Baby, Health, Life

Did I stutter?!

06.26.08 | 5 Comments

After the unpacking (which is still not entirely finished) comes the more intangible part of settling into our new place.

This is a long one, y’all. If you want to skip the long-winded, Blake-centered ranting and go straight to the cute video of Zoe manipulating the iPhone, please be my guest.

I have dealt with my financial aid package, found and seen a vet for Chief the allergic dog (that one was kind of pressing – he was crusty and losing hair all over), found a pediatrician and made an appointment for Zoe’s now overdue checkup, tried to update our address with the military THRICE, sought authorization to see a mental health counselor (no secrets here – y’all know I’m nuts – I’m just finally doing something about it), seen said counselor, and tried to find a gyn oncologist for my yearly checkup.

That last one… It’s like the twilight zone. I went to my insurance company’s page for finding a provider and found some specialists to call. The first one doesn’t accept new patients with my insurance. Fair enough. The second office had a particularly irritating receptionist.

Hello. Is Dr. Whatever accepting new Tricare patients?

“Ma’am, in order to see Dr. Whatever, you have to have cancer.”

Right. I had cancer. I’m asking if you are accepting new patients with Tricare.

“This is an oncologist’s office. We only see people with cancer.”

(NO SH*T.) I had ovarian cancer. I would like to see an oncologist. I need follow up care. Do you accept new Tricare patients?

They wanted a referral; I technically do not need a referral, and I immediately knew I didn’t want to use their mean office anyway. Do they grill everyone who calls? People. The last thing anyone (especially someone reeling from a new cancer diagnosis) needs when looking for an oncologist is a bitchy, condescending gatekeeper. If you don’t like dealing with sick people, don’t go into health care. Receptionist FAIL.

The third place I called has a few doctors available, but they only see people with active cancer or chemotherapy, which, thankfully, does not apply to me. So I had to get a bunch of records faxed from (AWESOME) Dr. Fine’s office as a sort of application, to see if any of the doctors will accept me for follow up care. I was a little irritated by the situation, but the lady with whom I spoke was nice enough, so hopefully this will work out and I can get someone to check me out this year.

And then there’s the counseling situation. Like a good little beneficiary, I called to see what the process was for mental health benefits, and I was told to pick someone from the website and call back with a name and get an authorization. Simple enough. Except that I had to change my address with the military first. So I did (or so I thought), and this takes 24 hours, so I had to wait to call back. This happened twice. The third time I called for an authorization, it still wasn’t done, but I sweet-talked the lady into changing it in their system so I could get the authorization (but I STILL have to call the other place – ugh). Anyway. Turns out I need a REFERRAL from an MD, which NO ONE TOLD ME THE FIRST TIME I CALLED, and it doesn’t make sense anyway, because they told me to seek a counselor FIRST and if medication was needed I would be referred to an MD! So what am I supposed to do, find a new doctor in a new place just to go ask for a referral? Insurance company FAIL.

I have handled my situation, I think, but suppose I were severely disturbed – this would be devastating. People don’t need roadblocks when they finally get the courage to ask for help. The runaround was maddening.

Then again. Without insurance, I would be in upwards of $100K medical debt. So, you know, take my bitching with a grain of salt.


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