Primary care appointment & health care hurdles

I just finished eating scrambled eggs with fresh mushrooms and sweet peppers with garlic bread-got to keep away vampires. I think that’s fixing my nausea.

I do love my co-pays. Last year’s insurance had zero co-pays for primary visits but, to reduce my premiums to half what they were going to be I took a policy with an increase in out of pocket-up to $400-and a couple more co-pays. I still don’t have a deductible. I LOVE that feature and I covered my out of pocket in one pop with my ER visit last week.

About a month or so ago I began having pain that was right around my colon. It was persistent. Sometimes it felt like an ovary was complaining but, I’ve been through menopause, even though my brain refuses to acknowledge that passage through life. So, I was initially worried that it was actually the colon problem because several months ago-August, September, October, somewhere in there-my Cologuard test, that neither I nor my doctor were worried about, came back positive. I had to make and remake appointments with the gastroenterologist I was referred to because work (Walmart, at the time) kept disregarding my time off requests. This pushed my appointment into September-I recall now that the Cologuard was back in August. One day I got a call from the gastroenterologist’s office that my insurance became an issue. Yes, it got canceled and, thus, so did my gastric appointment, which I was told was the last one until JANUARY.

Then I had to deal with Florida Blue cancelling my Obamacare policy that wasn’t three months late. That was one of the original stipulations when the ACA was passed: cancellation only after three months. I guess trump fucked with that too. I hadn’t paid it cause I had a tax refund coming (still don’t have it. Another story). I eventually got a Florida Blue agent on the phone who told me if I paid the balance I would be fine. She told me the amount I owed and resigned myself to the fact that I was going to need a payday loan but, it was worth the extra expense. This agent never once uttered the word, “cancelled.”

I got the loan, deposited it and then tried to pay the premium over the phone. The computer voice kept telling me my balance due was ZERO. That wasn’t good. I called a live human at Florida Blue and a couple of supervisors up the hierarchy from the agent I originally got, was informed my policy had been cancelled.

I went from extremely stressed to on the edge of suicidal (not exaggerating) in about three milliseconds. I am serious about this: take away my access to health care, happy pills, tests for possible cancer and I’m done, finished, out of here, gone. I pretty much expressed this to the Florida Blue supervisor who asked if I could hang on while she spoke with an even bigger gun. She returned and said they would reinstate my policy but I had to pay November’s premium too. I went from borderline suicidal to livid (so, I knew I was still hanging on inside) in about two milliseconds. “See, here’s the thing, yesterday one of your agents said I owed $230. Now, you want me to pay $310? It’s not November first yet. Also I took a payday loan that would cover what I owed you. It’s against the law for me to go get another loan. Why can’t I pay the November premium November first?” They relented and I know it was not from the goodness of their capitalistic-corporate heart. It was from their legal department heart that cautioned, “possible survivor’s lawsuit if she makes good on offing herself.”

That wasn’t manipulation on my part. But, now I know and I’m telling you and, I never feel guilty misleading huge corporations. I truly wanted to be dead if my health issues were going to have to be ignored. I’m not twenty or thirty something anymore. I don’t have much time to skate through the health issues obstacle course. And, I lack the energy. I’m trying to make this possibly the happiest time of my life. Hint: that’s not going so well.

In the end, I got my insurance back. I hinted on Facebook about my borderline feelings and someone called the Winter Springs PD. I later found out it was probably someone from work. I am grateful that at least one person there cared. I really am. They sent a cop to do a wellness check. By the time she arrived I’d calmed down and told her that I got my issue resolved but, I couldn’t rule, “it,” out if the issue reappeared. That’s always the case. I’m not even kidding. This is coming from a cognitive not, an emotional, place.

NOTE: I WROTE A BLOG ABOUT THIS BACK IN OCTOBER.

Returning to my current issue: Tuesday of last week the pain in my colon-ovary area was so painful I had to leave work and go to the ER where they eventually had to give me some morphine-not enough to konk me out. They did a CT Scan. Juxtaposed on this was the fact that about 3-4 weeks earlier I began spotting. Not good for a post-menopausal woman. This played a part when the doctor returned and told me, “Your abdomen is perfect.” I jokingly wanted to ask, “Did you do liposuction when I wasn’t looking?” I was stunned. “What is causing the pain.” They said I needed to go to an OBGYN who would want me to get an ultrasound.

Wednesday night the sporadic spotting I was experiencing for the past month worsened. I decided I needed to call my primary. I called Dr. Lauridsen’s office yesterday and was told she was booked up till April. I explained my situation and said, “If you could find a spot to squeeze me in, I would so appreciate it.” The receptionist consulted her computer and said, “Hmm, I have 11:45 tomorrow.” “That works cause I have to work at 3:30. I’ll take it.” So, today I went. The bleeding was a little heavier so, I was glad I was going.

I had to tinkle into a cup to rule out a UTI (urinary tract infection), she did a pelvic-no pain upon pressure-that’s good. She ordered my ER visit records and she quizzed me on the characteristics of the spotting. Then she said, “Well, for a woman your age, spotting is not normal.” Then we talked about the worse case scenario: uterine cancer. Yeah, I hope that’s not it.

I sat silent while she looked fir an appropriate anti-anxiety medication for me. I’d told her assistant that I was going to request one. I have absolutely needed one since last October. I was silently assessing my state of mind and body and asked, “Would you feel weird writing me a note to get out of work today?” “Absolutely not. I actually think that’s a good idea and I want you to try and get the ball rolling on this appointment (the OBGYN).” I’d begun getting nauseous during the hour and a half this all took. It felt like hypoglycemia coming on.

The referral is for a female OBGYN who is about two miles from home and she has an ultrasound machine and a tech in her office. However, by the time I got out of there the OBGYN was closed. Early hours on Friday. A lot of doctors do that.

I left the doctor’s office and headed to Walgreens for my new happy pills.

Alprazolam .25 mg 1 time each day. They should have called it Alprazopam.

A COUPLE OF FOOTNOTES:

1) The spotting is very, very faint at this time: 6:32 pm. This has been the pattern. It lasts for a day then returns in about a week.

2) I successfully paid November-February’s insurance premiums. I still need a miracle. I know millions of us need one.

3) Most importantly, this experience highlights the need for a complete overhaul of our healthcare system. Healthcare should be affordable and available to EVERYONE not just for the well-off. We are the richest country in the world and have the best doctors and nurses in the world; our healthcare system needs to reflect that.

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