Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Blog blitzed by bug - - no not that kind

Apologies for the quiet blog.

The flu bug that's been wiping me out has been a bit of a study of patience versus frustration.

-- For the past two years, my company has sponsored and announced a free flue shot clinic in the fall only to have to cancel each one when their supplier failed to come through with vaccine. This was my unlucky year.

-- My spouse says that the cough medicine with codeine is the only thing that would really knock down a lingering cough. It used to be that a person could buy the stuff by going to a pharmacy window, presenting identification, and signing a register. But, pretty much no pharmacies we know of in Albuquerque carry the magic gunk any more - - maybe everyone's afraid of black helicopters from the D.E.A. or Homeland Security or something. Getting plain Sudafed is also a challenge, since that seems to be a choice ingredient for methamphetamine (illegal stimulant drug) manufacture.

-- The flu bug strike coincided with an "awkward" change of health care providers. My employer changed from Lovelace to United Health Care. The company where I actually sit also did so, and their employees got their medical i.d. cards around Thanksgiving. We still don't have ours! Instead, I got the benefits folks to send me a "letter of introduction" that I can show to the medical office. I was able to use the on-line registration service at United and print out a temporary pharmacy i.d. card, but not a medical i.d. card.

-- Also, when I read through all the h.m.o. information from United, I learned that one of my "old" doctors was available to me, so I signed up to have him as my primary care physician. But, then, when I called his office yesterday, I was informed that all of the doctors in the practice has closed their panels and were not accepting new patients. It took quite a bit of talking for me to get them to agree to reinstate me as an "old new" patient. They also helped out by giving me the earliest available appointment with my doc. In two weeks. Of course, there's a limit to what can be done for the flu, but it seems that I also have a secondary infection - - eye goop - - and so if I want that treated it looks like I'd have to go to an urgent care center - - and hope the "letter of introduction" passes muster.

Oy ve. At least this isn't as bad as the broken arm, although it seems that the two incidents have a common feature: The "paperwork complications" are almost as bad as the injury or illness itself.

Enough of my problems. It is a beautiful day out. Even if I'm nowhere near water.

Also, if I'd been a sensible seagoing sort and out sailing the bounding main, I probably would never have gotten the silly bug in the first place.


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