I’m not sure whether it’s the amount of effort to deal with that causes stress on my spine or that it all just pops up on bad spine days, but I wrote some severe critiques of my situations toward people today. One such message: “While this process has – and not “may have” – caused frustration and constant, daily concern, I will forward [this] phone number along to [the spine doctor] to see what can be done.”
I told my old primary care physician/PCP’s office to transfer my records.
I explained that the reason that I am switching doctors is because of their difficult behavior releasing my records to my insurance company and the delay in getting my treatment escalated along to the other doctors that I’ve covered in other essays. When I was talking to the person that had to deny my claim because my old PCP’s office refused to give out information, or tell me how I could give that information out, they told me that some offices act like that. Some offices will, as I told the office administrator, weaponize HIPAA. This could have caused me long-term damage because it delayed my case from reaching the right people.
I want nothing to do with doctors or doctor’s offices that behave in this manner.
I went with a larger hospital network because, sure, there would be other problems there, too, but I imagine they have less power in this regard. If I ask them to release my records, instead of avoiding the question or rejecting my request until it is filled out precisely, I imagine they’d more freely help. That action from yesterday is resolved. The other action was scheduling physical therapy, which unfortunately, along with the new PCP appointment, won’t happen until too late. I was told many physical therapists are placed on furlough now and so the next appointment won’t be for a few weeks.
Here’s what I wrote as a reply:
I saw Dr. — yesterday. Sorry I wasn’t able to reply yesterday. I was in too much pain from going there and back to reply sooner.
As Dr. — noted on July 10, I have foot drop on my left side with muscle weakness. He noticed a substantial increase in foot drop in my left foot. We did tests to determine that I also have increased numbness in my left leg. Please note this in your files. This is a significant concern of Dr. — and mine as well. He does not currently think that the nerve to my left leg is severed, however, he is concerned that if we wait too long then it can cause permanent damage. I hope that this makes sense. If this is confusing, please let me know, and I can re-explain to the best of my ability.
You were unclear before about surgery options. I would like to schedule the appointment. However, it was vague in terms of when I could schedule. What time frame can I roughly plan for?
Dr. — wrote a prescription for physical therapy.
Do you recommend I see a primary care physician?
Is there anything that can be done to speed up this process?
I hope that this makes sense that I am concerned that I could become physically disabled, as I have despite my best efforts to help my spine on my own, my condition has gone worse.
If the nerve becomes severed, and I lose functionality to my left leg, does [your company] pay for my long-term care and disability?
Also as a note, I have already gone through six weeks of physical therapy prior to meeting with Dr. —, so this additional physical therapy may not help, but we’re doing all that we can while we wait for [your company] to process my case while avoiding any long-term damage.
The reply, from the assistant, was no, they won’t cover anything.
So let’s assume they take a full month to determine that, yes, it can appear that my situation is, indeed, worsening, and if that nerve does sever. Hey, that’s too bad for me. They accept no responsibility. It’s too bad that I’m in this situation, right? There is one thing that they offered. They gave me the number of another company that is mixed up in this whole fucked up situation for my doctor’s office to call to try to advocate for my case. That might speed things up. However, because the main person didn’t reply, and this is Friday afternoon, I assume my case has been placed toward the bottom of the list.
Still, this is as strong of language as I can convey without mentioning lawyers.
Even still, their lawyers are probably better suited to squash people like me that are seeking valid medical care than any lawyer I can find, so I continue to be victimized by the insurance I bought into as part of the American Healthcare System. I needed to take a painkiller this evening because today was completely overwhelming in dealing with all of this, but I made as much progress as I could, and I did as much as I could to scream into this empty void to say, no, it’s not OK that you think it’s OK that my left leg could become permanently disabled.
I thought of writing something like this:
I would like you to consider for a moment the next time you walk somewhere. Say you stand to go get a cup of coffee. Or say you’re walking around the grocery store. Consider me for a second. Consider that I am currently unable to go to the grocery store without being in pain for days after going. Consider that if I walk faster than at my slowest pace, then I could hurt for hours later. Consider that there is a very real possibility I may never be able to walk, run, or exercise again. If you can consider me, please, act accordingly.
But I’d be screaming into that empty void, so there’d be no point, probably…
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Life sucks.|
|Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 July 31 [9:05pm to 9:29pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 July 31 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|