Sometimes a Piece of Paper is Better



So as you may know, I have been deathly ill off and on for the last six weeks.  This last one really kicked my ass and I ended up giving in and seeing a doctor.  Well, turns out, not a doctor, but at least someone who can give me some drugs so I can finally join the world of the living again.

I didn’t want to go to my normal doctor, because it would take a week to get in and he kind of creeps me out anyway.  So, I think it will be a brilliant idea to go to the new clinic they have at our local Walgreens.  It seems quick and convenient as long as you aren’t having a major heart attack or something.

I get dressed for the first time in four days and go to the Walgreens.  They have a little clinic area set up in the corner, next to the Pharmacy.  I check in via computer and everything seems OK.  I had to wait a few minutes to get in the exam room, but nothing major.  (Better than the regular doctor who keeps you waiting endlessly with a Readers Digest from 1982.)

Turns out that the person that treats you is not an MD, but a Nurse Practitioner, which I guess means they aren’t a doctor but can prescribe meds.  The lady I have seems slightly nervous, like it’s the first time she’s seen someone with the flu and she totally looks like wide-eyed Amy Pohler.  She keeps telling me she doesn’t know…  it could be viral or bacterial.  No shit, Sherlock!  Finally, I decide I am going home with some drugs whether I need them or not and tell her that I think I should get the Z-Pac. (I used the Z-Pac once before when I got deathly ill before our wedding – it literally wiped out whatever I had in one day and I had been fighting it for 2 weeks.)  Her eyes light up and she says, “That’s totally what I was going to recommend!” like she just won the kindergarten spelling bee.  Whatever – I’m getting drugs and now I just want to go home.

Everything in this place is computerized, you never touch a piece of paper.  Even when they took my insurance card, they scanned it into the computer.  I was thinking it was kind of cool as compared to my dentist who still has an entire wall full of paper files that is three rows thick, even though he thinks he is “cutting edge” because he’ll sedate you with crazy Halcion pills for a crown.  (I think you now know why he is my dentist.)

Anyway, Nurse Pohler tells me she is going to put my prescription in “The System” and I can pick it up at the pharmacy “in a few minutes.”  Great, thanks!!!!!

Do you know how long it took for the Pharmacy to receive my request?  FORTY FUCKING MINUTES.  After 20 my husband was like, “Hey, where’s the Prescription?” and we figured out I wasn’t in The System.  They said sometimes it takes awhile to reach them over the network.  Seems plausible, except for the fact that you are LOCATED 20 FEET APART.  It was totally ridiculous, and at this point I am fading fast.  Finally, after 30 minutes I saw the receptionist get up from her desk and WALK 20 FEET and hand the Pharmacist a piece of paper.  It still took them fucking 10 more minutes to grab the PRE-PACKAGED Z PAC and hand it to me. What a cluster-fuck!

My point is that maybe sometimes just the old fashioned piece of paper is better than newfangled technology.  Technology is supposed to help, not hinder.  I learned that the hard way when I spent five hours putting all my address contacts in my new Apple Newton and threw away my address book.  A week later someone pushed the button that reset the entire device and I lost everything.  I still to this day use a paper address book.

Oh, and I’m still sick, but better.  Not sure if it was the drugs or not.  I guess we’ll never know.