The Gray Line Tour: It’s that insurance rage!

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 11, 2002


Many people have road rage to deal with, including myself. I confess it’s a huge effort not to chase down some brain-dead driver.

However, medical rage is hitting me now. Has this happened to you?

The situation: I needed to get some blood work done. I’m told to fast for 12 hours beforehand and that I can drop by the office any time during business hours and it will only take minutes.

The first time, I drove all the way from my office in LaPlace to the doctor’s office. I wait half an hour, watching Halle Berry on Oprah talk about “The Monster’s Ball.”

Then, I’m called in and told they cannot take my blood that day because it’s Friday afternoon and the lady taking blood to the lab elsewhere had already made her pickup 20 minutes ago.

The second time, I re-appear at the doctor’s office, ready to go, and I again wait my usual 15-20 minutes and then am told they cannot take my blood, because my medical insurance isn’t accepted there for that. I had to go to Meadowcrest Hospital to the lab directly.

At Meadowcrest, I go in right away and am asked if I fasted for 12 hours beforehand. I hadn’t – admittedly my own fault.

Then she asks me why I simply didn’t go to River Parishes Hospital, 10 minutes from my office, since they have a lab there which takes my insurance.

I grimly held in my rage, trying to keep my blood pressure under control.

“What?!” I responded, with commendable restraint.

She then gave me the address of the lab near the hospital in LaPlace and I left.

At home, I fasted the requisite 12 hours and, bright and early the next morning, reported to the lab at the posted opening time of 7:30 a.m.

Due to some sort of emergency, the office didn’t open until 8:20 a.m. and there was a lady ahead of me.

Soon, I finally did my blood work and it was done.

Got the results back today, and I understand that a trigliceride level of 647 isn’t good.

OK. So I’m due to go in on Monday or Wednesday and pick up my new medication, with a second appointment with the doctor set on the 27th.

I know I’m hardly the first one to have high blood pressure, but I had to tell someone.

Thanks for listening…

LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor for L’Observateur.