If you’re chronically ill, you know as well as I do that we have a pretty pathetic excuse for “health” care in the US. I’m not even sure it does enough to be called a decent example of “sick care”. I don’t know how to fix it, but I do know the system is broken. Preventative care is barely enough….IF you have health insurance at all. If something catastrophic happens, they’ll rush you into surgery, put you back together, and often leave you with bills that would bankrupt most Americans.
I’m just really frustrated right now because I’m in the middle of something and I can’t seem to get anyone in the medical profession to care enough to understand what it’s like to be on this side of the table. I was journaling last night, as I do most nights to get some of the words out of my head (being a writer means you write all the time, even if it’s just the noise in your head that day), and I came up with three reasons “health” care sucks in the US and I thought….oh what a good blog idea! (And yes, I keep using quotation marks around health in relation to care because it’s crap.)
The first problem is that the vast majority of patients that see the same doctors (specialists) I do are morons. I have a pain specialist, which means they see a lot of people that are just addicts and drug seekers, so when someone like me with actual pain comes in, I have alotta hoops to jump through. Not because I’ve done something wrong, but because so many other people have.
The second problem we have in the greed that is the health insurance industry. Somewhere along the way, lawmakers (lobbyists) decided the insurance had all the power, so our doctors aren’t making choices for our benefit anymore, the insurance company is. I am incredibly fortunate to have insurance that doesn’t require me paying an arm and a leg for every office visit, test, or prescription. But the flip side of that is the doctors immediately see who my insurer is and write me off without adequate treatment because they’re not going to get the outrageous fees they’re trying to charge.
Finally, and the biggest problem I’m currently facing, is that the doctors do not know, or they somehow forget, what it’s like to be on this side of the table. They forget the patient is a person, not a medical records number. This is my life. You see me for 20 minutes (if I’m lucky) and then you go about with your day, but I go home and live my life with this reality. They forget that. Your diagnosis is my everyday. I want to scream at the indifference “You are LUCKY. You are FORTUNATE enough not to have to accommodate this issue, these symptoms, this diagnosis every single day. That’s the only difference between you and I.”
I have fallen down my stairs three (3!) times in less than 18 months, so my neurologist ordered a brain MRI. It came back with an abnormality (more on that in the next blog….you’ll see why). So I was then sent for another brain MRI, but this time with contrast and with a specific protocol ( I A C protocol….and if you know what that is, clearly you’re facing some serious challenges too).
I had the scan last Friday, so when I called yesterday to get my test results and got told my neurologist “is on VACATION for two weeks and would get back to me when she returns” I blew up. WHAT the hell?! I explained to the girl on the phone that I understood the doctor is on vacation, and I understand this is just work to you, but this is my LIFE. This is a major event in my life. I WANT MY TEST RESULTS! She blew me off, which just goes to prove my third point, so I put in a call to my primary care doc, explained everything, and asked her to pull the results for me. So I’m waiting on that.
WHY can’t we get anyone in the medical industry to care?? I understand they deal with a higher than average number of idiots, I do, but why can you not see that’s not me when I walk in? I’m an educated woman, and I’m an informed patient. And odds are, I know more about my condition that you do. From reputable sources. I know better than to use webMD or ithurts.com (kidding…that’s not a real thing….I don’t think). If I’m researching something, I read research from Mayo, Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, and in this case specific sites and foundations that study and support my condition.
I am so frustrated right now. I need answers. I need to know what I’m supposed to do. Am I planning for surgery?
This body sucks. I want a refund.