Monday, March 30, 2009

You Are Appreciated

I have been writing about the negative aspects of the health care that I have received since I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Right now ... I think that it is time to give a shout out to some health care providers who have been pretty awesome and who have helped me tremendously.

I would like to start off with Holly my young pharmacist. I think she has just graduated from pharmacy school, but she is on it. How? Well the main thing that I notice is that she remembers me. That's big. I used to go to a pharmacy in Holly Springs where my prescriptions were often wrong, and I dealt with a different pharmacist (it seemed like) every time. It sucked.

If Holly doesn't have what I need she always calls me and works something out either with another pharmacy or she has the medication shipped. She knows that the humira pen hurts me and always gives my the humira syringe. She asks me what time of day I take my prescriptions so she can have everything ready for me.

You would think that this type of behavior is normal, but it isn't --she is the exception .... she is very young, smart, enthusiastic, and caring. I hope that she doesn't get burned out. I picked up some prescriptions yesterday and asked for her because I wanted to compliment her, but she wasn't there. the pharmacy tech gave me a website where I could go online and give feedback about the store, so I have to go and do that ASAP.

Laurie .... thank you Laurie for helping me explore natural healing ..... all the way from Baltimore! Liz thanks for the great deal on quality fish oil ........ And all of the other suggestions you have offered me since we met. I really appreciate your concern and expertise.

Duke Clinic ..... complained about the clinic a lot in the last post. But, If you read the post closely .... it's really a complaint about the bureaucracy of being sick. Overall, I have had a good experience at the clinic. Why? It's not the reception desk, they always seem really stressed out. Not sure why? The nurses are generally really nice and low key yet are pressed for time too. The blood taker people seem pretty stressed out too ..... I think that all of the employees are always really pressed for time. It is weird ... because the patients are in this alert waiting mode ... and all of the employees are very keyed up and sometimes they forget to even make eye contact with you. I am a patient there ... my identity changes as I walk through the doors.

Cristen Harris the student, daughter, sister, friend, .... dog mom .... Steeler Nation member becomes secondary. I now have a patient number and my diagnosis becomes the forefront of my identity. I am identified by my number and what doctor I see, the severity of my disease, how many medications that I take .... what blood tests I need, do I need another bone density scan? MRI? X rays? How is my liver doing? Weigh in? How tall are you? (Like it has changed from 2 months ago.) On the days that I go to the clinic, I am fine with my RA being the main aspect of my identity, I just hate it when it follows me everywhere .....

So, What's so great about the clinic anyway? My Doctor. He makes eye contact, cracks jokes, listens to me, is empathetic, caring, wicked smart (he better be), remembers me, asks how things are going outside the realms of RA, returns phone calls, emails, quickly gets back bureaucratic paperwork for NCSU etc ..... communicates quickly with my pharmacy, which is really important when prescriptions expire. He can fit me in right away if something awful happens like partially tearing my achilles tendon while doing the polka. I actually don't know how he does all that he does. Because there are so many patients just like me. Thanks Doc. (Never call him that in real life ... but I guess it is ok in cyberspace.)

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