I can’t say that I’m thrilled with this morning’s appointment. My family doctor has spoiled me. I’m accustomed to a doctor who knows me, or at least is interested in knowing me. Everything I’ve read said that this was going to be the longest appointment as they take family histories, talk to you about what’s going on, do assorted tests, etc. Well, if this was the longest appointment the rest should take five to ten minutes. I was a little put off when he asked me if they’d seen me before. I’m accustomed to them knowing. Like I said, spoiled. He asked a few questions, answered a few questions, and sent me off for blood work. VERY little transferal of information. I mean, I like that the attitude seems to be "you’re not sick, so we don’t need to be involved," but it’s a little aggressively hands-off. There was nothing said about medication, nothing about diet, very little about testing. I’m not feeling much more informed than I was yesterday at this time. The two useful pieces of information I got were that at my age the chances of a child with some sort of chromosomal abnormality is one in fifty-five (!!!!!), and that I can look at the March of Dimes website as they’re sane and reliable.
I guess I was hoping for a little bit of hand holding. If so, my ticket to disappointment city has been punched.
I’m not sure what I was expecting. This wasn’t it.
I also got into an argument with the girl at the front desk. They do "global" billing, which is to say that they won’t bill me for visits as I make them, they’ll hit me with a huge bill for the whole thing at the end. When I pointed out that it was going to make it very hard to pay for it with my flex spending account, she tried to tell me that I wasn’t going to get any more bills, that my insurance covers it all. As a point in fact, my insurance is going to stick me with 10% of the whole kit and kaboodle, and how do I budget for that if they won’t bill me as we go? Next time, I’ll go in with the print-out from the insurance company and see what they say. I’ll also call Pay Flex and see if they can advise me on how to handle it.
Then we found out at the lab that Cigna won’t let me have my blood work done there, I have to go find a Qwest. THAT was annoying. But I did like the technician at Qwest very much. She was sweet, and very skilled. That was good because they took a LOT of blood – ten big vials. I stopped for orange juice immediately afterwards. It was clever of someone to put a Dunkin Donuts right by the lab.
Maybe this is why people hire midwives – to have someone with a clue who is willing to get to know you and spend time talking to you. I wonder how you find one.
I’ve got my next two appointments set up, both of them with the only other male doctor in the practice. I’m really not thrilled by that. Both of them are scheduled for lunchtime-ish, so I can just run over there on my lunch break. They’re going to call me with the times of the ultrasound appointments. I’m sure they will be very inconvenient.
Oh, and I found out where 35 as a risk factor for age comes from. That is the age where the percentage of risk from abnormalities equals the percentage of risk for miscarriage due to the tests. It's just where the two sliding scales intersect.
So I’m not happy. But I’m not hugely unhappy. I can work with this, I was just hoping not to feel quite so on my own. I’ve always believed in being my own advocate though, so this isn’t very far off of my own beaten track.
I guess I just wanted to be helpless for once and have someone tell me what to do.
They gave me a due date of September 24.