This week has been a painful reminder of how incredibly messed up healthcare is in America. I’ve had an annoying issue that’s been shadowing me for about a month – near constant tingling/numbness in my right arm. I waited a couple of weeks to see a doctor because I thought it might resolve on it’s own, it hasn’t. So I made an appointment and saw my doc – she put me on steroids to see if inflammation was the cause.
I was a little freaked out to take the steroids because I’ve heard some rough stuff but it was a low dose for six days so I tried it. Nothing miraculous happened, the pain and numbness were dulled a bit but not gone. A day after my last dose I had extreme pain so I called the doctors office asking for next steps. No one called me back. I called the next day and got Honied and Sweetied by the nurse.
Nurse: Hold on hon, let me check….(hears keyboard clicking…)
Me: The pain is fairly significant and it’s constant, can we possibly streamline this process?
Nurse: Well Sweetie your doctor is giving you a referral to the Rothman Institute.
Me: OK, will I have a diagnostic test done before then to pin point the problem?
Nurse: No Honey. Go to the Orthopedic doctor first.
So I call the Orthopedic doctor. I’m fortunate they have a cancellation so I don’t have to wait a month or more to get in. The intake person tells me I will see a non-surgical doctor and asks me if I have had any x-rays or an MRI. I call back my doctor’s office…
Me: Can I get an MRI or some other diagnostic testing prior to the Orthopedic appointment so it is a more productive appointment?
Nurse: Pffffft. I doubt it.
Me: Can you ask?
Nurse: (Clearly annoyed) This is what your doctor has suggested.
Me: Yes, I understand that. I’m just in a lot of discomfort and I want to streamline the process if at all possible.
Nurse: (sighs loudly) I’ll put a note in for the doctor.
Next day…nurse calls we play phone tag 4 times before we connect then the call gets disconnected….
Nurse: Doctor says your other option is 4 to 8 weeks of physical therapy, then reconsider MRI, otherwise, insurance likely won’t cover.
Me: So physical therapy for a problem that hasn’t been properly diagnosed yet because an accurate diagnostic test hasn’t been done because the insurance won’t pay….I’ll stick with the Orthopedic referral, thanks.
Once again the death of common sense has been verified. I am nothing but a walking widget to these people…another name in the computer that stumbled off the factory floor and had the nerve to ask relevant questions. I’m sure this nurse started her career with the sincere desire to help people, now she is relegated to towing the corporate line for a variety of insurance companies. The doctor may sign her paychecks but they all work for the insurers now and it’s been that way a long time. This is the insurance we pay $20K in premiums for each year because my husband and I are both self-employed.
In other news, I went for a consultation for a cosmetic procedure today – blepharoplasty (under eye bags). Met with the doctor, scheduled the procedure and poof have an appointment for early November. Easy Peasy!
What’s the difference here folks, cash. The almighty dollar y’all so if you are willing to pay cash you can get your tummy tucked, boobs/eyes/ass lifted, nipped, tucked and fat sucked with barely any questions asked. GAWD forbid you have a real problem then you will jump through hoops of fire to get the coverage you actually paid for, healthcare in America, it’s just swell.