Monday, March 29, 2010

Inside Information

For most of the past five years I have had burning, aching pain in the areas shown in the illustration. I have changed family practitioners, gone to physical therapy ad nauseam, tried acupuncture and chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons and spine experts, all to no avail. Increasingly stronger doses of medications do not work. Finally, my current GP sent me to a chronic pain specialist.

Herein lies the story. It is not about my discomfort. It is, surprise, about the health care bill!

I was in this morning for my latest whammy; shots in both hips to see if we could quell at least some of the inflammation. While waiting my turn, the medical assistant asked me if I'd like something to read and laid a selection of magazines next to where I was sitting. An issue of Newsweek with Obama on the cover was on top. She turned it face down commenting that he wasn't very popular in that office of late.

Everyone in the room joined in the conversation. The Dr. doesn't understand how seniors can be happy with it considering the cuts.

The nurses all made a point of being concerned about both their salaries and benefits. You might say they just don't understand. I think that is beside the point. The fear is palpable and Obama running around the country still trying to sell it isn't helping.

The conversation turned to the reimbursements the doctors are now forced to live with and the increases coming. They talked about how family practitioners will no longer take chronic pain patients because they are a "pain". I was beginning to feel guilty being a Medicare patient on top of it!

Doctors are going to be leaving their profession looking for more lucrative opportunities. This particular doctor is thinking of creating a blog to talk about chronic pain and also, from what I've seen, help you wade through the information out there from a physicians perspective. At best it will be a difficult undertaking.

Staff? Those who are part time have decreased opportunity to go full time. Benefits, you know.

I've had similar conversations with the staff in my GP's office. They all have fear of what's ahead. My pain doctor had read my post where I commented I was off to see him while he still took Medicare. He laughed. I was dead serious.

Hub has for some time now thought I am a hypochondriac because none of the doctors and specialists I have been to have been able to pin point anything. I understand where he's coming from but he doesn't have the pain.

Then again, maybe he's right and it's all the fear factor in my head that the care may not be there when I really need it. I'm no longer sure. One thing I am sure of, however, Obama's ongoing campaign telling us we're going to love it won't ever convince me it's a good bill. It's not. That is not my imagination!

It would seem many in the medical community agree with me.

No comments: