Looking for lost time…

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I wish there was a way to keep track of the time we spend dealing with health. Even when I am doing well, as I am at the moment, it still takes time. Time that I don’t really have.

Example: My doctor wanted me to have my remicade levels tested. A simple blood test, done about a week before your remicade appointment. So I ask whether I just go downstairs to their lab.

No. Because this specific test has been patented, only Quest labs get to do it. I received a box with paperwork and a cooling package and was told to take it to a lab location. At any time- “just walk in”, I was told.

The one closest to me was still a 20 minute drive, but hey, why not. Because I am a freelancer, I can use my time flexibly. The lab was located inside a Safeway.

Safeway,  as in, the supermarket??? Yes. It may feel kafkaesque to walk down the chocolate aisle to look for the lab where you have blood drawn, but why not. I find it, and walk in and there is nobody. An empty room. A trash can with what looks like the leftovers of an empty chicken. Great. Finally a nurse comes and greets me, leads me into a tiny, dingy office, and as I am showing her the box and the paperwork, she explains to me that, no, this cannot be done, because, I need to have the test done three hours before they close (and I had missed that by 30 minutes). Because, they close at 4. 30pm.  I was told to schedule an appointment. I said, ok, and expected her to open a scheduler, she told me I had to go online. At this point I walked out without another word.

The online scheduler is ridiculous, and shows me no available times. This means that tomorrow, I’ll get up early, make my way to safeway, hoping I will get the bloodtest done. I have another appointment at ten however, so chances are, this won’t get done either.

That this is all time I could have spent working, i.e. billable hours, seems to not matter to anyone. I guess I’ll work tonight. How the ever-loving fuck people who have regular jobs do this, is a question that I keep mulling over in my head. When I was still teaching, there was hardly a day that I’d be back before 4.30pm. When I came home, I spent another 30 minutes calling my doctor, trying to figure out whether I need to reschedule my remicade appointment. They’ll call me back.

So this was all in all 2 hours of my day, spent in health related activities. Let’s see what happens next….


  1. All of this. For me, this year it has been dealing with the insurance company forcing me to go to home infusions as my “choice” when they’ve deemed the hospital I’ve been in for five years too expensive and they have no other clinics within 40 miles of me. They finally (after about 8 months of regular harrassment) have found a clinic that they “aren’t normally allowed to refer people to” (wtf?) and are setting me up with them. But I easily spent 40 hours of time on this this year, on the phone, researching options myself, and talking back and forth with my doctors trying to get “medical necessity” for the hospital setting. Yeah, and all the stress and anxiety it caused me definitely didn’t take any other hours off my life.


    1. I am sorry that you had to go through all of this Jen! The bureaucracy of the health care system is just so absurd, unjust, and frustrating. Crossing my fingers you get the care you need.


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