On Monday, I called the doctor to get an appointment with my family doctor (or any UAB family doctor) to get a referral to the orthopedist to get my thumb checked out. When I called, the soonest that they could get me in was next Tuesday. My mom called back and told the scheduler that I could barely use my hand, which is pretty much true, and that I’m in a lot of pain, which is also true. That got my appointment moved up to this morning at 8:30.
I went to the appointment this morning, expecting it to be a quickie since all I wanted was a stupid sheet of paper that would appease the gods of the Humana Medicare HMO. It was not quick. Instead, I had to sit through the nurse attempting to do the blood pressure, then the doctor trying to do it. (He ended up charting it using the BP that I said the hematologist usually gets.) He wanted to see for himself that it was low enough for me to be off my Lisinopril. Apparently, it was low enough that he couldn’t hear it.
Anyway, he also claimed he was going to clear out the medicines in the chart that I’m no longer on. (He didn’t.) He then examined my hand and decided that he wanted to give me NSAIDs. Luckily he read in my chart that I can’t take them. He then decided that he wanted to write me a prescription for Tramadol. I told him that I had Tramadol at home. He offered to write me a prescription for more, just in case I ran out. I told him that wasn’t necessary because the rheumatologist writes me plenty. He seemed to think that I might run out of refills. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. He eventually decided just to write a prescription for a spica splint, which doesn’t do me any good because the insurance won’t pay for the thing unless a doctor (or someone at the office) puts the splint on my hand. He didn’t get me a referral, so I had to come home and put a call in to get them to go ahead and do the referral without having to go back in. (Once the doctor sees you for a problem, they’re supposed to be able to do the referral without a visit.) I’m waiting for them to call back…if they call back, which I doubt they will.
So my hand situation is not any better and won’t be getting any better in the near future.