Friday, December 7, 2012

MRI-scheduling Success!

Finally, after several hours put in by both me and my doctor, the MRI company will do what my doctor wants.

I finally managed to struggle my way "up the chain" at the MRI place, to speak to the "MRI supervisor." Who understood pretty much immediately what I said we wanted, and it was a 100% non-issue. I didn't have to struggle over things like "I don't need a lumbar scan" because there's pretty much no spinal cord in the lumbar zone, so since the doctor was most interested in a spinal-cord image, there was no reason at all to do a lumbar anything. She knew that! I didn't have to explain it! So, as I told her, it's an "everybody wins." Doctor gets what he wants. MRI guys finish in one day, rather than two, for which the insurance company will charge me up the butt for having an "extra" un-preapproved, test. I don't have to get more than one gadolinium buzz. Everybody wins.

So, several hours of arguing with various functionaries at the insurance company, and another set of functionaries at the MRI place, they're going to give me the MRI my doctor wants.

Now, let me take you back to 1997, the year of The Diagnosis, when a doctor calls the MRI place and says, "I want this test done," and they said "OK, when?" and we picked a time, and I went in and had it, and we sent the paperwork to the insurance company, and they took care of the payment, minus the usual "Patient's got to pay something, what do you think this is, England? Japan?!?" pittance.

Those were the days, weren't they?

Next on the agenda will be the struggle at the MRI place when I have no interest in taking all my clothes off to wear the all-cotton, zero-metal hospital gown the want me to wear, rather than the all-cotton, zero metal clothing I want to wear that's more comfortable and keeps me warmer. I'll never forget the argument I got into the last time I had a chest x-ray... they wanted me to take off my sweat pants. "It's a chest x-ray. Pants are nowhere near where the x-ray is going to be taken," I told them.

"But the elastic may throw a shadow on the film," they protested.

"If it gets in the way, and the tech asks me to, I'll move it. Until then, I want to stay warm, I'm keeping it on," I told them.

They didn't like that. They thought I had a Bad Attitude. Well, it being a chest x-ray and all, tech said nothing about my elastic waistband throwing a shadow on my chest.

Why yes, I do have a bad attitude. I also have a bad disease. I can lie motionless in that MRI longer than most of your other patients can, without succumbing to claustrophobia or, pretty much anything. But compliance for its own sake, just so that you have a "good little patient," rather than wear my own, vastly more comfortable, significantly warmer, equally non-ferrous, non-radio-opaque garments?

Besides, the last two MRI's I had, nobody cared about what I wore, as long as there was no metal in it.

There I go again, living in the past. Still. I'm keeping my warm pants on.

Don't make me quote Dick Cheney.


Muffie said...

Isn't it amazing how we have to go through such struggles with these imaging centers? I went through a similar routine the last time I needed an MRI. I was wearing no metal except for my leg brace, which I told the girl I would remove before I went into the machine. She insisted i change into the couture de papier or they couldn't do the scan. it takes me for-e-ver to change and she kept grumbling outside the door. I was so frazzled by the end that I told her I'd never be back. So far, I've kept that promise! I hate those officious little jerks who think they're so almighty important that they can just order people around. Good luck with the scan!

Robert Parker said...

I expect they'll try the same thing with me. They will find out very quickly, I am the wrong person to @$#@ with. Plus, I know words like "radio-opaque" and I'm perfectly happy to face them down on their own terms. I have some 100% cotton pants that I made myself; they are, material-wise/magnetic transparency/x-ray transparency, completely functionally identical to their flimsy garments. When I'm wearing them, I'm already wearing what they want me to wear, and garment-switching-wise, I turn into an utterly immovable object when I'm wearing them.

It's one thing to tell your doctor you don't want to take the insulin shots for your diabetes. It's another for technicians to demand you wear something that makes you uncomfortable but that isn't any--ANY--different from what you're already wearing.