Wednesday, July 15, 2009
More medical mayhem!
As you recall, I went to the ER on Friday for a bug-bite gone bad. I went back on Sunday for a follow-up, since they told me to come back in 48 hrs. The PA repacked my wound, which hurt like hell, btw, and told me to follow-up with my regular doctor in 3 days.
Trouble is, we just moved here about a month ago. I don't have a regular doctor.
Now, I don't know how your insurance works, but mine gives me a list of providers and tells me to pick one. This is not how it worked the last time I lived here, and the doctors I used to see were no longer available. I'm not a big fan of "pick a doctor off a list" so I called my friend and asked where she and her children go. She has a different insurance company; she goes out of town and her children's provider is not listed on my list. Great.
I looked the paper over, chose a doctor I knew for the kids, and totally "winged it" for me. I marked two choices. As it turned out, my first choice is not accepting new patients. The second doctor was, and it was to him I was assigned.
After my follow-up at the hospital on Sunday, I did some research on the doctor to whom I was assigned. I could not find him ANYWHERE online. The website I use to check on doctors did not even have him listed. When I went to Google maps to find his office, I realized it was in a place I had no interest in going.
Monday morning, I phoned a bunch of doctors, found one who sounded more promising, called my insurance, and switched primary doctors. I then called my doctor back to schedule my follow-up for today. I explained to the receptionist it was a "wound follow-up" and that I had to be seen 3 days from the Sunday that had just passed. She said they'd make sure to get me in.
My appointment was for 1:10pm, but since it was my first visit, they wanted me there 30 minutes early. The Husband came home from work early so he could take me to the appointment. Fearing they might have to repack my wound, I took a pain pill before the appointment, so I couldn't drive.
We got to the office and I went to check in. The receptionist was confused; my doctor was out for the afternoon. The woman who scheduled my appointment did so for next Wednesday. Um...what part of 3 days did she not understand?! I was a bit peeved, but not overly concerned as there are other doctors in the office who accept my insurance and I knew they could find a way to fit me in...after all, this was a mandatory, open-wound follow-up.
Turns out I was wrong. There was one doctor who could see me, but he refused. He had said that he would not see any patients with my insurance on their first visits. WTF? The receptionist tried to reschedule me for Friday. Again, I reiterated the whole 3 days thing to her. When I angrily left, she yelled after me asking if I still wanted to keep my appointment for next Wednesday!! *sigh*
The Husband, The Kids, and I all left and headed back to the ER. Oh - did I mention we had The Kids with us?! It seemed silly to find a babysitter for the hour we thought we'd be at the doctor, so they grabbed their DSs and came with us.
The people at the hospital were MUCH nicer than those at the doctor's office. They understood my frustration completely. One nurse mentioned, when she asked who my doctor was, that she'd never met him. I quipped back that I hadn't either!
I am healing well enough. Despite the fact that my incision is small (The Husband said it's about 1/4"), it is deep. It had to be repacked. The PA I saw today was far more gentle than the one I saw on Sunday. I have to return for another follow-up in another three days. I told the hospital staff I would simply be returning to the ER, as it was the easiest thing for me to do. After hearing my ordeal, they all agreed it is what they would do as well.
I am exasperated, but on the mend.