WHAT’S THAT GROWING ON MY BACK?  Felt an itch, managed to pretzel my arm and reach it and felt a thing, the size of dime, lumpy, rough feeling.  Glad I live with someone who can still focus his baby blues.  He wasn’t very comforting, this from the world’s greatest denier of physicals wrongs, whether his or mine.  “A doctor has to look at that and soon.”

Then the debate-my primary care or the dermatologist?  Primary is quicker, but will she just refer me to the specialist?  Sigh, choices.

One way I feel blessed, lucky, where I need to be is the quality of medical care available to me.  We are connected with Kaiser Permanente, and the Colorado division beat out Harvard Medical School’s Managed care in the short list of excellent managed care companies.

I thought I was getting A+ care back in New York.  Ha, try B-.  I know now my hematolgist was seeing me every month and doing a blood test monthly,  and making money off me.  Here I have a face-to-face yearly, and my blood checked every three months; reports go to me, my primary doctor and the hemotogist.  Better yet, I can contact either by email or phone with when something bothers me.  Which is what I did about the thing on my back.

I emailed my primary, and heard back within an hour. This on a Sunday.   She said to come see her during office hours;  she could freeze it or remove it if it was minor; if more is needed, she would see that I got an early appointment with the dermatologist.

So hopefully, I will no longer have that thing on my back by the end of the week depending on David’s schedule.  He is still taking a real estate licencing course,.  He is not the retiring kind.  The course is in its last week and thinks he only has to go half days to take the test, but will know tomorrow.   He has never worried before about such tests, but his memory is not what it was ten years ago, so he doesn’t want to miss a class or a pre=test.  The licensing test is Friday and we will both be relieved when it is over.  I don’t doubt that he will pass, but he does and so I sort of half hold my breath.  Anyway,  Ben is here tomorrow.  So some time during the week.

Back to my praise of KP as I call them.  The doctors are never rushed, spend plenty of time with you, explain things carefully, treat you as if you are the only patient on their agenda.  They are paid salaries and like working for KP.

Patient education efforts are high.  David has a complicated kidney condition and the two of us met with his treatment team for two  hours; the team included the doctor, a  pharmacist, the unit’s charge nurse, a social worker, and a nutritionist.  On-line coaching courses are available, periodic newsletters keep you up-to-date, and finally KP sponsors a Silver Sneaker program so David and I have full memberships at the local YMCA.

And to compare another aspect to NY,  the Emergency Rooms in New York are  places to go while you are conscious.   Both David and I have been to  the emergency rooms here this year.  He has had two trips for pancreatitis;  I’ve had one for chest pains that turned out to be a gall stone. David has had three hospitalizations.   David is a terrible patient and was in terrible pain which made him worse;  but each time he was treated like a lovable king,   I had two out-patient surgeries and I don’t have enough good to say about either his or my care, it was impressive.

Moreover, the cost is a little less than we paid in New York.

When I hear the debate about health care, I wonder why a country that put men on the moon can’t do better for everyone when it comes to health care.

This was not where I intended to go with this post.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t intend to say more than “Not tonight, too tired, dears.’ Goes to prove that even when you are not in the mood, you can perform, possibly find pleasure, and maybe give a little.

Share, care and stay strong.

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