Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thank-you for all the free medical care!

I've not been feeling good for weeks now, fever in the evening, general malaise, and so on. All that stuff that goes away instantly, as soon as you step foot on threshold of the Doctors office. Then the Doctor asks you, “what are you here for?” As you sheepishly aim your answers to yesterday, when you were so sick that you thought that you would surely die. But, today you just happen to feel good, in fact you feel great, and you have no idea why you are here bothering the Doctor.

Well, I kept finding excuses for not going to the Doctor. After all, I didn't want to find myself in the doctors office explaining why I was there wasting his time. So, I took my temperature three times a day. It was 98.2 in the morning, which is a little high for me. By noon, my temp was 98.9, but by mid to late afternoon my small fever would consistently spike to 100.1-.5.

This would be my trap, I would calmly point out, “Of course I'm sick, see my temperature?” Then, the Doctor would have to take me seriously.

One little flaw in my plan was that I still have Blue Cross, but I was afraid that they wouldn't pay if they found out that I have Medicare now. Last month I feverishly (literally) filled out all the Damn Stupid Government forms. Hopping to get them close enough to right that they would give me a card. I foolishly thought that all you had to do is prove that you are American and that you are at least 65 years of age. So, I dug out my birth certificate, and called the Social Security Administration. They told me to go to their website and fill out the very simple form that they have provided for that. The form asked me how much money that I earned. I had to tell them that I don't know that kind of stuff, I turn-in all the money that I make to my bookkeeper, My wife. The whole thing wouldn't fit in the slot that they provided.

After deciding that the questions were unanswerable, I called the SS man back. I told them that he would have to talk to my bookkeeper, my wife. He said that he couldn't do that, that they could only deal with me directly. I asked them, “What if I was stupid, or senile, or otherwise unable to function at a full mental capacity? Would you be able to talk to my wife then?” The man saw where I was headed, and realized that I had him beat, so he consented to talk to my wife, but I would have to stay on the line to confirm that she was telling the truth. I was mildly offended that this twit thought that my wife would lie, but I swallowed my male pride and let it go.

A few days later the SS guy called back, and said that he needed to clear-up a few things. I told him that my wife was on her way to Eureka, and we would be unable to reach her. Plus, she never answers her phone. The first time it rings she says, “Hello”. I was totally embarrassed that she answered her phone when I assured the guy that she would have to call him back later. I said “why did you answer your phone”. She said that she had just turned it on because she was going to call me. She said that she “was stuck on the lawn of the school in Cutten” in her GTO.” I told her okay, forget that if you can, I have the SS agent on the line with me, he wants you to answer a few more questions for him. He meekly asked a couple more questions and he sent out my Medicare card, I guess he figured that we would probably need the help.

The card got lost in the mail (on my wifes desk). Sometimes a man just has to re-access his whole marriage. I came to the conclusion that I would be lost without her. (Literally! She is the only one that knows where I put things)

So, card in hand, I picked up the phone and called the Doctor. As luck would have it they could get me right in! I said “No, Sorry... Can I have something near closing time?” I knew by then, my fever kicks in that time of day. Strategy!

Before I went to the Dr.s office. I asked the people at the store what I should tell the Doctor. Carol said to tell him that I've lost my sense of humor, and that I was “Bitchy”. Of course that offended me, and I told her so! I told her that to imply that I was “bitchy” implies something feminine and illogical. That I was merely “grumbly”, which to me, implies that I'm thoughtful, and correct in my thinking, it's just that I'm so tired of incompetence that I forget to be my normal thoughtful, caring, self.

Dennis said, “tell him that you have bronchitis, and ask him for some of that great Codeine Cough Syrup.

A friend of mine emailed me after I announced that I wasn't feeling well. He said something to the affect that I looked dead the day he talked to me.

Ben said to be sure and tell him to check for “Lymes Disease”. ( I did that Ben). In fact, he did a double take when I told him. He looked like he was going to slap me on the forehead and say, “You could have had a V-8!”.

But he said: “You are supposed to go to the doctor and get antibiotics within seventy-two hours of being bit by a tick. It reduces your chances of getting Lymes by 80%! So remember that.

Diana said that she had that Lymes disease, last year, and she “Hot-tubbed it out of her”. I guess that works. Give yourself a fever.

So, I get to the doctors office, the nurse had me step on the scale. I had tools in my pockets, and I had my coat on, plus a few other things. I chuckled to myself, if the Doctor tells me to lose weight, all that I will have to do is empty my pockets. More good strategy, it pays to use your head when going to the Doctor.

The nurse says “you have a slight fever”. I smiled and said “yeah I know, I'm sick”. The doctor came in and said, “I see that you have a slight fever.” Don't you just love it when a good plan comes together?

He asked me what was wrong. I told him the long and detailed story about what all of my friends told me. He asked me what “I” thought was wrong with me. I didn't feel comfortable talking about what “I thought”, I didn't want to look like a hypochondriac! But, I said “I think that I have Lymes Disease”. Sure enough he gave me that “Hypochondriac Look”. So, I watch Miami CSI. I know that you ALWAYS take your evidence with you, I whipped the Bagged Tick out of my coat pocket and showed it to him. He looked at it for at least a full second, then threw it in the trash. That's when I got “The Seventy-two hour” lecture.

He whipped out his Stethoscope, listened to my lungs and said: “You have pneumonia in the lower part of both lungs” I said “That can't be, I'm not that sick”. He said “well why are you here?” I said “well I'm not Pneumonia sick, I only have a little bitty fever.” Right... See how he turned that on me? He gave me some high powered antibiotics and sent me home. We'll see who's right. He sent me down to the lab for a Lymes test also!

I'm Not a Bitchy Hypochondriac! Dammit!


kymk said...

Your welcome and I'm glad I could help...

Seriously, I'm glad you are feeling the effects of the antibiotics so quickly--no more fever.

Fred said...

It's Lyme disease, not LymeS.

Rose said...

LOVE antibiotics!

Anonymous said...

Your beginning to sound like a Sissy to me.


Ernie Branscomb said...

Yep, sissy!
The Indian People still use sweat lodges to rid themselves of Lyme (no "S") disease. There is a bunch of evidence that it works.

Reverend Snake and the girlz said...

And I want to thank you for promoting my new book, "Hot Tub your Way to Health".
Be the hottest tubber in your neighborhood!

lodgepole said...

Good news Ernie, get well soon.

Fred said...

Be sure and follow up on the possible Lyme Disease, Ernie. If it goes untreated it can cause lots of problems later on and can also be very hard to get rid of.

My sister- in- law had Lyme Disease for a long time, unbeknownst to her. Her daughter even inherited it at birth. Looks like sister- in- law might of gotten rid of it after taking antibiotics for a long time. Her daughter seems to still have it because she gets sick from the antibiotics so stops taking them.

And, since the sister- in- law was the one who donated stem cells for my wife's bone marrow transplant, there's a possibility she might have acquired it, too. They don't screen for Lyme Disease when doing bone marrow transplants.

She had one test done but it was one that wasn't very accurate, according to those in the know. Hasn't gotten around to the more accurate one yet.

Friend indeed said...

A friend of mine.... said something to the affect that I looked dead the day he talked to me....
That's not what I said, I said your coloring reminded me of a slightly seasick vampire.

Friend indeed said...

Or something to that affect(are you grimacing Indie?).. I am glad you found a cure for what ails ya.

Ben said...

So Ernie... Did you get part B? Part D? A supplement plan? If not toddle (when you're able) over to Rebecca Coker's office and talk to the remarkable Toni who knows all... Nuthin' to it. All they want is money. It's a heck of a lot less than the old Blue Coss plan. Congrats! You made it! Get well soon.
P.S. Talk to Peter about an Igenex test. You may have to pay for it but well worth it.

Anonymous said...

I guess you already know you need to take your whole course of antibiotics and not stop taking the pills when you start feeling better - or else you will just get sick again.

Good luck and good health!

Good description, by the way, of the way some people (like my whole fam damily) approach their doctors for health care.

Anonymous said...

All missing the point here!
WTF was your wife doing burning donuts on a school lawn???

Anonymous said...

I bet the wife was driving down the sidewalk and saw a cop so pulled off onto the lawn and then got stuck. I told Ernie she needed mud grip tires on that car.


Aunt Janet said...

I was with Ernie's wife that day. We were both getting warped and ready to do some serious weaving.

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter everybody


Ekovox said...

Ernie, your lack of posting has some of us concerned. Happy Easter!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Very, very nice of "some of us" to be concerned. Thank-you!

I am getting well, but as you might guess, it's taking me quite a time catch back up with myself after becoming so run down. I'm optimistic about my recovery,and I'm at least 90% there. I'm even thinking about doing a rascally post.
Thanks again. I've been reading.

Happy Easter everybody, and especially “some of us”.

Anonymous said...

Well Ernie, I guess I must have missed something. I know you said you felt run down and under the weather but since I feel like that all the time I thought you might be over reacting. So maybe "some of us" know what was wrong with you, may I ask, what the hell is wrong with you?
Maybe there is a cure for me too if I knew what you know. Wild Turkey seems to help but by the next morning I feel ill again to I take more of Granny's Hooch.


Ernie Branscomb said...

He whipped out his Stethoscope, listened to my lungs and said: “You have pneumonia in the lower part of both lungs”

You're just going to have to start paying attention Oregon.

Anonymous said...

I did read that Ernie and I talked to someone else today that had pneumonia and I just didn't realize it would take someone down that hard, sorry.
I hope you feeling better soon and back to writing on your blog. I like it better when you are picking on people.