Category Archives: health care

well, that never happens

I just got off of the phone with the pharmacy, and it seems that GI doc must have worked some magic because we’re getting this prescription for free. That’s right: free. $0. I don’t know how it happened. I’m not going to question it. I’m just going to take my enzymes like a good girl and thank the universe that something, for once, has gone right.

And by the way, if you ever do need help paying for prescriptions, I found some decent programs out there. The one that we would have had to use for this medication wouldn’t have given us more than a 30% discount (on a medication that already cost WAY too much), but it’s nice to know there’s a little help out there. Many thanks to Cindy for calling this to our attention.

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the big fat fly in the ointment

So we filled that prescription for pancreatic enzymes on Friday–or rather we filled part of it. It seems that the doctor wanted me to have 300 pills a month (I am supposed to take two each time I eat), and the pharmacy had only forty or so on hand. They gave me forty pills for the weekend. We didn’t have to pay anything yet.

But I got curious over the weekend. You see, I don’t have health insurance now that I’m no longer pregnant. Baby Genius has coverage, but I’m on the cross-my-fingers-and-hold-my-breath plan that so many Americans are on. It works out pretty well so long as I don’t get terribly sick or hurt, and so long as I don’t have to visit a pharmacy. Imagine my horror when BG’s specialist wrote the prescription for me.

Over the weekend I did a little research on what this prescription is going to cost me, and I nearly choked on my own tongue.

This stuff is over two dollars a pill. This prescription is going to cost me somewhere between $650 and $700 if I fill it. Now, obviously someone who can’t afford healthcare doesn’t just have this sort of money lying around, and we can’t bill it to BG’s insurance because it’s under my name.

And what’s worse is that we have had a few days of trying this, and it works. It works really well. Last night, after I found out the cost, I decided not to take it, and we were back to ugly poop again this morning.

I’m going to call BG’s pediatrician today and see if he could rewrite the prescription into BG’s name. It would be fantastic if we could get it covered. If we can’t, I’m going to be going on the full elimination diet because that’s what those of us who don’t have health insurance have to do. We have to go the DIY route. I’m so fucking sick of this.

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we’ll take door #2

We had our exciting visit to the big children’s hospital in Oak.land yesterday. We arrived a little early after getting only a little bit lost. I had sniped at my mom, the navigator, a couple of times, and J and I were snappy with one another. I think we were all a bit nervous.

Upon entering the outpatient building we were positively mesmerized by how gorgeous this place was. In the huge lobby, there was a jungle play area with enormous paper mache palm trees. There were huge butterflies and suns and such hanging from the ceiling. There was natural light everywhere. It was magical-looking, even a bit serene.

Three different lovely people helped us find our way to the gastroenterology area. We soon checked in, and before I could get BG’s birthdate down on the forms, we were called back. I filled out forms while J took him to get his vitals (he’s 18 pounds 3 oz. now and 27 inches tall!), and then we sat in the exam room while I nursed him. For our first visit, we were to see a nurse practitioner who would complete a full physical. I guess this was to determine which doctor he would then need to see. We weren’t really prepared to come back, and I honestly didn’t expect to get much out of this except for a mandate for further appointments and tests, which we had planned to ignore.

I’m so glad I was wrong.

A woman peaked into our room while we were waiting and said, “Oops. Wrong room, ” and left. We thought nothing of it and continued to wait, singing to BG to drown out the crying of a child in the room next door. Soon there was a knock at the door, and in came the same woman, whom I assumed was our nurse practitioner. She was in her mid- fifties with razor-cut blonde hair just past her chin. She was wearing a long, likely-handmade funky dress and she wore a small olive canvas bag across her.

She introduced herself to me: “I’m the doctor. I stole you from my nurse. You must be the mom.”

“One of them. I’m the birth mom. She’s his other mom,” I said, referring to J.

“Oh, okay,” she replied, as though we had told her BG’s eyes are blue. She jotted down a note, and then said emphatically, “This baby is the picture of health. He’s fine. But let’s talk about this. What brings you here today?” We told her about the blood and the mucous, about my partial elimination diet. She wrote down her notes, and said, “We see this a lot, and while it’s possible to do a biopsy on his digestive tract to make sure it’s really an allergy, we don’t need to. There’s also hypoallergenic formula. But in my experience, those options aren’t necessary. Unless you’re interested in those measures, let’s talk about some other things we can do.”

Immediately she dismissed the two options we didn’t want to hear about. We were, of course, delighted to hear that we didn’t need to do any invasive tests, that I wasn’t going to be asked to stop breastfeeding (because I wouldn’t). She did tell us the other ailments this could be, but she also explained why she was ruling those out. She also informed us that there are no allergy tests–no blood tests or skin tests–that can be done at this point for food sensitivities of this nature. With all of this information under our hats, she gave us our options for treatment:

1. I could continue with an elimination diet, but I would have to eliminate all the big potential allergens: dairy, soy, eggs, fish, nuts, and wheat.

2. She could prescribe for me pancreatic enzymes to take when I eat. These are meant to break down the proteins of all of the potential allergens when I consume them so that when they pass into the breastmilk, they’re much easier for BG to digest.

3. Do nothing and wait for him to outgrow it.

She really encouraged us to try the enzymes, noting that the true elimination diet doesn’t leave much for me to eat and that it might still not work. We both loved the idea that I might be able to eat what I want and help our baby get better, so we took her up on the offer for a prescription, and I’m filling it today.

Before she left, she told us she didn’t need to see us again but that we could email with any questions. We may have another visit if this hasn’t resolved within his first year, but otherwise, Baby Genius has been declared a perfectly healthy baby who happens to have bloody stools. We walked out of that office feeling so cared for, so much lighter, so relieved that we can move on and put this behind us.

Today I am having cream in my coffee for the first time in months. It’s so very good. So good.

Tomorrow is our baby’s six month birthday. Half a year this boy has been with us. He will be eating avocado for the first time because avocado is the food of the gods, and what better food  than the food of the gods for celebrating one’s half birthday?

P.S.  The diapering post is in the works–expect it by early next week.

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Filed under Baby Genius, health, health care

glucose torture test complete

I have finished the glucose tolerance test, and, as expected, it sucked. If any of you out there can avoid this thing, do so.

Of course, it wouldn’t be my life if there weren’t hoards of glitches related to my medical care. I arrived at the lab around 8am after fasting for twelve hours. The waiting room was not just packed but overflowing. I signed in, looked around for a seat, didn’t find one (and, big surprise, people don’t give pregnant women their seats these days), and thus took a seat on a bench in the atrium of the building outside the door where the other overflow patients were going.

I have to admit the atrium was far more appealing than the stuffy waiting room. It’s open and airy and filled with plants. As I sat there, I watched moms trying to keep their cute kids entertained while they waited. However, one mom came in with her own mom and her three kids–one who was around two, the other two who were twins and likely about 7-8 months old. She was taking her one-hour glucose screen and was visibly pregnant again–and really horrible in so many ways (she was one of those people who has a loud pop song for her ring tone and whose phone rings literally every thirty seconds). It’s strange how the frustrations of TTC can stick with a person even when she is pregnant, but they do, and I found myself infuriated with this woman (who was threatening to “whoop” her two-year-old for not standing still) for being so damn fertile and not seeming to be grateful for what she had. I hate feeling that, but I did, and it seemed no matter where I was for the hour she was there, she and flagrant fertility were right next to me.

After waiting far too long without being called in, I went back into the waiting room to see if I could make any progress, especially considering I was going to be there another three hours AND because the aforementioned trashy woman got her orange drink as soon as she showed up. They wanted me to sit down again, but I told the nice women at the desk that I would be there for three hours and that I wondered if I could just make sure they had my paperwork so that maybe possibly perhaps we could get me started. Lo and behold, my ever-so-efficient doctor’s office had not faxed over the order. I was standing there for seemingly no reason. I don’t think I need to mention here just how unsurprised I was considering the administrative issues that have been at work with this place since day one. Calling the doctor’s office didn’t help; they weren’t open until 9am, so I asked what I should do–if I should come back another day, wait around, etc. My patience had worn very thin, and I was starting to tear up. I was mad and frustrated and embarrassed. Luckily these women took pity on me and started me up without the order. Now I could add incredibly grateful to my long list of emotions.

Now, the drink for the screening wasn’t too horrid. It wasn’t anything I would normally drink, but it was tolerable and just sweet and reminded me of koolaid or flat orange soda. This one, on the other hadn, contained significantly more glucose and was like chilled orange syrup. I had my fasting blood drawn, and then I had to sit where I was and drink the stuff quickly. It was awful, and I couldn’t choke it down fast enough.

After another four phone calls to my doctor’s office, I finally got the medical records person on the line. She tried to tell me I would have to wait, but when I told her the test had already begun, that they were demanding the paperwork, and that it was supposed to have been faxed three days ago, she finally yelled, “Fine! I’ll do it!” and hung up on me. At least it was done and I wasn’t going to have to leave and drink the syrup again.

I did get lucky in one department: The phlebotomist who took my blood today was quite nice. She easily found my vein, and she was very gentle. As a result, we were able to use the vein all four times, and I didn’t so much as wince until the fourth draw. I think the second hour was probably the worst. I was terribly thirsty, and they wouldn’t let me drink so much as a sip of water. I was also getting very hungry and was lightheaded as a result. While I had finally gotten a seat in the waiting room, it was packed, and people in packed rooms tend to smell bad. It wasn’t pretty, and there were a few moments when I wasn’t sure I could take it anymore.

There were a few saving graces: I did bring a good book. It’s one that J just finished reading: The Last Lectureby Randy Pausch. It is written by a professor who knows he will be dead of pancreatic cancer within just a few months, and it’s about his “Last Lecture” but also the legacy of life lessons he hopes to leave for his children. It is beautiful and funny and inspiring, and it made me put the day into perspective. I also came equipped with music, which I did listen to for awhile, not to mention I had a particularly active Egghead to keep me company.

Once I was finished, and the phlebotomist had wished me a “good lunch,” I had a snack, and made the half-hour drive home. My wife took me out for Mexican food as soon as I arrived, and promptly brought me home and laid me down for a nap with Cleo the cat. And that, my friends, was my glucose torture test. Now I wait to see how I did.

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a comedy of errors

My medical care during this pregnancy has been sufficient, adequate, fine–but the administrative and bureaucratic issues surrounding that care have not ended. Around every corner is another fiasco. You know that great ultrasound we had last week? I scheduled it three weeks in advance. I woke up the morning beforehand thinking I needed to call the clinic to confirm the appointment, and I’m so glad I did, for they no longer had me scheduled. Luckily, they resolved the issue, but the fact that this came as no surprise to me is a little alarming. You can read back through the archives to see the other issues we’ve dealt with, but in short, every visit to the doctor has come with some weird administrative issue from the theft of my records to mysteriously cancelled appointments to appointments being moved to other providers.

It should come as no surprise then, that this most recent attempt to find us some new health coverage is also coming with its fair share of hassles. Despite the “rush” that was placed on our application for state healthcare, our case is still pending. Now that it is still pending, J and I have made too much money this month. I just read that if it is found that we have made too much money in a month, then we will be expected to quickly rid ourselves of our “excess” cash by putting it toward medical bills the state would otherwise have paid. In short, we’ll be punished for making a bit of money to cover our rent, food, and utilities over the summer and instead will pay cash for our medical bills just like we’re doing right now.

The tiny silver lining is that we’ll now qualify for the middle-income state-sponsored insurance, so we’re going to pursue that, and that seems great, right? Well, yes, in some ways, I suppose; however, with this insurance, there will be no birth center. The birth center will let us pay $5000 cash, or they will honor one major health insurance company (to which we have no access), or they will take Medi-Cal. They will not honor any of the three insurance companies this new coverage uses. This means that there will likely be no birth center for us. This means we’re back to a hospital birth, back to an OB, back to conditions we had so tried to avoid and so wanted to escape.

My wife keeps telling me today she’s going to deliver our son. We have joked that we will call my brother the paramedic and his wife the nurse to attend the birth. Or perhaps I’ll just go squat in a field by myself.

In all seriousness, I’m trying to come to terms with this. I have long wanted a midwife-attended birth center birth. If we didn’t live in a busy apartment complex, I would have wanted a home birth. These things aren’t likely going to happen (unless we decide to stop bringing in income), so I’ve given myself the day to mourn, and now I’m putting on my big girl pants and figuring out how to make this hospital birth the best we can. We’ll be looking into doulas, possibly exploring the other two midwives at our OB clinic to see if they’re any less scatter-brained than the one we met a couple of months ago, and checking out the “birth centers” at a couple of hospitals, and then we’ll proceed from there. Ultimately, I know it’s most important that the baby and I are both well cared for during the birth. I just hate that our hopes and dreams for this birth now seem so far out of reach.

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we’ll take some human services, please

Today we spent the morning at our county’s human services office. On Monday, my rejection notice came from the AIM program, and I was informed that my application would be forwarded to Medi-Cal with a 45-day waiting period. Fuck that, I decided. I was going to take matters into my own hands. I called the local Medi-Cal number, spent an hour climbing around the various limbs of their phone tree only to reach a man who told me I needed to come into the office to make an appointment to have my questions answered.

So today we made the 40-minute trek to make the appointment, but I just happened to bring a whole file with income documentation, pregnancy verification and the like in a trusty file folder.

We walked in to an overwhelming line and the even more overwhelming stench of the stalest of cigarette smoke. There were children running around, strung out adults peaking over their shoulders any time the door opened, really young women looking really scared, and mostly a lot of pretty normal-looking people who looked annoyed to be standing in line. We made it to the front of the line while flirting with a cute toddler, and I was handed a huge stack of papers to fill out before I was to get into another line. Whilst filling out said papers, my wife kept me organized and sane as we listened to a woman recount –seemingly to anyone within earshot–every  instance of her childhood abuse, all while she played a hand of cards (The woman was later holding this same hand of cards upon leaving the bathroom and upon leaving the doors where appointments seem to be held. I don’t know where the game was held, or with whom.I got a peak; it was nothing good if she was playing poker.). There was a whole subgroup of people in their twenties high-fiving each other and catching up. They could easily have been my community college students. I was kind of glad today that they weren’t. The last thing I needed to hear today was, “Hey Ms. T! What are you doing here?”

We got through the stack of paperwork fairly quickly, entered a new line, and before we knew it, we were in front. We agreed that our strategy was to be really nice to the worker we encountered, just as we both tend to do at the DMV, and I did just that. I smiled, asked her how she was doing, told her about the AIM issue, and she looked for me in the computer without any luck.  She then asked, “Are you planning on carrying to term?”

Um. Yes.

I showed her the extra paperwork I had, and she took everything I had, put me into the computer, and told us that she was going to rush my application, that there would be a decision and a caseworker by the end of the week. She stamped “RUSH” on all of our forms and reassured me that I didn’t even need an appointment. And just like that, we were out the door. It was that easy. This woman was amazing. She was nice. She treated us with dignity and respect; it was so different than so many other experiences we’ve both had with similar institutions, and we were more than happy to fill out a positive comment card for her thanking her for her service.

Now we wait again, but it’s a little wait, and I somehow feel like this is going to be resolved. I won’t sigh just yet though.

Tomorrow is our next OB appointment, and it’s the first I’m attending all alone (we’re starting a marathon scoring session for the state university system this week, so J has to stay home and score, score, score). I look forward to a heartbeat and to no ultrasound (this would be the first without one–I really don’t want one every time). Next week, however, is our big 20-week (holy shit, we’re almost half-way) ultrasound–the big anatomy scan, the big reveal (of the sex, that is). I suppose I’ll have to set up a poll. Any informal guesses?

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limbo

I have mentioned a few times on this blog that our financial situation is occasionally a little precarious. As part-time, seasonal instructors at colleges, we are never guaranteed classes, and some semesters, we just don’t get them. This semester was one of them. I have an online job that I fall back on during these times, but it is part-time, and it offers no health coverage. J has now been actively searching for work and applying for jobs for the past three months with not even a phone call for an interview. It’s always a crap time to be out of work when our degrees and experience pigeonhole us to a very specific level and type of teaching, but right now, with the waves of layoffs and hiring freezes, it just flat sucks. She has been applying for jobs far beneath her experience and qualifications, but there are simply no bites. We both pick up temporary test scoring gigs from time to time, but again, these offer nothing in the way of stability or health insurance.

As a result of all this, we’re living on my little salary, a little bit we saved from the fall semester, and J’s unemployment, and we’re making ends meet. It’s tight, but it’s manageable. After so many years of this type of living, we know how to live on a budget.  Until the end of March, we had J’s health insurance from the university, which was okay. It was crap insurance (because for some reason, part-time seasonal instructors get crap insurance), so we now have medical bills for every ultrasound and test they ran, but at least the office visits were covered. For us, COBRA is not an option. Well, it is, technically, but it would cost us a thousand dollars a month, and this would mean choosing between a roof over our heads and crappy health insurance. Clearly, we choose the former.

As of the beginning of April, however, we have no health coverage. This is often the case in the first half of the year, but this year, I am pregnant, and this is not acceptable. We are fortunate in California to have a couple of programs for middle and lower income pregnant woman.

For months, I have known that if J did not find full-time work with benefits, we would be applying for the middle-income program, and I was happy with that. When applying for such a program, one has two options: prove one’s income via current check stubs, or prove one’s income via last year’s tax forms. Here is where our limbo began. When I sat down to apply, I discovered that our current income brings us thirty dollars under the minimum income to qualify, and last year’s tax forms bring us a couple of thousand dollars over. This led me to call their information line to find out what happens in these cases, and I was promptly sent to a call center in India where my questions did not fit the script the operator had, and so, I was told to apply anyway to see what would happen. I have to wait ten days.

If I don’t qualify, my application will be sent to Medi-Cal, where I also may or may not qualify. I am just thirty dollars under their uppler-level income cutoff. Next month, when J and I score tests, we will be a thousand or more dollars over, and this cycle will continue until September when J begins teaching again or when she finds a job. The anxiety produced by all of this is beyond words. I just want some fucking health coverage.

I have, for a long time, been a big proponent of universal healthcare. As someone who works in a field where healthcare is only provided to the lucky tenured few, I know what it is like to be my own doctor, to hope that I don’t get too sick during the off months because if I do, I’ll end up in the community clinic where they’ll assume I’m a drug-seeking junkie should I have any pain. Healthcare really shouldn’t be something for those in certain professions or those with perfect health (don’t get me started on being denied private insurance for “undiagnosed wrist pain”), but for now, in the good old U.S. of A., that’s precisely who it’s for.

So we may end up on Medi-Cal. My first feeling when I realized this was shame–shame that we can’t seem to find a more successful path, shame that somehow we’re not taking care of ourselves, or our baby. But we are, and there isn’t any reason for us to be ashamed. We pay into this system every year, and if we are to benefit from it, we’ll hold our heads high, and hope for the best. The greatest thing about it all would be that we would definitely be covered for prenatal care and birth at the birth center we want to transfer to. Our classes would be covered at the birth center, and our baby would be enrolled in a health care program for children when s/he is born. These are all such positive things that I’ll be happy if it works.

I think it’s important to talk about this, as personal and as uncomfortable as it all is. There are so many of us struggling to have our families. We struggle financially (and in so many other ways) just to get here, and then we struggle again once we’re here. But there doesn’t need to be shame in that (although I know plenty of people out there who believe otherwise), especially in these hard times.

We should know in a week where we stand. Until then, it’s limbo.

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spewing forth boredom and panic

It has happened. I have become one of those bloggers who cannot seem to write now that she’s somehow miraculously made it to the other side of TTC. My blogs consist of updates on pregnancy matters and little else. I’m so boring. Unfortunately, I am not just boring in blogland. My wife mentions once in awhile that she feels she has lost me to napland. At some point in the day, some days earlier than others, I collapse on the sofa or in bed, and I sleep for hours. I am utterly useless. No wonder she misses me. The cats, on the other hand, are loving this.

Now for more boring. Here are the things that are keeping me up at night:

  • Neither J nor I were ever given classes for this semester, so I’m working part-time from home right now, and in some ways it’s a good thing. I cannot imagine entertaining thirty people who hate writing while feeling so exhausted. I fear I would have been as apathetic as they are. However, this also means that my income has been cut in half, and J’s income has been cut by 100%.
  • Living in the Bay Area, this income might as well be nothing.  J is feverishly job-hunting, trying to land something that will provide us with insurance so that we aren’t without. For now, we still have health insurance through J’s last teaching gig–until the paychecks stop. That won’t be long now. While my OB appointments and labs thus far have been covered, they won’t be after this month, and this is more than a little scary. We do have backup plans: California has a great, privately-funded program for middle-income pregnant women who can’t get affordable health insurance. If J can’t find a full-time position with benefits, then we’ll have access to that, and it seems that my clinic honors this program, so that is helpful.
  • One unfortunate scenario that could occur, however, is that J could be offered a job with benefits only to find that those benefits are limited to a really fucked up HMO  (Ka.iser) to which we refuse to entrust our lives (they are solely to blame for the death of her father). In this case, I would not have access to the cool California program, nor to my clinic, nor to any kind of freedom regarding prenatal care or birth. A midwife may or may not be out of the question depending on income (we would have to pay out of pocket). The birth center we hoped to use would certainly be out of the question at $5000 out of pocket.
  • We really need to move. We just learned that one of our neighbors was evicted for complaining a few times about a noxious odor in her apartment, about which the owners refuesed to do anything (yes, she sued for wrongful eviction). The people who own this apartment complex are crooked. They have been known to deny maintenance in hopes of keeping security deposits. We have the law on our sides, but we don’t have the money to afford attorneys. It’s a great apartment, but we need to get the hell out of here. Besides, living in a house would be far preferable once we have a baby anyway. We could use the space, and we could certainly use the privacy.
  • We really need a more reliable car. The two we have are on their last legs. That simply isn’t acceptable. This all depends, of course, on gainful employment. And so the cycle continues.
  • Some seem to think that since we have master’s degrees that finding employment should be a cinch. Were I naive and much younger, I might think the same. However, those who haven’t spent their lives in academia are also unaware that few employers really give a shit about how many students we’ve taught to write if we don’t have ten years of copyediting or technical/grant/business writing experience. When it comes to being payed what we’re worth, we’re screwed.

Oh, it’s all annoying, but it’s going to be fine. It is. It really is. (Right? Right?!) If nothing else, we will piece together part-time gigs as we always have. I just can’t panic. I want to, but I can’t.

So perhaps this is why I haven’t been writing. I’m spewing–and whining–and complaining, but I’m not writing anything worth saying. See, blog silence is a good thing.

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Filed under anxiety, health care, Ramblings, the P word

Mish-mash

First of all, if you haven’t already and you can, go do what you can to contribute to Calliope’s IVF fund. This woman deserves to have some good deeds coming her way.

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In completely unrelated news, my hand is healing–enough for me to type with it! This is thanks, in no part, to the “doctor” I saw yesterday. As a person who has sporadic health insurance, I don’t have a regular general practitioner. I have a great OB/GYN, a decent ear/nose/throat guy, and even a physical therapist, but for the other stuff, I just press my luck and go to a local community clinic. This way, for the six months of the year when I don’t have insurance, I can visit the doctor for a sliding fee. Usually this works out. Well, I have insurance now, and I made the painful mistake of visiting this clinic yesterday and seeing a new doctor. He was dreadful!

I was told by the ER to have the my doc remove the bandages and cream and reapply them after examining the burns. This idiot doctor I saw yesterday decided it was better to just leave the half-inch thick cream caked on and said, “Well, I suppose it looks as good as can be expected.” Now, keep in mind that the cream was so thick, I couldn’t even determine where the burn was, but he must have x-ray vision or something because he downplayed the whole thing and instead talked to me about his fucking screenplay about competitive birdwatching. Holy fucking hell.

So then he proceeded to send this assistant in to dress my hand. Not only did she not remove the old cream, but she didn’t even cover it completely! The woman covered part of my fingers and palm with some crappy gauze, barely attached some tape and accused me of pouring boiling water on my hand on purpose. At this point, I was trying to control the tears streaming down my face and trying to decipher the ten different sets of directions they had given me for the care of my hand, when she asked me, “So how did you do it, anyway?” I told her I was sterilizing a gallon jar for me and J’s apple cordials (she gave me quite the pinched face when she realized this was alcohol) when the seal on the lid broke and poured boiling water all over my hand. Her response (after again asking, “Are you sure you didn’t do this intentionally?”) was, “Well, you should have put the jar in the oven. That’s what I do, and it’s a lot better than boiling water.” Oh. my. god. Even if that were a better solution and wouldn’t result in a giant jar the temperature of an OVEN, what business does a medical professional have basically saying, “I told you so!”?

At that point, I needed to leave. I couldn’t take it anymore. She sent me out some weird back door so I didn’t even get to pay my copay. Instead, I was suddenly on the sidewalk, cars whizzing by, crying, with this bandage that a two-year-old could have improved upon.

When J picked me up, she knew immediately that something was wrong, and she promptly took me home, cleaned off the goopy cream, and helped me look at my burn. We needed to know what was going on with it, and honestly, parts of it are much worse than I expected, and some of these bad parts, the medical assistant DIDN’T EVEN COVER WITH THE BANDAGE! In fact, they told me I should probably just use a band-aid. This burn is far bigger than any band-aid I’ve ever seen, but whatever. Maybe at their medical school, they place super-sticky latex on burns. Or maybe they just have their heads up their asses. Anyway, my sweet wife redressed my hand, made me a pretty little bandage, stopped my tears, and even bought me chocolate. I really am a lucky woman.

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