Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 145 of 365

As I sat in the waiting room of the Pain Clinic this morning, I was thinking I didn't belong there. This was my second visit and again I noticed there are two types of people who go there.

The first kind are folks who look like, well... look like they're on drugs. Eyes heavy, slurred speech, unsteady while walking, unkempt. While waiting for my appointment at 9:30, I listened as a gal was explaining to the receptionist how she needed her morphine and how she couldn't wait until her 2:15 appointment to get it. Explained she was taking other pain killers but they weren't working like morphine did. How she needed to get in sooner so she could get her morphine sooner. I got the impression by listening and watching the receptionist during the conversation that this happens quite often.

The other folks there are too happy, talking non-stop to other patients and staff. At most doctors offices, people for the most part keep to themselves. But both times I've been at this particular place, strangers are striking up conversations (and they're not quiet about it) left and right. Who comes to a pain clinic, all chipper and hyper? People on drugs.

This isn't a pain clinic in some strip mall - it's in a reputable hospital in Boise. There I sat, no pain pills in my system, wondering if I'd stepped into the Twilight Zone.  Which group of people would I fall into after this appointment?

As it turned out, neither group. The MRI results the doctor was waiting on never arrived. He did find some notes about the MRI from my previous doctor, but now this pain clinic doctor has decided he wants a new MRI.

So now I'll wait on insurance approval, try and fit an MRI in between my work schedule, and go back to the clinic in a few weeks. More waiting without relief.

To add insult to injury, I received two bills from my last visit to the pain clinic. My doctor's copay had already been paid, but the additional bill was from the clinic itself. I was charged a $75 "facility usage fee" for use of the clinic. Insurance paid most, but it looks like every visit I'll have to be paying my copay to the doctor and a fee to the clinic. Never heard of such a thing.

I'm this close (imagine my thumb and forefinger almost touching) to calling it all off. But having updated MRI results would be helpful. I just don't know how helpful it is to keep dragging this out.

On a more pleasant note, this afternoon I wasn't dragging things out but digging things up.

Some new red potatoes from our garden.