Fakename Sees the Orthopedist

I went as soon as I could, on Wednesday January 2nd.  The first thing that happened was that I and the receptionist almost had to rumble.  To be specific, I was ready to come out of the wheelchair and go to the mat with this witch.  Plexiglas screen or not.  The issue was whether or not I had sufficient proof of insurance.  I said she could call to verify it, and she said she didn’t have time to call, but I could do it if I wanted to.  I said, “I won’t be calling, because I don’t think I should have to.”  She said, if it isn’t verified, I’ll have to put you in the computer as uninsured.  I said, “I don’t care how you put me in your computer.  It makes no difference to me.”   I was pretty sure that when the time came, SOMEBODY would verify that I had insurance.  Like when it was time to send out the bill.  I was, in a word, furious. This was not the way to start a new relationship.  The receptionists at my veterinary hospital are head and shoulders above this woman.

I grumbled all the way back to where my sister and I parked, and I said, “I am not accustomed to this kind of treatment”.  My sister said something along the lines of “What?  You expect them to behave like serfs?”  I was stung to the core.  NO!  I’m just accustomed to people being helpful.  Which one of us here has the broken leg?  I’ve been told no before.  Like no, I know it would be more comfortable for you to lie this way on the treatment table, but you can’t.  We need you to lie this other way.  Sorry.  I never had anyone tell me they didn’t have time.  If she doesn’t have time, she either needs help, or she needs a different job.

Very shortly I was called into the treatment room, which is a huge open area where many patients are in various stages of cast application or removal.  Fakesister said, “Oh my.  It’s an assembly line.”  Gulp.  I had heard this about Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic before, that it was an assembly line.  Impersonal.

But it turned out, it was merely efficient, and not at all impersonal. I saw a physician’s assistant and dutifully handed over my X-rays from the Apalachicola ER.  I had to have one more X-ray–a gravity X-ray.  You hang your foot over the end of a cushion.  If it droops more than it should, it means one of the ligaments is damaged too.  I was fine.

Now let me count the ways I was lucky.  The fibula fractured right between two ligaments which hold the bone together.  No matter what I did, I could not make the bone break “worse”.  I did not also break the tibia, which often happens when the break is that far down toward the ankle where the tibia and fibula are connected.  Not breaking the tibia is a major perk.  It’s the weight-bearing bone for your entire leg.

Small anatomy lesson here…and thanks to Fakesister for it.  You know your ankle has two “bumps” on either side?  The one on the inside of your ankle is the end of the tibia.  The one on the outside is the end of the fibula.

But thanks to my good fortune, I got a walking cast right away.  The PA said I could put as much weight on it as I could stand, which would not be much for the next several days.

I got to pick the color of my cast, so I picked the only shade of white they had, which also glows in the dark.  I almost lost my nerve when this resulted in grins from nearby patients and virtual smirks from the technicians.  Fakesister said to the techs, “I’ll bet you’re used to this choice from 11-year old boys, right?”  But she also said she loved it, so I pressed on.

Later that evening, Fakesister tried to take a picture of it with her iPad Mini, but it doesn’t give off enough light to take a picture of it in the dark.  She describes it as a “ghostly greenish glow”.  It’s pretty cool 🙂  I’m glad I stuck with it.

The guy who put the cast on said I might scare my pets with it.  Now that I’m back home with my cat (the dog is at the vet’s), she hasn’t been alarmed by the cast at all.  But she is ultra-scared of the walker.  As far as she’s concerned, it’s a WMD.

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4 responses to “Fakename Sees the Orthopedist

  1. The receptionist person was seriously witchy and should not be interfacing face-to-face with patients. Every other doctor’s office I’ve ever been to, verifying insurance – via the phone – was a big part of the intake clerk’s duties. Starting the patients off with a warm, welcoming experience is also part of that job description. We can only hope that someone in the practice with clout figures out that she’s in the wrong job.

  2. Amen, Fakesister. I intend to do everything in my power to help that process along (the process of her finding a different position).

  3. I want photos of you in your glowing cast!

    Receptionists at medical establishments are pretty notorious the world over I think!

  4. I had to go back this past Wednesday, and the receptionist was MUCH nicer this time. So I was nice back. You want to reward that behavior.

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