Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Medical Ping Pong

Early Thursday morning I carried my Bible out in the garden by the fountain and read the section of John’s Gospel (Chapter 11) where Jesus raised Lazarus from death.

In a nutshell: Someone told Jesus that His friend Lazarus was sick in another town. But Jesus stayed where He was for two days before going to see Lazarus. Once He got there, He found Lazarus was dead and brought him back to life.

The Gospel writer says that Jesus delayed those two days because “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby”.

I think the apostle was wrong.

I think I know the REAL reason Jesus waited till after Lazarus was dead to show up — Jesus did not want to get involved with medical professionals!

Undertakers are so much easier to deal with.

Now, I have the utmost respect for physicians and nurses; I have written several historical articles in tribute to them. But today, the medical professionals and my health insurance company played ping pong using me as the ball. Perhaps these are all decent, god-fearing people caught in an evil system themselves, but I’m a bit frustrated.

The reason I think Jesus did not want to get involved with the medical community was that after my Bible reading, I spent hours and hours on the phone playing medical ping pong with my physician’s office and my insurance company.

This involved a four-page email print out from the insurance company filled with such phrases as “titrated doses”.(Is that something to do with breasts?) And it involved six or eight phone calls. And each phone call had to go through an automated phone tree menu:

“If your call involves a life threatening emergency, first make out a check to our company, be sure to use the correct postage, mail it, then call 911,” the machine tells me every time I call.

Then it says, “For prescription refills press 1… For appointment changes, press 2… For office hours, press 38…. For sports scores… For local weather…”

Then, once I pressed #286, the phone machine would transfer me to another automated menu: “For Doctor A’s secretary, press 1… For Dr. A’s lab, press 2… For Dr. B’s nurse, press… To place bets in the third race, press 47… or stay on the line and someone will help you shortly”.

Once I actually got a live person, she said, “Please hold, or call again later because I have someone more important than you on the other line.”

Then I hear music.

When the lady came back I asked if she’d give me an actual real phone number for the doctor’s nurse and she said, “It’s against our policy to give out our office phone number”.

What kind of business refuses to give customers its phone number?

It’s a good thing sick people don’t ever try to call my doctor’s office.

No, I’m not sick.

Last month my doctor gave me a prescription for some medicine to treat some something he says I have but I never feel (I think he made it all up off the top of his head just so I would not think I’d wasted my time in an office visit).

I sent his prescription to the pharmacy to be filled.

My pharmacy refused to fill the prescription because my insurance company refuses to pay for this medicine (number 1) because they say that this other medicine (number 2) is better for me than the one my doctor says is good for me.

So, I contacted my health insurance company.

Their representative assured me that when I die, the company will be sure to burn Ginny alive on my funeral pyre with my dead body because that’s the colorful native custom where he lives.

I called my doctor’s phone machine again and punched in the launch codes.

My doctor says medicine number 2 will cause me to strangle, gag and die in a pool of blood and pus if I take it; the insurance company says, “No it won’t. Besides his premium is paid up.”

After I made six phone calls about this (the charge in my cordless phone died and started beeping) my doctor knuckled under and wrote a prescription for medicine number 2 and his nurse called that in to the pharmacy.

About three hours later, the pharmacy called me. They can’t fill this prescription either. It seems that the insurance company has denied payment on medicine number 2, the very one they insisted that my doctor prescribe.

I can call again tomorrow to straighten this out… or I can follow the example of Jesus.

He decided it was easier to raise the dead guy than to deal with the medical community.

All joking aside, the raising of Lazarus is the hinge for the entire Gospel of John because at that point enemies decided that Jesus must be crucified. “ It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people… From that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death”.

They intended to make sure Lazarus was dead a second time also.

Heavy stuff.

On a lighter note, here, just for fun is one of my favorite jokes:

Dead Healthcare Professionals

Three healthcare professionals, an ophthalmologist, a cardiologist, and the chief executive officer of a health maintenance organization, a died in an accident and appeared at the Pearly Gates.

The Admitting Angel greeted them saying, “Welcome, gentlemen. Welcome! I’m glad to see you here. But before I can admit you, each must give an account of his life and reasons you should get into Heaven. Who wants to start?”

The first man spoke up. “I was an ophthalmologist. I helped people better see the glories of God’s creation.”

“That’s wonderful,” exclaimed the Angel. “That’s really something. You go right on inside”.

The second man said, “In life I was a cardiologist. I repaired weak hearts, extended people’s lives, I even did a few heart transplants greatly improving my patients’ quality of life”.

“That’s wonderful. How impressive,” said the Angel. “You go right on inside. Now, what about you?

“I was the CEO of an HMO. In my executive capacity I helped provide low-cost health care for thousands of clients who might not have otherwise had access to hospital care. At the same time I provided optimum profits for our shareholders”.

“That’s wonderful,” exclaimed the Angel. ”You go right on inside… But…”

“BUT! What do you mean But’” demanded the CEO.

“Well, you are admitted to Heaven, but you’re only allowed to stay for three days”.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:07 AM


At 5:33 PM, Blogger jellyhead said...

hee hee - I LIKE that joke. Except I don't think that healthcare bureaucrat should have even been allowed in for 3 days.

It sounds like you have been given the worst run-around by everyone involved with you getting your medicine. I hope it gets sorted out soon. Think peaceful, forgiving thoughts, and if that fails you could always stomp around muttering profanities, like I would!

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Kezzie said...

Sorry I'm not being mean but your rant made me laugh!!! Especially the phone tree menu and all that Jazz! Automated phones are very trying!

I count it a blessing that we have the NHS in the UK and I can actually just phone up my Doctor's surgery or A&E! My doctor is lovely!


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