Sunday, February 10, 2013

Take-Charge Health Care

When I retired I went on the state retirement health insurance plan, which actually is pretty good. However, when I called my primary care physician to make an appointment for my annual physical, his staff informed me that he did not take my new insurance and I would have to find another doctor. That’s great. Fifteen years of being taken care of by the same doctor and not so much as a “Let me refer you to someone else.” or “I’ll do your physical this year, but you will have to find a new GP for your next appointment.” or “How have you been feeling lately?” Nope. Never heard from him. He knew every mole on my body; he poked and prodded personal places my husband doesn’t even know about; he peered into the deepest crevasses of my womanhood. It was as though I was a kitten who had grown up being caressed and cared for by a loving family and then tossed out into the rain to fend for myself. Well, that’s exactly what this kitten has done. I’ve decided to take charge of my own health care.

It’s not hard, really. I had my blood drawn at Walgreens. Safeway gave me my vaccinations. Solis actually called me to remind me of my mammogram (business must be slow). All this is automatically submitted to my health insurance, which doesn’t have to adjust any overinflated fees that the doctor charges, and I receive all the results.

The latest take charge was my visit to have my mammogram. I have always dreaded this procedure because it is not a very pleasant experience having the technician grab your boob, plop and push it on a cold piece of glass, and then squash it between two glass plates in a vice. So I thought of some ways the radiology office could make a woman’s visit more comfortable. First of all, have some quiet music playing, soft lights, and scented candles burning as you enter the dressing room to undress. Instead of those sterile two-foot long capes that drape over your shoulders only to cover half your nipples, they can provide you with a little black lace cover up so you can pretend you are getting ready to meet the man in your dreams. Second, as you wait to be called into the x-ray room, you could lounge in a recliner, sipping on a glass of wine. And third, while the woman fondles your breasts, a sexy man’s voice could be piped through the speakers saying, “Oh, baby, you’re so beautiful. I’ve never seen such a gorgeous body.” After your girls have been violated and you get dressed, a tall dark handsome man hands you a long-stemmed rose as you leave the office and says, “See you next year, Babe.” Kind of makes you want a mammogram once a week, doesn’t it?

Meow – this cat’s going to make it through nine lives as I take charge of my own health care.