Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Waiting Game Promotes Wondering

The holiday season is not the time of year I like to sit in doctors waiting rooms but this year I seem to be doing little else.

It has gotten me to wondering about what sort of experiences those affected by the ACA insurance debacle will be facing come the new year.

I recently got a new primary care physician.  I like him and have found that there are times when a change can be advantageous.  Even so, long term associations that have been good are hard to let go even if you get to a point of diminishing returns. Which I had.

Being of ever advancing years, I have a handful of nagging issues that had for years never been satisfactorily addressed.  On the other hand, I'm not in as bad a shape as I had thought.  With the new cholesterol guidelines and new blood pressure guidelines I see pressures to take certain meds along with ones I am taking to soon go away.  Goes to show if you wait long enough...

As for those nagging ones, my lower back has been an issue for years.  I finally reached the point where meds were no longer working.  I don't want even stronger ones.  So.  The new doc does his poking and prodding and figures the previous diagnosis had either been a red herring or I had a combination of issues.  So.  A new x-ray of a new spot.  Bingo!  A pretty good dose of arthritis in the last joint of my tailbone.  Painful. That area had never even been considered. Off to a spinal diagnostician I go and he decides to do an MRI to confirm the x-ray.  Do you see the costs going up here?

Okay.  A shot to my bottom.  Owwww.  Now I need an MRI of the old problem because I still show symptoms and the two don't relate.  That comes tomorrow.  No shot though because it hasn't been the required 10 days since the last one.  Nor could he do the MRI the same day because medicare wouldn't pay for two the same day.  However that works.  More $$$$ to be sure.  All this last minute rush is to get it in before January 1 when the new deductible cycle kicks in.

If there is to be another shot I may squeeze it in right after Christmas but I doubt it.  Why?  I still have to have a spot checked out which I suspect is the return of a pesky basal cell.  Removal, if in fact I'm correct, will again come after the first when it will be out of pocket.

Not that any of you are interested in all this but I've been thinking about all the new doctors I've seen and will be seeing all based on the change of my primary care physician.  Fortunately I wasn't wed to anyone from my past and am actually looking forward to a better level of expertise than I've experienced before.  But it is complicated, time consuming and fraught with anxiety. Will they fix the problem this time or not?

There are always the questions.  Who did that procedure, who did another one.  Over the years it's hard to remember names of someone you may have seen but once.  So familiarity has its blessings.  But so does a look see through fresh eyes.

Hopefully I'm settled in with this new entourage for some time to come.  Hopefully I'll remain in relatively good if not better health.  And hopefully the Secretary will keep her nose out of it.

For those who are just approaching major changes in not only their insurance but their health care protocols in total, I can empathize though I've had it relatively easy.  Many won't and that's enough to make anyone queasy.

1 comment:

Margie's Musings said...

All that is what they originally said about Medicare...and for that matter Social Security. Hmmmm.

I think I'll wait to pass judgment until we see how it works out eventually.