This is a full on rant about my last two day with health insurance. It’s more of a diary entry so I just thought I better add this disclaimer in case you were popping in for something uplifting. 🌸
Where to begin… A little back story. At the end of last year, I decided to change my PCP/GP. It was not an easy decision. It actually took me years of frustration to finally forge ahead. After scouring the list of possible new doctors and groups I narrowed down and called the insurance company to make sure the group I had chosen would allow me to see my current cardiologist. The person at the insurance company assured me that yes, I would still be able to see the doctor. She said she had called them to make certain they took the group. Just to be certain I actually called the cardiologist too and they said yes, they accepted that group.
Fast forward to February, well actually January. In January, after the stress and preparation of seeing the new PCP, I came face to face with a bad flare. My heart rate started to go more out of range than typical with POTS, as well as routinely dropping oddly low and then racing up very high. Additionally, my BP cuff, which has a warning I didn’t even know it had, started showing a warning that my heart rate was irregular. I waited a couple weeks and kept monitoring to make certain it wasn’t just a fluke. It wasn’t. Lastly my oximeter was dropping into the 70s with any physical exertion (for me this means standing in the kitchen).
I worked up the courage to make a cardiology appointment. They got me in the next day. At the appt she ordered a wearable monitor. Two weeks passed and no word… The following Monday I received a call from a new cardiologist office saying they’d received an authorization and I should call them to make an appointment. I had no idea why, so I called my insurance. They informed me that my current cardiologist was not in network and there had been no approval issued for the previous appointment. They did have an approval for the monitor, but not the doctor. I was beside myself. I won’t go into the details of what it took to finally see a cardiologist that believed me and tested me for POTS. It was a lot, energy that I no longer have. The insurance company seemed to be inferring that it was the groups doing so I hung up and called the group. They weren’t budging. When I tell you, I felt like I was talking to a robot, I’m not exaggerating. The group person gave me the contact info of the new doctor, who was not the doctors office that was calling to make an appointment with me, but that’s a whole different story.
At this point I had no business calling the doctors office as I was way too emotional and definitely pushing the MECFS into a flare, but I did because…adrenaline. They wouldn’t make an appointment without the form, understandable. Called the insurance group had them fax ‘the form’ and then curled up in the fetal position and fell apart.
These were things I used to be a pro at. I was tough as nails on the outside. That part of me is simply gone, and I hate that about this illness. It feels like it takes the very best of you.
After sharing with my partner what had happened, and his sweet and supportive texts back, I decided to just let it go until tomorrow. But then my phone rang, it was the cardiologist office, they’d received the form and were calling to get me in…in April. I fell apart again, then overwhelmingly embarrassed I apologized profusely. She said they had approval for an appointment, but not monitor. Told me to go to the ER if necessary. I’m just wondering by a show of hands…who here is going to the ER right now? Nobody? Yeah, me neither. At this point, I hung up, relieved there was an appointment, but honestly the emotional toll this took on me was extremely unhealthy, I was now fully trembling, which is what this illness does to me. Mind you, crazy heart rates, irregular blood pressure, oxygen down into 70s. Sometimes this reality of mine feels surreal and I think that’s just my brains way of trying to protect me from the reality of the situation.
So, I wrote most of this post with my left over adrenaline, and then today I crashed, vertigo, what I can only assume is increased swelling on the brain, horrible nausea, headache, fatigue, you name it. MECFS and emotional stress are terrible together, absolutely terrible.
I’m going to wrap this up because I feel yucky. Yesterday, the phone rang again, it was the doctor’s office, they had since received approval for the monitor and wanted me to come in so they could have results by appointment. So tomorrow in this awful state my partner will wheel me in so they can attach the device. On top of that though, this is a new doctor, so I have to pull and prepare all the documents to prove to this person beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m not just depressed or deconditioned. But I’m tired, y’all. Tired of trying. Tired and sad, and sick. Sick of being ill, sick of being treated so poorly, sick of having to fight my way upstream. Tomorrow will be better; it just has to be.
I’m just going to close by saying this – if I seem oddly upset over something trivial. This was the 5th cardiologist I’ve seen and the first one who took me seriously and did further testing. Now with cardiologist number 6 I’m back to square one. With all that I am I’m hoping this doctor is POTS familiar, the past five weren’t. And lastly, nobody told me, nobody notified me, nobody prepared me. I just started receiving calls from a cardiologist who isn’t even the one they want me to see. How is that okay?
Wish me luck. 💙