Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Annie's desk

Annie: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Annie."

Mrs. Haddock: "Hi, I need a refill on my medication. It also has to be authorized through my insurance, because the last auth has expired."

Annie: "Okay, I can get started on that... you know, it looks like we haven't seen you since 2010."

Mrs. Haddock: "Wow. Time flies. Anyway, I'm going on vacation tomorrow, so can you please get this taken care of?"

Annie: "We can't refill meds on someone we haven't seen in 7 years, let alone get an insurance authorization. Who's been filling it?"

Mrs. Haddock: "My internist."

Annie: "Then you'll have to call him to get this refill, and make an appointment to re-establish with Dr. Grumpy if you want us to prescribe it."

Mrs. Haddock: "I haven't seen him in 6 months. He doesn't take my insurance anymore. It's National Illness, Inc."

Annie: "We don't take that, either, so we can't get an authorization for you."

Mrs. Haddock: "But I'm leaving TOMORROW! You need to call this in and get it authorized RIGHT NOW!"

Annie: "We can't do that, like I said, we haven't seen you in 7 years, and we're not contracted with your insurance."

Mrs. Haddock: "YOU'RE RUINING MY VACATION!"

click

Friday, September 21, 2018

The teenage mind

I'm sitting at my desk, about an hour before my first victim patient. My wife is at a meeting out of town, but fortunately the kids are old enough to drive themselves to school.

Then the text came in.

Craig: Dad. I'm locked out of the car. I need help.


What the hell? School started 20 minutes ago!


Dr. Grumpy: Ask Marie for her keys.

Craig: I can't. She's at school.


WHAT?!!! Okay, this isn't making sense.


Dr. Grumpy: Then where are you?

Craig: I'm at 7-Eleven.

Dr. Grumpy: Why are you at 7-Eleven twenty minutes after school started?

 Craig: It was an emergency! I had to get something for class! Do you have keys to the 4Runner?


Sigh.


Dr. Grumpy: Yes. Which 7-Eleven are you at?

Craig: The one at South Street and Central.


So I tell Mary I'm going to rescue Craig and will be back in a few. Fortunately, South & Central isn't too far from my office.

I get to South & Central, and Craig is nowhere to be seen.


Dr. Grumpy: Craig, I'm at the 7-Eleven at South & Central, and you're not here.

Craig: Well, I'm at a 7-Eleven. Maybe it's not that one.


I roll my eyes, take out my iPhone, and look up his location.


Dr. Grumpy: Craig, you're almost 3 miles away, at the 7-Eleven at 12th St. and Elm.

Craig: How was I supposed to know that? Please hurry, I'm going to get in trouble at school!


So I head over and find him there, standing outside the car. As I unlocked it he picked up two Slurpee's in a cardboard carrier and set them on the floor.


Craig: "Thanks, Dad. I'm sorry."

Dr. Grumpy: "It happens. What did you need for school, anyway?"

Craig: "The Slurpees."

Dr. Grumpy: "You left school to get 2 Slurpees? This whole thing was over a Slurpee?"

Craig: "Slurpees. I mean, yeah, Marie wanted one, too."

Dr. Grumpy: "Why didn't you get them at the 7-11 by the school?"

Craig: "I went there first, but they don't start making them until 10:00. But I remembered there was another 7-11 down here."

And he drove off.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Random pictures

Okay, time to hit the mailbag for stuff you guys have sent in:


First we have this picture, taken at an airport, where bicycles using the bathroom is, apparently, an issue:





Then there's this place's answer to "what should we get grandma for Christmas?"

"Wow! Verapamil, metformin, morphine... this place has the best gifts!"




While we're on the subject of places to get gifts, who can forget...






Then there's this product so you can "keep balling all night."






And, finally, there's this happy-go-lucky coloring book about everyone's favorite viral-disease-of-cheerfulness, RABIES.




Sunday, September 16, 2018

Holidays are coming!

So if you'd like to send in a horrifically tasteless submission for this year's Dr. Grumpy gift guide, please do so! My email is in the right sidebar.

Thank you!

IG

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Frail

Like most neurologists, I do EMG/NCV's. This is a test that involves needles and electrical shocks.

It's nobody's idea of a fun test, but we do get a lot of information from it, and for many disorders it's the best test there is for sorting things out.

As a result, it's not uncommon for me to get a fax from another physician's office asking me to do one on a patient. They send over the insurance info and all, and Mary calls the patient to schedule it.

About a week ago I received a fax from Dr. Livingston. It was an order sheet that said "Please do EMG/NCV on Mrs. Geri, possible hand pain." Mary called her number, reached her daughter, and set up the appointment.

Mrs. Geri came in a few days later. She was in a wheelchair, pushed by her daughter. Advanced Alzheimer's disease and incapable of doing anything other than mumbling gibberish. Frail, maybe 90 pounds. Occasionally she'd randomly wave one or the other hand back and forth.

I asked her daughter why Dr. Livingston wanted the test, and her daughter told me it was because of the intermittent hand waving. She hadn't complained of pain (or pretty much anything else).

And... I couldn't do it.

Sorry, Dr. Livingston. The $250 I'd get for putting this poor old lady through an unpleasant test that she couldn't understand seemed more like an exercise in greed and torture than a diagnostic medical procedure.

Not that I really blame Dr. Livingston. I'm sure he was just trying to find out why she'd occasionally wave her hands, but to me it was immaterial. Even if I found something, after putting this sad lady through unneeded discomfort, what would really be done with that knowledge?

I explained this to the daughter and sent them on their way. The billing sheet and her insurance info went into the shredder. I took a loss on the hour and sent Dr. Livingston a polite letter explaining why I hadn't done the test.

I'm sure he can find another doctor to do it. Maybe someone hungrier than I, or less willing to ask questions.

But I just couldn't do it.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mary's desk

Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary."

Ms. Caller: "Hi, I'd like to make an appointment with Dr. Grumpy."

Mary: "Okay, and what will you be coming in for?"

Ms. Caller: "I have Spritzgong-Fleagle Syndrome, and need to have an MRI done annually to check for new damage."

Mary: "Okay, let's see... This week is pretty busy, but I can get you in next Thursday, at 10:15."

Ms. Caller: "That won't work. I was hoping to get in this week so I can get the MRI done soon."

Mary: "Are you having new problems?"

Ms. Caller: "No, my regular neurologist will be back from vacation next week, anyway."

Mary: "Wait... you already have a neurologist?"

Ms. Caller: "Yes, I see Dr. Stevens, at Huge University Hospital. She specializes in Spritzgong-Fleagle Syndrome, but she's on vacation until next week."

Mary: "Then... why are you calling to see Dr. Grumpy?"

Ms. Caller: "I thought he could order an MRI, then I'd have it when I see Dr. Stevens next week."

Mary: "I'm sorry, but he doesn't cover for Dr. Stevens. You'd have to call her office to get the test done, or wait until she comes back."

Ms. Caller: "Thanks for wasting my time."

Click.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Parenthood

Dr. Grumpy: "How's she doing with the new medication?"

Mrs. Daughter: "Calmer, but she still treats me like a child."

Mrs. Dementia: "Are we at the doctor's yet?"

Mrs. Daughter: "Mom, this is the doctor."

Mrs. Dementia: "How do you do? This is my daughter."

Mrs. Daughter: "He's met us before, mom."

Dr. Grumpy: "How are you feeling, Barbara?"

Mrs. Dementia: "Don't talk back to me, young man!"

Mrs. Daughter: "Mom, he's the..."

Mrs. Dementia: "You don't talk back to me, either! Go to your room, right now!"

Dr. Grumpy: "Barbara, it's okay."

Mrs. Dementia: "And you're grounded, young man!"

Monday, September 3, 2018

September

Reminding all the guys out there that it's Prostate Cancer Awareness month. So be sure to get checked. And here's some special guests to say more.


 
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