I know I have talked about this before, but I am going to take it to a personal level. I am going to tell you about me and my experiences over the past eight months. Sorry if this gets a little long winded.
Those that know me know that I am quite outspoken, and I don’t think anyone has ever said that I am shy and quiet. That is just not who I am. I have had to use these skills lately. It did not make me happy. Instead it has been a very frustrating and annoying time of uncertainty for me.
In August of 2016, I went for my annual mammogram. They did the regular mammogram, and then we went back and did 3D images. My mammogram results came back that there were nodules that needed to be watched in both breasts. I have a history of breast cancer in my family, so I was concerned. It was recommended that I come back in six months for a follow up 3D mammogram.
My insurance company had already notified me in May 2016 that I would not be able to renew with them as of 01/01/17, so I had to get new insurance. Well, that was fine until I found out in November that due to the new insurance options available to me, I was not going to be able to keep my primary care physician of at least 18 years. No, I could not keep my doctor. Let me tell you how much Obamacare has impressed me over the years. NOT ONE BIT! So, I went in search of a new doctor.
That became a rig-a-ma-roll. The Molina website told me I was able to pick my friend’s doctor until the very end of the process. I am assuming here that it is because that doctor is in a different county than the one I live in that I was not able to select her. Thankfully it did turn out that I found a doctor’s name that I recognized. She was a former client at an accounting firm I used to work at. I called the CPA that had the account and asked for his opinion. She is now my new primary doctor.
My six month follow up was coming up due in March. I needed to get an appointment with this new doctor so it would be ordered. I took care of that, and she put in the order for a bilateral 3D mammogram. I should hear from the hospital within 24 hours to get that scheduled and here is a copy of the order for your records. Great! This is moving along great!
But it really was not. A week went by and I heard NOTHING. So, I called the doctor’s office. They said that sometimes the orders take a bit to get processed, but they would send it over again. Fast forward to a week later. I still had not heard anything. This time I called scheduling myself. It was a good thing I didn’t have my blood pressure checked that day.
The lady at scheduling was rude. Flat out RUDE. She said there was no order, and I am not even in their system. I told her that I am a new patient, and I had a copy of the order I would be happy to send over. I would be glad to give her the info needed to set me up. I really needed to get this mammogram. She told me that they can only accept orders sent to their computer. Ok, great, give me the number. I will send it right over. She gave me the number and hung up. Seriously. I faxed over the order. And waited.
Yet another week went by. My head is filled with thoughts of what if this is cancer? Is it spreading? Will I need to miss work? It’s tax season! I can’t miss work! I called my doctor’s office again. The receptionist would look into it. Great. Thank you! 48 more hours pass and still nothing. I called the doctor’s office again. This time I yelled. I said listen. I just want to know if I have cancer or not. Can you understand that? I need this mammogram to know if I have CANCER. She said, you still haven’t heard from them? I said NO! Why do you think I am calling you!? Ok we will call over there. Ok. Great.
Within 20 minutes I received a call from the hospital. A very nice woman apologized several times and took all of my information. Great! Let’s get this scheduled. Two weeks later I was going to finally have my mammogram. YAY! Oh, but wait, we need the images from the other place for comparison. I had signed the release forms, but nothing was sent to my new doctor nor had the mammogram images been sent to the hospital. I went to the prior place and picked up a CD with my images. There! We were finally all set! YAY~
But we really were not.
The day finally comes, and I am nervous. I get to the hospital for my 8:15am appointment. Great, I should not be too late for work, and we can get this done and figure out the next step. They took my CD and my printout of the information I had regarding the mammograms from August. We did the 3D mammograms, and I was told to just wait in this room and they would be right with me. An hour later, they come in and say that they are still trying to download the CD. Really? Um, Ok. Another hour later they come in and tell me that the 3D images from August were not on the CD and they really want me to do an ultrasound. I said no. I said if you have nothing to compare these images to, I am not paying for a test that you may not even need. So I signed another release form, and I left.
They called the next day. They got the images from the August 3D, and the nodules are more prominent. They would like to do the ultrasound. Ok great. We need to figure this out. OH, by the way…my insurance won’t be paying for this because I did not meet the deductible yet! So $1876 later, I was getting myself an ultrasound…two weeks later.
I will say that the ultrasound technician was incredibly wonderful. I really liked her, and I hope they send me one of those little surveys so I can tell them that.
We did the ultrasound. I told her that I was VERY nervous. I barely slept the night before. I felt sick to my stomach. I figured at this point I should start planning for chemo and missed work an how the heck we were going to figure out how to pay these bills.
Good news! For real! I have cysts. The cysts line up well with what they saw on the mammograms. This is good. No cancer. However, I do need to go back in six months for another round of 3D mammograms and ultrasounds. Maybe by this next round the insurance will actually pay for some of it. For my peace of mind, I will be going in six months to go through this process again. Hopefully now that I am in their system, it will go much better for me. I can hope!
Please be sure that you are your own best health care advocate. Speak up. Call. Make a pest of yourself. You need to take care of yourself.
I prayed a lot. I thanked God above for answering my prayers. To be continued in six months…..