About two months ago, I found a lump in my right breast. I did what any normal woman would do at that point. I panicked. A friend made some calls and got me in to see a doctor friend that very day. He did an exam, sent me for a mammogram, and a sonogram. The conclusion was that I would need a biopsy. Because I did all this sans prior contact with my insurance company, I paid for it out of pocket. Knowing I needed more attention, I went directly to my primary care provider. I knew I'd have to go through the proper channels at this point or I could possibly be in a world of financial hurt! I have only lived here for about a year so I'd never actually met my PCP. Turns out he's a pretty darned nice guy. His nurse is absolutely wonderful and we hit it off from the start. After my visit, they submitted the paperwork for my surgical referral.
My insurance company decided that logic should have absolutely no bearing on my care. While they agreed I would need this surgical consult, they determined I should have all medical care at a hospital about an hour away. I should mention, at this point, that my PCP's office is next to a hospital and a surgical center and is also about 1.5 miles from my house! I argued (unsuccessfully) with my insurance for a while. Finally, I was told that the head of surgery at the far away hospital could release me to go to the local hospital. Unfortunately for me (and later for him), he did not deem my calls important to return in any sort of timely manner, so he didn't. Being the
Long story short, my insurance won (was there any question they would? I mean really...!) and I went to the far away hospital today for my appointment. Just as I suspected, nothing was actually done at this appointment! I had another basic breast exam and this doctor said something to the effect of "yeah - you should have the biopsy but I want it to be a sonogram-assisted biopsy because I'm not all that sure what lump you are referring to." 'Um...the one right under your hand, Dumbass!' is what I thought, but I decided not to actually voice that. Some things are best left unsaid - ya know?! I might point out now that this same doctor asked, when I told him I take Melatonin, why I do and what it's for. I then wondered where he got his training.
After my exam, I was told that an appointment needed to be made for the aspiration/biopsy. I was all set for that and was about to dig into my bag for my calendar when I thought I heard the nurse mis-speak. She said the appointment people would call me. What? Why can't we do this now? No answer. I am now supposed to wait for someone to call me to make another appointment so I can drive over an hour to the doctor again. And...guess what? When I've had that procedure, guess what I get to do! I get to go BACK to the far away hospital for yet another appointment! I'm sure glad I'm only paying $3.98/gal for the gas I'm burning. I wonder if I can submit that fee to my insurance for their stupidity in making me go so far away...!