September 9, 2008

Why are my fish swimming upside down?

I just looked up at the fish tank and the two big fish - the Moor and the Ryukin - are hanging out, upside down, tail to tail. Considering how non-diligent I am about cleaning the fish tank, one would think they're mating but I don't think the water is brackish enough yet. Hm. Have I mentioned that I really wish we didn't own fish because I'm tired of them being my responsibility? Especially when we have six fish in a six-gallon tank, so cleaning is a semi-weekly thing, and were I vigilant about the filter, I'd have to replace it every week. These fish are money pits!


So we have a beef with Kaiser. Where the kids are concerned, we really can't complain. The pediatrics department has been stellar since Beth came along and their pediatrician is nothing short of terrific. She answers questions without making you feel like a nuisance or an idiot, she doesn't pass judgment, and she's genuinely nice. Even reception is fairly friendly. But where adult medicine is concerned...I'd just as soon see medicine man in the desert for the treatment we get. It may be sketchy in terms of cleanliness and efficacy but at least he'd treat us like human beings.

Over the past two years, Rob's had problems with his lungs. He's had recurring bouts with what could only be construed as either pneumonia or bronchitis (definitely wasn't bronchitis, but that's what they treated him for) and every time they decide he has one of these two ailments, his x-ray has come back clear. Still, they prescribe 10 days worth of antibiotics and some robitussin with codeine for the cough and send him on his way. It clears up, more or less, but in six months it's back again. It's very frustrating. He's seen four different doctors in two years about this and until this last visit, that's all they've done.

His last visit, this past week, the doctor told him, "I don't want to alarm you, but something might be wrong with your lungs." Yeah, no worries. Tumors, cancer, emphysema, lung failure...he didn't say these things but having had my dad die from cancer, you panic at the mere mention of an organ being compromised. So he orders a breathing test. Good, finally, someone takes another step towards solving the problem. [Truth be told, a breathing test was scheduled in March but Rob got all I-am-man-and-don't-need-this-modern-medicine-bullshit and refused to go.] It gets scheduled for September 8th at 9:30 a.m. In the Thursday and Friday prior, I call to see if anything's opened up, just to get him in earlier. Nothing ever did and on Friday, the nurse I spoke to confirmed his Monday-morning appointment. "Yep," I said, "He'll be there!"

We show up Monday morning, raring to go, at 9:30 a.m. on the nose. The girl, who looked like she woke up on the wrong side of the bed and sucked a lemo, took one look at his Kaiser card and said, "Oh. You're not supposed to be here today." Excuse me? Long story, short: Some broad took the liberty, at 5:20 p.m. on FRIDAY, to reschedule his appointment for the 12th. Nobody called us. There were no automated courtesy calls. Nothing. And then she had the audacity to more or less throw her hands up in the air and inform us in the snottiest tone she could muster, "Well I'm sorry. It's not MY fault. You don't have an appointment today."

He lost a whole day's work (he'd already called off) and thus, pay to make room for this test. That aside, we are WORRIED. If something's wrong, why should we be a) made to feel like bothersome assholes because we showed up on time for his appointment as we knew it, and b) have to wait longer and miss more work because they screwed up? Unreal. I filed a complaint with member services. That's really all I can do.


In happier news, I'm so proud of Beth today. We're participating in the SEED study, which is more or less plucking kids who are autistic or have shown developmental delays - and some who haven't as controls for the study - and conducting biological and psychological tests to determine what's causing delays and possibly, autism. Most of you know that Beth had a speech delay; she didn't start truly talking until she turned two and it was kind of hit or miss until the last year or so. Hence, she was chosen. If her participation can help some parents avoid the air of uncertainty and the worry that it was their fault, then a few bits of paperwork and a clinic visit are well worth it, in my mind.

Up until now, I've just been filling out paperwork and doing one phone interview. Today was her day: she had her psychological evaluation and got blood drawn. I am so proud of her! She handled everything pretty much in stride and we were there for three and a half hours. She also blew through the "games" with the psychologist testing her reasoning, visual perception, and motor skills. She was AMAZING at the lab. Never really cried, never jerked her arm away, she just let them do what they needed to do. Hooray for my little girl!


My little boy is a walkin' fool. He walks EVERYWHERE now. He also stands up in the middle of a room, he doesn't need to pull up on anything. I can't get over how fast he's learning stuff! I give him two or three months before he's running. I jest...sort of.


And, since I don't want to wax narcissistic tomorrow, I'll mention today that I'm turning 29 tomorrow. Not nearly the milestone I'll reach next year, but a milestone of sorts...I'm exiting my twenties. Didn't I just enter my twenties? I have no plans for my birthday, I'll be celebrating this weekend by getting my hair cut and possibly spending a few hours by myself, which could be the best birthday present ever! So, happy birthday to me.


Heather said...

Sorry about your crummy doctors-- I hate that. I can't see mine if I'm sick unless I've planned ahead 6 mos. and made an appointment:( Glad to hear about Beth... Yay for walking and finally, Happy, Happy Birthday.

diana said...

good luck with everything!

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