Monday, March 17, 2008

Better Day

Jack had a better day today. He's still requiring O2 and I'm suctioning lots of bloody secretions (sorry if that is tmi for some of you), but he didn't seem as miserable today. I do think I narrowed his area of pain down to his left shoulder/arm. We'll continue to watch his reaction to movement over the next week and, if he still acts like it hurts, we may be off to the orthopod for an x-ray. I think I'll at least call his pulmonologist today to make sure he doesn't have any concerns about the bloody secretions. I'd much rather deal with a physician's office during the week than an ER on the weekend.

I had the unpleasant experience of dealing with my DME (durable medical equipment) company again today. Jack's nebulizer machine (called an "SVN" machine here) has been used so much lately that it died on us today. I called the respiratory therapist (“RT”) on call and told him I needed a new SVN machine today. Any guess as to where this is going? The first thing he wanted to know was when we got the machine. I told him I didn't have a clue. He then asked if it was over a year ago? Not knowing the consequences of my answer, I answered truthfully and told him "yes". Big mistake. Since it was over a year, he told me I needed a new prescription for the SVN machine before he could bring it out, which he said I could do tomorrow. I told him that was BS, and that I would get him a prescription for the machine today and he had better be prepared to get me a new machine TODAY! If I had thought of it at the time, I would have asked him why they send me nebulizer kits for the SVN machine every month if I don't have a current prescription. I can guarantee you that they don't have a current prescription for half the supplies/equipment Jack gets or rents every month. The fact is, this guy was trying to get out of having to bring me a machine on a Sunday. Fortunately, the on-call triage nurse for Jack's pediatrician's office was extremely helpful in making phone calls to the on-call pediatrician and was able to get a prescription faxed to the DME today. I can also guarantee you that the idiot wasn't in the office to even see the faxed prescription that he claimed he needed to get me a new machine. This guy would rather have had Jack end up in the ER because I couldn't give him breathing treatments -- which are no doubt what is keeping him out of the hospital -- than do his job and take care of his customers. This kind of stuff just infuriates me. Several years ago, at my request and after meeting with me, one of our State representatives introduced a Bill that would require DME companies to be licensed. Somewhere in the process another piece of legislation got attached to my Bill and it never made it to the full vote of the legislature. I've not had the time to follow-up and try and get it back on the table for consideration, but I really think it's something that needs to be done. We have absolutely no recourse against the type of lousy and potentially life-threatening customer "service" I received today from a company that is in the business of providing life support equipment. If they had to be licensed and ran the risk of losing their license - and ability to do business - they just might think twice before they tell me they'll take care of it tomorrow. If only there were ten more hours in the day, I could add this to my “to do” list.

And, if that wasn't enough, I realized that Jack's prescription for Tamiflu was almost gone and there was no way it was going to the last the entire 5 days that the prescription was written for. In reading the bottle, I saw that they only gave us half the dose. I called the pharmacy and the person who answered the phone told me that maybe it had something to do with insurance. Seems to me that if insurance only allowed half the dose, we should have at least been told when we picked up the prescription. When Mark picked up the prescription, nothing was said. The pharmacist ran the prescription through again and, what-do-you-know, it went through for the full dosage. When I picked up the other half of the prescription, I reminded the pharmacist that it was a serious violation to not fill a prescription as written. He again told me that maybe it had something to do with insurance the first time it was filled. Nevertheless, if that was the case (which it clearly was not), they then had an obligation to at least tell us we were not getting the full prescription and not just send us on our merry ignorant way.

On a happier note …..

Happy St. Paddy's day to y'all. Mary has to be up and on the road by 4am to start her day of dancing. She starts the day dancing at two early morning venues, both of which will be aired on our local television stations. After that, she has two or three other performances and then finishes with a private event tonight. She will have been dancing for almost 16 hours before the day is over. She should be real pleasant when she gets home tonight, eh?

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.


Some may say the glass is half empty,
Some may say the glass is half full,
But the Irish will forever say
"Are you gonna drink that?"



Anonymous said...

Sorry Jack is still sick. I hope it runs its course with no added trauma to his world. Oh, the DME. They do hate on-calls. My favorite was when Nathan's only suction machine broke in the middle of a Saturday night, and they told us to use our back-up! We now have 3 suction machines! I hope your week is much improved.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that Jack is feeling better.

My only complaint about my DME is that whenever I call and say that I would like to place an order for supplies. They always ask,"what type of supplies? O2". They seem so confused. I am serious, every single time for the last 7 years. Like they don't even know what type of supplies they sell.Now I speak directly to the guy who delivers, Mel. He is awesome.

Good luck,

Anonymous said...

Feel better Jack and Anne! I hate to hear that he is down and out! Hopefully this passes and soon!
As for your insurance woes, I feel for you as I type this I am getting ready to fill out forms because we are just now being billed for Aaron's stay at CHOP in 2006......
I swear it never ends!
Big Hugs!
Kristina :-)

Melisande said...

Glad Jack is somewhat better! Happy St. Pats!