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Catapult Garage
Emergency Workshop

Keep checking back on this page--we'll post new tips and new information here roughly once per month. (This page last posted 5/5/2012.)

PLEASE!

Even if you elect not to use the Emergency workshop to keep up with your medics, dentists, vets, etc., you should take a minute and create a configuration that shows who to contact for you in case of an emergency. All you need enter is their name and phone numbers--home, work, and cell. How hard can that be. Then show it to your fellow workers so they'll know where to find the information when, er...if they need it. Hey! It COULD save your life.
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All your emergency information (except who to call and their phone numbers) is encrypted on the hard drive so even if someone steals your machine, it will be tough for them to actually read it.

Getting A Referral?

Under our current presidential administration's health care initiatives--assuming the US Supreme Court doesn't show some backbone and stop these unconstitutional laws--you are probably going to see health care become far more difficult to get as general practitioners flee the market place in search of more affordable work positions. The ones who stay will, in many cases, band together into groups so that they can better deal with the bureaucracy. All of this means you need to be sure you have a GP who counts you as his/her patient and who swears to you that he/she is going to stick around. You don't want to ever be left without a doctor who does count you as his/her patient. The same is true of an ophthalmologist and a dentist. If you don't have one or more of these, get them lined up now--go see them and get preliminary examinations--before the "best" of OBamaCare takes hold.

There's lots going on in the medical world. Let's say your primary physician tells you he/she is going to refer you to a specialist of some sort. Let's not be shy about this. There are certain questions you should pointedly ask. First, be sure your primary explains--in plain English you can understand--what the referral is for and what he expects the referred-to doctor to accomplish on your behalf. Also be sure you have a good idea of what time frame and how many visits to the specialist you're probably looking at. Then ask how your primary doctor knows this specialist is the one you need. Put another way, "Why this specialist and not another one?" In today's medical world many doctors, especially GPs, are under or are moving to get under a hospital/clinical group umbrella. In this new arrangement, they are often financially gigged if they send patients "out of house" where the group or hospital doesn't profit from the referral. If you're not especially satisfied with the answers you get, ask how many patients with your specific problem your primary doctor knows for a certain fact that this specialist has successfully treated. If you still don't like the answers you're hearing, you may want to try to find a second opinion and/or another specialist.

Use The Web

Before you pick a primary care doctor, a specialist or, for that matter, any medical practitioner; try this. Use your favorite search engine and enter a search-for pattern like "ratings of doctors in mytown, mystate" (filling in the name of your town and state, of course.) You may be surprised what you'll find laid out right there on the web. In general, if there are lots of negative reviews on a given practitioner, well...what can YOU expect?

A Final Word

Finally, here's a word of caution we all hope you'll never need; but it has been learned through numerous experiences. As hard as it may be to believe at times, doctors really are human beings and most of them are just like you and me. The last thing they want to see happen is the death of a person who is depending upon them for help and care. This breeds an attitude known as "Not on my watch." They go into a kind of denial and don't want to admit what's going on is as bad as it really is. (Yes, there are some few who just want to pad their coffers, too, but those creeps are a very small minority.) There are two most-often-seen responses to "Not on my watch." First is the vague, highly-technical speech--a prognosis loaded with technical details even Einstein couldn't grasp. If you get that, insist that the doctor tell you what it means and don't let them go until you're sure you understand. The second response is to try to hide bad news--both the creeps and the best, most soft-hearted docs will use this, though with very different motives--they depend upon the patient and his/her family hearing what they want to hear. LISTEN CLOSELY--"treatable" does NOT mean "curable." You can treat a 30-year-old fence post all day, but it's never going to grow new leaves again. Period. Now let's pray you never hear a doctor mutter the words, "This is very treatable."














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