Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Doctors and Taxes

I'm still trying to sort through tons of pictures from last weekend's Ravelry party, as well as my Valentine's gift for Jules and his gift for me. Rather than get overwhelmed and not post anything, I had a couple of quick updates.

About a month ago I talked about the nodule on my thyroid. This morning I finally saw an endocrinologist.

I was dreading the appointment. I had managed to convince myself that the doctor was going to fight with me over my weight and family history of diabetes. But it didn't come up. Instead the doctor was very helpful and answered all my questions. He said he could tell that I had researched the nodule, because patients who haven't are usually all freaked out.

He listened to all my concerns about being so tired and feeling that something is not quite right. He took me seriously, and ordered a bunch of blood tests unrelated to the nodule. I swear they took half a cup of blood out of my arm, but it will be worth it to get some answers.

The bad news is that my ultrasound from the hospital didn't make it to the doctor's office. Again. The doctor said they would only need to do a needle biopsy if it was 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter or more, but he didn't know how big the nodule was at the time. Later on I checked my last blog entry about it, and saw that my family doctor had told me it was about 1.4 centimeters in diameter. My blog isn't exactly an official medical record, but it's probably a good indication that I'm going to have a needle jammed in my neck.

I was also less than impressed with the practice as a whole. Last night I was filling out paperwork, and saw a laundry list of charges. $25 to write a letter? $10 to replace any missing documents? $25 to rewrite a prescription? I've never encountered charges like this with any other doctor's office.

Then when I got there this morning, I barely managed to snag the last parking spot. All the doctors have reserved spaces in the "customer" parking garage that patients can't park in. (How does that work?) Then after being completely ignored at the window, I was chided for not being half an hour early to my appointment. When it was time to check out, they ignored me again while they were on the phone. (Not even a wave to acknowledge that they'd be right with me.) And they forgot to give me the release form I needed. (Fortunately, I remembered and went back before I left.)

In other news, I did my taxes tonight at Mom and Dad's house. (And I forgot to take an updated picture of Mom's quilt while I was there.) For the second year in the row, I gave up on e-filing. I couldn't figure out some details in the codes in my W2. I decided it would be easier just to mail it in, rather than figure out how to enter in all my W2 information correctly.

I'm getting more than $300, enough to pay off my credit card bills. (The hospital can wait in line for their money. Maybe I'll pay them back when they release my thyroid ultrasound.)


Frugal Liz said...

I still mail in my return, too.:P Something about e-filing just freaks me out!

Anonymous said...

My doctor's office has signs saying that they will bill for phone calls, re-issuing scripts, etc., but they've never charged me for any of it, and I've certainly called them enough! I think that those sorts of charges are meant to prevent abuse of a free service; there are people out there who will want to call and talk to the doctor for free, when they really should go in for an appointment, but don't want to pay for it.

Good luck with the biopsy!