So, I make a date with a new Nurse Practitioner. I LUV nurses. They actually do the care at facilities. And she is my age. This is FAB.
We meet. She asks me about my parents, grandparents and sibling health. She does not ask me where I get my hair done. THAT she could have used. My vitals are excellent. They tell me I have shrunk 2 inches. Hmm, my pants haven’t lengthened in the last 5 years. Okay. Sometimes people just get things wrong.
“You’re a dietitian?”, she asks me.
“Do you actually help people?”
“Because I send people to dietitians and they don’t do anything. These people never lose any weight.”
“Yes, i have helped people.” I do not ram her stethoscope down her throat, nor do I
I refrained from my first answer – “yes, how about you?” Or do they just keep coming back for more meds?”
We do an EKG. Normal. However, since I did have some oddities happen when I was finishing and launching the DVD, FAB Fruit Festival and I have this insurance, we are going to do cardiology, and other fun medical procedures. Oh, and here’s your prescription.
But, wait a minute. Couldn’t I do mediation and be more aware of my stress level. My new medical buddy looks me straight in the eye and says, “Really, could you really do that?” as if the idea of me taking responsibility of my health was crazy. Could you imagine someone explaining how much money you could save by incorporating a few lifestyle strategies? Could you imagine someone caring enough about themselves to actually try that instead of running to the pharmacy?
“What is your pharmacy of choice?”
WHAT??! Oh, I didn’t realize that everyone takes medication and has a pharmacy of choice. Except me.
I actually did have something evil happen to me. There was a positive test result that showed I have to do some annoying things for a short time and then be done. So I do them. When I return for the PAP smear, she asks if I am following her directions. When I say yes, she is a little surprised. Couldn’t be that because you don’t make a connection with your patients so they don’t care about what you say?
Oops, before all these other procedures, I have to go back for test results. Can’t wait.
I’m FAB. She is shocked. I actually have the lipid and blood panel of someone decades younger.
Now, goofy, nosy, weird little fact-wonk me would ask, “how do you get numbers like this?” Or maybe, “You’re a dietitian, is there anything I can tell my patients?” But not my specula warming friend. [I AM grateful for that]
I stare up at her teaching materials in a cabinet – sugar free sweetener, MiraLax and fish oil. Yep, that covers diabetes, constipation and cardiology. Well, that plus a bunch of meds costing more than $10 grand a year. Let’s not add in the cost of surgery.
In during these 15 minute meetings, she doesn’t even get my name straight. But, she’s seen all my best parts.
The stress test was not measuring what was stressed. The cardiologist, again who doesn’t know my name, tells me, I’m fine. He asks if I walk a lot at the end of the test when I am talking and walking uphill. We end up chatting about where his kids live in Manhattan versus where I lived. I get to pay $400 to see him for 10 minutes and give his overweight assistant, who had a triple bypass instead of vacation, free dietetic advice. I left thinking I should have billed the assistant and ask the cardiologist, Pal, do you have anything else to help people long term who don’t pass this test? Or is this it?
Ditto for the other “healthcare professionals” I saw.
No one knows why I have these great test results. No one asked. No one thinks what you eat is important. No one thinks lifestyle is important. My BFF says, why are you going back to this person? I agree, but I also want to get through all the tests and blah, blah, then move on.
However, I work in the medical field. I see what insurance pays for.
Welcome to the world of healt . . . Insurance care- I mean insurance payment codes.