Automated Appointment Questionares

m2The latest and greatest thing that Cleveland Clinic has implemented is an automated questionnaire that ‘will help your doctor better meet your needs’.  I guess someone probably ought to have told the doctors that the questions were going to help.  Mine isn’t overly impressed with the handy dandy feature.

I’ve filled out the cookie cutter questions several times now, but I’m really starting to question how useful they are.

The questions are customized for what specialty doctor you are going to visit.  Mine are for my rheumy.  You know the questions that the doctors always ask… what is your pain level… how long are you stiff in the morning… and the questions that are occasionally asked that always make me stop and cringe…

Am I able to walk 3 miles is I want to?  Yes, and it’s what I do so that one I don’t mind.

Am I able to get up from sitting on the floor?  Most of the time, especially if I have a wall to push against.

Can I button/zip/fasten my clothes?  Can I dress myself without assistance?  Yeah.  Sometimes I think and rethink what shirt I’m going to wear so I don’t HAVE to button buttons… but I can dress myself.

What is my pain level…

As the doctor explained it, the questionnaire is meant to prove to the Clinic how well the doctors are treating my RA.

HELLO… I have RA.  My pain level really isn’t going to change a WHOLE lot, especially when the doctor appointments are scheduled the day I am scheduled for my infusion.  I am always ready for my infusion.  My pain level is always higher on that day than it is three days later.  If the Clinic wants to know how the treatments are working they should ask after the infusion kicks in.

Should I be honest on the questions?

Should I tell the stupid management what I know they want to hear?

What IS the point in all of this?  I know full well that most of what I do on a day to day basis is to maintain.  I already know I will not likely ever go completely into ‘remission’ and I know that, if I’m lucky I won’t have a huge flair again and not be able to put weight on my leg or not be able to unbend my finger.   I know that I’m not going to get “better” the best I can hope for is to maintain and not get worse.  HELLO… this is my new normal.  I can manage a half marathon, I can pretty easily do a 10k or a 10 miler.    I proved this morning that I can scale a muddy bank if it means getting close to the river to take pictures.

I have come to expect about a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 of pain.  I’ve come to recognize the not quite asleep feeling in my fingers (sometimes my toes) that tells me that my wrists aren’t acting quite right.

If I wasn’t satisfied with my level of care, I have other options.  It would be a pain in the ass to change providers because I would have to get a new permission slip from the insurance to get my infusions and that can take 6 to 8 weeks (so I’m kind of tied to where I am but I would deal with the crushed glass shards if I really really wasn’t able to stomach my rheumy).  If I’m filling out your stupid make work feel good questions, suffice it to say you still don’t suck sufficiently to have chased me off… yet.  But keep trying.  I’m sure you will get there eventually.


























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