Borrowing Trouble

A friend and I were talking and it came up that when my daughter Lauren was young, and then a teen and then into her late twenties, I would tell drill into her, “Don’t put yourself in a position to have bad things happen to you.” It was something I heard on Oprah.

What I like about this is

it requires a person to slow down and think things through instead of acting on impulse, which is really great when you have ADD like Lauren and I do. It doesn’t guarantee that bad things won’t happen to you; but, I guess, it’s like looking both ways before you cross the street instead of just darting out into oncoming traffic. Even so, if a meteorite is headed toward you and has your name on it, it doesn’t matter how many times you look before crossing the street. Unless you’re looking up, sorry, you’re toast — but at least a damned Mack truck didn’t hit you first. Am I right?

My friend said, “So what you really mean is don’t go borrowing trouble.”

Well, yeah. Not that I’ve thought through the differences between what I said and what she said, but they’re close.

As y’all know, trouble finds me enough. The last thing I do is go looking for it. Most of the time, I’m trying to hide from it. Except when I forget to. Because ADD will screw with your brain at the most inconvenient of times — which is the same as screwing with your entire being — which makes me forget to hide from trouble.

Like recently.

Since January I’ve been with a new insurance company, which has meant brand new doctors and, now, everything is on “the portal.” What that means is everything’s online. Provided you have it set up to remember what your password is, the portal keeps track of your upcoming doctors’ appointments, your medications, test results — all that jazz.

The portal has been around for years now, with lots of different doctor’s offices and insurance companies using whatever their version is. As convenient as it is, I hate knowing my medical records are online. I’ve put off using it for as long as I could. Unfortunately, this year was the year I had to get with the program.

First of all, who came up with that name — the portal? It sounds like if I go to the portal, I’m going off to a different dimension. If I’m going to a different dimension, I don’t want to see test results or know when I’m scheduled to see the nutritionist next.

I want to see GOD!

Then I want to return back to this time and place just the same OR BETTER than when I left.

That is not what one sees, though, on the portal. It’s a very disappointing experience. I see a bunch of numbers that don’t mean a hill of beans to me. I also see a growing list of medications I’m taking. It reminds me that I’m getting old-er-ish.

Also, if you’re like me, you find it disconcerting to have personal information available to any hacker who’s worth their salt. I’m not a hacker, so, basically, I figure that if I can get into the portal, then anyone else can, too. It’s not like I have any STD’s  (do they still call them that?) or anything, but still, is it anyone’s business but my own if I were, say, incontinent? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Do I want some dirtbag goofball

working at some company looking at my medical history and laughing their butt off because I may have had a foreign object removed from a place I’d rather not divulge? Again, hypothetically speaking. I’m sure they don’t laugh. That would be unprofessional. But they could laugh and knowing they could — because I probably would — is at the very least annoying!

Anyway, I’m wandering around the portal

the other day because I’d been to my doctor the day before. The last time I saw this doctor — so I could get medical clearance to get my cataract surgery — I ended up with concerning test results. He ended up sending me to see two other medical specialists. By the way, it’s not like anyone from his office called to tell me this either.

It was the young office clerks at the specialists’ offices who notified me when they called to set up appointments. They had no idea why I was seeing their doctors. Unfortunately, this was the first I’d heard that I needed to see anyone new. Talk about giving me a heart attack!

The good news is that I probably didn’t need to see either specialist. This new primary healthcare doctor of mine just doesn’t like to take chances, apparently.

We’ll call it — he’s just looking out for me.

Still, if you’re going to send me to a specialist, please phone me and tell me you’re going to do this and why. Don’t spring this with no explanation on an old-er-ish woman who would like to make it to sixty. I swear, I lost two years of my life just from that traumatizing experience alone!

Also, it’s weird when you see a specialist and the first thing they ask is, “So, why are you here to see me today?”

I found myself saying, “Beats the hell out of me! You don’t know?”

So, I’m poking around the portal because I don’t want any new surprise phone calls from specialists’ offices when I see a change to my medications. Apparently, I’m going to have to start taking something called ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2.) It’s right there next to the new prescription for semaglutide I’m going to be taking. I know what the semaglutide is for. But what’s this ergocalciferol for? I already take D3.

As any curious patient would, I Googled it.

That, my friends, is known as borrowing trouble. That is also putting yourself in a situation to have bad things happen to you.

Did you know that ergocalciferol is used to treat hypoparathyroidism? I looked up hypoparathyroidism. Shit! So, there it was. I had a new diagnosis. I mean, it checked off a lot of the symptoms I have. Not all, but a few. Okay, one. Possibly two. BUT STILL…


Then my doctor called a few hours later. It wasn’t his assistant who called, but the doctor himself. This had to be bad.

He said that after seeing my test results, he was going to call in an antibiotic for me.

If I wanted, he could send me to a fancy specialist, too, because I seem to get UTI’s pretty frequently. He thought my lady plumbing might need a specialist to get to the bottom of things.


Why was he calling about a run-of-the-mill UTI? Was he just warming up before he gave me the really bad news?

I told him I was less concerned about the UTI and was more concerned with my new diagnosis of hypoparathyroidism. Could we talk about that?

I freaked him out just as much as I was freaked out. 

As it turned out, after we’d both calmed down (me, really), it was decided that whoever typed in the medications I’m currently on — which was on the portal — listed ergocalciferol in error. “Whoever” should have typed in D3 and not D2. The doctor immediately deleted ergocalciferol from my list of meds.


Did that mean I didn’t have HYPOPARATHYROIDISM?

That’s exactly what that meant.

Getting a call from the doctor telling me I had a UTI —and only a UTI — was the best news I’d had all day!

Wayward Friends, I hope your week is blessed and that whatever version of “the portal” you use only brings you good news!

And music —







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16 thoughts on “Borrowing Trouble”

  1. OK. “Like” problem fixed. Apparently (although this is the first time I saw it), a drop down box asked me if I wanted drop down boxes from YOU. I couldn’t figure out why you would need one, but what the heck. So now my “like” button works. At least until the next blog you send – but at least this time I’ll know what to look for!
    As for the doctor’s phone call – congratulations! I thought they only called when you were on the verge of hospitalization. And using Google is always a good news/bad news result. But good luck curing that UTI. I don’t believe after a certain age, they ever completely go away.
    Truthfully, I like that a specialists’ office called to make an appointment. Usually they just look at you blankly and ask why you need to see one. But yes, you’re right – it would be nice to find out why you were being sent. Ask him to his face (or to his office) next time?
    Feel great – until the next time you’re tempted to Google something!

    • Hey Barbara,
      Glad the “like” button is fixed. I swear to you it wasn’t me who did anything — one way or the other! I’m with you about doctors calling. It was just — weird. Who knows, maybe I have traveled to a different realm through the portal where doctors actually call their patients with not the worst news. I dunno. I wonder if every time a little something is off, they send you to a specialist because, at least in my case, the insurance company is covering the cost. I don’t know that for a fact, but the conspiracy theorist that resides in me sometimes whispers that into my brain! Bwahaahaa! Also, no doubt, UTI’s will end up being the death of me. I knew a lady that had a UTI and had hallucinations because of it. She was in her nineties and that was the first time I’d heard just how bad UTI’s can truly be. Yep, a different realm, indeed! 🙂 Mona

  2. Holy cow! It makes me so angry when so-called professionals make errors like that! I’m glad you got it all figured out. In the words of my late grandmother, “They need to get their heads out of their asses.” Nailed it.

    • Deb, Your grandmother was a wise woman! Also, what do you think the diagnosis is called for someone who actually needs their head extracted from said body part? 😉

  3. Human Error is soooooo common & frustrating!! Big Hugs & I’m happy you have such a good outcome! I’ve been referred to a specialist as well, thanks for the reminder to call them…. Plus I wanted to let you know that (TMI, but info is power!) my own UTIs were actually not at all, but were a hyperactive bladder that seizes up every time I’m stressed. FFS, LOL. Blessings & Love to you, always! Take care of yourself & next time trouble finds you, just know we’ve got your back.

    • Hey Andie,
      I’m sure that once I get used to the portal and the bugs are worked out, everything will settle down OR everything will change! I’m glad they figured out what was going on in your situation. Don’t you just love stress? Don’t you just love when they tell you you need to lower your stress? As if you want this in your life? Okay, I’m getting stressed out just thinking about it. Moving on — Thanks, my friend, for having my back! I’ve got yours, too! Hugs, Mona

  4. That was quite a roller coaster. I think of it as a good roller coaster because it had a happy ending but then I wonder, is there a good roller coaster? I guess it depends on whether you like roller coasters. I’m not a fan. In fact the last time I was on a roller coaster I kept saying “Make it stop…” But it’s been so many years and I’m an adult now that I think that, if I had the chance, I’d get on a roller coaster again just for the experience. What’s the worst that could happen? I’d think to myself right up until I was getting in seat and saw the sign that said “It’s been _118_ minutes since our last fatality!”
    Anyway my healthcare provider has an online system too. It’s called “Epic” and I’m sure my information is safe because it’s so complicated no one can find anything. The name is short for “Epic Fail”.
    I’m sure Portal is the same way. It’s short for “Portal To Nowhere”.

    • Hey Chris,
      Or maybe it’s the portal to the rollercoaster that becomes an epic fail! 🤔
      Ha! Also, if it were “The Portal to Nowhere Bookstore,” Jenny Lawson’s bookstore, I’d love that! Thanks for putting this into perspective, my friend. I always appreciate your input. Mona

  5. I’m sorry you went through this but am pleased to know you’re okay. As for your “portal” ours supposedly provides all our medical records, doc referrals, and record of immunizations in one place BUT it doesn’t. It’s only for doctors/pharmacies who/that use the same online company, which is to say that everything medical online for us is in various places. In other words we have many portals, each more special than the last.

    • Ally,
      Thanks, my friend! Special portals, huh? Maybe AI can figure out a way to keep everything straight or maybe this is just another way “they’ve” figured out how to kill us off with STRESS and CHAOS! Sorry, my dad is hanging with us while he convalesces. He and I have already had several knock-down-drag-out “discussions.” He’s doing great. Me? Not so much. Our last “discussion” was less than ten minutes ago. Ugh. That, however, is for a different post. Seriously, though, I hope the rest of your week is amazing just because someone has to have an amazing week and I think you’re special enough to be deemed the one to have the amazing week that I can’t! Mona

  6. Yeah, I kept getting an error trying to access this post from the Reader…. so I finally had to click on one of your comments on my blog to get here! There should be a portal for that….

    Speaking of, I’m sure I’ve set up a few medical portals before, but I never visit them. Honestly, I probably don’t want to know about any bad test results anyway. In fact, I’d rather not have any tests at all since my insurance doesn’t seem to pay for some of them (like, you know, a PSA test us dudes are supposed to get every year according to my doc)…

    • ES,
      I’m glad you were able to find your way to my site however you did it! Yeah, I’m sorry I’m on the damned portal thing, myself. And don’t even get me started on insurance. I chalk it up to necessary evils, one and all! Hugs, Mona

  7. Be careful in the portal; we do want you to return!
    I can’t believe someone wrote the wrong thing on your RX list! WTH? That should NOT happen.
    I’m glad it’s just a run-of-the-mill UTI, but still, that isn’t fun either.
    I hope you get things sorted out and get those lovely eyeballs of yours working properly again.

    • Thanks, Suz! Clearly, I’m just not a portal kind of girl. I’m staying away from there unless I’m forced to. I’m also glad the doctor was able to easily fix the D2 snafu. The best news is that my eyeballs are up and running! 🏃‍♂️ Hugs, Mona


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