Note: Not really understanding how WordPress works the first part of this thread exists as a separate tab/page. Not being able to figure out how to add to that page I’m continuing my story as part of the main blog.
So I made the decision to get myself to a doctor. But my insurance has always baffled me. I needed to find a “primary care physician” and had no idea how to start. Blue Cross Blue Shield had sent me a phone book of doctors that were in their network. Most were specialists in fields I was unfamiliar with. All I needed was a general family doctor and I just had too many options to make a good choice.
So I decided to use the internet. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this sooner. I practically live on the internet. So I looked up Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Web site and sure enough they had a search engine for the doctors I could use as part of their “network” right on the front page. Well that was easy. Sort of felt like an idiot for not thinking of it sooner.
A little searching latter and I found a family practitioner right in my neighborhood. Great! I was almost all set. I found my battered insurance card where it had lurked in the back of my wallet for years and gave them a call. Unfortunately they were booked up and couldn’t see me until Monday. Had I understood the seriousness of my condition I would have called another doctor. But I was determined to stick with this one in that I knew where his office was. In retrospect another stupid move.
So I waited. It was a long miserable weekend. Not only did I feel terrible but I was horribly bloated. Now for those of you who may not know me I’m pretty fat. I never really thought of myself as fat but that is the reality of the situation. I think I must have the opposite of the condition where skinny young girls starve themselves because their self image was that they are fat. It just didn’t enter my mind. But here I was all bloated and the quality of my flab had changed. It was hard and unmoving. I thought maybe in addition to an antibiotic that I could get the doctor to give me a diarrhetic as well.
So eventually the weekend passed. I spent it in bed watching TV and being miserable. When Monday morning rolled around I started to get ready for my appointment with the doctor and I panicked. Where the hell was my insurance card? I remembered taking it out of my wallet on Thursday. I even remembered thinking to myself that I need to put it right back where I had found it because I was going to need it. But here it was an hour or two before my appointment and it was nowhere to be found. Damn!
To this day I don’t know what happened to it. I searched my bedroom – no luck. I searched the house. I even went so far as to go through bags of trash like a raccoon spreading the refuse out across my kitchen floor but the thing was just gone.
I called the doctor’s office and explained the situation. Thankfully they agreed to accept a recent bill with my ID number on it in leu of the actual card. Whew! I calmed down a bit and got myself ready. I remember having to wear sweat pants and having some difficulty getting into my shoes but I managed to get in my car and drive to the doctor’s office.
I parked and got winded walking into the office. Once in there I checked in with the front desk and waited to be called. There were a couple of people waiting, a few kids playing with a box of plastic toys, and many bad magazines. It wasn’t long before I was called and escorted to a small examination room. The nurse asked me to wait and I took a seat on one of those padded benches covered in white paper. Before long she returned and started by taking my blood pressure. It was really high. I don’t remember exactly what it was but I think the top number was 170. Then she asked me to get on the scale. My weight was so high that the scale couldn’t measure it. I knew I was heavy but this was circus type weight!
Concerned she went for the doctor. He took one look at me and asked her to give me an electro cardiogram. After a couple of minutes on the machine he made his diagnosis. He told me I was having congestive heart failure and I should go immediately to the emergency room.
Next: The Emergency Room, the first Hospital, and the First of the Room Mates from Hell.