Rhetorical Answer

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A response to the question never asked

A Healthcare Odyssey

I have been too ill to go to class this week, so I don’t have any new revelations to share about editing or sound design. I’ve had a fever for the past three days, so yesterday I dragged myself to the doctor. The doctor checked my throat and blood pressure and, without conducting a single diagnostic test, prescribed me antibiotics and some other medication. Maybe she explained what they were for, but I can’t remember her doing so. In retrospect, I should have questioned her more, but at the time I didn’t have the presence of mind.

It wasn’t until I reached the pharmacy that I realized that the prescriptions had been made out to someone else with the same last name as me who was 13 years my senior and had a different health insurance plan. Nearly exhausted, I returned to the doctor’s office and sat like a zombie in the waiting room while they sorted out the mix-up. I spent at least a couple minutes trying to convince them that I knew my own name and I was positive it wasn’t the same as the name on the prescription.

I went back to the pharmacy and dropped off the corrected prescriptions, which I was told would be ready in twenty minutes. I shuffled home and ate a little lunch, then went back to pick up my medication, which I found out wasn’t ready yet. Too tired to go back to my apartment to wait, I sat in the pharmacy for another half-hour. They never did announce that it was ready, so I went up to the counter to get another time estimate, but by that point, the Tylenol I’d taken had worn off and I collapsed in line.

The pharmacy employees were extremely nice, bringing me a chair to sit in, a cold compress, and some water, but all I wanted was to get my medication and go home to bed. Then the EMTs arrived, and I really wished I could disappear. They took my blood pressure and asked me if I wanted to go with them in the ambulance to the hospital, while I tried to explain that I was just sick, had been on my feet for the past two hours, and had already had my blood pressure taken several times that day at the doctor’s office. I definitely did not want to spend the next few hours sitting in an emergency room waiting for an extremely busy ER doctor to tell me I needed bed rest, so I declined the hospital trip.

Then the pharmacist told me that my health insurance card wouldn’t cover the cost of the medications and asked if I had a separate pharmacy card. I told him that I didn’t but that the health insurance card was supposed to cover prescriptions as well, and he told me to call my insurance company to confirm. One of the EMTs gave me the phone number, and I spent a frustrating ten minutes trying to navigate through an automated voice recognition system that clearly couldn’t understand my hoarse pleas for a customer service representative. When I finally got a human being, she snapped that the computer system was down and that I had to call back in an hour.

The EMTs asked what the medications were supposed to be treating, and when I confessed I didn’t know, they gave me disapproving looks and muttered about how irresponsible doctors prescribing antibiotics were encouraging the rise of superbugs and that I’d probably be better off not taking them. So, I went home to bed, where I probably should have been the whole time.

Theeeee eeeeend.

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