Sunday, August 16, 2009

August 15, 2009.

One of the biggest adjustments that we had to make when we sailed away was not having the comfort and convenience of seeing your own doctor. We had both been seeing the same physicians for several years. We were comfortable with them, we trusted them. So it was a big adjustment when they weren’t just a short drive away any longer.

As a result, whenever either one of us needs to see a doctor it’s pretty much a crap shoot. Who’s a quack? Who’s any good? Who’s accepting new patients? Can I get an appointment before the end of time? Then throw in the all important insurance question and we might as well go see a witch doctor in the Congo. I know he won’t accept Aetna either, but leeches are only like a dime apiece in the Congo, so we can pay cash.

I had been having some stomach “issues” off and on for about 10 days. On Thursday I got out of work early and felt lousy so I went right to bed. Christy informed me that I had 101 degree fever. Whatever. I woke up Friday with abdominal pains severe enough to keep me from going to work. Christy started the process of lining up a doctor’s appointment. We needed a place that allowed “walk ins” and that accepted our insurance. After some internet research and several phone calls we had a plan. Oh, what a plan it was…….

We got to the clinic at 1030 and sat there for over 4 straight hours. At 1445 we were ushered into one of the examination rooms. At 1530 the doctor finally graced us with his presence. After I explained the problem, he preformed an examination and decided that I needed a CT scan of my abdomen. The doctor was concerned that I might have a “back-up” so to speak, in my plumbing, since things have been going in, but not coming out. But before that could happen I had to go over to the hospital and have blood work done. Luckily I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink since the night before.

The lab at the hospital closed at 1615 so we had to hurry. We made it with no time to spare. We had a giant hassle with the staff about our health insurance as the minutes ticked by. Finally we signed papers which said to we would be responsible for the bill since the FREAKING HOSPITAL doesn’t accept AETNA! Are you kidding me? Finally, the blood was drawn. After that it was back in the car and off to the imaging center.

So, when we got to the imaging center, imagine our surprise when they told us that Aetna hadn’t approved the procedure. Apparently, the receptionist at the Dr’s office did not get prior approval and then she went home, and so did everyone at Aetna, who could approve the test. So we needed the crack staff of in-house doctors to decide if the procedure was required.

So I’m supposed to wait while the “doctors” at Aetna decide my fate. But oh no, that won’t be today, because it’s already 1700 hours on a Friday afternoon. I guess that sitting in the doctor’s office for the better part of the day really didn’t help matters much. So we asked the girl if there was a chance that they would have an answer by the following morning. Well, she’s never actually had a situation like this rectified over the weekend.

So, it was back in the car and off to the original doctor’s office. Christy raised holy hell and we got in to see the doctor in about 15 minutes, this time. He did a good bit of tap dancing while trying to explain our options to us. Basically he said “Hmmmmm, this is a dilemma, what do YOU want to do?” I could head over to the emergency room and probably spend another 10-12 hours with the Friday night drunk rush, trying to get a CT scan. Or I could start taking some antibiotics and go home and see how that worked. If it did get worse once I was home and I had to go to the ER hopefully it would be in the middle of the night, after the Friday night rush. Oh yeah, there’s a bright spot. I’ll take curtain number two Monty……..drugs and a trip home.

So now it’s Saturday afternoon and I am feeling a bit better. If the trend continues I should be fine by morning. When I do finally take a shit, I think that I’ll box it up and send it off to Aetna. Doctor’s often need a stool sample to make an informed decision.

So when all is said and done, we jumped through their hoops, and at the last possible moment the insurance company that we pay thousands of dollars to every year decided that real doctoring can wait til Monday, if at all. What a crock of shit. Yet some people still try to convince me that health care reform isn’t warranted. That’s officially the end of my 2009 politically themed post, so don’t be afraid to come back.

On a more nautical note, I’ve got a new Boat Name of the Day.

Baycation…..It was a big sportfisher. I just thought it was a great attitude to bring to the boat with you. “Miss Smithers, hold my calls, I’ll be on Baycation”.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yo dude after reading your post you are bound up arn't you

Dave said...

Hope you feel better soon and the head is up to the task!

My fear is after health care reform, stories like yours will be more common not less.

TaylorMad1 said...

I enjoy your posts hope you are feeling better.

S/V Veranda said...

Thank you for the well wishes. I am feeling much better....

Chip said...

The American Health Care System, must like the American Justice System is obviously not perfect. If you have a better way, we'd love to hear it. Or you could just complain, which seems to be a common theme to this blog. Freedom gives me the choice not to read if I don't care to. I think I shall exercise my right. Good luck.

S/V Veranda said...

Chip, You may have a reading / comprehension problem. Yes, I was complaining but what I WAS suggesting is that we embrace, fine tune and support healthcare reform rather than to continue letting the insurance companies run unchecked. Please feel free to continue exercising your rights.....

Anonymous said...

Yo dude I think Chips vent might be plugged too. He seem a little anal.

S/V Veranda said...

If that's the case then I can understand his angst.

Mutulfun.. Day by Day said...

Bill:
I am with you about the dam insurance companies dictating what can be done and not done. They are the ones that run our frickin health care system. Jeannie being a nurse can vouch for that as she has many of the similar stories. But her being a ob/gyn nurse may have not helped you. I think that is what we all think about when cruising, the Doc's and insurance nightmares.
Randy