Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Best Medical Care in America

I can barely hold my right hand to the keyboard. I called UCLA this morning to ask about a flu shot. I was told to come in for a check-up as I have never been seen by my Primary Physician, after about seven years as a member of the Medicare program, only a revolving stream of residents.

Okay, the exam went fine and the doctor could find nothing that needed treatment or further attention. So he sends me out for my flu shot and a pneumonia shot.

I got out before noon and went about my business. Then, about 3:pm. I began to feel really sore in the pneumonia shoulder. I have always held that a little pain never hurt anybody, but by 5 o'clock I was feeling a lot of pain whenever I even moved my right arm.

So I called the doctor and got his answering service. He call me back promptly and scolded me for bothering him. He hated his answering service for requiring him to answer calls like mine. Nonetheless, I explained my problem and basically just wanted to know if this side effect was normal. He refused to give me an answer over the phone and stated that "We were at cross purposes." Huh? And that whatever I did was up to me to decide: if I was concerned I could either go to the Emergency Room with my problem or wait until the morning to see an available resident.

Of course going to the UCLA Emergency at night is the same as waiting all night to see a doctor. Wounds, ODs, ambulance arrivals and other serious and visible traumas get priority attention. From past experience, I knew I would have to wait for a sign-in person. Then be interviewed by a teller to verify my insurance and required to immediately pay a $50 co-pay fee. Sometime before daybreak, I would have my pulse, temperature and blood pressure taken. If any of these factors seemed out of line, I would be sold some pain killer, discharged and told to call my Primary Physician in the morning, which it would then be.

And all I wanted was a flu shot.


At November 09, 2005 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's part of the price YOU pay for living in YOUR paradice..
As for the way you felt after the shot? Sounds like it wasn't done quite right, or it's just you...
You shouldn't assume anything.. I'm not a doctor, and I don't play one on tv, but suggest you could check the side effects on-line..


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