Technical Resistance

I try to take responsibility for myself as much as I can in all aspects that I can reach. As long as I can reach them comfortably. Including my health. So when the good folks that bring me my delightful dialysis sessions announced an opportunity to “take control of your kidney health and experience better outcomes” I jumped at the chance. Who couldn’t resist better outcomes in anything you take on? Then they started throwing around words like “empowered” and “easy” in the same paragraph even. And they got me with, “Start managing your kidney care with your Portal today and gain more time to do the things you love. Register today and Thrive On” (Emphasis not even added. They’re good.) How can I not want to take advantage of gaining more time to do the things I love? I was hooked.

You just know this is going to go wrong somewhere, don’t you? Hmm.

Looking forward to actively participating in my care, I carefully filled out the many screens of information that they requested, chose my password, and awaited the confirmation email which would contain the additional instructions for completing the registration process. In just a few seconds it came, and in just a few minutes I did what I was supposed to do. In seconds again I received another email congratulating me on successfully registering for the patient portal and was presented with a link to “log in and start actively participating in your care!” (OK, that time I added the exclamation point, but I wasn’t excited about this. Wouldn’t you be?)

I clicked, eagerly awaiting the chance to participate in my care, and attempted my first official login. In went my email address, then went in my password, then the email address and password went in to wherever they go and the little circle thing started spinning and then, low and behold (words you just don’t hear much anymore) across the screen I was presented with the message “username or password invalid.” Oh, poo! No problem. In my excitedness I probably hit a wrong key so I re-entered the username which is my email address so I know that was correct, and then, this time more carefully, my password. Almost always when denied access it’s because I incorrectly enter the password which makes sense since they never show you your password (unless it happens to be ******* and you just have to remember how many *s). But no, again that didn’t work so I gave one more try and one more time I got the same frustrating message.

I selected the link on the page for technical support and sent them an email detailing my inability to log into the patient portal (and thus my unfortunate delay in participating in my care!) and sat back to await their response. A few minutes later I saw the little envelope icon pop up at the top of the screen and I anxiously opened my email to just as anxiously read their reply, get back on track, and start participating in my care. Well imagine my disappointment when I scrolled the inbox items and saw, “Undeliverable.” Instead of the anxiously awaited reply I had a message wherein the little emailman politely explained to me that my desperate plea for help could not be sent because the addressee “wasn’t found or doesn’t exist at the destination server” and I should check to make sure I entered the address correctly, contact the intended recipient by phone, or several other options that involved things like checking licenses and permissions and other things that normal non-computer savvy people (and probably some of them, too) have no idea what any of that means. Disappointment does not begin to describe what I was feeling. “ARRRGH!” OF COURSE THE DAMN ADDRESS EXISTS. ALL I DID WAS PUSH THEIR DANM BUTTON ON THEIR DAMN WEBSITE! DAMN MORONS!” I said to myself. Calmly.

Maybe it’s just a password problem and I actually mistyped when I was selecting it. It’s possible. If I can incorrectly enter a password when trying to log onto a site I can certainly mistyped the letters, characters, numbers, and case control when first selecting the password. Of course that would mean that I would have had to make the same mistake twice since, once on the first selection entry and once on the confirmation entry, but hey, it could happen. Yeah, right.

So I attempted to log on again, knowing it would reject the login information but also knowing I would be presented with the inevitable “Forgot your password?” link. So I did. And I was. And I clicked. And in a few seconds I received another email with another link to reenter my password. So I clicked. And I reentered. Carefully. Both times. The screen blanked taking all my information again to wherever the little electrons go when they discuss these things and in less than a second I got another email! This is getting exciting. Again anxiously (though not quite as anxiously as I had been earlier), I opened the email and read the message congratulating me on successfully changing my password with a new link to log on and “start participating in my care.” (No emphasis added. By this time I was getting emphatically worn out.) Again I clicked. And again I entered username AKA email address and password AKA, uhh, password. And again I got…”username or password invalid.”


(If you read Monday’s post and are wondering if this was what I couldn’t remember…..well, the answer to that is no. But this one is such a great story I couldn’t wait to share it. That and if I did wait I knew I would have forgotten about it. But don’t worry. I still have the sticky note stuck right there on the monitor (see?) and I’ll be writing all about it next time. Unless something else comes up between now and then. But it’s OK. There’s lots of sticky on that note. It’s not going anywhere.)

(Oh and, do you think I use too many parentheses?)




  1. Ain’t technology WUNNERFUL?

    when it works, that is…

    My guess is the website was a fake one, designed to get your email address on a file somewhere, so someone can send you an email to sell you insanely overpriced crap which…

    a) doesn’t work.
    b) makes you so terrified you beg your doctor for a new pill
    c) may cause a host of semi-serious side effects (like, oh…death?) in a small percentage of the double blind cohort study.

    1. No, it’s a real site. The fake ones always work!

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