[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 29 {203.5} “Affecting Patient Care”

I’ll let everyone in on the secret I learned in healthcare IT to get things moving. When you have nurses nervously telling you you’ve got to fill out this form or that in order to talk to the doctor, and you’ve got to mail that form out in the middle of a global pandemic through a series of hoops you’ve got to jump through with a bad spine, tell them that will affect patient care.

Situations that affect patient care usually get priority treatment.

I suppose that’s the same reason why unless you’re dying, you might be bumped to the back of the queue if your treatment isn’t deemed life-threatening. I’m fine with that, mostly, even when I’m the person suffering there in the emergency room, because I choose to live in a country with- oh wait, let me not shoot myself in the foot. I might not get treated in a timely manner. The reason why a phrase like “affecting patient care” is important is because it’s the insider phrase used in the two healthcare facilities I worked in. Maybe even more. It’s a codeword that might not get you immediate gold standard treatment, but it’s worth a shot.

Why do we need to advocate for our healths like this?

Well, I’m in the middle of a spinal problem preventing me from rowing, working, and doing anything else that I normally want to do. Everything was all scheduled for this morning to talk with the doctor until some nurse or another called me the other day to tell me that I needed to fill out paperwork. Fine, I’ll fill out paperwork. Unfortunately, because they couldn’t figure out how to send the paperwork through the system, and they didn’t want to send the forms through email, I had to receive them via mail, then send them back, and have them review the documentation before I could talk to the doctor.

What kind of 1940s healthcare is this garbage?

After I told them that this format was affecting patient care, I told them, “that’s not going to work. If that’s how it’s going to be, I’m going to need to go to a different doctor at a different practice.” If you’ve talked to me, you know that when I get frustrated, I don’t talk politely. My voice becomes gravelly, dirty, and otherwise unpleasant. I might even let out some guttural sighs. As of writing this sentence, I haven’t rowed in over 6 weeks. I’m in constant pain. The prescribed medication has not helped restore me back to any decent lifestyle and so because of some bureaucratic bullshit, I’m going to need to wait another week, minimum?

Sure, the doctor had to talk with me more today.

Besides being 9 minutes late to the teleconference call, our call nearly took one hour, and much of that reviewed the particulars of medications I’ve taken over the past year. All of these “trip reports” I’ve written are useful to keep in short-hand because you’re going to be likely prescribed things that the doctor might like but does poorly for you, so you should make sure when they ask about allergies to medicines, say things like ‘this isn’t really traditional, but I want to make sure you know that anti-depressants, as a whole, are something that I consider myself allergic to because they all do more harm than good.’ Because like the idea of how if something like an additional week is a patient care issue, then being prescribed harmful-for-you medication should also be taken seriously.

Now, this might all seem like stupid ramblings from some idiot.

I am typically an idiot, but this is important because depending on the situation, doctors will need to get through as many cases as possible. From my experience working with them over the years, they are overworked, and it’s possible that they can miss something because they’ve got to deal with so much. It’s not entirely their fault, but you have to make sure to stand up for yourself as a patient. If not, they may still treat you, but they’re going to look for outward symptoms first. Are you bleeding? No? OK, then move on- hey, that patient’s screaming. OK, let’s help them out. If you’re not in that much pain, don’t go screaming about every little thing.

But when these people were going to put me on the backburner? No.

I’ll be sent in for X-rays and “inflammatory markers” here soon. I don’t know when yet, but between the results of that, I may go in for a chiropractor to get some additional treatment. The physical therapy I’ve mentioned here in previous essays should help. But it’s unfortunate because I’ve taken enough pain medication to kill most minor horses and I’m still hurting enough to where I don’t feel well enough to do any stretches or exercises. It’s frustrating. I haven’t felt like doing much at all other than sit here and write or play videogames until my pain tolerance has reached its maximum and I need to lay down until I go to sleep.

What a life.

It’s a vicious cycle where if I’m not on a massive amount of painkillers, I get mad at everyone, and if I am, then I can’t do anything because I’m too inebriated with still a massive amount of pain. This is a shitty situation. I see no light at the end of the tunnel but I keep having to drive this speeding car without being able to see the road in front of me. It’s frustrating and I keep wanting to avoid writing this essay, but at least it’s nearly over, and I just have to wait the few weeks until I get treatment. Hey, maybe things will be better by this essay’s publication? Maybe they’ll have found the specific problem with my spine? Maybe my life will become sunshine and roses with that specific fix.

That sure would be nice, wouldn’t it, having patient care fulfilled and lifestyles restored?

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 203.5
Last week’s weight: 203.5
Difference: I’ve been doing the best I can to eat as much as I can, and throughout the week, I periodically weigh myself, since I think this may be too low of weight for my current situation. I’ve lost 25 pounds, so I would imagine much of that is muscle, rather than fat. I am getting treatment – finally – which will be outlined in future essays, but since you’re reading this, basically, I have two discs that have bulged and I’m waiting for approval to get surgery if my situation doesn’t improve to fix the L34 and L45 discs of my spine. If I had this information, shit, in May, would my today be better? Yes. I’m writing this part on July 12th.
Inspirations: My life sucks right now.
Related: Past weekly column entries, Sober Living essays, and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template.
Written On: 2020 May 28 [7:03pm to 7:34pm]
Last Edited: 2020 May 28 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.