My first major surgery of 2006 (not counting the 3 root canals) was in August, at Rose Medical Center. I had to fill out a detailed questionnaire for the orthopedic surgeon, even though I'd given all that information when I'd first gone to see him: name, address, phone #, SS#, medical insurance info, medical history with my height & weight, drug & food allergies, past illnesses & surgeries, list of meds & supplements I'm taking, family medical history, etc. It was all the more fun because I had to do it left-handed. Then the hospital admissions office called and asked me for the same information. The night before surgery, the anesthesiologist called and asked me many of the same questions yet again.
The next major surgery was in November, at Lowry Surgical Center with a different orthopedic surgeon. I had to fill out another questionnaire with name, address, etc., medical history, height & weight, allergies, etc., etc. Again more fun because I was still writing left-handed. Again the same drill with admissions and anesthesiologist.
In October 2007, after another root canal, I had a nose & sinus job by a doctor whose offices are in the Rose Medical Center. The procedure was to be done in the Rose Surgery Center, located across the street in the Rose Founders Building, where surgeon #1 hangs his shingle. This time I was asked to fill out the personal info & medical history, etc., online. Progress! But why couldn't they get the information from Rose Medical Center? "Oh, that's a different corporation." Never mind that it shares the same name and facilities. The afternoon before surgery, the anesthesiologist phoned and asked me for the same information. Why couldn't s/he (I forget which) get it online? "Oh, we don't have access to that till the day of surgery." Why don't you ask to get it the day before so you could save yourself and your patients some time? "That's a complicated process." ARGH.
This past Friday morning, I went to my MD for a pre-op physical. I filled out a questionnaire (right-handed, happily) with--you guessed it!--name, address, phone #, medical insurance info, medical history, blah, blah, blah. The MD faxed everything to the surgeon's office. A few hours later, a nurse at the Presbyterian-St. Luke's admissions office called and I spent 45 MINUTES giving her the exact same information that I'd written down that morning. Why couldn't the hospital get the forms faxed from the surgeon's office? "Oh, they don't share that information with us." Why not? "They just don't."
Then an hour or so ago, when I was enjoying a last two-armed cuddle with Darling Husband, the anesthesiologist called. Could I give him some medical information?
"Look," I said, "I don't mean to be difficult, but I did this with the hospital admissions office and surgeon on Friday. I'm getting tired of repeating the same things over and over. Why don't you get my information from them? They have everything you need to know."
"They don't share that information," he responded mechanically. (Maybe he'd said this before?) "Well, they should," I replied heatedly.
Then I drew a deep breath and told him my height, weight, drug allergies, surgical history, what meds I'm taking, blah, blah, blah. He told me that between midnight and 5:00 a.m. I could have a few sips of clear liquid, such as water, apple juice or black coffee. "Blech," I said to the last. Who'd want to have black coffee in the middle of the night on a nervous, empty stomach? I told him that I planned on being asleep between midnight and 5:00 a.m. The good news is that I may take a Valium to ensure that sleep.
Here's a cocktail I invented last night, in the absence of margarita mix. Over ice, pour:
- 1 shot tequila
1/2 shot Cointreau
1 can Limonata San Pellegrino
Squeeze in 1/4 lime