I got a message alert from my HMO (Kaiser) today.

My immediate reaction is WTF now?

You know it’s not going to be something to put a smile on my face.

So I go to the website, login and see WTF they want now.

Turns out they want a lot.

First, they say it’s a reminder – which is strange – because nobody told me about all this in the first place.

Silly me, I thought for something to be a reminder it means that you already knew about that something.

They want me to make appointments for three things:

Blood pressure check, retinal scan, and blood sugar check.

I’m not excited about having to do one dance with death for Kaiser, much less three of them.

Fuck me.

I am generally, so not in the mood for this.

I also foresee an argument coming up because if they want to check my blood pressure then they better have someone there who will do it manually.

I’m not doing that horseshit with the machine that breaks all the blood vessels in my arm – okay not ALL, but personally, I think breaking ANY blood vessels is unacceptable, and the machine breaks a lot more than one.

So now I’m already stressing –

And, yes, I know I tell everyone, “Don’t borrow trouble.”

And I know that’s good advice.

And I know I will continue to be stressed until I have this all done.

I also wonder why, when Kaiser knows I am at-risk for COVID-19 under several categories, they have decided it would be a good idea for me to come into an environment where the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is (relatively) higher for tests that are simply for monitoring purposes.

Now I’m depressed, anxious, AND angry.

Thanks a fucking butt load Kaiser – I’m sure this is really good for my health.

WTF Kaiser.




  1. Ahh the Kaiser Permanente experience. I remember it all too well. I used to work at a northern California facility in the mid 1990s. As an employee I enjoyed the relative convenience from my apartment and benefits covered most services applicable to a relatively healthy Hispanic in his mid to late 20s. What’s not to like?

    Guided by the suggestion of my primary care doctor, I made an appointment to get a routine physical. Why Not? I hadn’t been to a doctor in a long time and couldn’t remember the last time I had all my vitals and labs done. My plan covered the service. Preventive services. What’s not to like?

    The day of my appointment, I arrived in the waiting room. I was early and but my early AM appointment would free my time for the afternoon. I checked in at the front window and grasped the clipboard handed by the front office worker to be filled out before being seen by the doctor. The room was filled with patients, most well into their Medicare years. I thought to myself, this is Kaiser Permanente after all. They see the oldest patients this side of the west coast.

    As a Hispanic in his formative years and possibly younger than most in the room by 50 years, I quickly felt all eyes looking at me as I scrambled to find a suitable and vacated seat. Fortunately, find one next to an elderly lady with staring eyes. I smiled and she smiled back. I continued to fill out my paperwork and 15 mins later, I was done answering to the scrutiny of questions on the forms.

    After turning in my paperwork, I resumed my seat next to the older lady with staring eyes. She had pale light eyes that seemed to pierce through me. Her hair had hint of grey hair but mostly white and her wrinkled face appeared weathered from sun and other natural elements. Her staring resumed as I sat down.

    After I caught her staring face again, I said “Hello, how are you doing today?” Her smiled broadened and replied “Hi young man, I’m going to the show!” Pleased with her answer, I replied “That’s great, I hope you enjoy it!” I knew what she was talking about. There was a movie theater across from the medical facility and was a common place to enjoy a mid-day matinee.

    As I pondered the rest of things I would do after my appointment, I tried to remember the last time I went to the theater to enjoy a show. I couldn’t remember! I guess it had been too long. In the brief moment the older woman looked away, I glanced and took a good look at her. Her hair was uncombed, but the full set of gray hair complimented her deep-set grey eyes and toothy grin. She wore baggy clothes, most appeared to be polyester and coupled with orthotic shoes, completed the stereotypical conception of a senior citizen in the mid 1990s. She was short and overweight. She appeared to grin excessively. What’s wrong with a happy old lady?

    Soon they called her name. She got up and walked to the nurse who called her. She walked alone but in a careful and deliberate manner. As soon as she reached the door by the nurse, she looked back and waved. I waved and smiled back. I thought to myself, hope you enjoy your show today.

    They called my name soon after and I raced to the nurse at the door. She greeted and quickly led me down a long aisle down with many rooms. Compared to waiting room filled with elderly patients, the nursing station felt chaotic with many entering and leaving rooms. I carefully navigated through the various bodies of nursing and elderly patients before entering my exam room.

    My nurse was short and to the point “Hi Fernando, I see you’re here for your annual physical, please undress and pull a gown from the 2nd drawer. I’ll be back shortly.” The nurse left before I could react to her instructions. I figured I’d follow directions to get in and out of this chaotic place. It seemed the office was short-staffed and the comments heard outside the room appeared to confirm my suspicions. I could hear patients confused about where to go.

    Turning to look at my room I could see a small locker to place my belongings. I proceeded to undress in quick speed and managed to place all my clothes in an unlocked space. Now I would remove a gown from the drawer and sit on top the exam table and invariably wait for my exam to begin.

    As I opened the drawer, “Houston we have a problem!” No gown. Opened the other available drawers and no gown. Sure, there was other supplies, but no gown. There had to be a gown. I looked and looked. No gown. What the hell?

    No sooner was I realizing my predicament when I hear the door behind me open. I turned quickly to discover not the nurse but my gray haired friend with piercing pale eyes and toothy grin looking at the “Full Monty!” Arrrghh!! It might have been 10 secs but it felt like an eternity before she was re-routed back to an adjacent room. The “deer in the highlights” look. That was me! I felt like I couldn’t cover myself fast enough.

    My nurse returned with a gown and was fully apologetic. My exam was completed fairly quickly but I was numb from the shock with the gray hair old lady. As I redressed and left the chaos of the office all I could think about was what a “Show” I gave the old lady!

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