“Ooh, dream weaver I believe you can get me through the night”

Today has been another of those days were I was either in bed, or just plain miserable.  I have been having more and more problems with leg cramps, and today was probably the worse they have been.  Especially the right leg.  If I had a saw, I would have cut it off at the hip it hurt so bad.

It gets frustrating because I never know from one day to the next how I am going to feel.  There was a time when, if I did something particularly strenuous, I knew the next day I would pay for it.  Now, it all depends on what my brain and nerves have in store for me.  The cramps today were not just in the right leg, but radiated up into the lower right portion of the ribs, making it uncomfortable to breath at times.  I know this is not good.

On the upside, I received a letter the other day scheduling me for a “MSLT test”.  “MSLT” stands for Multiple Sleep Latency Test.  So I am having a Multiple Sleep Latency Test test.  Does that mean I am I having one test or two tests?  Probably one.  The ironic (moronic) thing is that months ago I had the over night part of the test, and rather than schedule the day time portion to follow immediately afterwards, they have waited several months to set it up.  It would seem a better use of resources to scheduled it all at once, the overnight and day time test.  Especially given my prior medical history.  But logic does not run deep in the labyrinth of government bureaucracy.  It almost makes me feel as if it is their way of keeping some form of cash flow going, and guaranteeing that the schedulers, testers etc. have something to do.  It is simple things like, paying attention to a patient’s prior history, especially when they hand it to you; looking for efficiencies in scheduling testing; in scheduling multiple tests that are similar at the same time that will save not only hospitals, but also patients money.  I don’t have the wisdom of the bureaucrat, but simply some lowly common sense.

If someone without a MD, PhD, MSW, abcdefg, can figure out that the best way to save money is to, using the new marketing word, bundle as many tests together as possible, why can’t the alphabet soup crowd?

It would be like you taking you car to the mechanic, and telling him that the engine and transmission are not working right, plus the car is pulling to one side, and the rear tire keeps going flat.  You would expect him to run all the diagnostic tests for the engine and transmission on the same day; expect him to check the alignment of the tires and see why you have the leaky rear tire.  If your mechanic told you that they checked the engine, but you need to come back in 3 months and then they will look at the trans, you would start looking for another mechanic.  If they told you that they checked the engine, come back in 3 months for the transmission, and come back in 6 months to check the alignment and tire you definitely would find another mechanic.

With public healthcare you don’t have that option.  You are literally caught in a spiral of rules, regulations and policies that, while they may have made sense when written, are now counter intuitive and counter productive.  Unfortunately to change these policies is not unlike mating elephants.  It is done with a lot of noise and takes two years to get any results.

So I look forward to spending more money on a test that I could have and should have taken months ago as a part of another test.  I figure I will lay off the caffeine for several days before the test so that they can get an accurate reading.  With no coffee or Mt. Dew for 2-3 days I’ll probably sleep right through the test once I get there.  But, then again that’s the idea isn’t it?


About Joseph Ordower

I'm a middle aged, some would say curmudgeon, who is sick, tired and truly frustrated with the way things are going in a country (America) that he loves, honors and respects.
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