Monday found me up at the crack of dawn to make the 30-minute commute to the Regional. I arrived just after 6 am again and the waiting room was full–again. I asked the place check question and took my seat. Everyone queued up when directed and handed in our appointment slip (stamped of course) or the specimen sample. Then we waited. It was after 8 when finally my name was called. The blood draw took less than a minute. All in all, I had waited 12 hours for that blood draw. It doesn’t do any good to complain. That’s just the way it is–this time. Who knows what the procedure will be in 6 months when I come back?
I had no problem picking up the lab results a day before the actual doctor’s appointment. I just butted in line and handed the clerk my paper and she gave me the results. My TSH numbers were looking pretty good–so that dose modification Dr. J gave me last time around seems to have done the trick.
And the actual doctor appointment process has changed. I no longer had to arrive at the crack of dawn to get a ficha (number), but a mere 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment. I didn’t even have to check in at Archivos (archives) for them to pull my file. It was already waiting for me at the nurses desk where I checked in and had my blood pressure checked and weight recorded. The nurses sent me along to Consultorio 5–Medicina Internal (Internal Medicine Consulting Office 5) and I sat down. It was only a 2-hour wait from there–record time actually.
The new doctor seemed to be about 25 years old. I’m not sure he was a doctor, maybe just a body to fill the chair. I was a little put off that Dr. J wasn’t there, but those with Seguro Popular (Beggars) can’t be choosers I suppose. Anyway, he verified that my TSH levels were good. He asked for my previous prescription sheet from Dr. J. Unfortunately, I had left that at home. He seemed put out. He asked what medication I had been taking. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember. He seemed even more put out. I asked if that information wasn’t recorded in my file there in front of him. That seemed to bother him too. He asked me what I would do if my file were lost. My Spanish failed me here and I understood that my file had actually been lost. Confused, I pointed out that my file was in front of him on the table. So he repeated his hypothetical sentence in the conditional tense. Oh, ok. I said that I still had my previous prescription page only had left it at home. Then the name of the medication hit me–Levothyroxine–and I garbled out what I thought might be the Mexican Spanish name. He understood enough to write it down and give me a new prescription.
He didn’t check for goiters, or any other thyroid like symptoms just sent me on my way. My appointment lasted a little less than 8 minutes. I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m so familiar with my condition because this dude didn’t seem to be.
So then, I headed to Archivos (Archives) to make an appointment for 4 months from now. Four months? Well, as our Seguro Popular policy is up for renewal in 6 months, I suppose that will get me, at least, one more prescription in case we are rejected. Then I went to the Farmacia (pharmacy) to pick up my 4 month supply of medication.
Apparently it was Hypothyroid day at the old Regional. The two ladies in front of me were there for their own supply of Levothyroxine boxes. One of the women, an older woman carefully dressed and made-up, was asking the pharmacist about the pills. The pharmacist didn’t know anything. The second woman jumped in the conversation and told woman #1 that she shouldn’t take the medicine with coffee or juice or food. Well, I knew the coffee bit. (See 11 ways coffee can impact your thyroid) Apparently it interferes with the pill’s absorption. So I chimed in too. The older woman said that would explain why she still didn’t feel better. I betcha that kid in the doctor’s seat didn’t mention any of that, the weasel.
Well, I suppose it’s like anything else in Mexico–you need to be your own advocate.
2 responses to “All Around the Health Care Bush–the weasel chased the monkey”
Quite an ordeal. I take the same meds and have never needed a script. I just hand them the box. Thanks for the coffee tip. I drink morning joe and my levels are good, so I goes I won’t worry. Keep fighting the good fight.
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I can go to the pharmacy and hand them my box and get my meds as well for $400 and some pesos, however if I want a free box I have to jump through these hoops with Seguro Popular. As long as we qualify for this, I’m going to keep it up, pain in the butt though it is. And if your numbers are fine with coffee, don’t change your routine–it’s probable that the coffee is absorbing any extras the pills add. Hypothyroidism is fun isn’t it?