I'm about up to here with the sue-er people. You know those people, right? The "I slipped on a grape and now I'm going to own all your stuff" kind of people? Those people are not my favorite. They're responsible for taking this whole bad situation with #4 and making it about 11 times harder than it ever needed to be. Because of them, the medical people are all afraid of being sued.
Like yesterday. Oh my goodness. Yesterday...........
Hang on while I back the ADD train up and get you up to speed.
#4 has JRA (for those of you who are new. Hi, new people!). She's 7 and has been on methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug) for a month now. With no results. Zip. Nada. Bupkiss. In fact she's gotten worse. (Both knees, two toes, an ankle and a foot) Monday, we made the hour long trek down to Scottish Rite hospital to meet with her rheumatologist. (I'm going to start calling her Dr. Rheumy.) Dr Rheumy prescribed an immuno-suppressant to add to the chemo to try and stop the destruction of her joints. (It's a lot to take in. Stop when you need to......ready to keep going? Good.) The only hitch in our giddy-up was that if she happened to have Tuberculosis, it would be really ugly, so they tested her.
Have you ever had a TB test before? I hadn't. It's a shot. Another one. They put the gunk under the skin on your arm and then wait 48 hours to see what it does. If you get an injection site bruise, you're healthy. If is gets red, swollen, and lumpy.....you need to see a doctor. So they placed it at the hospital and said that her pediatrician could read it, or a nurse, or a PA, or just about any medical person with extra letters after their name. They sign the paper; we fax it in; she starts the new medication. Easy Peasy.
They lied. Because, you see, they'd forgotten about the sue-er people. (You knew I'd get to them eventually.)
I called our family doctor on Wed just before lunch to see if we could pop in to have him take a look and sign the paper. (It's the one benefit of having a sick kid. The doctor becomes a friend. He even lets me call him Travis, which is kinda weird because his name is Steve.)
"I can't," Travis said. "The medical group that owns the office won't let me read any TB test I haven't placed. If I could, I'd swing by your house and do it on my way home so that you don't have to drag the whole crew out with you, but they won't let me. I'd be fired if I did."
"What?" asked the incredulous me. "Why would they fire you?"
"Because if I read it, then I'm guaranteeing that the test was done right. If it wasn't, then you could sue." We both know I won't, but I let it drop. He was genuinely sorry, and I'm not going to jeopardize his family for a dumb TB test that the hospital said anyone could read. (The truth is that the day may come when I ask him to stand on principle with us and risk his job. I'm saving that atomic option for the big stuff. This isn't big. Yet.)
So I went across the street to CVS because they have a clinic. The P.A. looked at #4's arm and confidently said, "That's a negative test result."
To which I replied, "Great. Can you sign the paper that says that."
"Oh, no ma'am. It's against out policy. If I signed that you could sue me."
So I went to the ER clinic thing down the way. "That's definitely a negative test."
"Can you sign?"
"Nuh-uh. I'd get fired. You could sue us."
By the time I got to the last clinic near us (yes, I realize it would have been faster to drive the hour to downtown Dallas.....I get it NOW. Yesterday I was looking for a little easier.) The super nice doctor looked at #4 and repeated the now familiar words. "She doesn't have TB, but I can't sign your paper. I'd get fired and you could sue."
My daughter looked up at me with an exasperated huff and said "Why can't anyone help us?"
"It's because we're looking for healers, my love, and they've all been replaced by bureaucrats."
So we made the hour drive for the less than 5 minute exam and then the hour drive home. What should have taken 10 minutes at a local doctor's office had taken over 6 hours, but at least we now had the new prescription to take to the pharmacy.
When I went back to pick up her refills and the new one, the pharmacy tech said "I'm sorry Mrs Frech. You'll have to come back."
"Is there a problem?"
"The pharmacist isn't here and she has to counsel you on the methotrexate. It's company policy."
"She already did. Last month. This is a refill."
"She has to do it every time. We can't give you the medication until she checks the box that says she read the warning information to you."
"The same script as last month? Why can't you read it?"
"I'm not a pharmacist. I'm not qualified. If I did it and you didn't understand what I said..."
"I could sue?"
"Yes, ma'am. You could."