Monday, September 08, 2008

The Funny Things That Make Something Real

Years ago shortly after Jen was diagnosed with M.S., my boss and very good friend, Bette worried how I would react hearing the diagnosis tossed around in casual conversation. After all, it's a medical equipment company. We have patients with M.S. who are quite disabled.

I was fine until the first time I found myself filling out some paperwork for an electric wheelchair for an M.S. patient. The woman and I had been talking for a while, I was quite familiar with her diagnosis and situation. Then I had to write the ICD-9 code. ICD-9 codes are to the medical world what the Dewey decimal system is to a library.

I looked it up in my book and filled in 340. My hand shook (lol, yes, more than normal).

I had forgotten all about that until I was filling out the Revlimid paperwork.

There it was, 203.00 Which my mind immediately translated to "Multiple myeloma without mention out remission".

Yeah, in my world, that's as real as it gets.


Stella said...

I've had my experience with medical coding, and had the same experience when I saw my challenge in the ICD-9. I remember thinking, "Is this for real?"

I get grumpy, too. We may not agree politically, and with Palin running that's putting it mildly, but I admire your grit. Never believe what the doctors say. And if you get tired at work, go to the beach. Sometimes, when you are lazy, you come back a better employee.

Ron Simpson said...

My father had MS. Growing up, I never saw him out of a wheelchair or a medical bed, so I never had a chance to have a true father son relationship with him. When he died of pneumonia, I was angry at God for not letting me have my dad but thankful he was not tied to his bed anymore.
Two years ago, my brother was diagnosed with MS. I was floored. But the advances in medicine since the early 80s for MS have allowed him to lead a relatively normal life. He runs marathons and tries hard not to let the disease get to him. We try to stay positive.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society of America is the only charity I give to regularly.
My heart goes out to you. My only advice is to keep a positive attitude. The only thing Ed hates is special treatment or people feeling sorry for him.

BostonMaggie said...

Thanks to you both. I'm good, the beach was great!