Since before Thanksgiving I’ve been sick. Sinus infections which persist and won’t go away have progressed into what I believe is bronchitis (no diagnosis other than for my husband and we have the same symptoms).
Ironically, my husband and middle daughter both went to urgent care on Sunday, saw different doctors, had the same symptoms. My husband was treated with respect and due diligence, got his diagnosis and prescriptions. My daughter was treated disparagingly, was told she needed to suck it up and just deal with her “cold”, yet her symptoms are more pronounced with breathing being a significant issue. She was given medications but had to fight for them. What is wrong with our medical system?
When I went to ER because my bp was too high and I couldn’t breath, the ER doc was rude, disparaging, condescending, and suggested I take a drug I’ve been allergic to for more than 25 years. He also told me to go off my daily decongestant. I did – it was a total fail. On top of my symptoms I was already struggling with, I then added in more breathing problems – asthma attacks, more congestion, and more struggling with breathing.
One other thing this lovely ER doctor did, he doubled the dose of the antibiotic (one of the few I could take) which then caused me to have issues with it – similar to ones I have with other drugs in this family. Now I’m not sure I’ll be able to take this drug again because every time I’ve taken it since then, I’ve had some pretty severe side effects.
My daughter and I both feel like we have elephants dancing our chests and want this feeling to go away but the medical community don’t seem to know how to take care of us. It shouldn’t be that hard to listen but apparently doctors don’t know how – perhaps in all their fancy classes they should add in one about compassion, concern, and active listening.
It’s a normal pay weekend. I’ve gotten up, paid bills, talked to one daughter, and am about to head out to run errands.
Once the errands are done, I’m going to be sitting at the computer to work on several projects. I’m avoiding my phone which is telling me the two games I’ve been playing are ready for me to play again – my lives are full now.
It’s funny how I have to have a game tell me my life is full. Yes – it is. From my work, to my hobbies, to my family – I’m busy. I have a lot going on and some days I’m lacking in energy and ambition.
Motivation is key today and tomorrow. I have a lot I want to clear off my to do list in the hopes of feeling like I’m moving forward with these projects.
Went to the rheumatologist yesterday – Ken came with me which was nice. She wants me on a drug so I get to try a new drug to see if I break out, have other nasty side effects, or if my body can tolerate it. If I can take it, I get to wait weeks (up to three months) before we know if it’s helping. I’m not optimistic but at the same time I know something has to change.
For the first time in over a month, I’m going to sort through coupons, make a grocery list, and send Ken off to the store with a detail list rather than “get what we need” comment. We’ve only been picking up the bare necessities while we’ve been helping Vicki move.
Lots to do today so I better get off the computer and head out for the errands. Hopefully they don’t take long and I can be home soon to work on publishing, couponing, and the other tasks I have on my todo list.
My daughter takes a very expensive medication – like $500 a month. When she got her own insurance, the company refused to pay for it. Their logic was that there were less expensive drugs out there that she could try. They told her that for them to pay for this expensive drug then she would have to try these less expensive options.
This sounds reasonable except that this will make the third time she went through the process. The first time was when the doctor initially prescribed the meds for her. The second time was when I switched insurance companies (to the same one she has now). It is in her records that she has done this before but they were insistent.
Since she can’t afford the drug without insurance, she had to jump through the hoops they demanded. The first drug – did nothing. The subsequent three drugs she had allergic reactions to. The first allergic reaction she had a hard time breathing and broke out in hives. The other two she broke out in hives. At one point the pharmacy didn’t want to give her a prescription because she had an allergic reaction to one of the other drugs.
I made her call me and talk to me while she took one of the prescriptions because I was worried she would stop breathing and not have anyone there to help her.
It is ridiculous that the insurance company had any say in which prescription the doctor gave to her. She has been on this medication for ten plus years and it works. Why mess with that? Especially when she had already tried other medications that didn’t work or that she was allergic to – this seems wasteful as she now has four prescriptions she has to discard because they didn’t work. It isn’t saving money if she can’t use them.
It is ridiculous to change a person’s medication when what they are taking is working successfully. Isn’t that the point of taking medication – finding what works and sticking to it? I know it is a lot of money but that is something to take up with the pharmaceutical company not the patient – especially when there was documentation that other medication hadn’t worked.
Here is yet another reason why we should have a national health care program. We are already struggling to pay for prescriptions for Vicki as she has no insurance (thanks to Walker changing the rules on my insurance).
Friday she had a sore throat. Saturday and Sunday she ran a fever and progressively got worse feeling each day. Monday I called the doctor’s office to see what it would cost to get her in with no insurance and how much they needed. The answer – $97 but we didn’t have to pay before she saw the doctor.
She tried to say she was fine and didn’t need to go. I ignored her and insisted we go. She has strep, pneumonia, and ear infections in both ears. She got a prescription which cost us $55. Fortunately the doctor looked in her ears before he insisted on the swab of her throat because otherwise we would have had to pay for that test as well.
She doesn’t have $150 to cover these medical costs. She is unemployed. If I hadn’t insisted on her going to the doctor what would have happened? I’ll take the $150 over a hospital bill any day.
We asked about reducing the fees and were given the name and number of a person in the clinic to call. I talked to her today. They take the full household income. Never mind that Vicki is an individual. If I threw her butt out of my house she could get assistance. But because we love our daughter and don’t want her living on the street we now have to pay for these medical expenses.
She’s upset because she knows it will stress me out to juggle bills to pay for this. I’m upset because the system is broken and needs fixing but the moment someone takes the first steps they are bashed for it.
I don’t care what anyone else says a National Health Plan is essential. Call it socialism or welfare or whatever you want, there are people like my daughter who are trying to get jobs and trying to live on their own and support themselves but get beat up by the system when they are sick. Perhaps we should cut back on benefits for representatives (the few) and refine this plan so that everyone can go to a doctor when they need to rather than waiting until it is so bad they nearly die from it.
I hate to quote Star Trek but really the good of the many (in this case) outweighs the good of the few. Quality healthcare shouldn’t be for only the rich or working. It should be for everyone.
Well my morning has been interesting. I’ve not accomplished a lot. I was rudely woken up by my daughter complaining about my husband. She made up for it nicely by making breakfast. Then they went off to Walmart and I was going to take a shower but they kept bugging me with calls. So I waited till they were home.
I worked on some insurance stuff – gotta love insurance. I have to send in my receipts for over the counter drugs now with a prescription from my doctor to get reimbursed for them. Now don’t think I’m getting paid – this is money that is deducted from my pay check for this purpose. I used to be able to go to the pharmacy and buy what was needed using the card from the insurance company. Now however I have to buy it, save the receipt, have a prescription from my doctor. When I have all of that I get to mail, fax, or email it in to the insurance company so they can reimburse me. I don’t think anyone is happy about the process. I know the insurance company wasn’t when I called to talk to them about it.
Now that I have that stuff done, I have to figure out something for lunch. After lunch who knows what mischief I’ll get up to. Maybe I’ll take a nap. Maybe I’ll work on genealogy. Maybe I’ll write. Such wildness on my part I know. This is just another Sunday though and thankfully I think it will be a quiet one.