No, seriously.  I am fat – really fat.

This is not new, and it certainly is not a secret.  (Dressing in black or vertical stripes is not going to cut it, okay?)  People who meet me notice.  I am not complaining.  I know I’m fat.  It’s okay.  I am okay with me.

I have had the same HMO for 18 years.  Every time I visit the doctor, I get weighed.  I have always assumed they write this down somewhere.  They also ask how tall I am.  They know my birth date – even the year.  With this information, one might think, they realize I am, indeed, a fat old lady.

About 3 weeks ago, I injured my knee.  I tried to tough it out, but it clearly was not getting better, and I know better than to fuck around with knee troubles.

I called my HMO and got an appointment with an orthopedist.  The doctor was very nice.  He noticed I was fat.  He suggested I do something about that.  I suggested that diets don’t work and I was open to any weight-neutral treatment that would improve my health/fitness.  He was fine with that.  (Yay.)

The doctor fiddle and farted around with my knee (making my knee really unhappy in the process) and thinks I may have torn the meniscus.  Well, shit.

He got on his computer and put in for an appointment for me to have an MRI done – onsite with the HMO.

With my bum knee, I limped over to the building with MRI Department, where I was told my appointment was for 1:30 pm (it was then 11 am).  Well, shit.  I went and picked up the prescribed pain meds (better living through chemistry) – at the pharmacy.  The doctor had assured me it was very handy and just around the corner from MRI.  Okay – except it wasn’t – around the corner, that is.  It was in another building.  So off I go, limping to get my drugs.

And then I limped back to MRI, where a technician calls me in immediately.  Win – I think.

And this is when I start to get angry.  This is where “well, shit” escalates to “fuck”.  The technician tells me I am too big for their MRI.  Hmmmm.

I’m assuming they didn’t change equipment between the time my doctor made the appointment and the time I got to the MRI room.

I’m assuming all of my health information stored on the HMO’s computer (which the HMO tells the world makes them the best-est because all your info is in one place) didn’t somehow disappear.

I’m assuming the lady who checked me in at MRI wasn’t struck blind by my fat-old-lady glory (though this is a possibility I am willing to entertain), and thus, failed to notice I am a fat old lady.

I understand that it is expensive to have equipment for fat patients (even if you are a huge HMO with lots of fat patients).  But since I know this HMO has lots of fat patients, and even fat people sometimes need an MRI, surely they have a list of open MRIs where they can send me, right?  Right?  RIGHT?????

Nope.  I was told there was an open MRI in Fremont (Fremont??? do you know how far away that is in Bay Area miles??? It’s too fucking far, that’s how far it is) – but not to worry, because that MRI is out of commission because they are remodeling.

So I ask (teeth clenched – now I’ll need to go to the dentist for my ground-down teeth – luckily my dentist has a chair that my old fat lady ass will fit into), what am I supposed to do.  I am told they (MRI) will contact my doctor and somebody will get back to me – some time.

Guess what happened?  NOTHING.  I have had no contact from the doctor or MRI Department.

By the way, I paid a $50 co-pay for the MRI which I did not get.

I went ahead and located some open MRIs within a reasonable distance, and sent my doctor an e-mail asking if my HMO will cover it, and if so, what do I need to do.

I did file a grievance with the HMO, which past experience tells me will at least stir the shit a little.  But I would much prefer to skip the shit-stirring and get some medical care for my fat old lady injured knee.

One of my favorite sayings is:

When our caregivers don’t listen to us, don’t believe us, don’t hear us, we are not receiving medical care.  We are receiving veterinary care.

And if I am receiving veterinary care, I reserve the right to bite and/or pee on the vet!


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