Friday, June 12, 2009

Curmudgeon or crochety old lady?

Sometimes it's hard to keep one's mouth shut but sometimes I rise to the occasion. Among the bothersome things that have to happen after a move is finding a new MD or two. So I went to nearby group practice, because Rachel goes there and is relatively satisfied and they are quite near. Not the best of reasons but not the worst. The physician of choice isn't free to see a new patient for an intake physical until October. That's ok, October is when my annual physicals usually happen. But I saw a nurse practitioner because I needed prescriptions from a local source. She started a bit of a lecture on never skipping doses. I assured her I understood that and did NOT say that I know and she surely knows too, that something over 50% of the people in the US do not take their meds regularly, they forget, they think it's not important or they can't afford them. I am very religious about it but feel no pangs should I realize that, oops, I was in a rush and didn't take something.

But first a fairly friendly, pleasant tech-type filled in the usual history kinds of info on the computer, did weight and did an EKG. Then the NP came in, 50ish, businesslike, not particularly warm but seeming to know her stuff. Even so, she doesn't know about summing up patients or actually listening. "High blood pressure... you know you have to restrict salt." "I know and I do, although you're the first person who has mentioned it to me." Oops! That launched the spiel and the serious need for tongue biting. Starting with primitive man who ate roots and berries and very little red meat ... well, so she said. i'm not convinced, nor, I think, are most anthropologists. There were a few million years before humanoids became hunter gatherers and in that time they they probably killed and scavaged all the meat they could get and munched on whatever berries were around. They aren't likely to have died of heart attacks or strokes since they weren't likely to have lived very long. This is I did not say.

We reached a point where we moved on to fast food. She said hamburgers were the worst of the worst. I couldn't help saying I think hotdogs are right up there too. Then it was dairy, cheese not good, and never have whole milk. Well, I wasn't about to say I recently read evidence that humans did not drink milk until they domesticated animals -- well along in the evolutionary process and that there was nothing but whole milk until quite recently. I did say that I have not drunk milk at all since I was about 10. Undaunted about imparting information, she assured me I would like almond milk and soy milk too probably. I just listened. I was afraid if I said I have no intention of trying any kind of milk she would launch herself into a calcium spiel. She wrote a list of the "good" foods and the bad. I looked at her middle which had one more roll of extra flesh than my middle area and did NOT ask her if she adhered to such a sensible diet. I noticed she didn't mention exercise, nor did I.

Finally I made a get away with the additional job of getting medical records transferred. That involves telephone calls to secretaries who have to pass on the information to records clerks and leave me wondering if I need to follow up -- I know I should because such messages often get ignored. I hate this diddling stuff. It will get done of course. The great digital era has not yet perfected itself to the extent of being either user friendly or reliable.

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