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Healthcare doesn’t "care"

The whole concept of “insurance” doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.

Most people never hit their premiums. Most people don’t go to see the doctor more than for their yearly check up. Some people never go to the doctor.

And then there’s people like me. People who have a different doctors appointment almost every week. People with conditions that aren’t well understood, or require extreme measures to treat them.

People who require medications and have to take them day and night.

People who search across the nation for top specialists.

People who depend on their insurance, because without it they wouldn’t be able to afford their treatments…

But then we reach this point where we’ve tried everything.

Seriously, my list of medications that I’ve tried for my migraines, is longer than the checklist of options my headache clinic has me go through.

I mean really, how many doctors do I have to see for them to realize that throwing a new medication my way doesn’t actually solve anything…

I need a combination of medications and therapies and lifestyle changes. I have yet to find that magical sweet spot where this condition is at least manageable.

But here’s the thing that really gets me. There are two things I have yet to try: Botox and SPG blocks (nerve blocks). Why?

My oh so fabulous insurance, won’t cover them.

Do thousands of people have testimonies of how these treatments helped reduce their pain or even almost eliminate their migraines all together? Yes.

Botox was used to treat pain long before it was a cosmetic luxury. But, my insurance deems it as a cosmetic treatment rather than a viable medical procedure.

As I spoke with my nurse regarding the nerve blocks, apparently they’ve been struggling to have insurances approve the procedure more and more lately.

In the last three days I’ve spent over 6 hours back and forth on the phone trying to get the nerve blocks approved. They just won’t budge and an appeal will take too long and the nurse already knows that it won’t get approved.

One nerve block costs $1700. I need 6. And that is just to get started. That doesn’t include any follow up procedures down the road once the initial nerve block wears off.

And if it doesn’t work… I’d be throwing away $1700.

But I don’t ever get to find out. My insurance has deemed that my lengthy list of trials and failed attempts at literally EVERY other option, don’t hold any sway in approving me for the only remaining medical options.

Yet, there’s all these people in this country that never hit their premium. They aren’t on medication every day. They aren’t paying to see specialists. And the same insurance that helps them, can’t send a little extra money towards people who are out of options?

Practitioners have the easiest time suggesting options, but never know what to say when insurance shoots them down.

They’re baffled. They don’t understand when they look at my records. And before you know it, I’m off to a new doctor. They try again to get approvals. They also get shut down.

But, you get fined in this country if you don’t have insurance.

So I get to keep paying for insurance that isn’t helping me get better.

I get it there’s no cure, but something has got to give.

My massage therapy works. Today was my last day.

Fingers crossed I can start up with a new massage therapist when I get to Charleston.

Crazy a treatment that has worked dramatically in reducing my neck tension and has stopped migraine attacks dead in their tracks, isn’t something insurance deems as a “real treatment.”

And even crazier, the medical practitioners don’t care about me as a person. They care about numbers and statistics and trying this and trying that, regardless of the circumstances.

I suggested to my regular doctor that I wanted to go on disability, and she thought I needed an anti-depressant.

My headache specialist is out of options. He feels bad because I’m so nice to be in so much pain so young. And then he shot me up with their medicine cocktail that did nothing to relieve any pain.

But my massage therapist had to hold back tears. You could see the pain in her face, knowing that I wouldn’t be back. Since I started seeing her in December, she’s been with me for every step. Every up and every down. Every hospital visit. Every missed exam. Everything. She became my closest friend here and she worked with me to help ease tension, to help wash away migraines. All of it.

As I left today, she had me pick out a gift. Something that would allow me to remember this place. So, I now have a beautiful azure ring, and a lifelong friend.

I wish one day the whole idea of insurance and those in that system would leave us with the same type of memories and would make changing providers or moving that much harder. We need compassion and empathy in our health care systems.

Today, I said my hardest goodbye.

A.

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