Showing posts with label healthcare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthcare. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When You are Fighting Chronic Illnesses, Chronic Pain, Doctors, Pharmacies, and Medicare Advantage Plans - you need lots of ammunition and tenacity...

I have wanted to be able to get to this subject for all of you over the past couple of days. Of course about the time I have a "clear slot of time" open, my email decided to blow a gasket on me. I had also not known about a follow up appointment Mom had to have her semi-annual "cardio-sonogram" yesterday. So, I had to pick her up and take her to have that done yesterday. It's not that it takes that long, but by the time you dress, pick her up, have the testing ran, then get back, visit for awhile, and I also had a couple of errands to run, I felt like my day was gone and I did not get anything I wanted to get done accomplished.
Plus, I had "overdone" it and used to too many of my "spoons" last Friday, so all of the plans I made to do things around the house both Saturday and Sunday, got basically chopped in half. Saturday I was in so much misery, between stiff, sore, pain, a splitting headache, almost as if I had another Lupus or RA flare hitting, that I spent Saturday on the sofa for the most part, and that really frigged up what my plans had been. I have SO MANY things I want to get accomplished around the house, from repainting my kitchen, painting and redoing our spare bedroom that is our "music room", getting the floors put down in the kitchen and bathroom, and laundry room, we still never got all of the outside of the house painted... and things just really took a nose dive when Jim had the car accident, was in the hospitals for so long, in rehab for so many weeks, thus lots got put off until we could get back into some kind of whatever normal was as far as a routine. Well, we have still to find that "normality" or routine. I feel like I fly by the seat of my pants most days... either waxing and waning one way, or flopping around like a fish out of water in another. Nothing ever seems to come easy, no matter how simple, you can guarantee there will be some kind of snag in the line.

But, when I got this ridiculous letter from Humana, My Medicare Advantage Plan. I have had them ever since I first got my Medicare parts A and B, which was about 2006 or so. They have now decided I guess to probably NOT Pay my PCP enough OR my PCP has gotten "greedy", thus he will no longer be a "preferred provider" come Jan 1, 2015!!!! Which totally sucks green pecans, if you know what I mean. This primary care physician of mine is the ONLY ONE who out of all of the tests, doctors, surgeries, and so forth I had had, the LUPUS, RA< SJOGREN"S, and the list continues. Well, Dr. "B" as I will refer to him as, had just gotten to my home town and I was one of his very 1st patients. At the time he was brand new, he was "brilliant" when it came to "discovering" the unusual, he looked at everything with a "fresh" eyes, and he was "up" on the latest when it came to autoimmune illnesses. But, even though I was one of his very first patients, including I got MANY others to move over to him, because I so so pleased. He got me on the right medications, and I did go and find try to find a Rheumatologist, in which I did. But, the Rheumatologist were more on the end for the Rheumatoid Arthritis end of the ball park, Dr. "B" took care of the Lupus. When I have flares, he is the one that gives me the Solu-Medrol injections, the larger 14 days step down doses of prednisone. He also prescribes my MTX, Plaquenil, and small daily dose of prednisone. So, without him I would be back and forth to some doctor in Dallas, that would be the waste of an entire day, more money, more time, for something that can be handled here, usually by a phone call, me coming in, getting an injection, a script and I am on my way.

I am not quite sure who is the issue, probably both... it is a well known fact Medicare and especially the Medicare Advantage Plans don't pay worth a darned when it comes to the physicians, But, if you have someone within 5 minutes of home that can do the exact same thing, you save time, the doctors save time, gas, and things run much more efficiently that a trip to somewhere else for a Lupus Flare.

So, this letter that I receive from Humana explains to me that if I have "certain" health conditions that Dr. B takes care of, then they will make an exception and pay him as they always have. So, out of about 15 health conditions names on this paper, Lupus was one of them. So, I fill in the paperwork, send it off to Humana, and about a week later, very late one evening someone from Humana leaving a message about that paperwork. She said she would call back the next day, and so I expected to get a phone call from them the next day. But instead about 3 days later I get this ridiculous letter, stating that "Lupus" and Hip Pain (I have NO CLUE where "hip pain" came in what so ever") did NOT qualify and they would NOT continue after Jan 1 to pay him as a "in network provider". OMG, I was so livid, had it not been late in the evening by the time I got the letter Humana would have gotten a piece of my mind...So, of course you can send in a written grievance in which I did. I also boldly told them they were not going to get by with blowing me off like that. My "condition" of Lupus was serious, it was something that Dr. B is the very doctor who diagnosed it, he is the one that since 2009 or 2010 had taken care of me, which every time he fills my medications, he does the follow up blood work, he takes care of the "side illnesses" that go along with the Lupus, and not one other PCP is going to want to take on my complicated case due to it is a complexity that has to be kept up with. As Dr, B always knows exactly what is going on. If I have a "new" symptom, he knows if it is related or not to the Lupus, and he also takes cares of my mouth ulcers, thrush, stomach problems from Lupus. As I had said and we know for a fact, I can go from "well" to ill enough for ICU within minutes under some circumstances... just like I had double pneumonia back in April. No one was here but myself, so I did not realize I was running such a high fever I was all but see things and hallucinating. Thank goodness I thought to check my temp and even though I never run fever, I did not usually do so, and if it had gotten any higher I may have went into convulsions. Luckily, I was still smart enough and scared enough not to drive alone, so I called my Mom and had her pick me up that Sunday afternoon and carry me to our Urgent care Center. But, if that had been any other time during the week, I would have called Dr. "B" quickly, and found out I was running 103.9 fever, and had double pneumonia!!!! It was so bad the doctor on call at the center wanted at first to send me to the ER and possibly have me admitted. Well, at the time Jim was in Baylor after the car accident, which he was still in Acute Care and had just gotten out of ICU with all kinds of broken bones, a very long 9 hour back surgery, 17 broken ribs and it continued on. The very last thing I needed was to be put in a hospital down here, and have him in the hospital up in Dallas....

So, having a physician that KNOWS my health issues, ALL of them, how the interrelate to one another, and what has taken place, from surgeries, to the 6 weeks I spent in two hospitals, and almost died from what they can surmise had something to do with the Lupus. But, even in the huge hospital in Dallas, and all of the highly specialized doctors there, many of them were NOT familiar with Lupus, nor any of the health problems that come along with it.

So, I got to thinking about this entire scene, and it just makes me even madder than I was when I first got the letter from Humana! In the first place, IF HUMANA was PAYING the doctors better, then the doctors WOULD NOT be dropping out of being "Preferred Providers"... and if the DOCTORS were NOT SO MONEY HUNGRY they would be "settling" FOR WHAT THE INSURANCE pays them, and not setting their GOALS OF MONETARY GAIN so high they cannot either afford to pay the doctors better OR WORSE they take FOREVER TO PAY THE DOCTORS!!! This is NO JOKE and it came directly from the mouth of one of my physicians!!!!

He had TWO SURGERIES, and I know he meant very EXPENSIVE SURGERIES, because it was probably something like having a pain pump internally put it or something like a stimulator put in internally, which the doctor has to implant. Both of them are very expensive. Just the devices themselves run upwards of 50,000.00 or so.

Anyway, he had two patients that AFTER TWO YEARS OF dragging their feet, the Doctor had to take Humana Medicare Advantage plan to COURT IN FRONT OF THE JUDGE, and the JUDGE MADE THEM PAY MY DOCTOR!!!

But, it took him 2 YEARS to get paid on those two surgeries!!! If he has to wait to get paid on many of those expensive procedures, they will all go broke trying to keep up an office, pay employees, pay taxes, and keep an office up and running. It was insane to hear how long he had to wait and then for a judge to have to demand they pay him what they owed him. I just about let my jaw hit the floor. Now, I also know doctors charge WAY TOO MUCH, to try and compensate for what they are trying to make up on those cases they do not get paid, or certainly not enough. So, it is a circle in circle around and around the merry-go trying to get one hand to a one to pay the other. In the mean time guess who suffers through this??? Yes, you have it.... US, the PATIENTS!!! We suffer added money out of our pockets, paying for doctors and the clinics and tests, and in the end, half the time no one has a straight answer for us anyway. So, now this puts myself, my Mom, and Lord knows how many other patients just like us are suffering through the exact same issues. It is damned if you DO, and you be damned if you don't.

I have even threatened NOT TO go to a PCP anymore, but just use our "urgent Care center" here. They have their heads on straighter than most of the primary care physician. The 3 or 4 times I've been out there, one of which was for a Lupus flare during a weekend, and then I could go there and get checked in, checked out, have my injections, get my prescription and be on my way. To top it off they are the ones as I said above that diagnosed me with double pneumonia, took the X-rays right there, right away, were on the ball and I was out the door and headed home without any hassle. And out of pocket for me was my $40.00, plus I did not get exposed to an entire room full of germs and people running fevers, and possibly get something else, other than what I already had. It was a "pleasant"(if you can call having double pneumonia pleasant" experience, just due to the fact there was no hassle, and I was home and on my sofa within an hour and a half. It took longer for the pharmacy to get my script ready than it did to get through the Urgent care in itself.

Now you can get your flu shots, pneumonia shots, even tetanus and so forth at the pharmacy, they will even sometimes check your cholesterol, blood pressure and so on, including hearing test for free at different times. It is getting to where people don't want to step into the room of a doctors office, because it takes too long, they never answer your questions, once you spend hours getting in, they then herd you in and out like a bunch of cattle, not really bothering to answer a question one you may have. I've gotten to where even my "tricK" of taking my LIST of all the thing I NEED to talk about them with, and he is running out the door before I can ask the 3rd question. As someone who believes in researching everything myself, and also believes that MY TIME, YOUR TIME, OUR TIME IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THAT DOCTORS TIME!!! So WHY do WE wait for HOURS FOR THEM!!!


Then they have the audacity to post a sign if a patient does NOT call in 24 hours ahead of time to cancel, they can charge you anyway. But, I've had doctors CALL ME ON MY WAY TO DALLAS FOR AN APPOINTMENT and they tell not to come, because the doctor is out in an emergency or had gotten called away suddenly!!! So, now my day had been half ruined getting ready, getting dressed, wasting, time, gas, and everything else, yet it seems to be perfectly "okay" for them to cancel at the last moment. Believe me I felt like sending them a bill for my time and see what they thought about that.

I had read an article a couple of years back where I woman did just that. She had a doctor cancel on her two times in a row or something, so she did send them a bill for her time and trouble!!!  Whether she ever got able paid or not, but I bet it did put it on their minds. OUR TIME is just as valuable as anyone else's is... whether the doctor, nurse, surgeon or the Pope!!!!

Again though it takes time and tenacity to do that I can see where under the right circumstances it would get the attention of those who think they are "better" than use.


I would be interested in knowing how many of you with Medicare Advantage Plan and possibly have gotten the exact same thing. A letter telling us that our doctors won't keep them on and be "preferred provider" after January1st 2015. If you HAVE either post here, or send me an email because I would love to hear from you. Then also what are you going to do under the circumstances? Change, try to keep your doctor, just pay the "extra" amount and stay, or does it even matter....









Thursday, October 9, 2014

More Incredible News on the Homefront of the Fight Against Lupus

http://uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat2.asp?newID=4908





$1.12 million to fine-tune the body’s “Homeland Security”

Posted on Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Allen, CTRC, 210-450-2020; allenea@uthscsa.edu

Physician searches for better lupus therapy and clues to ovarian cancer treatment at the same time....


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Two Days of Insanity....

As just about anyone knows who follows my Facebook and blog site, you know about the accident that happened on March 26th 2014, to my husband Jim. Most of you knew I was in Washington D.C. at the time with the Arthritic Foundation, for the Annual Summit on Capitol Hill. It was my very first time to be in DC, as well as my first time to get the opportunity to voice my own personal struggles, along with all of our struggles, involving autoimmune illness, medications, lack of doctors, especially Pediatric Rheumatologists, and so forth. There has not been nearly enough done about these illnesses, ranging from not enough doctors, not enough research, not enough knowledge to those who have the illnesses or know someone that does, whether family, caretaker, friend and so on.

I felt my voice there and since then has been integral in helping to move forward and fight against illnesses such as RA, Lupus, Sjogren's, MS, FM, CFS, and the gamut of Autoimmune illnesses that we do not even realize exist. A new factor for me this year had been that I have "pernicious anemia", which is an autoimmune illness. Rather than being "anemic" my body does not absorb enough out of my food, and keep it going in my body as it should, thus I take B-12 supplements, which by the way, it is the B-12 it effects as far as the autoimmune part of this. Of course I am on a HUGE daily dose of Folic Acid" which is B-6, due to one of the medications I take. It depletes the body's Folic Acid, so I must supplement it daily with about 400 Times the amount a normal person would need. I found out that much of my horrible sores, thrush, and mouth ulcers were caused from a lack of Folic Acid. Once I began using it daily, at a high dose (it is water soluble so you can't get "too much") my mouth is not nearly as bad about having all types of sores, ulcers, sore throats, thrush and so on as I had before.

I had not given much thought that due to the "nature" of what all has transpired that I would not be able to "voice" the everyday thoughts I feel surrounding what all happened, has happened, and what may or may not happen over the next year. In a way, that makes me very sad. The very one outlet I have to things in life, from illness, to children, to Mom, marriage, and my own frustrations with illness, I always knew I could come here and "talk" about what was happening and not at the time had to "censor" what I spoke about when it came to life. Yet, now I feel this heavy burden, although never was my fault, and I never gave any idea to it, I am may not speak about all of what is happening as the time over the next few months go by, So, if I avoid that subject it is certainly not because it is forgotten, or it is not still a huge everyday part of my life, but because life is as it is, I have to "alter" my own voice, as far as my posts, and not speak, unless it is in a very general sense of what happened. Most everyone that comes to my blog, for the most part are people that are close to me, enough that they already know the ongoing saga from March 26th, 2014. So, there is really not a "need" for me to tell others, but more of a need for me to be able to "release" my ongoing revelations about that being what it seems life as it is right now evolves around. You tend to get up when the "rooster" crows with the thoughts of it spewing out of your brain, and then all day long it seems every thing, every where, all that you do is a reminder of the nightmare of having something so horrible happen in your life. Each time I close my eyes, that is a last thought, and each morning I awake with it as a first thought, and all through the days you tend to live out in thought of it. Then while you sleep the PTSD hits, and it can also happen during waking hours. All of you who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder know exactly what I mean... you spend your days trying to knock it off your shoulders and in the night, you try to take it out of your dreams, so you can at least have some peace during your sleep. Good Luck. Many people and I have even had the thoughts that "things" would be better as time goes by. Memories fade, time helps to heal the damage physically, mentally and emotionally. I can tell you that this... time has NOT erased, nor has it made it any better. If anything, each passing day the building up of being totally in damnation by all that is occurring around you, only grows larger, nothing fades. From the very 1st phone call, till the last piece of daily mail, to the questions, and I mean just daily questions, how are you, how are you getting by, how are things??? Questions, that sometimes I wished I could just say things SUCK! Things are worse, no better... life has lost its luster filled wonder, my dismay of voice, of writing, of being so caught up in something that I did NOT even have anything to do with, is running rampantly through my life and through my very veins, like the blood my heart pumps with every beat. You DON'T heal, not that quickly... you DON'T stop feeling guilty over something YOU DID NOT DO! You don't find a quick fix... there is none... so I plunge myself into trying to write, I plunge myself when I feel like it, trying to throw out all of the stuff in this house that are reminders of what life used to be like. I DON'T want to even remember a "good" or bad moment... I don't want to have to fear the past, present, or the future. I am sick and tired, of hearing, feeling, and being sick and tired. I am sick of bitching, griping, moaning, groaning and crying. I am sick of listening to others try to tell me it will work out, it will get better, because right now nothing seems better, everything seems out of sorts, out of whack, and I have lost all patience with those who think they can "fix" it for me. There is NO FIXING what is permanently broken.
My mouth and teeth for example. Let's get on that band wagon and have a talk about those. Of course not one dentist could fully assure me that my mouth would be better when all of my teeth that Sjögren's destroyed, when pulled out and dentures put in would be 100% better. I knew that. I am far from a moron, or from a dreamer. My "dreamer" stage left me a long time ago, after my job, and my life almost fell apart in Seattle. He threw enough sand in my eyes, and did enough damage to my heart, that I no longer am the "dreamer" I had been. I truly feel that is why the poetry I used to be able to write, sometimes 7 or 8 daily, don't come anymore. When Steve, did what he did, after bringing me over 3,000 miles away from my "home" and family, with promises that I would have a wonderful life in Seattle, to only shoot all of those good feelings down within a year or a little over after me getting settled in, with his cheating, lying deceitfulness... dreaming ... as far as being a dreamer, left. That is when a "new voice" emerged and my writing became totally different. It will never be as it was when I was that creature of wonderment, of discovery, of believing people truly cared.... he literally took his hand, reached in and pulled all of that from my heart, and threw it into the Sound at Seattle... for there is where all of those wonderment of feeling lie... in the Sound of Seattle... I can still at times feel the winds blowing across as I looked at the beautiful city, when I walked daily on Alki, loving each day there, and breathing new life, wanting and knowing a new glory would emerge.


I don't want to sound like I am that unhappy being here around my Mom, kids, and Grand Kids... and I am not putting down our lives, or feel "cheated" in some way as far as why we are here, and why we will probably continue to be right here, probably in the same house till Gabriel's horns blow. Yet, "cheated" from living life as I felt we would I can say is a terrible disappointment. Kind of like FINALLY after years and years... of not being able to say I was a "published author".... I got that opportunity... not only once but TWICE I can say I have two published books, and even have a "check" from the seller for two of them that actually sold! I am so tickled about it, I am not going to "cash" it, but frame it and put it on my wall by my computer and desk. Even though it is a mere little over 6.00, it still means that it is priceless to me. It gave me a tiny glimmer of "normal" and that a minute bit of my "hope" and Faith could actually coming back to me. Which is far from where I've been in the past 8 months or so. I had given up on normal forever, and as far as the glimmer of hope and faith; believe me it has been fading fast in the background of all that has taken place since 2005 and actually a bit before then.

As I had titled this post "Two Days of Insanity"... there were reasons for the title. I thought about "re-titling" the post, but whatever it is "called" will not change the meaning of the post in itself. I have been trying to squeeze in lots of my own personal advocacy and activist work, over the months, but between being gone to so many different appointments, taking care of all that needs to be done here at home daily. from taking out the trash to running to the market, it seems my time either is gone, or the energy that I did have in my "spoons" for the day are used up.

That should "stick" with me more than it does. When others ask me how I am doing, feeling, whether they mean illness wise, emotional wise, from autoimmune illnesses, to his issues with spinal cord injury, I really should say well I began this day with 8 spoons, getting showered and dressed took at least 2, maybe 3. By the time I had coupons ready, a list done, and ads matched up there flew out at least one at the very, very least. THEN I am looking at having at the most 5 spoons left. Well, by the time I run errands, get through the market, which here seems to be a nightmare any day of the week, or have to go and do something at Mom's,or it is laundry day, or I have to find and fix something for dinner, if I had already used up the left overs.... so I can contest, by then there are OVER 5 spoons used up, and my day is not over yet. 

I still have dishes to do, right now we are fighting "sugar ants", which I was raised here in TX, so here we called them "piss ants". Don't ask me why, but I always gathered it was because they were so extremely tiny... they will sniff out one crumb, and within an hour invade an entire bowl of dog food, if you are not watching. I decided to try something "harmless" to the dogs... so I read putting back soda around their bowls would stop the ants. They won't go into the baking soda. So, guess what? Both dog food bowls have baking soda surrounding them. Knowing my "Chi_Weenie".

Then I also read ants hate tea bags, like after you brew your tea, let the bag air dry and put it in the corner of a shelf where you have stuff it won't hurt and where you have seen ants. Hell I even bought the "good" any bait traps, and I am still finding ants in stupid places. I guess they are either hungry or thirsty. But, dammit I am sick of trying to keep from spraying Raid and getting the heck rid of them. Even though about a week ago, I bought "Raid" for ants mainly with a get this "Lemon scent". I hope the hell someone does not think it is furniture polish!!! And I sprayed it on a rag, and wiped down the splash boards window sills, everywhere and everything I could without getting it around food or anything else. And even after doing that, wiping, vacuuming, and spraying where I could. Plus I leave nothing "open". Anything from chips to bread, goes in the fridge. If it is something that possibly will attract an ant it goes in plastic or glass containers with lids on them. So, that the hellish little devils you would think would move on. I am NOT a fan of any kind of "bug".... from a spider, mosquito, I don't care what it is, if it is "creature" of any kind, it does NOT belong in my house. So, I am a real stickler for spraying the yard, all around the outside perimeter of the house, and then I keep the roach baits and ant baits out and update those about every 6 months. The ONE thing I cannot get rid of and that I despise so badly is those little freaky looking "newt" lizard looking things. They just make my skin crawl. Oddly enough all my life here in TX, before I went to Seattle in October of 2001, I had NEVER seen a "newt" or whatever at any of my homes... never... no kind of lizard thing. I had a mouse once, and actually had a possum climb up our pipe that came into the house to the water heater... and she actually took her scared butt down, got by the steps of our front porch and stayed there for weeks with babies clinging to her. It was weird. But no damned things like that. So, the first time I saw one in our home we live in now, I had no clue what the heck it was. Weird almost a pink iridecent looking thing that ran fast, looked like some kind of strange lizard, and I was hell bent to rid my house of those little bastards (excuse my French)... so here I go online to find out what to do to get rid of the damned things. We had gotten just about rid of the few mice in the attic, at the time they put that insulation down that is kind of like shredded looking newspaper. Other than that an occasional water bug, which won't last long here. or a spider that I also despise, thus I just knew I would find something to rid my house of those things. They certainly were not the cute little "GEIGO" Gecko... and even if they were I don't want them in my house....

Well, guess what ladies and gents! It is almost impossible to get rid of them. Undoubtably they are not effected by bug sprays, roach baits, spraying the outside all the way around the house, including the porches, and those damned things are just not subject to any of the poisons or baits. Well, I figured out they "hide" in the grooves of the siding and the frames of the windows and doors. They also hide behind out two front porch lights. Plus I would bet they are in the insulation of our walls. So, everything I read said leave them alone, they eat bugs and are harmless. They maybe harmless but they sure as hell don't look or move as if they harmless. They creep me out just about more than anything other than a snake.

Anyway, how I ever got off on that tangent I am not sure other than the one thing that came to mind, is one of our "storm windows" on the  kitchen window has just "popped loose" and was hanging there by a couple of screws. I almost fainted! If that sucker falls out and breaks we are in deep crap. They are not cheap, and we still need to buy all the ones that go over the windows in our music room. There are I believe there are 5 of those at about $80.00 plus a piece, because they are made to specifically fit the windows. We were going to get the man who put up all of the rest of them to get us those for a bit cheaper rate, and then he would put them up  ... of course something else always comes up thus we did not have the money or time now and again to finish them.. and they need to be done... those old windows back there do not even have any of the push pins and the stuff you put around the windows to seal the glass in.... the glaze is just about out of all of them, then we had hail knock a hole in one while Jim was in the hospital, so I have it all put together with cardboard and lots of duct tape... 9,999 uses for duct tape, a wire coat hanger, and WD-40!  

More later.... got to get dressed to take my Mom to shop...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Do Your "trust" your Own "instincts" Over some of the Medical Professionals (AutoImmune Illnesses or Not)

Being Caught in an Upheaval Between An Insurance Company, A Physician's Office, My Own Autoimmune "Flaring" Body, A Pharmacy, and What to Trust? Myself, My Doctor... Any of us... we are all susceptible to "Medical Mistakes"... And How do We Avoid those? Or Can We?

I will always be one of the first to admit, "no one" is perfect. We don't live in a "perfect world". Everyone of us are human beings. It matters not whether we are highly educated professionals, or a Mom or home maker. Whether you are the President of the United States, a banker, lawyer, and of course a DOCTOR, even though we want to "think" these people are more "immune" to errors, and yes they should be, we live in a "too fast" paced world, that for the most part offers "little" time to try and "double check" every thing we do in a day's time. 
I will also say that for the most part, I "trust" my physicians. If I didn't then I would and I have moved on before. If you "lose faith" in someone whether it be your physician, a banker, or anyone you do business with, must confide in, or within the very people that you have to rely on to sustain daily life necesseties, where do you turn to, and where do you go from there?

 I was so totally hopeful that the new year would bring "hope", a new vision, less symptoms, more ability to help make changes in this system of errors when it comes to ALL of the horrid evils of autoimmune illnesses, medications, insurance, or lack thereof, doctors, pharmacies, and the entire realm of what the hell is happening to cause such grief with those that seem to just NOT care about patients, about their own people, and how we are supposed to try and "cope"? Each day seems to be worse, not better. Things seems to go from hoping it will be "less complicated", to more red tape, and less reasoning with any human beings when it comes to the health rationalizations of life. Never have I seen such a lack of regard for "humans" from the medical world. I sound like I am on one of those "rampages". But, it is very difficult NOT to feel that way, when each place you turn to, each physician, each pharamcy, every phone call to your insurance company, every email you send... each medication, every step you make, turns around to slap you in the face, and make you wonder is any of the struggle worth it? I cannot possibly be the only one feeling the overwhelming stress of things getting worse when it comes to our health, and our health care workers. More and more I see doctors who are supposed to have taken an oath to "help humans", turn their heads and watch people become more ill. When you are reading daily, that those in dire need of medications such as the biologics trying to cope with THOUSANDS of Dollars of out of pocket costs due to this once again "tier system" of how we are "told" we can have medications, it makes me literally sick! Who, and mostly NONE of us with chronic illnesses can afford to pay $5,000.00 a MONTH out of pocket to get the one medication that may help keep you able to just live your life?  It is total insanity. I realize I am NOT the only one! That makes it even more difficult to deal with. Day after day, month after month, rather than watch "head way" being made, what we see is a government that absolutely DOES NOT care about their own people! Anyone that can take office, and turn their backs, to line their own pockets, in the name of cutting benefits so much that in 2015 Medicare Advantage Plans will CUT paying physicians/medical professionals (the "term" used in the original article was "insurers". That is so it does NOT sound like it is our doctors/medical professionals that are getting cut - another "loop hole for them) 20%! How can I (WE) even begin to rely on that kind of nonsense? What happened to taking care of your own people? It is very obvious greed, greed, greed and more greed fills our nation and our world. I was going to put this up on another "friends" feed, but there is no reason I should "push" my own issues off on those that may not feel the same way. The entire dilemma that has prevailed over my life in the past 3 months, is one that sounds like it belongs in a tale of horrors. Even when I "KNOW" for a fact everything I am "saying" is true; as I go back to either read it or email the ordeal to a friend, it is so hard for me to say "yes" this is really how it is! Where did we as a nation and world go so horribly wrong? When did it get to where "money and power" rule over it all? And where do you really find answers? I of all people, have always been able to "stand" within the power of faith and hope. I don't pretend to "cram" my own beliefs down anyone else's throat. Never have, never will. Everyone has their own personal and private feelings when it comes to how they view hope, faith and all of what might be considered "religious" in nature. But, the problem I feel is the "lack" of it all. There is little hope left. Medically speaking, is just one issue. Turn on your news every day. What do you hear that gives you any kind of true hope? Because we are finally backing out of wars, where we probably may have stayed out of them in the first place? Thousands that die daily due to lack of water, lack of food... and now we face yet another HIGHER scheme of things on the very thing that sustains us? FOOD!? Why? Because we lack water, we are facing drought circumstances that we have never seen in our own country since before the 1800's.... how can our "elected" officials sit around on Capitol Hill and justify the ridiculous insanity of "cutting" benefits for those that can barely afford to buy decent food to sustain us, much less "pay" for medications that although should be considered a "necessity" become things that are more a luxury. 
Those of us on a "regular salary", or disability, or making minimum wages... even those making a bit better salary, cannot possibly afford to pay THOUSANDS, even HUNDREDS of DOLLARS a month out of pocket for medications! I often wonder whose fingers are in whose pockets? If you could be one of these "minute" insignificant "bugging" devices that could fit in a clock on a wall, or under a lamp in some of our places in government, in our local doctor offices, within the pharmaceutical companies in the world, in the very places that things such as "lack of caring" goes on, how shocked would we be? How shocked would you be, just like a dear friend of mine told yesterday on her FB page. Her doctor wants her to have a "special type" of MRI on her heart. Yet, when the doctor calls the order in at the hospital, he is told, "that procedure" can't be done there. Now you tell me, if he is a doctor and he is that has been dealing with a hospital, outpatient or whatever type of facility in the same area for any length of time, he knows "what procedures" that place can do or can't do. Doctors are around for the most part long enough to know whether they need to send a patient to a "special facility" for a specialized type of MRI on the heart or not. SO, why all of a sudden does he get this type of information, that he must relay right there to his patient? He has to tell her that "I'm sorry"... for "some" reason, I can't get it done at that hospital? Then do they fully expect for us to say, Oh, Okay, well, if you find some place that it can be done, give me a call? How ridiculous does that sound? 
Just as ridiculous as a NURSE in my own PCP office, that has been seeing me now for well over 4 years, "hide" and NOT intervene as that nurse basically is allowed along with a "PA" there to tell my husband "well, if you don't like my care, take "her" meaning me, to the ER! What the hell kind of doctor is that? Talk about losing confidence in your physician! Then he is not even courteous enough to "check" on the situation and try and find out what the hell went wrong, and why the hell would ANY "PA" get her "feathers so ruffled" due to a patient and her spouse being concerned and just questioning why a certain treatment would be given, when there is a very strong chance that very type of medication is exactly what got me in the situation I am IN in the first place? If a doctor, or PA, or nurse, is that big of a "chicken" and they are NOT willing to try and get hold of the matter to straighten it out, and thus TAKE CARE OF THEIR PATIENT, who should have been NUMBER ONE, then how the hell do you trust any of them? If this had just been one incident, or a "new doctor" or someone "not familiar" with my complex case, I "may have" been able to justify a portion of their lack of brain power and intelligence. But, when you cannot even have your physician call you, return a call from you, trying to find out what the heck is going on, why would I bother to put my life in this medical "so called" professional's hands? 

I've written an email to a friend of mine explaining the total amount of crap I went through over the past about 7 days! I am going to post most of it here, and I know you are going to think I have to be making this story up! But, BEFORE I get more into that, let me tell you what just happened! Here it is BEFORE 8AM in the morning. My phone rings, and guess what? It is from LEXINGTON KY! NO NAME on caller ID, just that town name. A "woman" announces she is from "Humana" and asks for my Humana ID number!.... in the first place, it is BEFORE 8 AM CENTRAL TIME! IN THE 2ND PLACE, WHY WOULD I (I did NOT call them) give out my insurance ID number to someone I have NO idea is, what they want, and why they would call ME at this time of the morning? I told her I WOULD NOT give out that information, and in the 2nd place I AM SICK! Where were they this past two weeks when I tried to get them on the phone and get my ENBREL??? You sure can believe I jumped through 50 hoops to get anyone on the phone, it took them 10 days or longer to even get medication to me that I should have had 7 weeks ago or more. I probably WOULD NOT BE SICK, if HUMANA would have DONE THEIR JOB! Now, I hang up, and I call THEM BACK! Guess what they tell me... THEIR OFFICE IS CLOSED! NOW how can "they be closed" when they just called me and asked me for my ID number? Ever since I FINALLY GOT MY ENBREL LAST THURSDAY, I have had A PHONE CALL EVERY DAY SINCE FROM THEIR PHARMACY wanting to TELL ME HOW THEIR NEW SERVICES COULD HELP ME!!! THEY COULD FREAKING HELP ME BY DOING THEIR DAMNED JOB, GETTING ME my medications and not delaying me to the point that I am almost to the place of being ill enough to go to the hospital! THIS is the very KIND OF CRAP THAT I HAVE HAD MORE THAN ENOUGH OF! 
How funny it is WHEN I NEED THEM... forget it... you cannot get anything off of their website (although they always say go there), you can't get anyone on the phone, but boy they surely can call you day, night and weekend to tell YOU about HOW THEY CAN HELP YOU!!! 

Now, back to the Other issue at hand.... I've told most of the story... from this, I did NOT get my Rituxan.... due to HUMANA NOT wanting to pay at they should... the entire 'BIOLOGIC" ISSUE. So, when I am severely ill, with flares 6, 7, 8 weeks later, at my doctors office... and the PA decides even though I say nothing about any type of "infection"As far as I was concerned showed no and had no signs of a "sinus infection. Yet, she insists on giving me an antibiotic, after I am already very immune compromised due to NOT having my medication, having 2 flares, and she gives me of all things "Omnicef"! Now I am not sure how many of you check out medications. I am sure for the most part, all of us, or the majority of us with these autoimmune issues DO watch what we are given as far as medications. In the first place, many of our "autoimmune medications" do NOT mix well with other meds. It can cause all types of complications, thus we are probably for the most part pretty good about double checking medications, especially "new" ones we are given. BUT, as I say, what about those that are elderly, or they don't have access to look up medications, or they just "trust" what their doctors say, and take the medications. We are supposed to be "pro-active" about our own health. Yet, as I have found out, being pro-active with some physicians is just like stabbing yourself in the foot. They HATE patients that are educated! They DO NOT want to be questioned, and they fully expect US to believe them hook, line and sinker, without any disagreement. 
Well, even though I did NOT think I had this "sinus infection" I began the antibiotics a week ago, tomorrow. I took 2 that day, and Friday morning I took one. By Friday evening, something was just not right. I could tell my stomach/intestines/colon were not "happy". Of course antibiotics, many of them can upset your stomach. Sometimes if you "eat" with them it is better, but sometimes you are NOT supposed to eat with them. This happened to have been one that still I was quite disturbed over getting. Without being extremely ill with signs of an infection, it still did not seem right I would be given such a broad spectrum, high powered medication. I even mentioned that it had been YEARS since I was given these type of meds. The ONLY time I've taken them is when I go to the dentist and I am having work done. He prescribes "2" for me to take one hour before I go in for dental work. He does that due to me having "knee implants", shoulder implant etc.... Dental work "can" lead to an infection sometimes of those types of implants. BUT mine have been in place long enough now, that really it is not a huge concern. In fact the other dentist that does other dental work on my teeth, says that taking those now is kind of "old school". He does not even prescribe them, unless the implants are very new, less than a year old, or there is major dental work, that could possibly lead to a greater chance of infection. So, even with two dentists right here in town, there are two totally different opinions about giving this even when it could be "slightly necessary". Well, within 24 hours of taking these antibiotics, I began to have what I consider not just slight diarherra, but what I consider a type of "colitis' symptom, due to the medication 'Killing out" all of the needed bacteria in the colon. I went through this in 2010. After several abdominal surgeries, due to an issue with my gall bladder, and a collapsed bile duct, that landed me in the Methodist Hospital in Dallas for over 6 weeks... I got this type of colitis. I will NOT go into the gory details of it all, but I will tell you that I had NO CONTROL over it. I literally woke up wrapped in blankets, cold, and was covered from head to toe with diarrhea... this happened night after night... and I was so ill, I could barely even stand... the nurses would try and put me in the shower, half cold water, and had to clean me up, head to toe, several times a night (and I was NOT eating anything)..I was totally being fed with an IV line...

Well, that experience all came rushing back into my head once I realized that the antibiotic I had been put on is one of the worst for causing this type of colitis.....

Here is more information on it:   http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/antibiotic-associated-diarrhea/basics/definition/con-20023556

this is just one article. There is LOTS more, just do a Google Search if you would like to found out more....

Needless to say, I was very FAMILIAR with the signs and symptoms of this potentially can be "deadly" type of colitis.  It is NOT something to mess around with, especially if you already have a severely compromised immune system. At this time, mine is certainly severely compromised. So, as you or anyone in my situation would do, of course you are going to "question" why would you try and put me on yet another "same family" of antibiotics that COULD be causing this? Here they are as  I have in a redundant way said trying to treat me for a "sinus" infection, and I am worried about this type of bacterial colitis! thus coming back to me on the phone Monday morning and saying the PA is calling in "Keflex" was not what I expected to hear at all. I thought I was going to hear at the very least they would put me on Flagyl or Vancomycin, and then also possibly do the "test" to see if I indeed had this type of bacterial colitis. Never did I expect that she would in an almost flipant manner tell me that "the PA went to school, and SHE knows better"! Well, ummmm let's see here... did I excuse anyone of NOT knowing their job? NO what I was "questioning" was "what she was treating me for and why?"... Are you giving me "more antibiotics" thinking okay well the "sinus infection"??? Yes, again, the nurse NOT taking the message stating THE PATIENT IS CONCERNED ABOUT whether she has a colon problem, a stomach bug problem, or is it antibiotics causing this.... not one word of "can we try to see who is asking what" and "why" one person in an entire office can't put two plus two together to get a proper message through.

Now comes another issue in all of this. For six WEEKS, I have non-stop tried to get through to Humana about the Rituxan, what the deal is, why they are NOT paying as they said they would.... and  you can bet I heard everything but the right answer. Most of the time, I was either speaking with someone who has NO CLUE about a "code", about it being used for RA, or even what it was used for. After I finally drove the infusion center, and my Rheumatologist's office nuts trying to get SOME TYPE OF BIOLOGIC to take.... knowing that each day that passed meant me having more and more change of a severe flare, I worked my fingers to the bone trying to get medication, it was days and days and days and more days of waiting, paperwork, more waiting, more paperwork.... and then FINALLY last Thursday it comes in. I take it about the same time I the appointment to try and get the flare under control, before it got worse.

NOW, every freaking day, sometimes twice a day, and like this morning BEFORE 8AM my time, Humana (wow they really exist) CALLS ME! They leave messages, they want to talk to me this morning BEFORE 8AM, and the "woman" asks for my ID number before she even told me who she was,  or what she wanted. I politely, told her I was SICK, and they sure as heck did not make any connection with me while I needed them, yet now all they do is call day and night with their stupid automated calls, wanting to have me "call" them back"... for what????  there is NOTHING they can do or say now that will "fix" what I did need, when they cared to not even answer me back or call me back.

Yet, the huge looming question remains, how the heck do "we" fix this? Unless you have money, power, people you know.... and whatever else it takes to "get" what you "need" out of this kind of issue.

I am so totally disgusted with all of them.... and as far as how to "handle" any of getting these issues fixed... I am at the place, that I honestly don't see that anything will get better for us... only worse.....

With my "current health" as it is, and NO support from the very physicians that SHOULD be giving me support, I may not be able to make the very trip that I've looked so forward to and that is to go to DC in 4 weeks to give my "story", just so others someday do NOT have to deal with these things. Yet, I can't go if I am too ill to go!

I am so totally and utterly upset over the entire ordeal, that I am to this place that I am ready to give up! WHY! should I FIGHT for something that I have NO WAY of  Winning???? As far as I am concerned ALL of my efforts, ill or well.... sick, or feeling good are all for none.... This battle is just not one to win....

I am not sure I even want to continue to post on this blog, or FB, or participate in any type of organization anymore.... It seems it causes more aggravation, All I see is doubt and dismay in others eyes, and I hear it in their voices and I see it in what they are going through....

For me, I am beginning to feel and see this is a no win situation.... and for others they may have far better luck than I... but I know when it is time to throw in the towel....










Saturday, January 4, 2014

WEGO Health Activists -- You can STILL ENDORSE Nominee's Until January 31st!

I did not realize you can still go into WEGO Health and "ENDORSE" those that have been chose as "NOMINEES!!!! I was not aware of it until early this morning, so I did want to let everyone know you still have a "voice" in the 14 categories of awards to give your favorite Health Advocates a "Thumbs Up"!!!!!

My link is:
    https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/rhia-s-autoimmune-arthritic-systemic-life-1998

http://www.wegohealth.com





Now, of course I would LOVE YOUR "Endorsement" for "Best in Show - Blog", but I wanted all the Nominee's to have a chance to be endorsed!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Beautiful Bracelet & The Lady Behind the Incredible International Autoimmune Arthritis Foundation

How ONE Person Can Take something out of "nothing" and turn it into An Amazing Foundation For those Suffering from Autoimmune Arthritic Illnesses.







... everyone--- this bracelet signifies so VERY much to those of all who suffer from the infliction of autoimmune arthritic diseases... And this dear woman that makes them by hand each one has brought so much HOPE to so many people AROUND THE GLOBE!!! I am absolutely so proud to tell everyone that I am an "Active Volunteer" for the IFAA!!! And I could not ask for more.... Rhia I will also get this posted on my blog.






I wanted to match the "reasoning" behind the bracelet and what it stand for. First of all Ifaa Tiffany Westrich-Robertson makes each and every one of them by hand. this is the way she made the very first one, thus the "Buckle Me Up Movement" began. She still continues to make them special order by hand. So, If you are wondering "why the beads" and what this stand for in it's entirety here goes. "The 3 silver beads and 3 black beads represent all people working together to make a difference. Red is the color of strength and signifies the strength we all achieve in numbers. The final silver bead symbolizes moving forward to find more and more people to join the movement to raise a global awareness about Autoimmune Arthritis."
-This explanation is packaged with each bracelet.



Also there is a "story" behind the entire background of how this bracelet was initiated by the "Buckle Me Up" Movement. From there it has transitioned twice, first to IAAM (International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement" to evolved almost like a butterfly in a cocoon to something incredible which is now a "fully Non-profited Organization known as the "International Foundation of Autoimmune Arthritis".. So through it's "growing" spurts to become a group of people so incredible is remarkable and so is the story behind it. Thus it began by a thought and a bracelet just like this one. When they were still (IAAM) that also have a beautiful motto behind that too:

( The 3 silver beads and 3 black beads represent all people working together to make a
 difference. Red is the color of strength and signifies the strength we all achieve in numbers. The final silver bead symbolizes moving forward to find more and more people to join the movement to raise a global awareness about Autoimmune Arthritis IAAM, sounded out, is "I Am". While we have change our DBA (doing business as) name to the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis (due to the addition of research to our scope), the awareness portion of this organization is still a "Movement" of awareness. Therefore, the IAAM is on the awareness bracelets. In addition, the "Buckle Me Up!" Movement is written inside to remind each person who wears it where this all began and how far we've come as a community.

Our Message for this Autoimmune Arthritis Awareness bracelet focuses on this statement. Each bracelet is packaged with the Message below:

"I Am...
A Leader for Change,
Hopeful,
A Believer in Progress,
And Rebranding Stereotypes.
I Am an Advocate for
Autoimmune Arthritis Awareness." )



(The portions in the () are directly from International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis URL: http://ifautoimmunearthritis.org and you can also see their Facebook page at: International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis

For myself, this is the perfect opportunity to also tell why this Foundation absolutely means so very much to me. The founder Ifaa Tiffany Westrich-Robertson and her story that she has about how long she suffered well before FINALLY getting a physician that KNEW something diagnosed her, reminds me so much of myself. I also trudged along for years (like many of you) to get "misdiagnosed" with everything from "soup to nuts" as the saying goes. So, after she finally had a grip on the real reasoning behind her years of symptoms, then she knew there was a very strong need in our nation and in fact our world, of getting this out there to say "Hey Wake Up" to doctors, the medical researchers, patients and caretakers, families!!! It was TIME to do something! But what? As myself, I am but one person. I am "limited" in many ways to "get my point across to the many, many people out there that I don't have a way to fully open the doors to a grand eye opening "movement" of sorts. Yet she was able to take something so very simple, and create it, put her story and her whole reasoning for the bracelet online on the right place at the right time... and from the 1st moment of "but one" person, became thousands around the world!!!! So as I said above, I have always wanted to be able to shout out to everyone that will listen, and "heed" what I say to "DO SOMETHING" I feel "my voice" through her own battles has truly been spoken to whom I've always wanted it to. Now at the right time, and in the right place, I've been added to the glorious "fold" of men and women who share a strong desire to make all of this happen, larger, more verbally, online to potentially millions of people, that we need CHANGE> Change that means a "Quicker recognition of "symptoms" by health professionals, A Quicker diagnosis so people can "delay" or even "stop" damage of the joints and the body before it takes its toll", "Quicker medications, that take these illnesses and "kick" them out of the body, or halt them in a way that "remission" and possible wellness are something that can be achieved. and Last but not least "A Quicker, stronger, verbal, out reaching message to researchers, to those who can donate their time, or funds and help a cause have those researchers WANT to study these diseases, illnesses and syndromes to perhaps even "heal" us "before" we even know we are ill. Everything above I've said I feel a strong conviction that through the IFAA, it's Founders, and all of its Volunteers, all and more of these things will be achieved!!!!! I hope you take some time to go to their Website, go to their Face book page, ask me questions for now I am a piece of their "pie" as an Active Volunteer, and go to my own blog. I will be putting up this information, and I blog quite frequently about this group! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chronic Illnesses/Autoimmune Arthritic Diseases - Do You "always" HEED Your Physicians' Advice?

Must you "think" you have to do "All" Your Doctors Tell you to do?


First of All, the "post" below in red is a post I began yesterday evening on Face Book. When I began really getting into the "subject" matter at hand, I KNEW this would make for a HUGE BLOG POST! This is something that just about everyone of us has dealt with one time or the other. If not, then you probably don't go to a physician's office very much!  So, I will let you read the "red" portion - then under it I will "further" write about the title of the blog... "Do You ALWAYS HEED YOUR PHYSCIANS ADVICE??





Well GOSH!!! A MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED!!!! I am already HOME!!! This is WAY too early when you go to our PCP!!!! IF your appointment is at 2:00pm. Usually you spend until about 4:30 pm waiting in that tiny room, staring at the walls! We only had to wait 45 minutes!!! Talk about a joke! Why the hell he insisted Mom come I have no idea. All HE needed was ALREADY there, from Mom's Cardiologist as I SAID!!!! (Twice)... and rather than address her other issues, he begins to exam the stupid shoulder! Then he proceeds to tell her "he dos not think it is a rotator cuff tear" and told her to do two exercises and it should get better!!! Now we never said anything but that it was bothering her. But we did mention we had seen a doctor about it to the nurse. Now, I know for a fact that the "clinic" where my heart doctor and our orthopedic surgeon is DO NOT GET ALONG with the clinic where our PCP, food doctor, my new GYN doctor etc., and also my surgeon who is supposed to be the hernia surgery! So, all he did is mix Mom up. Now she is "questioning" whether to even have the MRI. As I told her number ONE the Orthopedic surgeon is the "expert". And the PCP, is very intelligent, but he is NOT a specialist. SO, I told her to take all of that into consideration as well as how the shoulder feels and is doing (she seemed to think it is better today... well yes, she has not used it in a couple of days, thus of course it feels better. YET, I also told her a doctor is not GOSPEL as far as His "recommendation" as myself, I DID NOT BELIEVE even after FOUR DOCTORS told me there was NOTHING in my left lower abdomen... I KNEW THER WAS!!! So, I went to a doctor until someone knew enough to find the issue. Thus I did, it is two hernia's and at least one needs to be repaired! As my husband and I talked about a while ago, even when we were "growing up", we were "taught" that our "doctors" are like "Gods"... they know it ALL and WE MUST DO AS THEY SAY!!! BULL!!!!!! OF course you NEED to pay attention and for the most part take your doctors advice. BUT it is NEVER mandatory you MUST do as they say or not say..Ultimately it is YOUR body, you know it better than anyone... and if you do not agree, either just don't do it, or do it, or find another doctor! I learned about 25 years ago or more, I NEVER think my doctors know everything, or do I think they can DO NO WRONG! As a whole the majority of our physicians are highly educated. the continue to be educated, they pass board exams, etc... BUT THEY CAN MAKE errors... or just because they say something does not mean you have to agree with it a little, a lot or at all!!!! Actually this is a HUGE issue, and I am going to put a big blog post up about this very thing.... from first of all, they are "human"... second of all, not all of them are "nice" especially surgeons... and so forth... it will make for a terrific blog posting:) I'll work on it tonight and in the morning and post here a link when I have it completed!






Onto further discussion of this subject...

As I got into up in the Face book portion of this post, I began writing about how just a few years back, most of us, whether you were younger and growing up, or you were already an adult, when you went to your doctor (for the most part we saw ONE doctor for just about everything!)

I recall our "MD"S" here in Ennis could "do surgery", deliver baby's, treat you for the flu, or any illness, an take care of just about anything you needed. Unless it was some extremely odd, you were not "referred" to a specialist. There wasn't that many "specialized" doctors then. They saw you if you were an infant, or if you were elderly. It was a "one stop shop" as you could call it.
Then I began to notice right after my daughter was born, (after 1985 forward) many of our regular MD's stopped delivering babies. Several here just stopped all together. They sent you to an OB/GYN for that. I realized at that time, if I doctor did it "all" he was up, day and night, away from home, especially if you did any type of emergency stuff for your patients or a baby was coming you had to be there. So, it made sense to send women to a doctor that did that type of stuff. In fact, I guess there was a time we did not have a doctor right here in town to deliver, so you either went to Corsicana or Waxahachie for a pregnancy. That was also when you did not have a "stick" to pee on to tell you about a pregnancy or not. I "guessed" both times just due to the morning sickness etc. 

Then I began to see our older doctors, our MD's that did everything from "soup to nuts" retiring. They were all elderly, and were tired and worn out. I feel some stayed on way too long just because at the time we didn't have many doctors here. As we progressed over the next few years, I began to notice we had more specialists popping up. Our MD's the newer ones coming up, chose NOT to deliver babies, or do surgery. The left things like that up to the more specialized physician's. Again the problem with that was "lack of specialists" in small towns. You traveled usually to Corsicana, if not DALLAS, for many things that the family practitioners were not handling anymore. I think for many of us, it was a HUGE change! 

You had folks like my Daddy that remembered when the DOCTOR CAME to YOUR HOUSE! A family member went and got them. Then the doctor came to you, you didn't go to him. But that soon was to be changed as our small communities began to grow. Then you had people my age, that were used to a "family doctor" doing it all. So, even at first with myself and others my age, this "specialist" stuff seemed like more of a burden than anything. Well of course it wasn't too long until doctors began to branch out from that "family practice" into more and more specialized fields. We had a larger population even in smaller communities, we were more of a "mobile" country, everyone just about by then had a car in the family, so we could go to a specialist in the next town. They knew more about particular health problems, than our regular doctors. So, they were much more of a help, knew more about the "latest and greatest" whether medications, surgeries, tests, lab work. That specialist had been trained to be "specific" as to the needs of patients sent to him.  


In those first years of the "specialists" I feel most people were thankful for the change. Especially when it came to more of a "serious" illness such as heart issues, kidney, lung, stomach all of our vital organs, having someone that performed medicine on a daily basis of that one type just made sense. 
From there, and I'm not exactly sure why; but taking an "educated" guess we began to see more doctors going into a further very highly specialist part of the medical field were a couple of things. First of all, we had a larger population. Thus the more people, the more illnesses we began to see. People began to live longer, thus the "elderly" population living more years meant they were subject to becoming ill with other diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis and the like. The 2nd reason was due to the fact that a physician that went to college and through all of his studies in a much highly specialized field of medicine, meant they would be able to charge more, thus make more money. I'm sure that is not how we like to think about it, but of course it is true. The higher the specialty, the more money they are able to charge for having those talents and education. 

But, bringing it up to "this day and time", and doctors have just about "specialized" themselves to the place of being ridiculous! I know some of it again is more people, living longer, more research means we know about more illnesses and how to treat them. And again the "higher" up chain of speciality means the higher they can bill insurance and the patient. A great example of being to the point of almost ridiculous in specializing, is what I went through with the "double vision". 

I had it come up suddenly one night, and thought since it was late evening, watching television, and the fact I had not been sleeping well at all for weeks, I was just having problems from lack of sleep. So I let it ride about 2 weeks, and decided to have a visit with my opthamologist.  So, I went in to see them, they saw that I had "double vision" going on, put a "prism" in my glasses, and wanted me to see a "specialist" that in all honesty, I had never heard of. This was a "neuro-opthamologist." So, since I am already used to the fact with autoimmune arthritic illnesses along with my other ailments that are chronic in nature, no longer is it uncommon that I am sent to some type of a specialist. I go home, with the name of one, which turned out did not take my insurance. I began my own search online, along with my insurance information, and come to find out there were only 3 of these specialists in the state of TX & at the time 2 in the DALLAS AREA! So, I see one that looked promising online, etc. I call figuring it would be MONTHS before I would get it. this doctor could see me that week! My thought was that since he did something that high up on the "food chain" of sorts, he probably did not have a huge cliental. I go a few days later to his office in Dallas, and not only did he have a HUGE number of patients, his STAFF had to be something like 50 PEOPLE!!!! It was totally nuts!!!! To try and shorten this story, it came to pass yes he had MANY patients, because he was the ONLY specialist in Dallas that took these types of patients, other than one other one that took months to get an appointment with.

All in all, I went to the other doctor at Southwestern Medical University in Dallas, who was in my book a "REAL" doctor. That is why it takes months to get into him, and the other doctor first of all was a total "jackass", another story that I told right after that happened, but he also had this "trained" staff that did EVERYTHING!!! They did every part of the exam, put it all in the computer, and took you to put you in a dark little tiny room to see the doctor. Well, he never even touched me, examined me, nothing... all he did was look at what the results from ALL of the other people did, make a stupid remark, and say he wants to see you in a week! You can just imagine the shock and frankly horror I felt! My husband and I left there in total SHOCK that a doctor of his "magnitude" ran basically a "cattle farm". You were "herded from room to room, poked and prodded by his "staff", then sent onto listen to him saying nothing, but see you in a week! He put me on a bit highly dose of predisone, done blood work that he admitted would probably not be accurate due to the fact I am already on prednisone, and and when the blood work did come back with a very "slightly" raised level of inflammatory problems (well yes I have autoimmune illnesses) he decided to do a biopsy on my temporal artery. here is this doctor, who has not laid a hand on me basically, have had his staff run the same stinking eye tests on me for 3 visits, and now he wants to suddenly do a biopsy on the side of my head. I SHOULD HAVE LEFT THEN!!!! 

So, now this leads me to the MAIN SUBJECT I want to talk about. I realize that was a long route to get here, but I felt it necessary for me to mention just ONE of my situations with a doctor that I KNEW was not right. Yet, even with all of my research and due to it being "DOUBLE VISION" and if it were "Giant cell Temporal Arteritis" that meant without proper treatment I would eventually go blind. So, when you are faced with some that could be that potentially detrimental to your health, you tend to "disregard" your own feelings of RUN! I did actually go to my regular MD about it before having him "cut" the side of my head open a bit" and also take a slice of my temporal artery out, I needed another opinion. My MD just wanted to make sure I "followed the specialist" guidelines because in all honesty my PCP has not been in on this at first. I went directly to my eye specialist and from there was sent to another "specialist" so my PCP really did not even know about the double vision until just before the "biopsy". 
Against my own judgement, even after weighing it back and forth with my husband; we thought the doctor was a "quack" that was in such a specialized field he could do people this way, because he was about the only doctor in this entire area with this type of training. Other than that it meant going to Austin or Houston! 
I finally, still with much hesitation, went to allow him to do the biopsy. Now, that entire thing was such a horror story that morning, that I won't get back into it now. But, there is a post about the whole thing sometime about October of last year. I will look it up and post the link to it here after I finish my post... he did some thing that was SO TERRIBLY WRONG I filed a formal complaint against him to the Texas State Board of Physicians. Then they did take it so seriously that the investigated and even had a hearing about it. I could have went, but I chose to send a letter to the judge instead. It was in Austin, thus I felt I had given them enough information, along with the hospital it happened at, my presence was not necessary. 

This brings me to the "POINT" at hand. Do YOU as a PATIENT always take your doctors word as "GOSPEL?" So you feel that even though you may have a gut feeling that is different, or possibly you have researched all of the in's and out's of the "diagnosis", or symptoms, seen something that made more sense on Social Media, and so forth, you should NOT question your doctor's "authority"? If they tell you, you need a "certain" test, or even possibly surgery, do you just rely on the fact that he is the "expert" and whatever your physician (s) say is right? Do you think you have the right to question them about what they say? Can you tell them you don't agree possibly with all or part of what he or she tells you. Another thing, if you do research online and find what you feel maybe something such as a new medication, or more critical advice that certainly could pertain to you, do you print it and take it in? Do you take a list in of points you want to discuss? Do you feel YOUR time is as VALUABLE as your doctor's? Do you feel it is okay for them to say they will "charge you" if you are over 10 minutes etc late to see them, but they can make you sit for hours, while they are "chronically" late every time you go in? While we are on this subject, this also pertains to your pharmacist. So you think your pharmacist has the right to disagree with your doctor about a particular medication, treatment, etc? Plus do you think your pharmacist should have the right to sit down, discuss ALL of your medications with you, and be allowed to "change" something? Plus the "insurance" company you have "tells" your pharmacist they get paid for every patient they have a "consult" with!!!! 

Now I've opened several cans of worms. My hopes are to get YOU to thinking about your own situations as patients. For one for myself, I totally feel that it is OKAY for you NOT to feel your doctor is always right. They are "human", in fact usually overbooked and busy humans. Now I have noticed they do not even take a moment to glance at your chart. They barge in looking hurriedly at you, ask you a few questions, and if you do not stop them yourself (after you waited for HOURS to see him or her) they zoom right on out the door, the nurse hurries you out and down the hallway. The front office makes an appt. for a follow up if necessary, collects your co-pay if applicable, and out the door you go. This is before you had a chance to ask one question, after you've waited possibly hours for them, and it is always they had an "emergency". Now I agree any doctor for the most part can have some thing emergent. BUT, NOT ever time you go in for an appointment that ha been scheduled for 3 months or more! That has turned into the most ridiculous excuse, and very old. I half the time or  more do NOT believe that! What the have done, is booked 2 or 3 PATIENTS at the exact same TIME, thus he can't be in 3 rooms at once. Then if he has a patient that does stop him with a list of questions, and expects answers before he flies out the room, of course he has to answer and you are the one, that if you don't make him stay and answer questions that gets the raw end of the stick so to speak. So, you can believe when I go for a "follow up" visit that is one I should have my "time to speak" I take MY LIST and he does NOT leave that room, until I am satisfied that I've gotten the answers on the questions. If it taken 5 minutes or 30 minutes, mine probably dread seeing me come, because the they know me well enough to know if I have that yellow piece of paper in my hand, I do have a list. 

I have heard of a case of a lady here in the nation, that got more than tired of having her time taken up for hours and hours every time she went into her doctors office. So, after putting up with it for a long while. She kept up with just how late he was so she could prove it. Then she put together an "invoice" and mailed it to him with a note that it was for the "loss" of time she had due to his chronic tardiness. She had it just in detail about hours, days, etc. Now, I don't know what happened. I am sure she did not ever see a dime! BUT, she did get national media attention, which put it on his mind and other doctors that a patients time is just as important as theirs. We have lives, jobs, families and all that need our attention also, rather than sitting fir hours in a cold 6 by 6 foot room, waiting for he or she to show. 

What about thinking a doctor is "God"? And what he says has to be the "gospel" of being right as to what maybe wrong with you, what tests you need, if you need surgery and so forth?

WAKE UP FOLKS!!!! This is a NEW TYPE OF WORLD!!!! WE for the most part have the ability to find out information from all around the world, from the best specialists, the best colleges, researchers, and organizations that can give us all kinds of great information on why, what, how, when where and so on!!! With a few key strokes you can see what the FDA is doing on a new drug possibly coming out, new meds in the clinical trials that you may qualify to even be in. You can reach out to other physicians that do put their information online or are willing to try and answer some of your questions. You can virtually watch someone else have the exact same surgical procedure that maybe in your near future. From any type of medication, to any type of disease, illness, syndrome, lab work, MRI, CT, PET, and the many, many other types of tests... you can see them, read about them, and even talk about them if you chose. We are becoming a group of people that will be looking for a higher speciality in how we are being treated as a patient. So, I feel we, any and all of us have the right to question our doctors, decide if a 2nd opinion is in order, or maybe even a 3rd or 4th! If you have a "gut feeling" that tells you something is just not Kosher, then LISTEN to yourself! Often since we know our bodies better than anyone else, if we pay close attention it will "tell" you what is happening. Now, that does not mean we are always right either. But, taking a very good look, and listen to the grander situation, and also not only that gut feeling, but objectively. In other words, try and think about what is happening and what doctors maybe telling you about someone else and you are there as a care taker, so you can have a vision all the way around when it comes to decisions about your health. OUR HEALTH is the MOST IMPORTANT piece of our lives. If we are not in good health in some way whether it be acute and temporary, or chronic and long term, we cannot be who we want to be, and do the things in life that we want to do. 

So, listening to your own mind and heart about illness, medications, doctors, procedures, surgeries and so on, is vital for you to make a choice that you later can live with. I know the couple of times I allowed myself to be kind of "hornswoggled" into a medical situation before I had time to weigh it, I  wound up to regret it. 

Doctors are just humans, that yes have a great deal more education than many of us, in the medical field. For the most part, your doctors are probably giving you good advice and treatment. If they tell you something, then more than likely you can bank on it is necessary. But, anytime you have that feeling, no matter how large or small what it is you are questioning, do so.

You can FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! If you have a physician that is just not a "good fit" in any way, find another one to go to. I decided a long time ago, unless it was just a point that I could not for some reason see another doctor, I have several things, but two HUGE ones when it comes to staying with a particular physician. They MUST have a good "bedside manner"! Unless I may not see that doctor again for some reason it may not be that important. But if it is somebody I am going to have to see on a regular basis, they MUST have a good, preferably great bedside manner. The other is that they MUST not mind me looking things up online, or printing something to bring in and so forth. Now, I don't mean I am going to question everything, every time that happens. If I don't trust my MD that much,, then I would change doctors. What I mean is I don't want some grouch to tell me, oh you don't know what your'e talking about. Or just because you look something up online, you can really trust it... and so on... They need to be open minded to the fact we do have that capability and many online resources are very reputable. 

The fact of the matter for me is, I have been through so many physicians, of all different types of specialities, some maybe 3 or 4 of the same specialty...due to the chronic types of illnesses I have, I feel I have more than the right to research my own illnesses, my medications, treatments, and if something sounds "better", or not so good... or whatever I may find, I feel my doctors should absolutely listen to mat at the very least. If they agree, then that may mean I get a better treatment, and possibly it may help someone else along the way, or if it is something not for my situation, then I expect my doctor to take a moment to explain why they feel that way. 

As I had said in my original Facebook post at the top in regard to what I told my Mom. YOU don't have to DO or NOT DO any and everything a doctor tells you. They are not SUPER human, and even though they do know more than us in many ways, they can still "miss the mark" or just be wrong. You have to think for yourself... and go by what feels "right" for you.

I just went through it. I went to 2 of the PA's in my PCP office. I went and had a sonogram (of which I told the tech it does NOT show up when I lie down). Thus nothing showed on the sonogram. But I also knew that LUMP was not THERE BEFORE and SOMETHING WAS WRONG... and after I did enough research I knew more than likely it was a hernia, and not cancer or something like that. I also found out that hernia's usually do "disappear" and especially on women are hard to detect. So, I go to my Gynecologist, and again she has no clue. I go BACK, see our other PA, and she right away says it is a hernia, and the other knot the just began a couple of days just before on the right side is also a hernia. Plus I find out they are genetic in women! Thus my daughter is subject to the possibility she could also have one or two. Even the surgeon told me they are extremely had to detect in women... but it is there and at least the left one does have to be repaired) SO, again just a reminder even when you have been through that MANY "doctors" you can still come up and find they "missed it"... and you may "find it"....


I would LOVE TO HEAR your stories about this, and your thoughts...... 











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