The winter dulldrums have set in so it seems a good time to address medical issues and get them out of the way. A foggy day at Turnbull Wildlife Refuge matches my mood. Since I have been without medical insurance a great deal of my adulthood it seems a number of issues on the back burner are begging to be addressed. I should begin by stating I am grateful to finally have insurance. I am however distressed at how diligent I am needing to be in order to receive any benefit of medical treatment.
Last year after the mass enrollment of Americans via the Affordable Health Care Act, I started another waiting game..... waiting for the selection of Insurance Company.......waiting for the paperwork to arrive in the mail to verify the information......waiting to find and select a primary care clinic....and finally the assignment of a primary physician.
Then came our wonderful Utah trip and after 6 weeks at home on the road again for our nearly 8 week trip around Washington State. Being at home through the winter months while Hailey is in school seemed like a great time to address all our medical issues. I should have sent a notice to the insurance folks....
I chose to use a clinic I had used when I had no insurance and received excellent care. The clinic I was assigned to use was 30 miles away, near where I previously lived. If I stayed with the previous clinic it would be a 60 mile round trip to each doctors appointment.. It required special permission to change to a Doctor closer to home which took five weeks. After approval I finally had an appointment December 1. Nice lady but I felt rushed and she made it clear there would only be time to deal with one issue for each appointment....... common on folks, at this rate we won't make it through by medical history before summer. I had blood drawn and an ex-rays order on my back and hip and another appointment made for the following week.
The Doctor ordered physical therapy without results of the ex-rays and order medications for my high cholesterol. It took five more weeks to get pre-authorization for the physical therapy and medication after many, many calls to the insurance company and doctors office.
In one of my calls to the Doctors office, I was told that I need not call again, that they would call me when the authorization came through. Two weeks later, when I call the insurance company, they had never received the request for authorization. Clearly, I needed to do the follow up calling.
In my opinion, going to the Doctor is only the first step towards medical care. Medical care is what happens after seeing the doctor on the path to wellness. It seems to me that the process as become concluded in many extra steps that must be managed by the patient. My biggest concern is for those patient who are unable to advocate for themselves...... Who speaks up for them?
After annoying persistence with the insurance company and Doctors office, today, the physical therapist went over the results of the test with me. The vertebrae sit like joined blocks on top of each other protecting the spinal column. In my mid back one portion of a vertebra has collapsed due to an injury and healed into a v shaped wedge which applies pressure on the spinal column. The pressure causes pain and numbness that increases throughout the day and more with activity. It is natural for the spine to try to compensate and straighten itself which causes more arches and bends. So at this time, the treatment seems to be to try and strengthen the muscles in my core and back to provide better support.
Some call this medical care.......
the verdict is still out as far as I am concerned.