Monday, August 03, 2009

Bloody Heck!

It is Monday and August is upon me for real now. I awoke this morning filled with the need to start getting things organized around here. It won't be long before I need to get back in to school and start tacking up those posters, after all.

We won't discuss what happens after the posters go up. It is too horrible to contemplate. I can only say that it involves middle school students and the need to contain them for seven hours a day.

One of the things that required tending today was the mailbox. I am notoriously bad about picking up my mail. I never bother on the weekends. There may be bills in there and I find those distressing and distasteful during my time of rest. I was pretty sure that I needed to go get the mail today. You can only let it marinate for so long before it gets all fermented and stuff.

As I suspected, there was a bill in there. It was from the lab that did my bloodwork back in June. I'd forgotten about all that, frankly. I hate it when bills come with the unpleasant memory of a new nurse wielding a needle. However, you can't let a case of the heebie-jeebies keep you from opening a bill so I forged ahead.

I've had this lab work done before. As a precaution, I am screened for possible signs of arthritis every now and again. It's been a while, though. I could easily have forgotten the billing portion of the festivities. But I really do think I would have remembered a two page summary of services. I seem to recall a simpler format.

Apparently, the technology has advanced. Instead of testing for one or two factors, they run a massive panel. How they got all that out of my tiny little blood sample I'll never know, but they squeezed a whole lotta information out of that vial. 16 tests were billed unto me. After the insurance was done picking the carcass, the bill came to just shy of $84.00

I just don't recall this being such a "thing" the last time I had bloodwork done. I felt the need to Google a few of those tests since only one of them rang a bell. Or sounded even remotely like what I'd asked to be checked. I mean, sure, it's good to know that I have Double Stranded DNA. But I think that's really between me and my genes, don't you?

Surprisingly, pretty much everything on there was related to the condition for which I am periodically tested. I did happen to notice a couple of tests that my doctor snuck in there but I don't blame her for that. I am a lousy patient and she does what she has to in order to tend to my health. Overall, I've decided to just be grateful for a thorough screening process and let it go.

Besides, my insurance is pretty good. It's not what it used to be, not by a long shot. However a great deal of this grand medical experiment was covered. Not everything, but a lot. For the record, Alpha-2-Macroglobulin costs $9.55 to put under a microscope and it is not covered under my plan.

I am now very well educated in the ways of blood. Of course, a great deal of time was spent searching the internet for references to procedures that may or may not related to my popping a positive test for Rheumatoid Factor. ($19.30 to test, $17.35 of which my insurance company found worthy of payment) It got in the way of most of the stuff that I was going to do today.

I managed a few repeats on the shawl. Since no one has bothered to tell me the actual results of these tests and since the nurse I spoke to last June had no idea what I was talking about when she called me with my other information, I am assuming that I have gotten a clean bill of health. I am safe to knit for another few years without the pesky specter of sore digits looming over my shoulder.

I may have to wait to write that check, though. Anything could happen. We don't want to overstrain the joints, after all. Better safe than sorry, right?



trek said...

Isn't it terribly interesting how an insurance company which has never met you nor even seen you once can tell you exactly which tests are necessary for your continued good health?


Kath said...

I am considering a new policy - any doctor wishing to stick me with a needle to withdraw fluids must also be ready and willing to stick me with a needle to add fluids, preferably of the kind to make me smile and see pretty colors. I don't see this as asking too much. It's only fair right? Intake should equal output, yes???

Anonymous said...

You are positive for rheumatoid arthritis? Keep on that. Smokey has RA and must give himself twice-weekly shots of Enbril to keep himself functional. Not a lot of fun. My grandmother was crippled with arthritis, so I had myself tested for RA; happily (and surprisingly) negative.

Take care of those joints. No need to write the check for that bill for while...

knitseashore said...

Went to the doctor today for basic bloodwork, and your email has me cracking "picking the carcass..." isn't that the truth?!! Hope I'll be laughing as much when my bill comes, sigh.

Doctor is testing my Vitamin D levels, because the two minutes of sun we've had in New England this summer has left me feeling very deficient! Hope the insurance person, likely processing my claim from Miami, won't question this.

Karen said...

I hate having blood drawn. I also hate when the doctor says you'll only hear from them if there is a problem. What if the results get lost?

Cathy said...

Yeah, I know what you mean about bloodwork results - especially no word re:results.

My dr tells me to harass (okay, not so much that) his nurses to get my results. Loftily he says that's what they are there for.

I think I'll have him write a script for that. It might work that way.