Thursday, April 3, 2014

Our medical system is messed up

I have insurance. I have a primary care doctor - even better, I have the WHOLE PRACTICE I can go to, not just a specific doctor. And, it's a PPO, so I don't have to get referrals to make appointments for specialists. When I needed to see a dermatologist to get some suspicious spots on my face looked at, I just called. When I felt I should see an endocrinologist to get my thyroid regulated even more tightly, I just called. When it works, it's great.

But last week I called to see my doctor. It would take 5 weeks to get an appointment with that specific doctor, would I mind seeing the Nurse Practitioner? No problem, next Monday at 9 am. I wanted to get started on my thyroid medication as soon as possible because it controls so many things that I knew were out of whack.

I went to that appointment and she was very nervous about my blood pressure. She gave me paperwork to do labs and told me to come in next day to check on the BP. She was not going to give the prescription for the thyroid medication until she saw the results from the labs - to see where I was. In the meantime she called in (faxed in) prescriptions for blood pressure medications. But it didn't get sent or was lost. I had to go through all of that - twice.

I came in next day after doing my labs and the BP was lower. She said she would want me to come in next week to go over the labs. I specifically asked that if the thyroid was off, would she call in the prescription. She said yes. No call yesterday, but first thing this morning, 8 am, I have a call from my doctor's office. "Can I make an appointment for next week to go over my lab results?"

NEXT WEEK???? I ask about the prescription. The person on the phone said that there is no note and that the NP wants to talk with me first. I am getting really annoyed, but stay calm. I say, "can you please leave a note for the NP about filling the prescription".

That means, that  an extra 2 weeks were added to the wait of starting a medication that I NEED. Yes, I had gone off it voluntarily, but once they got me in and know my history, they should have jumped immediately.

My known history is (all documented in their files): I had very high BP, high cholesterol, high blood sugar levels and a very, very low thyroid 3.5 years ago. Once the thyroid adjusted, all the other numbers came in line. ALL OF THEM.

I even said with the NP - BOTH DAYS that my cholesterol will be high. My blood sugar will be high, just as my blood pressure was high. They want that all to get better? START THE THYROID MEDICATION!!!!!!!!!

On top of that, those are MY lab results. When my mother in law gets labs done with Kaiser Permanente, she gets results to her email the same time the doctor gets them. Why do I have to wait to "discuss them" to know what it says? Instead, I have to go through this sign up thing online and they take WAY longer to receive than it does to get to the doctor. I had one set up for the lab I usually use, but the NP sent me to a different lab (which was better, so that's OK), but it means I had to set up a new account and have to wait. No results are available yet.

So... they are my results... and I have to wait 4 days to see them once they've already been reported - 6 days since having them done.

What makes me sooooo upset is that she was wanting to rush me via ambulance 3 days ago to the ER to get my blood pressure down - one that is elevated because of the thyroid. AND had probably been that high for weeks or months. Yet... there is no urgency in getting me started on the medications that will get things back to normal - as naturally as possible.

Yes, I know... I'm the one who screwed this up in the first place by not taking my medications, but should there be all of this just to start taking something I know I need?

And I would say there is close to ZERO chance that my thyroid is fine... so I highly doubt that possibility. Checking my blood pressure in a a few minutes should be interesting. I'm sure it's raised.

And, to add to my frustrations, now that I'm feeling less depressed, I am getting to work on getting more help for my son on the autism spectrum. He needs re-evaluating and he needs to see someone about his food and dinner table issues. His IEP meeting at school is this coming Tuesday, but I will need to do some stuff outside of school too. Oh, and yesterday the Speech therapist my youngest sees outside of school added to the to-do list. She thinks I should have him evaluated for ADHD.

While simultaneously, I am trying to help my older son graduate and make college decisions.  And with his ADHD and school fatigue, that's not easy either.

No wonder I got so freaking depressed.

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