Monday, July 20, 2009

Health Care Emergency

Nurse Nancy

"Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said"

"What insurance do you have? Oh. Sorry. We don't take patients without insurance."


"For a non-insured patient we require a $250 deposit before you can see the doctor."


"A new patient visit (with the physician's assistant) is $200, payable when you sign in."


"Before we talk about hormones, we need a full blood work-up." ($1,000.)
"The blood work showed the possibility of a tumor. You need a CT scan." ($3500.)
"No tumor. But just to be safe, the doctor suggests removing your ovaries."
(This was over the phone. I'd seen the PA once for ten minutes.
I'd never even met the doctor.)

"Hysterectomy is routine at your age. You don't need that equipment anymore.
It means you won't get ovarian cancer."


When I didn't schedule the surgery, the real doctor called.
"Marty, I'm concerned about you!" she said.
(Yeah, right. I'm a file and a bunch of $ to you.)

"Actually, I'm concerned," I said.
" I came in for help with my severe hot flashes,
and immediately I'm told I need surgery.
I didn't think hysterectomies were routine anymore."

"Oh, we do them all the time!
They're my bread and butter."

I tell this story when someone notices my horrible hot flashes.
"You need to go to another doctor.
You need a second opinion," they say.


"Dr. Smith's Office. What kind of insurance do you have?
Oh? We'll need a credit card deposit for an appointment.
And there's an extra new patient fee."

Doctor Dan

Oh yes. I have health issues.
And I'm SO HAPPY they're talking about it!
I will be, too.

(This post was republished on 3/20/2010.)


diane said...

Hot flashes stink and so do night sweats. I reccomend phyto based estrogen from a compound pharmacy. My Dr has a holistic approach and this helped me a ton. I used the hormones for 5 years because after that there is an increase risk of breast cancer. I have two favorite books on the subject. The Hormone Book by Dr Susan Love and Women's Moods by Deborah Sichel and Jeanne W Driscoll. The second book helped me understand why I felt crazy...

Good luck. Menopause is not for sissy's.

Bev said...

Marty, you are in my thoughts --- I actually did qualify for a state sponsored program for folks that don't have insurance which allowed me to get the care I needed --- I had my surgery last Friday and I'm feeling pretty good already

I will pray that you find a solution that helps you too

Gordita said...

What a nightmare!

Frances Ellen said...

I enjoyed your post, but most of all I loved the picture book, "Doctor Dan The Bandage Man." That was my most favorite, adored book when I was growing up. I wish I had a copy of it. When new, it came with bandaids stuck to the back cover. Oh, how I loved that book!

Snickerdoodle said...

The hot flashes will get better and I am told, they will go away. Drink lots of cold water (carry it with you) and have an electric fan beside your bed to turn on when a hot flash hits. Keep your air conditioning as low as possible. I had the surgery 1 1/2 years ago (lots of fibroid tumors). I didn't have hot flashes until after the surgery and I am 59. Hope you get to feeling better.

gab said...

I like Snickerdoodle's advice. Why HAVEN'T you been using a fan? And you really should turn your AC down...I am always SO HOT when I come to visit.

kenju said...

They will get better. I kept a woven fan hanging on the wall beside my bed all during the time I was having hot flashes and night sweats. Some nights I even got up and splashed cold water on my face and neck and went back to bed wet.

The current medical situation with insurance is horrible and I hope that Obama can do something about it. There are so many lobbyists against it, though. It is an uphill battle.

Shannon said...

Sounds horrible... do people really think there is nothing wrong with our health care system??? I pray you are better soon!!! Thank you a million for visiting my blog and...
i cannot believe your lil' guy came out of that razor encounter with no cuts... and NO EYEBROW!! KIDS! :) Gotta love em'!