yesterday i got home, checked for cat puke as the vet prescribed a new diet and warned me that the cat might react adversely to the change. none in sight. sigh of relief. then a mild suspicious that the act was committed in inaccessible darkness and awaiting to surprise me the next time i clean the house. anyways, the cat didn’t seem to hate me as much either, at least not enough to forfeit squishing herself into the armchair next to me. sometimes i wonder if she is a feline play-doh.

then i checked my mail and got a different surprise. (this is one reason why i write letters, to off-set the negative side effects of what follows.)

i had an office visit with a specialist at my local clinic as referred by my primary physician. it was nothing serious and i just wanted to get the specialist’s opinion and see if my existing treatment was a right fit for my situation. my entire session lasted a mere ten minutes, where the first five were with a residency student, and the actual doctor waltzed in and nonchalantly dismissed my concerns. as i was per usual absolutely inarticulate during my office visit–actually, i take that back. either i over-prepare and write a mile-long list, or i am flustered to the point of speech pathology–he was making gestures to leave almost as soon as he entered. somehow this episode coalesced into an astronomical bill, which is what i opened after the cat situated onto my lap. i don’t remember, but i might have exclaimed loudly enough that she fled the well-warmed armchair.

so today i was on a wild goose chase, first double-checking with the insurance company, then contacting my employer for their policy, and finally the hospital customer service. evidently, the office visit was charged based on a level system and the corresponding “expertise of opinion and experience” of the presiding physician. this amount was charged in addition to my co-pay, which i paid at the time of my visit, whence i was told that i won’t be responsible for any addition fee. by now i was irate not only because of the bill, but moreover that i was utterly clueless about the policies by which the hospital chose the level of care for me without informing me what i should expect, and further obfuscating the process with terrific lack of communication between the insurance company and my employer. i finally got through customer service on the hospital’s end to ask why the service provided was price-tagged as it did. currently my bill is being audited and the charge on hold.

i had in mind to write something else, but i am so riled up i can’t remember what it was. so here you go, a post about me feeling completely illiterate in the medical field because people didn’t communicate and assumed and made decisions for me without my consent. this is the field of my future career. note: re-evaluate career choice.

photo credit:

this about sums up how i feel. warning: contents under pressure. may detonate. extremely flammable.


3 thoughts on “anti-illiteracy

  1. I once had a Doctor perform a procedure on me that he then showed me how to do myself, at home, with a Toothpick. The hospital then charged me $200 for this procedure, which evidently did not fall under the copay for a regular office visit (which no one told me). Calling the insurance company and the doctor back and forth did nothing. I’m glad they’re at least auditing yours. I ended up having to pay mine, but while I was trying to fight it, the damn thing went into collections and messed with my credit score a bit. Rage.

  2. Pingback: dear…nevermind | Hannah Zhang

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