頭にくる – Frustrating Things, Part 2

Hormones are really quite fascinating. Surges and plummets in hormone levels can account for any number of conditions and/or behaviors. Too much of hormone A, too little of hormone B, and a person might just flip out. Well, I’m going to blame the fact that I burst into tears on a public street yesterday on the hormones. Because I couldn’t possibly have been that upset.

The saga of completing my visa application continues.  Having been transformed into a pincushion last week, I had to return to Dr. New’s office to receive official documents on which the results of my blood work and vaccinations were printed, have the visa forms filled out in triplicate and have a chest x-ray done, even though my PPD reading was negative. Dr. New was fairly obliging but the problem came when I requested a copy of the lab results (required by the visa application). Apparently, he couldn’t just print them out (despite the fact that he’d just read them off his computer screen) – I had to go over to medical records for a copy. And apparently, medical records couldn’t just print them out either; they have to send away for them (which takes 5 to 7 business days) and the records cost $75 a page.

With a deep sigh, I explained that I didn’t have 5 to 7 business days (my flight leaves the day after tomorrow) and inquired whether someone else could come in my stead and pick up the records for me. “Sure,” the medical records person brightly responded and gave me a form to fill out. Once that was done, I headed over to the x-ray section to have my lungs photographed. The medical assistant on duty was very pleasant until I handed over my insurance card.

“Oh no, we don’t take Aetna,” she scoffed. “They don’t pay their bills!”

I was briefly overcome by the urge to throttle the woman. Instead, I told her that Aetna had been just fine for Dr. New, right down the hall and for the lab techs, in the area right next to the x-ray section.

“You should go to Doshi Diagnostics,” she said. “They take any kind of insurance.”

She was kind enough to call Doshi Diagnostic and confirm that they accepted Aetna and give me directions; it was on Queens Boulevard in the tall black glass building near the courthouse. The office closed at 4:30. It was nearly 3:00.

I dashed out of the office, seething at everyone and everything; Aetna, for not paying their bills, the x-ray department, for not accepting Aetna, the Dominican government, for requiring ridiculous amounts of medical information for visa processing, the MTA, for making what is a 30-minute drive to Queens Blvd. an hour-long journey on the bus and subway, the Q111, for being the slowest, most unreliable bus line in New York City and myself, for not having a driver’s license. I called my dad to explain these things and while I was complaining, tears literally burst from my tear ducts! I was horrified – admittedly, I’m something of a crybaby but never in public! At that point, I knew something had to be up. I checked my calendar and realized that my estrogen and progesterone levels were probably diving at that very moment. I took a deep breath, wiped my eyes with the back of my hand, and ran to the bus stop.

Things at Doshi Diagnostic were pretty peachy once I got there. I had a juicy manga to read while I was waiting so I calmed down considerably. Unlike other radiology centers at which the x-ray reports take several days to become available because radiologists have to dictate them to medical transcriptionists, they do everything in-house so the turnaround time is much shorter. The radiologist said my report would probably be ready on Wednesday. Let’s all cross our fingers…

Note – Anecdote above notwithstanding, everyone on the estrogen-makes-women-crazy train needs to get off and brush up on neuroendocrinology. Spikes and dives in both androgen and estrogen levels can make a person flip out and all humans produce, and are affected by, both.

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