Why the Government has NO place in Healthcare

Living with a chronic illness, particularly the silent variety, is enough to drive you mad. As if the illness itself wasn’t bad enough, you also have to talk your doctors into believing you. We live in a world now where one feels comfort in finding out they have a diagnosis, no matter how bad. I remember feeling the overwhelming feeling of happiness followed by a sucker punch of every bad feeling under the moon when mine was handed down. Finally, I found a doctor to believe me. Finally, I found out I am not, in fact, crazy or making it up in my head. Finally, I wouldn’t be perceived as a pill seeker. Finally.

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Cue the affordable health care act. You see, now that I had a diagnosis, that also meant doctors knew which forms of treatment to try. This meant more trips to the doctors and specialist which meant I would come to better understand my insurance plan. I would come to know that the insurance I just trusted would have my back, didn’t. I would understand that the state I have lived in my entire life blocked the part of the health care act that might have actually helped me in my situation at the time. I would learn that there was much more to learn.

 

I believe that there needs to be an answer to better healthcare in the United States, I agree with Obama there. What I don’t believe in is rolling something out to the people that isn’t ready for market. This isn’t clothing or something material. This is the care given to people who are sick or to prevent them from becoming that way. This is about not killing off your people because they couldn’t afford healthcare. Politicians have no place in my health care benefits, decisions, plans of care, or any other aspect of it.

 

If the state of NY can say that a womans choice is hers and hers alone because it is her body and they can approve killing babies that would very much be viable then why on God’s great Earth can’t men and women decide who or what forces their health care providers and insurers to make the choices about THEIR body? Are we really saying that the murder of babies trumps the rest of the country’s ability to receive medications or treatments that would greatly benefit their quality of life?

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As if politicians weren’t enough obstacles to overcome we now have a new epidemic.  A few weeks ago it was time for my three month check up which I have had to go to for years. Each visit is to discuss my treatment and any needed prescription changes. Additionally, because some of the medications I take were controlled substances, I would need to attain three months of refill prescriptions. Every now and then, and also unannounced for obvious reasons, I would have to fail a drug test to prove I was actually taking all of the medications that were prescribed to me. If you have ever had to remain on medicines like this, you have been through this as well.

 

Given my frequent flyer miles visiting the doctor’s office every three months, you would think the information I was given regarding my medicines wouldn’t have come at such a surprise. You would think that what I am about to tell you happened would have been discussed at least at my previous visit.  There is a common word in my previous two sentences: think. This is a word you expect doctors to do since they have been through so much school and training, however, its become more of a thing of the past for most people in this day and age. We don’t need to use our God-given brains anymore, we have computers and algorithms and case studies on other people, places, or things to tell us right from wrong. Noone uses intuition anymore. No one trusts anyone anymore, least of all themselves.

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Back to the story of my doctor’s visit. I go to a doctors office who has a lot of residents there learning. I have always been okay with it. I have been of the impression that the younger people with less experience often prove to be better doctors because they aren’t poisoned by their past patients and thinking they know for a fact what is wrong with me based on what was wrong with Sabrina 18 years ago when she presented with the same things. Furthermore, they have more to prove. They want to stand out. They’re ignorant to the thought of having to make their recommendations suite their politician’s needs.

So, since I was diagnosed I have been through another doctor’s residency. The last appointment with her was appointment before this last one. I really liked her. I really liked the one before her. After all, she was the one that finally trusted me and eagerly helped me find out what was wrong.  She was my knight in shining armor. My hero. Her predecessor had big shoes to fill and I think she did, until last month.

So, I am waiting to meet my next partner in all things Melissa – the medical version and I think back to hearing the nurses discuss which medication group I would be under just moments ago and wondering what they were talking about. Finally, the doctor who didn’t look a day older than my 16-year-old son comes into the room and begins talking about every single medicine I am on and why.

 

I am thinking, in the back of my mind, why they need all of these tablet computers and physical files for if the doctors aren’t going to use them to keep up with my past encounters and medications so they could avoid having to go through this every single time I am seen. However, I indulge her. I speak on her level as I have learned to do since having to obtain my very own medical license from the University of Freak and Google. After all of this is over she tells me that she can’t write me a refill for my Adderall or my Ambien because “they” – whoever that is – won’t let her. She can’t write a prescription for both a stimulant and a barbiturate (downer) at the same time.  They are both considered addictive and counteract each other.  And so my reply was — I can understand what you are saying, however, Adderall has never acted as a stimulant to me. In fact, it has the complete opposite effect on me along with any other person who has been rightfully diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Further, what law is this that you are speaking of because I haven’t read or heard about it anywhere, I replied. you-dont-look-sick-said-no-invisible-chronic-illness-sufferer-to-another-795aa

 

Her answer was pretty clear as well as vague, “a combination of your insurance and new laws clashing, New Year, New You” she said happily. I’m thinking of a lot of different 4 letter words I would love to reply but I didn’t. Instead, I sat there with tears rolling down my face because of all of the emotions I had suddenly been through right there at that moment. Each tear made me feel more and more like a drug-addicted pill seeker.  I am sitting here back at square one with doctors and how they have decided to help me. Matter of fact, I am before square one and back out in left field on the backside of hell. And she speaks these words which just add fuel to the flame for me. “I can write you for one, but not the other”. She sits there speaking words that indicated that she fully expected me to chose Adderall over Ambien while also suggesting some other medicines I have already tried before finding that Ambien works best for me. I felt like we were playing a medical version of “Go Fish” trading out medicines for other medicines. A “pick your poison of choice” eeny, meany, miny, moe game with pleasure pills (in her mind). I’m so pissed that I not only have to give one up for who knows why, but nobody seems to care at what this may do to their patients nor felt the need to warn me of upcoming changes on one of my last visits.

 

I tell her that I guess I would just start being a well-rested, non-attentive dumbass then because I have already been through the wringer with pain medications. I have already discovered that 99% of the medicines that would actually help with pain won’t be given to me because they don’t want to show up on some government watch list. The other 1 % insurance won’t cover and the monthly cost of it is more than the average person’s car payment. I have come to terms with these things but the ONE thing I know I can do to turn the pain off, even if for only a few hours, is take my Ambien and go to sleep and shut it out for the night.

 

Her reply? Okay, so you want to be taken off of the Adderall? YES! I do. I mean, I don’t but you say I have to so whatever.  Then she tells me that they also can’t write my Ambien for 10mg anymore. She goes on to say that they’ve (I’m still unsure who They is) decided that women should only be prescribed 5mg because their body doesn’t get rid of it as quickly as men’s. Men can still have 10mg.  At this point, think I could have spit fire.

 

I came to find out by speaking with the doctor that was my doctor before this new one, the little girl/doctor in training wasn’t spewing out new laws I hadn’t heard of to me. In fact, she was putting their doctor’s office new year, new rules policy’s off on the government. I really don’t care whose fault it was. I just don’t want to be treated this way and people who are already suffering so much just don’t want their medications messed with unless it is a stronger, better medicine.

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A week later my husband had an issue and was written a prescription for Tramadol pain medication. He received a call from WalMart Pharmacy to let him know they couldn’t fill it. They went on to say they could fill it, but they could only give him 7 days worth of them and the prescription was for 10 days. If he filled it, he’d lose 3 days worth of pills. They told him that he could take the prescription somewhere else and have it filled with no problems. This also wasn’t a law but a new rule of Walmart.

All of this brings me to this one common thought. The government and companies like Walmart need to get out of my healthcare. Our lives are being treated like some sort of red light special. Not only that, new doctors are learning to treat patients more like rules and numbers than sick people who trust in them to do what’s best for us. Patients are being forced to attain a Ph.D. on all things self health-related.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Netflix series “Making a Murderer”. I predict there will be a new show soon called “Making a Drug Addict”. The new show could feature any number of average persons and the guilty culprit will be a doctor or government agency. Mark my words.

Bitter Cold Break

I have been on a small hiatus from writing on the blog lately.  I have fussed about this before, but maybe it bears mentioning again.

 

My insurance policy I had last year decided they no longer would cover my Methotrexate in November. I was also still dealing with the broken foot which is, quite possibly, the most painful injury I have endured in my life. youknow19

 

I have also complained a great deal about the side effects of Methotrexate and I promise you now, I will NEVER do that again. You see, you don’t realize the extent that a medication is helping until you abruptly quit taking it and your disease kicks into high-gear. No, Methotrexate is certainly not a walk in the park, but MCTD and RA mixed with mending bones and the wonderful winter we’re having this year are far worse than a Methotrexate hang-over (for lack of a better word).

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In Alabama, where I live, it is extremely rare to see snow. We have no idea how to handle snow here and our entire state shuts down at the mention of it. So for it to have snowed twice in one year is kind of a big deal. Years ago, I would’ve loved it. It’s exciting to experience snow when you aren’t accustomed to it. But when your bones ache all over on good days and alarmingly alert you of unstable air outside on not-so-good days, they darn near give up on snow days.

 

Another problem which I still haven’t found a resolution to is cold feet. I have written about this before. I am so determined to find a good solution to this problem but I am starting to feel deFEETed. I know that isn’t how you spell that.

 

My feet will be cold for so long that they pure hurt. And then when I have finally found the perfect combination of cover, sock, heating pad, and position to warm them they quickly go from Jack Frost to Satan’s den. There is no in between.

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The morning of the last snow day we had I awoke thinking I may be running a fever. I thought this because I couldn’t get warm. I couldn’t get warm because our heater decided to take the day off. Not only was it not heating, it was blowing cold air. I think it took the better part of the week for my body to warm up from that problem. Luckily, my husband is friends with the local AC/Heater repair guy.

 

I couldn’t tell you the technical name for the thing-a-ma-do-hicky that is broken on our heater, but I can tell you that it works intermittently now and that if I want to fix this it’ll cost around $500.00. Considering the fact that in Alabama we typically need heat at night and air conditioning during the day and that it still works some of the time, I can not justify that expense right now. If it ain’t broke (completely), it doesn’t need fixin’ right?

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With all of this being said, I have had a lot more going on this winter which I will save for another post since they have been few and far between.

 

My son has the flu so I am off to spray some more Lysol. Ya’ll pray that we keep it from spreading to the rest of the family and pray that he gets well soon.  He says he’s never been this sick in his life and coming from him, that speaks volumes!

 

Writer’s Block

I will make this short and sweet. I haven’t blogged much this month. It has been an eventful month, but not much to talk about.

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You may have noticed my last blog was a rant. I’ll be the first to say that it wasn’t even a grammatically correct rant. I was pissed. I still am, but I have calmed down just a hair. I’m not sure if it is because time has passed since I wrote that post or if it is because my GP felt the need to up my Zoloft to 100mg a day. Whichever the case, I’m tired of fussing with it. It does absolutely no good.

It is starting to look like that is all I do when I blog. I fuss, I post about pain, I post about being sad, mad, hurt, etc. I know that gets old for my readers to read over and over and over again.

 

I’m very sorry if my meltdowns, rants, wines, and for the most part, saying what I wanna say out loud but cant offends you. I’m sorry if it is hard to read. You should try living it. I’m just saying.

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I should add in here that another reason, aside from my broken foot, football season, and dealing with doctors and insurance and mixed connective tissue disease, is because it’s also TV SEASON!!! All kinds of new, GOOD, shows are coming on. Along with the returning greats that we spend the offseason wishing was on.

 

Here is a list of my all-time favorites:

 

Grey’s Anatomy

The Walking Dead

The Talking Dead

This is Us

Law & Order SVU

Chicago Fire

Chicago PD

Once Upon a Time

Vikings — which I hope is soon coming on even though with Ragnar gone it will never be the same

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But let me let you in on a secret show I found which I absolutely LOVE!33497f8ffe9b554ee4ae1d693b4b15ee--season--fangirl

 

It’s called Offspring. It is about a woman who is an obstetrician in Australia. She has a sister and a brother, both trying to find their way in the world since they didn’t do the college thing,  Nina is her name, She is trying to find love. She is married to a man who is creepily obsessed with her, And then her Mom’s house is a madhouse at all times. Her father knocked up a nurse that works with Nina and her parents are still married, but it appears to be an off again, on again sort of thing.

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I would love to tell you it is a nice family oriented show like Parenthood or This is Us because it is. BUT (and this is a huge but) there are some very adult words and a good bit of sex that goes on. It is a great show to watch when your kids are away or paying no good attention to what you are watching. You can thank me later if you try to watch this show, I would have to say it took me the entire first season to decide if this was my new go to show. And by the end of season 1, you are hooked. Hooked to the point that you are dedicated ONLY to watching all 7 seasons. I finished them in about a week.  And now I want more, and I want it NOW!b41252aed7d3ed8084361b7583fec174

 

My Ambien is finally starting to kick in and I have spent much of the end of this post to stop and backspace my typo’s out. So what I will do here is save what I have written, add photos tomorrow. and proofread it before I post. I do this often so that I can make sure I make sense anymore.

Health “Care” Don’t CARE

insurancelottoThis is going to be a rant and for those who don’t agree with my views here can just keep the little opinions to themselves. Unless you have a way to combat the situation I am in, don’t tell me I am wrong about the way I view insurance in this country and my states ability to figure the stuff out. I am not, nor will I ever be, a politician.

 

Here’s the thing. Obama “Care”, in theory, is okay I suppose. But it lacks all of the loopholes and what-ifs criteria or knowledge to keep it going or to have ever been rolled out in the first place. Sure, we all want free healthcare. Who doesn’t want free stuff? Here’s the thing. I don’t care how bad you are at Math, free doesn’t add up any kind of way when you are talking about healthcare. NONE!!  People need to understand that if there is something they are getting for free, it’s only free to them because somewhere someone is working their butts off to pay for it. That may be in the form of taxes, donations, or just anything else you can think of that one would use to fund programs which help sick people.  But it isn’t free.

 

So in my fine state of Alabama, the Republicans fought the whole Obamacare thing tooth and nail and they won. But still, its people lost.  We lose every day.  The Alabama Republican party said they won’t raise Medicaid to cover the ones living in poverty. No, in fact, they would like to take more away from Medicaid and Medicare. But they think that by us not expanding our Medicaid then we aren’t on the Obama”Care” bandwagon.

 

That would be fine and dandy you would think. But no, instead it is worse. Worse than worse. Worse than most other states in these United States of America. Let me tell you what the insurance company does.

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So Blue Cross says their rates are going to skyrocket because of Obama “care” and because of all of the preventative services that they are now going to have to cover free of charge. Not only will your rates go up, but so will your deductible and out of pocket costs.

 

Here is a breakdown of how this goes down and you tell me that it shouldn’t be illegal to do people this way and I will tell you what I think about you.

 

My BCBS Bronze level Family plan which is provided to me through my husband’s employer who pays an estimated $800/month for the premium doesn’t cover diddly squat. Nothing, I mean NOTHING, is free. Not even preventative. Last time I checked, colonoscopy’s were preventative procedures, but not anymore apparently.

 

I go to the doctor more than most people. I take more medications than most people. And if you have been keeping up with me, I am clumsier than most people as well. This makes for a fairly hefty dollar amount of bills for my needed health care.

 

It is now. At a minimum, I have been to some doctor somewhere at least once a month, usually far more than that. So imagine my surprise when I found out that I still owe nearly $12,000 of my deductible. We were told in the beginning that our deductible was $14,000 for the two of us. Now I am learning that it is more like $20,000. The break down on that is $14k for me and $6k for my husband.

So even with those high deductibles, I was under the impression that I should be nearing the end of that given my frequent flyer miles. Again, wrong. Wrong again! You see, the insurance companies have it rigged to where you will NEVER go anywhere near your deductible. They do this clever thing.

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Let me explain:  If you have ever looked at a statement from BCBS You will see where they tell the providers that they only approve for certain procedures to be billed out at x dollar amount rates. Then the rest is between you and your doctor. They can either bill you the difference or they can just change the charges to only bill for what the insurance company approves. But here is another catch, unless you have met your $20k deductible, you will be being billed no matter what. So now, not only is your health probably in the gutter but so is your credit.

And here’s another kicker, those discounted rates that you think are the only thing that saves BCBS a little face are really the devil in disguise. They have them discounted down so that you will NEVER reach that asinine deductible which would be when they actually start to pay a little bit of your health care. It really should be illegal.

 

Just this week I got a letter in the mail that they will no longer cover Methotrexate along with other medications I require. They don’t have a reason why it is just not going to be covered. So bam, there goes my little life. This methotrexate keeps me alive people. It keeps me from killing myself. Not in a suicidal way, but physically, That’s what autoimmune disease does. Methotrexate is supposed to be a medicine used to stop your body from thinking that your immune system should be battling it out with the rest of your body.

So I could go on and on and on and on about this because there is more. But it is bed time. And I have worked myself into another tizzy being mad about this. It is just such a hopeless feeling.  Your body is crapping out on you, you break a foot, you can’t afford to fix it, and NOBODY cares! Amazingly the word “care” is included in almost every phrase you can think of when it comes to health care today…  Ironically, NOBODY CARES!