Monday, November 16, 2009

Any recommendations on Primary Care Providers in Greensboro?

I recently received a form letter saying that Dr. James Kindl, my physician for the past two decades, is joining MDVIP, "a national network of physicians who focus on personalized preventative healthcare." His letter goes on to say "In order to provide enhanced proactive care, I will be reducing the size of my practice to no more than 600 patients who may join on a first-come, first-served basis."

What his letter doesn't say, and what doesn't become apparent until one goes to his new website and actually tries to sign up for his new practice, is that this members-only service has an annual fee of $1,500, and that this fee only pays for membership; all the usual charges will still apply, billed to your insurance company.

His form letter says that he decided to take this step after he "recently commissioned an extensive telephone survey" and discovered that his patients had the following complaints about his practice:

"The staff is good but since my practice is so large, there are times when patients feel rushed or they may have to wait for an appointment."


"Patients do not like the telephone system and are frustrated that they have difficulty reaching a live person."

A cursory google search suggests that this boilerplate is on all the form letters sent out by doctors who are signing up with MDVIP. It certainly doesn't jibe with my own experience of Dr. Kindl's practice. I've never had a problem reaching a real person when I called his office. The one time I called it for an after-hours emergency, when I had a food bollus stuck in my esophagus after attempting to swallow an insufficiently masticated piece of prime rib at M'Couls, I was immediately transferred to an after-hours physician. I've never had to book an appointment particulary far in advance, and when it was something that needed prompt attention, they scheduled me for either that afternoon or the next morning. And Dr. Kindl himself has always been friendly and attentive and has always seemed to take plenty of time with me. So what gives?

That's a rhetorical question. I assume he wants to earn more money for less work. That's his right, but I have no interest in helping him do so. So now I need to find a new goddam doctor n this town.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My door was kicked in at 3 a.m.

I was here. Heard the first kick from the kitchen, but it didn't register what it was. Indeed, I wasn't aware that I'd actually heard it until I heard the second. After the third kick, the person trying to kick down the door ran away. I'd run into the living room, shouting "what the fuck" (perhaps not the wisest move), but until I heard the guy (if it was a woman, it was a damn big one) I didn't really process what had occurred. I'm embarassed to admit that I never thought to snatch up the Scots claymore that hangs beside the door, and didn't call 911 until a minute or so had passed.




As you can see, it wasn't actually completely kicked in. Indeed, it stayed shut, albeit with a big hole where the panel was (the door was only opened afterwards, and then my upstairs neighbor had to work the deadbolt from the outside, as I couldn't turn it from the inside). Thank goodness for old houses in the College Hill neighborhood with sturdy doors and deadbolts.

Cops have come and gone. Took them twenty minutes to arrive, and then they drove past the building twice. CSI has come and gone. "CSI" being one lady cop with a flashlight and camera, who said the footprint on the door panel was too blurry to tell anything. The first cop tried to call the K-9 unit, but they told him the dog had gone to bed.

Was it a home invasion? An attempted burglary? I don't know. The lights were off in the front of my apartment, and on the front porch outside. Don't know about the rest of the building.

Two possible suspects. There's Stuttering Willie, a local panhandler/crackhead whom I've had arrested on numerous occasions over the years. But Willie is rail thin and no taller than me, although he can run like a deer, and he's not this kind of crazy. Plus, ever since he got out of prison for the last time, it's been Jim at the Tate Street Laundromat who's been calling the cops on him, not me.

Then there's my stalker. I know his name, although I don't know him, but won't post it here. Back in February of 2008, when I was more active on MySpace than I am now, I got this message from a stranger, whose anonymous profile (since deleted) was full of photos of corpses and carcasses, photos of Nazis, and clips of Death Metal bands, plus racist/antisemitic ramblings.

"hey faggot, harris teeter (dec. '07), - shopping with three others (one a child), the impersonation (accent, yahhhh) you did wasn't respected /// a schizophrenic egde can read through subtlety easier than one could imagine,,, so, if you encounter me again, I ask of you to almight-ily and completely Fuck off, alright? dork"

No, I don't know what he's referring to. He sems to be accusing me of mocking/imitating him when he was shopping at Harris Teeter in 2007, in the company of a two other people and a child.

Before that profile was deleted, I noticed that a mutual friend, a member of the Tremors, was on my "fan's" friends list. I wrote him, asking who the Hell this guy was. He (the member of the Tremors) said "oh, that's ___________, he comes in my store all the time. Yeah, he thinks you mocked him at Harris Teeter. He's always imagining stuff like that when he goes off his meds. He tends to obsess on people for really crazy reasons."

I got a couple of other messages from this guy, whose first name is apparently Jason. It turned out that other people I know had worked with him, or had dealt with him as a customer. A friend and former neighbor of mine said she knew him, that he'd stalked her for a while. Perhaps coincidentally, his first abusive email came not long after she and I went out on a date. She and other people all said he was crazy, on various anti-psychotics. Finally, in April of 2008, Jason came by my workplace at 7:30 in the morning, telling the girl there that he wanted to talk to me about my allegedly "making fun" of him.

I talked to a local cop, who said I didn't have grounds for a restraining order, but pulled up info on him. Jason used to work at a porn store on High Point Road. He's had multiple arrests for Drunk and Disorderly and Disturbing the Peace and Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Government Official. He's a little over six feet tall, beefy, ZZ Top beard, red-faced, covered in tattoos.

Another friend mine, a very large man who goes by the nickname Big Dave, and who's been a bouncer and once trained for the UFC, got wind of Jason stalking me. He told the guy who knows Jason, who was also a friend of Dave's, that he wanted to talk to Jason. The guy who knows Jason allegedly told him "hey, you're starting to piss off some VERY dangerous people, you need to stop, or I'll kick your ass myself." This allegedly sobered Jason, who allegedly said "yeah, I need to be careful to stay on my meds, cuz I do really stupid-ass things when I don't, and now lots of people are mad at me." Since then, I hadn't heard a thing from him.

Do I think this was him? I don't know. I was up, but the lights were off in the living room. The light was off on the front porch. I expect this whole building (a house turned into four units) was dark. I guess it could have been a break in attempt.

Wish I could be sure whether the last kick came before or after I yelled and went running towards the sound. That would be a clue to my mystery guest's intentions.

I think it's time to buy a shotgun, though.