[Rowing Machine] 2021: Week 34 {221.0} “Five Calls Later”

I didn’t have the mental or physical endurance for five healthcare calls yesterday, at almost one and a half hours of wading through a series of people passing the buck from one group to another, but, I was able to get a 30-minute phone call scheduled with a new primary care physician next week! 15-minute pre-appointment check-in and a 15-minute chat with the doctor, but better than waiting for weeks or months for treatment options.

I feel optimistic now, however, I know that I shouldn’t let that elation seduce me.

Even still, it feels nice to be reaching some direction of sanity through all of this insane bullshit that I’ve had to deal with for years now. One year ago, I was still fighting against the lower back pain that had been caused by sub-optimal ergonomics at work – being sent home due to COVID, but it was still my fault? I looked over at the spot where I was working from my work-from-home setting, and, I accept that I could have done more to complain at the time, but because my body was yelling at me and I hadn’t gotten used to this pain that I would experience for more than a year, I wasn’t thinking the most rationally.

Will next week’s call solve this problem?

Probably not, but while I was on hold for 15 minutes after going through the teleprompters, I did research on one of three PCP doctors that would take my insurance that also dealt with sports medicine. I figure that the fewer number of hops between education and treatment, the better. This bit me when it came to the second pain management doctor that had apparently also had experience with spine care, but, that doctor is a fucking asshole that should have his license suspended, as his idea of patient care is arguing with patients that don’t buy into his 5-minute diagnosis nightmare where he feeds into the drug epidemic by prescribing opioids only without any additional treatment, unless they record the conversation, then he has a more pleasant 8-minute chat.

I am more equipped to handle conversations with doctors like this now.

I was naive when it came to being a patient in the American Healthcare System before. Now, I must assume every doctor is arrogant, ignorant, or a combination of the two, until they prove otherwise. I must record every conversation I have with them, asking them before hand if I can record the conversation so that way they know that they are being recorded, and not being afraid to talk to my insurance company about the situation at the time. I let a year-plus of bad doctors run me down to the ground. I put that list of doctors away because while I’m sure the insurance company is mildly interested in my thoughts on these doctors, they probably don’t care, because my insurance and employment were terminated by my employer months ago, so who am I but some loser bothering them?

I can still write public-facing reviews about these doctors.

What will that help, though? It won’t help me with my care. It might help you, or others like me, that need help with a medical system so thoroughly corrupted by doctors that abuse their power for various reasons. I’m sure many doctors in the American Healthcare System are good. I’ve met a few, in limited capacities. Maybe if my case weren’t so bad, then maybe they’d even be good doctors, but because of their overall lack of responsibility, I don’t feel too happy about having trusted them – so I should remember this when it comes to this new doctor. I should try to remain open-minded when it comes to talking with this doctor. The doctor’s appointment might be little more than a “hi, how are you?” rather than anything deeply investigative, but, it will be a start.

At this point, too, I’d rather start with a new doctor than the old one.

The old primary care physician had the benefit of being nice, but, he pointed me in the direction of a sports medicine doctor that was abusive toward me on our first visit and significantly more polite to me after being on record, a pain management doctor that was thoroughly uneducated in treating pain, and a chiropractor that was good enough but had written me off as being too difficult of a case for him. So why would I go back to this doctor that would point me in maybe one of these three directions again? That was basically 0 for 3 in terms of successful solutions.

What if the new doctor has a 0 for 1 success rate?

This time, I can go back to the insurance company, with the recorded phone conversation, and ask them for advice. The problem with many of these other conversations I’ve had with doctors over this past year-plus of dealing with doctors is that I didn’t record all but the last three or so interactions I had, so it would be the almighty doctor’s word against some loser patient’s word, and the doctor always wins. I may have a slight problem with authority figures now because of how many doctors I’ve had to deal with that treated me like shit. I hope this will change. I hope that next week, the doctor’s appointment will not be a doctor’s disappointment but rather one step, even a mild one, toward my improved health.

I know it will be a long road.

However, it will be much less bad now that I have the tools available to me to reclaim my patient care. I believe that most doctors don’t initially manipulate their patients. Some do – and I’ve seen them do it. For the ones that don’t, they usually are agreeable enough, and willing to be recorded. If they don’t, that’s a red flag, so it’s good to get that squared away immediately. Why let yourself get fooled unnecessarily?

Besides, recording conversations is a good way to review good patient information, too.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 221.0
Last week’s weight: 226.5
Weight Difference: 5.5 pounds down, not sure how.
Difference between writing and editing for publication: I was able to get an appointment and now I’ll be having an injection soon to maybe fix the issue?
Inspirations: Writing about successes and failures, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way, to teach and advise so that if you can get anything from this – record all your doctors’s calls. Better to have done that and delete it than wish you had. Trust me.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2021 July 13 [10:30pm to 10:51pm]
Last Edited: 2021 July 13 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.