I know that I've mentioned it before, but this whole paperwork thing is REALLY driving me nuts! The surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, all the tests, surgeries, procedures, etc. that I've seen or had done are all in the SAME hospital for goodness sake! I practically park in the same parking spot each time. Is it too much to ask that they look me up in that little computer sitting on their desk and say, "Oh, it looks like you've already filled out the forms 487 times. I guess we don't need the same answers from you when we can look you up." Seriously people, a computer is not a new-fangled invention. Can we figure out how to use it in such a way that doesn't lead to the destruction of more forests...or cause me to strangle one or more of you?
Here are some examples of questions that I've been asked on said forms:
(1) Family history of cancer: mother, father, self, spouse: Having a science degree, I thought my grasp on genetics was relatively good, so I'm not quite sure how my spouse having/not having cancer relates to my having cancer. But, as one of my friends said, that question is just for people living in the south.
(2) Please list every instance when you've seen a doctor in your lifetime: SERIOUSLY?! Because I carry this info around with me? And if I did, it would be on some sort of COMPUTER DEVICE. Am I really supposed to remember when my mom took me to the doctor when I was 5? Short of my pregnancies, and visiting my brother in the hospital when he was a kid, I don't really remember much about specific doctor visits. So then my question becomes, is this to weed out the hypochondriacs? Because I'd really MAKE THIS CANCER UP?
(3) Please list every surgery you've ever had and when it was: Again, this is not information that is readily accessible from my brain. In fact, I completely forgot to put the eye surgery and the wisdom teeth removal that I've had done. I only listed the surgeries related to my cancer and the birth of the children. Which, by the way, because I didn't have a C-section, "don't count" as major medical events. Good to know. My hips would disagree though.
(4) Please sign here to authorize us to treat and bill you: Oh, you can bill me all you'd like. That doesn't mean you're going to get paid. Especially since you seem to be charging obscene amounts of money for your services.
(5) What is your occupation and are you exposed to hazardous materials: I teach in a middle school, and YES there are about 800 hazardous materials running around the building.
Questions that I've been asked by front desk people:
(1) "And you're the primary person on the insurance? There's no other insurance for you?" Okay, this is not a new question, as my insurance company itself sends me this same type of questionnaire at least two times a year. Why is it so shocking to people that the "little woman" could possibly be the primary insurance person in a marriage? Sorry, long-standing grudge.
(2) "What is your birth date and why are you here today?" HOLY SHIT, if I get asked this question ONE MORE TIME, I will lose it on someone. I haven't been keeping a tally, but I'm sure that I am up to 273 times that I've been asked this question. Consult with a doctor? Yes, they ask it. Blood draw? Yep. About to get surgery and hopped up on meds? Of course. (They're quite lucky I was coherent enough to get it right). I have told Keith that since I'll be losing my hair anyway, I am going to tattoo: "My birthday is 6/26/71 and I have cancer" on my head just to save everyone some time. I wonder what would happen if I answered the question wrong? Hmmm...that's a possibility worth pursuing to provide some entertainment value (at least for me).