Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Planning for Health Care Needs in Wisconsin

I have the flu!!! It's been over 10 years since I have had the flu, I get a flu shot every year. Maybe it is the cold Greenbay air that got me or maybe it is just bad luck; but I have the flu. Several people, including my sister have asked me if I think it might be the SWINE flu. I'm pretty sure it is not the swine flu, because although I have been grunting like a pig; I have not had any strong urges for slop. To the right is a genuine 3-D model of an influenza virus. ------->

I have a job to do up here in Wisconsin, and I need to be well to do it; so I went to the doctor to see if they could do anything to help me out. I went to this place called Waukesha Family Practice. It sounded like a nice place to me, you know "family practice" and it wasn't too far from the office.

Probably, most of you don't know it but Waukesha, Wisconsin was the birthplace and childhood home of Les Paul. He went by a number of names Red Hot Red, Red Hot Rhubarb, The Wizard of Waukesha. Les Paul, is one of the inventors of the electric guitar as well as a number of other recording and sound technologies. He was very famous in the 1950's, had his own TV show with his wife Mary Ford. Gibson Guitar still produces the "Gibson Les Paul Model" which is said to account for over half of Gibson's sales. It is a beautiful guitar, and has been used by some of the greatest guitarists of all time including Eric Clapton and Peter Townsend. I always wondered how Les Paul "invented" the electric guitar. The story, at least the way I got it was this. Les disassembled his mother's phonograph and used the stylus and cartridge as his first "pick up" (amplifier). I always wondered how young Lester managed to avoid a good old "azz whoopin" for tearing up his mother's phonograph. In researching this, I found out the Lester's mother was directly related to the Blatz Brewing Family and to the Stutz Family (Stutz Bearcat Automobiles), so money was not a problem for young Lester. I could go on about Les, and I will in another edition but right now I have to deal with the flu.

So, I tramp through the snow up to the Waukesha Family Practice Building, and take the elevator up. There are only two patients waiting - so I think I may be in luck. I walk over to the window to sign-in. I say to the receptionist, "I'd like to see a doctor because I have the flu". The receptionist, says do you have an appointment? I said, "no, I was hoping someone could see me." She spins around and starts to type on the computer. "What's your name", she says. I said, "I haven't been here before". "Do you have insurance?" she says. "Yes I have insurance." "What kind?" she asks. Blue Cross - Blue Shield. She then tells me that it could take 2 hours to set me up in the system, and that I should probably come back tomorrow. This woman is manually folding invoice to be sent to patients and stuffing them in envelopes. Behind her are a solid wall of "paper medical records" the technology of the 1800's I would guess. So maybe she is right...maybe it would take her two hours to "set me up in the system".

I said really? She said, "yes you have got to give us a "heads up" before you come here." By now, I am sure this is going nowhere - my parting words

"OK, Lady, the next time I am on a business trip, 500 miles away from home, and I think I might get the flu - I'll give you a heads up." I can't believe I didn't end this conversation with....

Of course, that would have been "bad karma" - but JEEZ - when your whole body is aching, and your hair even hurts.....have mercccceeeeey.

All the best,


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