2005-04-08 15:13:55 (UTC)

Last Month

I hadn't realized how long it'd been since I'd last written.
My apologies to my few faithful readers.

I've been dealing with medical issues again this past month.
I have an appointment with a new doctor next week and I had
been attempting to obtain copies of my medical records with
little success. I'd filled in forms, made phone calls and
left messages on answering machines and was getting
frustrated at getting no response at all. Finally I decided
that there was nothing left to do but to make the 40-mile
round trip to the medical records department and refuse to
leave until they handed me copies of my records. John
suggested that I could threaten them with removing an
article of clothing for every 10 minutes of waiting but I
decided to save that only for an absolute last resort.
(Just kidding!)

As it happened, I didn't have any problems. A few minutes
before I was ready to leave the phone rang and it was
someone from the medical records department returning one of
my many phone messages. I told her the dates I wanted and
she told me she could either mail the records or I could
pick them up that morning. I chose to pick them up.

A careful review of all the records confirmed what I'd
strongly suspected. The doctor I'd been seeing was making
recommendations for treatment based not on information about
me but on general statistical group data. I wrote my thesis
on the use of statistics for data analysis. It's foolish to
use group data to predict individual outcomes in the
financial world. It can be downright dangerous when it's
done to make medical decisions. That's exactly what this
doctor was doing --his labeling me as "unusual" and
expressed surprise when test results showed that I didn't
fit the group data was a clue. I lost confidence in him as
he seemed unable to recognize what he was doing and was
indifferent to his errors, errors which could have seriously
damaged my health. The last straw was when he brought up the
subject of doing major surgery, a surgery I had made clear
at every appointment I did not want, while I was undergoing
a painful biopsy. His lack of respect for my decision and
his timing on again bringing up this discussion brought that
relationship to a screeching halt. So next week I'm
starting anew. I chose this new doctor carefully and I'm
hopeful that I've made a good choice. We'll see.

Let's see...what else has happened this past month. Oh, my
mother-in-law was called in by the DMV to be tested.
She's 80 years old and is absolutely convinced she's an
excellent driver. I have my doubts. I have no idea who
turned her in but I'm grateful someone did as I think she's
a serious danger to herself and others. She's taken the
written test twice and flunked both times. John wondered
why the DMV was still letting her drive after flunking the
test twice. I have no idea. It's a good question. She was
scheduled to take it a third time last week but I don't know
if she passed it or not. If she didn't she has to wait 28
days before taking it again and as the DMV gives her only 60
days to pass all of the tests that would seriously eat into
her time. She also must pass a driving test.

I know how difficult it would be if she were unable to drive
but the reality is that she is a danger and doesn't
recognize it. I wondered if she saw the two reports in the
newspaper last week. One 84 year old woman hit the gas
instead of the brake pedal while in a car wash, destroying
both the machinery and her vehicle. A few days later
another woman in her early 80s lost control of her vehicle
in a parking lot and hit nine parked cars before being
stopped by a fire hydrant. No one was injured in either
incident but there certainly was potential of serious injury
or death.

Our weather has been very odd this year. It seems we had
spring in January and February and for the past month it's
seemed more like the middle of winter. Everything seems
backwards. The best thing I can say for the rain is that I
can spend some time quilting instead of doing yard work and
gardening as it's much too wet out there right now. I've
also gone back to knitting hats for preemie babies for
charity as I have an hour wait in the car for Hugh three
times a week.

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