Thursday, July 9, 2009


Elvis Presley had a gold ring with 'TCB' surrounded by lightning bolts. TCB means 'Taking Care of Business.' These days, I am working harder to take care of business.

I am quite certain that this urge comes over anyone that has learned of the possibility of a life-shortening illness. I have been tying up loose ends and addressing a few unfinished projects. The most pressing, in my view is that, although I have a will written in South Carolina, it refers to a separate property memorandum, where one indicates who gets what items of personal property. I completed and signed mine yesterday.

I am also working on eliminating my only debt: the mortgage on the house. I have been sending extra principle payments each month, but I would like to save up enough to feel comfortable sending in a few bigger chunks, say 5% of the outstanding mortgage. Whether I have a life-shortening illness or not, the budget would certainly go easier if there is no house payment.

I received a call yesterday from a person in the office of Dr. Hema. She said the results of my "anemia tests came back and they're fine." What in the world does that mean? When I hear the results of the bone marrow biopsy test, I shall ask, in a polite but pointed way, why the office calls patients with incomprehensible reports.

This is just another example of why a patient must aggressively manage their own health. The doctors and their staff are well meaning but often do not act in the patient's best interests. Here is another example.

When I saw Dr. Hema on Monday, he asked that I obtain a CD with the actual CT scan on it from the imaging center for his study. He explained that if he requested it, he may or may not get it and that if he does get it, it may or may not be in a timely basis. He also explained that if I asked the imaging center for the CD, I would get it instantly. I suggested that, if it fit on a CD, he request it be emailed to him. He explained that the imaging center is in the P hospital system and he's in the C hospital system, implying that different systems don't readily cooperate with each other. Of course, I went out of my way to get and deliver the CD.

Do you think the most efficient way for purely digital data to get from the imaging center to the physician who needs it most and needs it fastest is for the patient to drive it 70 miles round trip? Me, neither.

Wouldn't you think that all these doctors and specialties would have as their first objective to get old Mr. Bill well as fast as possible? Me, too. However, they are evidently hindered by, among other things, petty rivalries: the P's don't really talk to the C's, and don't even recognize the G's! What a way to run a system!

Do you think Mr. Obama's universal health plan will help all this? I don't.

Today's weight: 162. w00t!

No comments:

Post a Comment