Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day of Observations

Ahhhh…the day before Thanksgiving which brings out the amateur drinker in all of use more than New Years Eve. The night that family, former classmates, and friends are all in town with essentially no where important to be the next day. I said essentially, I know that family gathering around the television set watching the Lions, Cowboys, and Broncos run up and down the field makes up for quality family time on Thanksgiving. That being said, I'd like to make a few observations I made while out taking the two youngest ones to the doctors.

We have been discussing health care for a long time now with the goal to improve care, lowering costs, and making it affordable for all to purchase. Some have even stated that it ought to be a mandate for all to carry it like we are required to have car insurance if we choose to drive a car. Well, my appointment – more accurately the boys' appointment – today was slotted for 11 a.m. Now, my second oldest boy did get his flu shot in a relatively timely manner but the well child check up for the youngest labored on. I understand that things come up and physicians come across peculiar and challenging diagnosis. At the same time when a physician is late in arriving to your room they cannot devolve the complete tardiness because HIPPA will reign down on them. All fine and good except when I have to wait, or anyone for that matter, for an hour to go by before my physician enters the room. In the end, I was there with a 3 and 5 year old in a sterile 4'x6' room with no windows or distractions waiting for an hour to have my youngest examined for 20 minutes.

Imagine the number of patients that could have been seen and the amount of wasted billable hours I took up for a well child appointment that lasted 20 minutes when it was all said and done. Perhaps reform needs to be done at this level before we move onto a single payer system. Next my travels took me to the local grocery mart where the annual bells were ringing of the Salvation Army crew. Every year I explain to the children why it is the men and women stand out in the frigid Minnesota winter ringing those bells at the entrance and exits of the grocery mart. Funning thing this time is the gentlemen ringing the bell was multi-tasking. Not the type of multi-tasking I'd expect – ringing the bell, saying "Hi" to the kids, and thanking the donors – instead this fine gentleman was ringing his bell while talking on the cell phone. I heard on CBS one night that some Salvation Army buckets will be set up with electronic card readers so people can donate via credit or debit card. So, unless this gentleman was taking donations from the cell phone, I am missing the point of him having the conversation on the phone while ringing the bell. At least when I left the grocery mart the other gentlemen, from the other Salvation Army bucket, was inside the mart using the pay phone; I assumed he was on break.

After leaving the mart I proceeded to a financial institution to drop off some paperwork which prompted me to go next door for some lunch. In a thoughtful gesture of the restaurant – fast food – I noticed a table with the little handicap sticker on it. What made this table unique was one side was a bench or booth seat with the other side being two removable chairs. As I filled up my pop, I thought what a cool idea and grand gesture it was for the restaurant (fast food) to establish or reserve a table for those less fortunate to be able to use the booth. While reading my paper and eating my food, a mother with two children – probably 6 or 7 years old – entered the fine dining establishment and ordered lunch. As you may have already guessed it, they choose to use the handicap table to eat lunch at. Now, it was lunch time on a Wednesday – perhaps Friday given that Thanksgiving is tomorrow – but for the most part people ordered lunch and took it to go leaving plenty of more suitable options for the able-bodied customer.

To the mothers credit she did tell the boys to use a wet wipe prior to eating to clean their hands off with but it was her choice of table that irked me. I refrained from comment. Just thought I'd share a little of my day with my readers. And offer this up; Do people really understand?