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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Pain Train

Every time a new symptom  appears (the new bruise) like more numbness, more pain, etc., I get scared.  Part of me is so ready to call it quits (not literally taking my life, but giving up the fight) I wonder why I freak; but fear of more pain probably has to do with it.  
Saw my pain doc and he made a referral to a neurologist at the UWMC where I go (University of Washington medical center) but when I called, they had no referral and would not let me make an appointment.  In the meantime, I have increased weakness, increased pain and of course, unexplained bruising (that looks like a pressure wound…not just a little bruise….but I’m not laying flat 24 hours a day…I move around a lot) and so forth.
So I called the pain doc and left a message and they called back (when I was out, naturally) and said to wait a week for them to call me.  And then the appointment will be sometime after  Chirstmas of 2020 (guessing) because that’s how long it takes to get it, hence, I wanted to make the appointment a.s.a.p.  Not only that, but they have a new system whereby you speak to someone with no medical training who decides whether or not to put you through to the appropriate person, so you have to explain in detail to this non medical person why you want the appointment and only then do they put you through to the correct person who says “sorry, you need a referral" after you've explained to them AGAIN why you want to go in and see the pope.  It's hopelessly broken.

I swear, our health system is so screwed up it’s hard to believe anyone gets seen for anything before their body is being viewed by an ME (whose a doctor, I guess but your dead so what does it matter?)  I’m sure in my case it’s because I’m on Medicare and they don’t get reimbursed enough and the people on Medicare don’t have the money to pay the 20% of their share.  I use to have secondary insurance but it went up to over $700 a month for ONE PERSON.  And unless I had surgery, the difference between what Medicare paid (80%) and then the 80% of the 20% that the secondary paid (they only pay 80% of their share) didn’t add up to what I paid in premiums.  So if there was $100 left to pay, the secondary only paid $80 of it. 
So now I have nothing but Medicare and they know it….so I’m last in line for everything.  And right now, I need to be at the front of the line.  But what’s funny is that as much as I say I’m ready to let go, I still freak and get scared when the pain train comes rolling in.  My neck is out of joint, my bruise hurts like an SOB (I couldn’t figure out why my leg hurt where it did until I saw that bruise) and of course, the tingling and disappearing of body parts continues.
On a lighter note, my cat Oliver can’t quite figure out what happened to his living room.  New couch, new arrangement.  He gives me dirty looks all day…he liked it better the other way.
Too bad, so sad.

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