Everyone knows, it is de rigueur not to get sick between Christmas and New Year. Now tell me something I don’t know. As someone who lives alone even with help, eventually they go home and as luck would have it, take vacation days right after Christmas through New Years Eve.
I really tried to be brave. We all know I come from a long line of mother martyrs. I was all right. Nothing is wrong with me. I even start singing…
The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar…
By the time New Years Eve rolled around, I was finished with Tiny Tim and James Stewart and Edmund Gwen and Margaret O’Brien (and just to throw in a name to struggle to identify) Guy Lombardo. For the first time I understood the full meaning of BAH HUMBUG!
A few days before Christmas, I had returned to Florida from a brief and fabulous family holiday in New York. I was wiped out. I thought a few days of feet up would fill the bill. It didn’t. I was only more tired. After Christmas, I was no better and even more fatigued.
I called my Florida Doctor which I discovered is as much an oxymoron as Florida Health Kare. She was unavailable until January 2 and I was referred to the Urgent Care Center and so began my Kafkaesque journey, which I have written as a play…
A Play by: Dr. Mother Martyr Heit
Urgent Care Center Waiting Room, Florida. New Year’s Eve. The last day of the year every person who doesn’t have health insurance in Ft. Lauderdale is waiting in the waiting room.
While at home trying to figure out what she was dying from, Mother Martyr Heit had spend days assuring her daughters by phone that all she needed was to rest. After all hadn’t they just enjoyed a brief and fabulous family holiday in New York? OK, maybe rest and a blood test.
Dr. Mother Martyr Heit (DrMMH):
Excuse me, how long will I have to wait?
About 3 hours, give or take.
Urgent Care Center Waiting Room, Florida. New Year’s Eve – 6 hours later.
Urgent Care Center Exam Room.
First, I’m going to take your blood pressure.
Dr. Mother Martyr Heit (DrMMH):
Of course, look all I really want is a blood test. The menu outside says I can have one for $120.
I have to take your blood pressure again.
Sure. And then can I get a blood test?
I have to call the Doctor. Your blood pressure is 200 over 110.
That is high! All the more reason to give me a blood test, right???
Urgent Care Center Exam Room, Florida.
Doctor Enters and introduces himself.
I am going to take your blood pressure!
OK. But I think if you give me a blood test we shall discover what is going on! Don’t you?
It’s very high!
So everyone says! How about the blood test?
Oh, I can’t do that!
What??? Why not??
Well, you already have a doctor! And we have to wait for her to give the order to give you any medication or tests!
My doctor will not be back until January 2nd ! It’s December 31st! Is it all right with you if I walk out with that number on my blood pressure???
Our policy is if you have a doctor she has to order the tests for you!
So, let me understand this! I have blood pressure that could cause a heart attack or stroke and you are not going to do anything to help me.
Madam, you can insult me all you want but that is this urgent care’s policy.
Doctor, let me tell you, if I was insulting you, you would know it! I am simply and absolutely incredulous that you call your policy “health care”!
You can go to the Emergency Room at the hospital.
I’m not sure I have another 6 hours to wait! This is just too Kafkaesque!!
Oh, is that the name of your Dr.?
Dr. Mother Martyr Heit calls Uber. Goes home. Takes a valium. Her blood pressure comes down. She goes to sleep, hibernating until her doctor returns Jan. 2.
The end of the play but not the end of Kafka Kare in Florida.
When my doctor returned I called with my blood pressure reading and she told me to come in. She gave me a very inclusive blood test and urine test. A major infection, some antibiotics and on the road to recovery.
“The sadder but wiser girl am I.”
I have already told this story a few times. No one raises an eyebrow.
“What’s your problem, SJ? You’re in Florida”
Last time I looked Florida was part of the U.S.A. What happened to make the US Healthcare System the star of the third world?
Dr. Kafkaesque is alive and well in the United States.