm, "There really isn't any effective treatment for the rhino virus. You just have to let it run its course."
  23. Hear myself thanking doctor.
  24. Stop by the receptionists desk.
  25. Sign forms.
  26. Wait.
  27. Hear myself thanking the receptionist.
  28. Driving back across town.
  29. Figuring out what I can eat for lunch at my desk since my lunch hour is over.
  30. AND... hearing my Health Plan being billed $350.00 USD for the visit.
AND... My health care plan would pay it.

And this, good children, is why the overall cost of health care is soooooo high!

P.S. If I were even more typical I would have gone to the Emergency Room and they would have billed my Health Plan $750.00 USD.

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