Sunday, March 3, 2013

Is that silly jester joking THIS time?

Apparently not.

He showed up in the patient holding area, where my friend lay in a silly hospital gown and an IV dripping into his arm. The pointy hat with all the tiny silver bells all a-jingle was missing when the jester arrived--maybe he left it in his Porsche--but it was certainly him standing at the foot of the bed, Dr. "Smith" stitched across his white lab coat.

At least he had the grace to look marginally sheepish. You know the expression that steals across someone's face that whispers, "I really messed up this time, but how can I get out of this without coming right out and admitting it"? You know...THAT look.

Do you remember the test that had to be administered before a final determination could be made about this life-extending procedure? The test that was done right there in the doctor's office in plenty of time prior so the procedure could be scheduled? Yes, that one......

The patient, in his medical-establishment naivete, assumed that when the hospital called to confirm that the procedure was, indeed, on the schedule that the doctor had in fact READ THE REPORT. And that the results indicted it was a "GO." Sounds logical, right? 

Perhaps in a sane world.

So, here he was, IV stuck in his arm, all ready to get it over with when the jester shook his tambourine in our faces. Again.

And told us that the patient was no longer a candidate for the procedure at all. Due to the successful tweaking of medication over the past few months, the function in that body system had improved to the point where the procedure was no longer indicated.

Good news, right!  Of course.

But why wasn't that pesky report read before the final go ahead from the hospital? Before the patient was subjected to the pre-op process, AND the costs associated with all of that?

Because we all know those charges will be showing up, both in the patient's mailbox as well as within the gargantuan Medicare system.

For me, aging to perfection means getting older with some dignity intact, learning from my mistakes, accepting some of the unfortunate side effects of the whole process.....

.....AND staying away from the jesters in white lab coast at all costs....literally and figuratively.

My doctor tells me I should start slowing it down - but there are more old drunks than there are old doctors so let's all have another round.

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