Insurance Woes

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. 💙

19 thoughts on “Insurance Woes

      1. Yes it worked, thank you 🤗🤗🤗

        Groan…I know, you start feeling like you’re losing your marbles when, everytime you think you have a solid care team, the rug seems to disappear and you find yourself starting all over again! As a heart patient, having my care constantly transferred is so incredibly stress inducing. Add in recieving care in several facilities and it ends up like a game of Telephone where information is skewed as it’s gotten passed along. 😣

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Tamara

    I’m sorry you are having to go through all of this Markisha. I’m praying you find a new doctor who can hear you and really work towards healthier options for you. Just remember beautiful soul, you are NOT alone ad there are MANY of us in your internet family who adore you and are willing to hold you up until you can start to feel stronger on your own hun. YOU are AMAZING and always an inspiration full of love for others. Thank you for that, and I ALWAYS look forward to seeing what’s going on in your life. Take care of yourself, keep going and know you are in good company and very much adored!!
    Have the best day possible hun and be GENTLE with yourself, please.
    ~ Tamara, AKA: Another warrior treading water! 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tamara 🌸 Your kindness and compassion mean a great deal to me. I’m so sorry you too are living with chronic illness. It’s all so heavy sometimes, too heavy. But my mom used to say the best things about feelings is they change so I keep that in mind and take it day by day. Hoping this finds you doing as well as possible. Thank you again 💕

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  2. Oh, hugs. Yeah, maybe don’t go to the ER if you are in CA and immunocompromised! Aren’t you all also a local hotspot? Dysautonomia has done all sorts of crazy things to my heartbeat, so I have no clue what’s normal anymore. I saw a meme today that just about sums up my general loathing of American social services. “At least the good news is, the coronavirus will lead to a fundamental restructuring of America’s broken healthcare system. Just like Sandy Hook led to a fundamental restructuring of our gun laws and the disastrous war in Iraq led to a fundamental restructuring of the Military Industrial Complex.” But, yeah, no, I’m not bitter. Not at all. Why would Americans *ever* deserve healthcare as a human right, eh? Sorry, as always, that people suck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We live very close to the Mira Mar base which is where they keep taking some of the quarantined cruise ship people. If they come down with it they bring them to area hospitals. Considering they know it lingers in the air for at least three hours…yeah no ER for me, I mean unless obviously it was clearly life and death. Honestly just when I thought this country couldn’t make me any more disappointed, this happens. Greed in this country is revolting. (Trying to keep this as pc as possible) But you know what warms my heart? Today I was on the phone with my son and he asked me to hold on. He came back and said I just gave a homeless guy a bottle of water. He does this often. I want to believe in my core that greed doesn’t run as deeply with him, and if that’s so, I suppose it’s enough. Stay safe out there 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I worry about the homeless in all of this. I see food pantries and food kitchens saying “don’t come if you are coughing” (which so many of them are just because they haven’t had healthcare for years and have COPD or something, not corona), cutting hours, and just not being staffed because so many volunteers are older and need to self-isolate. I worry eventually they are going to close entirely because they are too large a crowd. I hope we come up with an alternative way of providing critical food to the 1 in 5 Americans who struggles with hunger during all of this (housed or not.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “ They informed me that my current cardiologist was not in network and there had been no approval issued for the previous appointment” – That shouldn’t even be possible! To have be able to attend an appointment then be told afterwards it’s not covered. It’s awful too when you’re trying to sort something like this out and you can’t get through to a thoughtful human being with a little compassion, you just get the ‘robots’ as you say.

    This sort of stuff, appointments and insurance and having to go through the things you shouldn’t ‘have’ to do are all the added extras no-one with chronic illness should have to be piling on top of their already long list of crap to deal with. I’m not surprised it’s hit you hard. It’s bloody exhausting.

    I’m glad you have an appointment, albeit April. And finally, it sounds like approval for the minitor too. I’m so flipping angry on your behalf. You really, really don’t need all of this.

    It’s far easier for me to say ‘try to relax today’ because I know it’s not easy to do. I get into such a state when dealing with half of the hassle you’ve had the last few days. I just really hope you can take the rest of the week to recuperate and work on getting back to baseline because all of this stress takes such a toll. I really hope it went okay when you took the device back and I hope beyond hope that the new doctor is understanding and open-minded, because explaining everything to someone new is never easy and I know how disheartening it is to find someone that doesn’t believe you or doesn’t try to understand. I know you’re tired, and that’s okay. Be tired, feel shitty with all of this. It’s not trivial in the slightest! This is a lot of shit to deal with. Feel exhausted and then rest. But hold on to a little hope for those brighter days, don’t let that hope be snuffed out by the political/financial bullshit. You can do this.

    Sending lots of love to you Mishka and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things go a little more smoothly from here on out…  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Caz🌸 Now I’m all teary. I can see through your words that you truly get it. It’s awful, it’s just too much, especially when there’s already so little to give. I’m resting and going very easy on myself. Trying to stay away from the news 😳

      It seems so unfair that people like you, who are so kind, get chronic illnesses, while other meanies just keep plugging on. I’m not saying I wish illness on anyone, I just don’t understand how it’s fair. Because it’s not.

      Hoping you’re as well as possible and thank you again. Your words of compassionate support made me teary (not many truly get it). 💕

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Your compassion helps, it really does. 💞 Thankfully I have therapy tomorrow. I don’t feel like I deserve it either. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve stopped saying what did I do to deserve this, now it just is. This system is abusive. It creates trauma, ptsd, nightmares, and more. It shouldn’t be like that.

      On another note, hoping you’re loving your new home!! What a wonderful way to start a new decade! 💜

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  4. Oh Mishka. This is such absolute bullshit on top of what you already have to deal with. You truly deserve the best of compassionate healthcare and I hope so much that is what you get. But those insurance companies….well, let’s add them to the list of “things to burn”. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes definitely! And thank you for the chuckle 🔥😁 This year has been a decade if you know what I mean. Whew. But we march on. Mailing the little heart monitor back today and hoping it was all just blips and things have self corrected, because a person can dream right? 😊 Love right back to you as you push forward with care needs for you and your mom💞

      Liked by 1 person

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