When I was single I could care less what kind of health insurance I had. It really wasn’t a big deal. Most of my injuries were basketball related and I could tough them out (unless something was broken). After I got married, that all changed. Things got more serious when we found out we were pregnant. That meant she had to go to the doctor regularly. I had a fleeting thought of going old school and taking care of everything “in-house”. Very fleeting. Who could blame me though? This was my baby. My flesh and blood. I didn’t want a random doctor dealing with this. Enter the dreaded HMO. We decided to give it a shot. The HMO provider shall remain nameless to protect its identity, but we heard good things about it.
Our first visit everything went great. We got in, got our ultrasound, I saw little Johnny, got a nice little sonogram picture, and I was amped. Things started to go south from there. We got there for our second visit and saw a different doctor. Hold up, where’s Dr. X? Oh, we split patients between us…so I’ll be seeing you today. For real lady? On top of that, this heifer lady walked in the room and spoke only to my wife. She said nothing to me. Excuse me! Husband is present. There are 24 million kids that go to bed every night without a father around. I’m not one of them. Strike #1.
My wife’s next visit almost made me call somebody and tell them about themselves. I really thought she was describing a cattle herding procedure the way she described her visit. I was unable to attend so I asked her how it went. They ushered her in and out faster than you can say the word, “baby”. She got to ask no questions and was in and out in ten minutes. Tops. The doctor didn’t ask her very many questions about how she was doing. She told me she left that place feeling disgusted. Strike #2.
Enter Daddy Richards
So I did what any concerned father-to-be would do. I didn’t need a third strike. George W. Bush (probably the last time I quote him…ever) said it best:
There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — [pauses] – shame on you. Fool me — You can’t get fooled again.
I started looking for other alternatives. Our next visit to the HMO provider was supposed to be today. Thankfully (and I know this is God), we were able to switch to my job’s PPO before then and…choose our own doctor. My wife will tell you that I research everything. TV’s, hotels, vacation spots. I’m a habitual researcher. Finding a great doctor was like looking for a five-star hotel/vacation spot for me. It was fun. And I believe I found one! Great reviews by patients. Highly recommended. Accessible via email. UC-Irvine grad. Past president of the Association of Black Women’s Physicians. Whoop whoop! In fact, the hospital she uses is right around the corner from our residence (as opposed to the 20 minute trip to the HMO facility). I think I’ve done my due diligence on this one. We’ll see.
Update: My wife loves her. Mission accomplished! Brownie points earned.