Friday, November 26, 2004

WTF is the point of a flu shot?

The entire point of a flu shot is to keep you from getting the flu, right? So why is it that within 24 hours of my getting the shot, my entire family has the fucking flu????

It hasn't been a fun few days, guys. Between having a sick husband and three sick kids, and my being sick, it's been hell. And then I got the added fun of going to the emergency room because all the coughing caused my trigeminal neuralgia to act up.

Which brings me to my second point....what the fuck is the point of having a pain-management contract? At this point, I have no fucking clue. It was SUPPOSED to make my life easier. And it sounded good: put in writing what medications I can get and under what circumstances I am entitled to receive them. Sounds theory. But in practice, the damned thing is WORTHLESS.

I go to the hospital in mind-numbing pain. My contract says very clearly that if the pain is unbearable by MY standards, then I can go into the ER for a shot of Demerol and Phenergan. Now, I've had the same orders for five years. I've gone in and gotten the shot only a handful of times. Most of the time, I'll go in and ask for a non-narcotic instead, like Torradol. I've never once in five years exceeded my monthly allotment of Vicoden. I've never had one dirty urine test. I've always, ALWAYS upheld my end of the contract.

Apparently, though, the ER isn't too hip on holding up their end of it. Every time I go in, it's the same damned thing. I check in, and have to explain AGAIN to the nurses and doctors what's wrong, even though I have a fucking contract in my hand, showing them the thing, they still want me to tell them even though talking turns the pain from merely excrutiating to pure hell on earth. I'm going to get a Sign Language refresher class, and make the bastards find a fucking interpreter next time, I mean it.

After the check in, the doctor comes and in and asks "What's wrong?" I show him the contract. He looks at it as if it were written in a foreign language. Asks me why I'm there. I try, through a clenched jaw riddled with pain, to explain. Half of the time, they have no idea what TN is. Regardless, they ALWAYS insist on calling my doctor to verify the contract. I thought the point of the contract was so that I didn't have to wait on the fucking verification; the contract IS the verification! But no. I still have to wait an hour or two so the doctor on call can call the ER doctor to tell them that they don't treat me personally, don't know what's going on and the ER doc should (GASP!) FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE PAIN MANAGEMENT CONTRACT.

Then comes what I consider to be the ultimate in stupidity: the doctor actually wastes time asking me what meds I want. Look, asshole: I signed a contract stating very clearly that I would not recieve anything stronger than Demerol. I can't ask for anything stronger. So, Einstein, what do you think I want? ARGH!

Then I have to wait while the order is processed and my shot is administered. This entire process takes anywhere from three to six fucking hours, the entire length of which I am writhing in pain.

And they wonder why I choose to stay at home and suffer most of the fucking time....


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