Saturday, March 29, 2014

Medical Supply or Insurance Depot?

Suddenly, there I was, hip pain that neither my chiropractor nor ibuprofen could tame. Let the hoop-jumping-waiting-game begin!

  • Appointment with doc
  • Schedule x-rays
  • Wait for report
  • Prescription for NSAID
  • NSAID caused stomach pain
  • Would you like PT or an ortho pain consult? (while PT is valuable, it postpones dealing with this pain)
  • Wait for referral
  • Wait for appointment
  • etc.

Meanwhile, I remember hearing how helpful a TENS unit was to a friend dealing with pain and discover they're relatively cheap on the internet. Knowing they're not for everyone, I was pleased to feel some pleasant distraction via the muscular stimulation. Sadly, the unit arrived with only one set of reusable electrode pads and after 3 days I needed a replacement.

"I bet I could find replacement pads at a medical supply store. We have several in town."

First stop, Providence Home Health Supply. Wow, not much on display in here and the two workers seem to be working primarily as telephone operators. What we learned is that Providence does not run a medical supply store. It's more of a depot where you can order items prescribed by your doctor or pick ordered items up. The nearsighted receptionist who helped me, gave me a number that turned out to be a FAX number. A detail she couldn't read without her glasses, but I could see from across the counter. After the correct number was handed over, the distributor on the phone soon determined I did not have a prescribed machine. No electrodes for me! Daughter, Fran, remembered another medical supply store on the north end of Commercial. Not only was Pacific a real medical supply store, but the person behind the counter (who happened to be wearing glasses) knew where to send me.

Current medical journey to be continued . . .
Ps. NEVER touch electrode wires that have escaped their pads when TENS is on. Unless, you enjoy a good shock, of course.

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