Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Musings: Burnin' Through the Bucks

I'm typically a healthy gal.  It's not often that I get 'gotta-go-to-the-doctor-sick'.  But when my head was thumping, breathing became a chore and my coughing sounded like the soundtrack to a horror movie, I made the call. 

I know they are a friendly lot at my medical center.  But, I was feeling crummy not chummy.  So why do they each ask, "how are you today?"  I wanted to hiss, 'If I was good, I wouldn't be here'!(I can be a grouchy bee-atch when I don't feel well.)  I nodded and replied, "OK." as any well-brought up, Southern Girl would.

In the exam room, I sit on the end of a metal gurney and swing my legs to and fro making the paper crinkle under my butt. Then the monkey that lives in my mind starts to swing from vine to vine:
I like Dr. T.  I wish he would come in already. Can I throw my dirty tissue into the Medical Waste Bin? They need to paint this office. What an awful color.  What is that box of chopsticks on the counter labeled "Flu"? Wonder if they would miss one if I take it? I'm soooo tired. Yawn .Can I lean back?  I decide to lean back and doze. My legs look broken at the knees. I look so stupid. SIT UP LINDA! I pop up just as Dr. T opens the door.

Dr. T comes in and (after asking me the rote how you doing?), takes a peek inside my ears, up my nose, and into my eyes.  When he asks me to stick my tongue out he shines his penlight down my palate and makes a scrunch face.  "What?!" "What?!" I plead! Dr. T. ignores me like I am petulant child. 

Out comes the stethoscope. "Breath deep." I  in-in-inhale, then let the air out in a woosh followed by my unexpected braying cough. Eeyore.

Dr. T's scrunch-face reappears.

"You have bronchitis and sinusitis.'' announces Dr. T.

Two shots, and two breathing treatments,two blood oxygen tests later, I am escorted back to the front desk. I clutch my a prescription for my Hydrocodone (silly bureaucrats-think-it's-a-street-drug and should be regulated like heroin) cough syrup. Speaking of drugs, I could pass for someone going through withdrawal.  My hands are shaky and I'm amped up on the steroids.  Sweet Receptionist tells me my other prescriptions have been called in to my pharmacy.

"Today's office visit comes to a total of $427.00".

"Whaaaaaaaa the .....REALLY?" I think. Perhaps my shaking has affected my hearing?
 "4-27" .  Four Hundred and Twenty Seven Dollars.

I dig out my MasterCard and blow the cobwebs off it.  ""You do take credit? With still shaky fingers I hand over my credit card, smile and say, "I guess I can't afford to get sick anymore."

"We'll call you tomorrow to see how you are doing."

I hope the call is included in the $427.

Lucky for me the prescriptions were only $148!  I'm just blown away by a simple infection costing so much.  Maybe I'll call Dr. Phil's "Doctor's On Call" and get a cheaper diagnosis.  Anybody tried the Doc on Call yet?
Happy Daylight Savings Time.  May this week be warm, sunny and delightful!

If you were gifted $500 instead of having to spend it.  What would your guilty pleasure be or your responsible payment be?

Lots of love,


  1. Wow! First of all, I hope all those meds are doing there thing and you are feeling better. Secondly, as a Canadian I never even think about calling the doctor. Our national health programming covers doctor visits. I just can't imagine paying to see the doctor when you are sick. What do people do when they done have the funds and have a couple of sick kids. Sorry, I know you didn't write this as a politic statement....I'm just shocked. By the way, unless you have private insurance or are a senior you have to pay for your prescriptions. Luckily we do have insurance!!! Take care of yourself!!

  2. Yes, Heather the meds are working and I am on the mend. I intend to run my bill through insurance and hope for some relief. I believe Obamacare is supposed to do what you Canadians get for free. But yeah, we have to pay each and every time we go to the doctor....

  3. Wow that's crazy. Sorry I was amused at you decorating the office

    1. Hazard of the trade, Gina--I have been known to tell a doctor that his waiting room had old furniture and lumpy pillows. He seemed ;) grateful. Said he never sat out there so hadn't noticed.

  4. I am so sorry youre sick Linda! and I hope you feel better soon. Our retirement budget is crudely aware of such expenses and I don't run to the doctor anymore unless I am really bad. Even the copays are adding up to ridiculousness. Hang in there and the hope of spring and warmth and sun are around the corner! xo Nancy

    1. Thanks Nancy! Now, a week later, I'm STILL sick. On my second round of antibiotics. If the Super Bug comes I'm in trouble! Happy Spring.