Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood

Taking a friend to the hospital, or, why you don't want to sleep in your contacts.

Yesterday, while driving home, I got a tearful call from a friend (who we will call MEKS for the rest of this story). She'd developed some issue with her eye, it was getting scary and painful, and she needed a ride from her workplace to a clinic. Pity the timing, if I had still been in Kirkland I could have just gone right up to Bothell, but instead I was already past the last exit before the 520 bridge, and so was committed to staying in the crawling traffic for a while.

I got home, mapped the address she was at, and went back and got her, arriving just as her appt at the clinic was supposed to be. Between bad directions from the person who recommended the clinic, and really bad directions from the clinic staff, we arrived an hour late. And they weren't willing to see her while also doing the paperwork at the same time, so sent us to a walk-in clinic down the street (and again the directions were poor).

It's been pointed out that humanity is, on average, just barely as smart as necessary. This really shows up when you ask just about anyone for directions. Why can't people give directions like Google or MapQuest? Street names and NUMBERS, turn directions, and exit NUMBERS as well as names. And correct distances, rather than "a ways" or "between five and ten miles".

Anyway, the walk-in clinic had already closed. Buttheads.

The information line on her health insurance was also closed. Buttheads. One wonders what insurance the executives at Cingular have. Somehow I doubt it's the same one that they chose for their CSR employees.

MEKS was melting down pretty badly at this point. But between me and help on the phone from omahas, we helped her hold together, figured out how her insurance interacted with hospitals and emergency room selections (the insurance's ask-a-nurse helpline was no help either), and I took her to Overlake Hospital in Bellevue.

From here the story gets happier. They weren't overly busy, they triaged her right in, weren't too stupid about paperwork (she was only asked for her address, employer, and ssn twice, instead of just once (or better yet, none at all, since they could have gotten most of it from her insurance card)), and they didn't try to keep me out with "sorry, staff and patients only". (I've gotten really good at looking purposeful and unstoppable, even without the coat and hat.)

Anyway, within a few minutes an ophthalmologist was looking at her, and soon after had put contact anesthetic eyedrops in, which improved her mood immensely. He then did a closer exam (the florasine made her irises glow bright yellow, like a zombie, or a Galactic Emperor, which was pretty cool), and then cut a few more scrips for her, and arranged a followup visit.

Soon after, her bf arrived to take care of her, and to take her home. She's got a followup appt today (and in fact, probably is at it right now.)

But I missed gipsieee's party.

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