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Mon, Nov. 5th, 2012, 11:55 am
Wasting My Time and Falling Through The Cracks

So, the appointment today was a total waste of time and hope-crusher to boot. Here's the story to date.

My primary care person isn't a doctor, she's a PA, so she doesn't really feel comfortable (and it is a real pain in the butt for her) prescribing pain medication. She'd referred me to pain management to have them take over my care.
He'd said I had a bunch of drs already (true) and that he'd be more comfortable as an advisor, but not actually handling my care. Whatever. Said he'd send a report back to my PCP. In the meantime, suggested Lyrica, which I told him I'd tried to get on but Medicaid wouldn't pay for it, and lidocaine therapy, which I wasn't sure would be covered either, but I would be willing to try it.
Went back to my PCP, who was confused as to why I was sent back. They did lidocaine treatment at the pain clinic, why hadn't I booked an appointment for that? I didn't know. She hadn't received any report. I went home, with PCP promising to get report from Pain dr. PCP gave me a new referral back to pain mgmt, maybe that was the issue, and ordered lidocaine therapy.
So today, it was back to the pain dr. The referral said I was to receive lidocaine treatment today, but as I suspected, the appointment that the referral person booked was just a standard appointment, not a procedure slot. So I saw the doctor, and on asking him what this issue was, he'd said "it seemed you were reluctant to try the lidocaine therapy so I thought you'd want to talk it over with your doctor". No, thinking my insurance won't pay for it is not reluctance on my part. I told him what I've been telling everyone, if I thought standing on my head an hour a day would help, I'd try it. So he did the paperwork to have the procedure done and shuffled me out the door.
He also said that because I had a shrink who gave me those kinds of meds, and that many pain meds are also shrink meds or interact with them, they couldn't take over my care because they didn't want to be accidentally prescribing medications that would interact. They also didn't have the staff to take on a bunch of new patients; I would have to get pain meds from my PCP. So my PCP won't write them because she feels it is now the responsibility of pain management, and pain management says that just because they are assisting with my care does not make them responsible for all of my medication. I think this pretty much puts me in the realm of 'fucked'.
And then I get to the desk with my paperwork, and she's having me fill out the emergency contact info for the procedure. She gives me a card with a number on it, says to have a seat and the nurse will call my number to schedule my procedure. Then she says, "oh yeah, I forgot to ask. What is your insurance?" So I tell her.

"Oh, um... you know you need prior authorization then," she says. She waits for me to finish filling out the slip, takes it and the number back, and says in that tone of voice I know all to well, "the nurse will call you when we get authorization." She knows and I know, and she knows I know, prior authorization will never come. Which is what I told the pain doctor back in July, which is what he misinterpreted as reluctance on my part and caused the delay in treatment.

My PCP gave me enough meds to last until I saw the pain doctor again, but I don't have much past today because I'd expected a refill. Only he won't do it because, as he states, it's still my PCP's responsibility. I'm going to try and call it in, but I have a suspicion she'll want to see me and by the time I get an appointment with her, I'll be out of pills. And if I run out, that means the only way to get more will mean yet another trip to the emergency room, a useless and non-urgent trip that wastes resources (and a bunch of my time) which could have gone to genuine emergencies. Sorry taxpayers. That couple of months when DC had full Obamacare were wonderful; this would have all been approved and I would have gotten on with my life, maybe even gotten a part-time job again by now or gone back to school. Then they started repealing things and DC went back to its uber-shitty version of Medicaid. I can't wait until I get on disability, because that would also mean I could get the treatment I need to get better. I'm so fed up with being shuffled back and forth.

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Tue, Nov. 6th, 2012 07:17 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): Martin J Potter

Had to tweet this. I ride when I can – but will have to do this all next week. More people certainly should.