Monday, February 26, 2018

Sometimes You Just Want to Scream.

Bitching and moaning, but I am doing OK.

Today, I had to make a doctor's appointment for a routine yearly test to be followed by a annual  physical.  Truly, I put these off as long as possible and unless blood is coming out of every oracle of my body, I don't want to be around anyone wearing a white coat and a stethoscope. Finally I decided that I had stalled too long and it was time, so I called the hospital to schedule a date. Then I waited, and waited, and waited for someone to answer while listening to drive-you-crazy music interrupted by a voice telling me how important I am.  At last (about five or so minutes), a young lady answered.  I told her what I wanted - stressing that it was not an emergency, just a routine test.  Fine, we understood each other.  Good start!  Before giving me an appointment they needed dates and numbers and more information than I thought necessary but, OK, I understand that they need to get paid.  When I told her that I had a Medicare card, that led to another long string of questions. I tried to not sound frustrated, but then my Retired Man came into the room and looked quizzically at my face. Apparently it might have been red and twisted at that point, and he was concerned I might be having a stroke. It was going on way too long so I finally sat down. I answered about 20 more questions that had nothing to do with the type of test I would be having, then she  asked me why I was using a Medicare card. Was it this, was it that,  and then finally, "is it because of age!!!!!!! What the heck!!!!!! For the vast majority of Medicare users, you have to be 65 and over.  One of the first questions she asked me was my date of birth. Perhaps she could not count past 50, so I took a deep breath and told her how very old I was.

Her next question to me, "Are you pregnant."


63 comments:

  1. That's my laugh out loud for five minutes for today.

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    1. If you can make someone laugh, Joanne, it was worth the aggravation.

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  2. I've come to expect this kind of service in everyday life but from a hospital employee it gets kind of scarey.

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    1. She was just doing her job but not using any common sense.

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  3. Asking the questions but not listenng to the answers. ARE YOU WHAT????? Good one.

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  4. I'm laughing here, too, Arleen!! But I still feel for you.

    I think she was just too young to put two and two together. I wonder when she will realize her mistake and be quietly mortified?!

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    1. After hanging up (with a deep sigh), I thought that I should have answered yes to that last question. I doubt if she would have noticed. She was just clicking answers into a computer.

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    2. oh that is too funny. (Try explaining that one to your doctor.) But you're right, they ask but never really listen. I do wonder sometimes at medical "assistants". One told me that my BP was 'dangerously high' at 130/80...

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    3. I know that when I go in for the test, I will have to fill out another form with the same questions. I will then hand it to a hospital employee who will ask for more information. We just have to grin and bear it.

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  5. You had me laughing at the outset with "Sometimes you just want to scream". You were trying to make an appt. Sounds simple enough. I'm 73 and I've reached the age where my daily rage is along the lines of "I just want to make a phone call." or "I just want to turn on the television." Life grows more complicated with each passing day. Obituaries will some day read: she died of stress related to technology.

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    1. I just learned how to turn on Netflix. On one of my TV’s, it takes two remotes to do it along with a few steps on each. I long for the days of “on and off”, no recharging, and no looking for little black tech contraptions that have a tendency to never be in a place that I can find them. Thankfully, many of them ring.

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    2. I gave up on tv when it became pay tv, and required a remote or two just to get the damn thing on. I too miss the days of on buttons and 12 channels. Do we really need 57 cooking channels and 25 jewelry shows? Really?

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  6. Some people just can't function without a script. And I'm not talking about a prescription. Ha - hilarious interaction with a person who should have been a robot.

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    1. Colette, I would not have been as frustrated by a robot because they are programmed, and yes, a script is often needed.

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  7. Oh dear! I had to laugh though. But this kind of thing happens far too often these days. X

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    1. I really should have answered - With twins. That would have woken her up. Thanks for stoping by, Jules.

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  8. Scary! Seems like the majority of medical workers graduated from Stepford Wives University, prerequisite for admission, total refusal to think!

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    1. Nothing is easy in this world anymore, Toni, so we just have to grin and bear it.

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  9. Well, they have to cover every aspect (ahem). In the mean time, I can imagine your phone bill ticking away like a time bomb. Oh Arleen, I love your blog posts, they're a tonic in themselves. Keep posting xx

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    1. Other than asking me if I had ever had leprosy, she did cover it all. In the end, though, I did have a good laugh.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Molly. It is always so nice to communicate with you.

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  10. I guess she had to cover all bases. You made my day.

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    1. I am glad I made you smile, Susan. A story and a good laugh are always worth the aggravation we have to go through.

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  11. I am so sorry the gloomy gray weather has gotten you down. I do like rain, but after a day or two of it---I am ready for pretty sun again as well. Your post had me laughing out loud!!---it is so true. And I get so darn agravatted with all the remotes and buttons and pass words and things we have to fi-nangle just to get things TO COME ON! ha ha I have very patience for it all. And pretty zero patience for those "things" that answer phones and tell you to press One for this and two for that and three for this and so on......it is so annoying. It takes forever for a real person to come on, if one even ever does.

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    1. It was a beautiful sunny day here so I took a long walk. It felt good. I hear now a Nor-Easter May becoming our way on Friday so I am going to take advantage of these warm, sunny days before more rain comes.

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  12. That was a HOOT! And you are right - but Medicare is better than nothing for sure. I have never made appointments through the hospital to make appointments before the doctor appointment!! Good luck!!
    Love, sandie

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    1. I made my appointment for my check-up thru the doctor’s office but the routine tests are done at the hospital or a radiology center. I have been going to that hospital for 30 years and one would assume that they had most of that info on their computers. One should never assume.

      I love Medicare. It is easy to navigate and all bills have been paid promptly.

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  13. I always answer that I am 68 years old, male and pregnant. Seems to speed things up on the phone.

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    1. perfect, just perfect. As long as they don't ask when the baby is due...

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  14. Although it is going through some tough times, mainly to do with finance, the UK's National Health Service is always free at the point of use although we wouldn't be able to get a free annual health check. It's sounds funny now but it must have been really frustrating answering all of those irrelevant questions!
    You're not pregnant are you?
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s mostly harmless Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Many wish that we had a system of healthcare that would cover all and be affordable. We do have Medicare, a government program, that we have paid into all our working liives and does pay 80% of medical bills for folks over 65. It is not perfect, but works quite well. We have to purchase supplemental insurance for the other 20 %.

      Old birds don’t lay eggs and for that, we are all grateful.

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  15. Sounds like a bright lady..... lol..... it would drive me nuts too! Hope you got it booked in the end. I also hate getting this stuff done.

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  16. OMG that made me laugh and get angry at the same time ! I've been on the receiving end of these types of questions and it drives me batty, specially if they ask if I'm pregnant ! As if at my age ! LOL! Glad to see you posting again.

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    1. I wasn’t angry, just frustrated - and when it was over, I had a great laugh. Thet is life, annoyances that often can bring you a smile.

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  17. Thank goodness for your patience and awesome sense of humor.(lol) Hugs...RO

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  18. Oh, dear God! I would've been pulling my hair out by that point. "Am I pregnant???" ("Yeah, right, you know how old I am and the fact that I had a freaking tubal ligation in 19-stinking-78... what do YOU think?")

    I rarely have to use the phone to make medical appointments anymore. Our Medicare plan is with Kaiser, and I can make and break appointments, email my doctors, get my lab results, and order prescription refills online. It sure does make life easier.

    I love your header picture. (But I always DO.)

    Have a super weekend.

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    1. I am never inclined to pull out my hair now, Susan. I treasure each one of my decreasing follicles.

      I do get letters and phone calls from my doctors to remind me to make appointments. I tend to put the letters away for another day and always seem too miss those phone calls. They always leave messages that my Retired Man retrieves and reminds (nags) me about.

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  19. I would have said "yes" just to see how long it took her to figure it out. I have never had anyone as me why I was using medicare. I think she was new on job, stupid, and possibly young.

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    1. Other than seniors, people with disabilities and those with end stage renal failure can be on Medicare. The woman was asking those questions to see which category I belonged in. Thankfully, I was in the category of “old as dirt”.

      Thank you for stopping by.

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  20. Well... I might have been tempted to tell her, Yes, I am pregnant just to see if it elicits a response at all? I am often suspicious they aren't even listening but reading from a script?

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  21. Dear Arleen, I think that receptionists and telephone tech people, etc. all read from a script and our answers are like a breeze wafting past their ears. They take down the info but it doesn't ruffle their thinking. Like you, when in these situations, I find my blood pressure rising. The thing is--did you ultimately get an appointment for what you were calling about????? or did that get lost in the incompetence? Peace.

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    1. I did get the appointment, Dee. Unfortunately, I may have to cancel due to snow. I will then have to start the process all over again. Things that should be easy, just aren’t anymore.

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  22. Sounds like our recent four day of appointment at Mayo Rochester. Now imagine that and hour of Pet Scans and questions for my spouse with Alzheimer's. Needless to say it didn't go well...:(

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    1. Oh my, what a difficult day that must have been. I do hope that it was followed by good news on your scans.

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  23. Oh, God! I would've been tearing my hair out and biting my tongue (yes, I can multi-task, after all)!

    How frustrating!

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  24. Ah, the good old days when I could multi-task. I sometimes miss them.

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  25. Oh my goodness.
    Sometimes a script can be useful! BUT!

    Sorry although I laughed I think this sort of thing happens too regularly ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. I am glad I made you smile. The stupid things in life that we have to put up with often are the ones that that give us the best laugh.

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  26. You are pregnant???

    Kidding :) I understand your frustration.

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    1. Thankfully Mother Nature kindly closed the door on that years ago.

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  27. I always smile at that question. Highly unlikely! My internist (and several other of my doctors) are part of on online network. I can sit in my bathrobe at my computer and make appointments and renew prescriptions. Saves me so much aggravation.

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    1. My husband can now see one of his doctors via face time on the computer when it is to just explain his test results. It saves half a day in traveling and waiting time. I am sure that the bill is the same as if he was in person though.

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  28. stopped by to see how you're doing! Sure love that big new pretty banner up there, so springy!!

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    1. We are hoping for spring, Debbie, but right now we are getting some light snow. It is discouraging, but I am planning on starting to plant my seeds this weekend, no matter what.

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  29. Hahahahha! You never know these days. 65 is not to old. But...can you imagine? I am exhausted just thinking about it.

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  30. It seems to be the same ridiculous waste of time on both sides of the pond!
    At least you got to speak to a human, it's the automated conversations that frustrate me.

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    1. That is true, Rosemary, but you can always hang up on a computer.

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  31. I had a good laugh on a down day. Thanks!

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