Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I know this surprises no one, but hey, I feel like crap!  I never truly feel COMPLETELY well, but I had been managing pretty well since I stopped passing out all the time and having random chest pain.  (For those of you playing the home game, we decided that the passing out was orthostatic hypotension that was made worse with being dehydrated by our 9 million degree summer, and that the excruciating chest pain is the worst heartburn ever experienced by... anyone.  Not fun, but also not going to kill me.  YAY!)  Anyway, I saw the allergist about 6 weeks ago (right before the wedding) and got tested for every allergen known to man, and surprise, I'm allergic to practically everything.  I've even collected NEW allergies since my last testing, which showed I was allergic to everything outdoors and most things that live indoors.  Now I'm allergic to nuts!  All I could say was, "Thank God peanuts are legumes," because seriously?  If I had to give up peanut butter, I would cry.  A life without peanut butter is simply a life not worth living, in my opinion.

Anyway, so I had all of this blood work done.  This turned into a giant insurance snafu, because I was told (BY MY INSURANCE COMPANY) that I didn't need a referral for lab work, so I went to Virtua to get it done, and I was told that I needed a referral, but that the doctor could put it in anytime up to 90 days after my lab work was drawn.  So, I got the blood drawn (10 tubes later) and it was sent off to the magical land of laboratory testing.  Of course, I had changed general practitioner's (GP's) because even though I looooooved (with lots of o's) the one I was seeing in Philly, it was impossible to get an appointment with her.  I would call and say that I needed to see her, and they'd tell me that I could see her in 2 months, or that I could see her PA in 3 weeks.  I'd love to see the PA... but my sinus infection will be gone in 3 weeks, and I'd like to not die before then, so... that's not helpful.  On top of that, if I DID manage to get an appointment, if I was home sick, the last thing I want to do is take the train in to center city, or worse, drive over the bridge and fight to find parking.

So... yes.  I loved Dr. Sherif, but since we fixed my insulin resistance issue, I really no longer need her services.  Soooo I changed my GP back to Dr. Braverman, who is in Cherry Hill about 15 minutes from the apartment, and I had seen him through high school and most of college.  He's a nice guy, a decent physician, and it's (relatively) easy to get an appointment with him when I'm sick.  I hate his secretary (because she's a huge bitch) and the office looks like it's from 1970, but whatever.  I called the office to tell them that I needed a referral put into the online system, and that it needed to be backdated to 10/27, when I had the lab work done.  The secretary told me that I needed an appointment.  I told her that there was nothing acutely wrong with me, I just needed a referral for the labs.  She told me that Dr. Braverman doesn't put in referrals without seeing his patients.  I said that I had already HAD the lab work DONE, it just needed the referral.  It went on like this for awhile and finally, I gave up and made the goddamn appointment.  I went, he asked why I was there, and I said, "I HAVE NO IDEA, ALL I NEED IS A REFERRAL".  He did a cursory exam ("Ah yes, you have a heart and lungs") and then told me that he'd put my referral in.  I asked if he could also put the referral in for my endocrinologist appointment, which is December 14th... he said I had to come BACK in that week to see him before he could put in the referral.  I didn't even try to argue and just made the appointment.  SIGH.

So, a week or so later, I called my insurance company and they told me that no, there wasn't any referral in the computer yet.  I called the office, who said that they would check.  They called me back and said that the doctor had put in the referral.  I called the insurance company a few days later.  Still no referral.  I called the doctor's office, who said they'd give me a copy of the referral (thanks?).  I now have a completely useless copy of my referral, and still no referral in the online system, which means I still technically owe the hospital over $4,000 for lab work that is completely cover-able.  I called the insurance company again yesterday to see what was up, and I was told that, surprise, still no referral was there, and that my doctor should call AmeriHealth's provider help line, so they could walk him through putting in the referral.  I called the office again. (I spend a lot of time on the goddamn phone, can you tell?)  I told them that the referral was still not there, and yes, I understand that I have a copy of it, so he clearly did SOMETHING, and no, I cannot just mail them the print out of my referral because clearly, it is not showing up.  I told them to call the help line.  The secretary told me that the doctor puts in his own referrals, and he doesn't know what else to do, and that he doesn't have time to call a help line, they have to call him.

And then I threw the phone out the window. Okay.  I said I'd call the insurance company again, which I did.  They are about as baffled as I am that this is taking so much collective effort, and the nice lady on the phone sent an email to their network coordinator to tell her to call the doctor's office... even though he is COMPLETELY CAPABLE OF PICKING UP A GODDAMN PHONE AND CALLING THE HELP LINE THAT EXISTS EXPRESSLY FOR THIS PURPOSE.


So, now I'm waiting again.  And I think that as soon as this is completed, I'm changing doctors because this is RIDICULOUS.

ANYWAY, so I got this blood work done and it was mostly normal, which surprised no one, because I am the best at feeling like absolute crap and having no blood work to back up my symptoms.  The only abnormal things were my IgE level, which means nothing more than "I am an allergic disaster" (as IgE is the immunoglobulin that rises when you have an allergic reaction), my ANA, which was 1:160 and homogenous which means... I have anti-nuclear antibodies that are theoretically attacking SOME part of my body that they shouldn't be, but that I don't have any actual, identifiable, auto-immune disease like lupus or scleroderma or anything (which is great, because those things kill you), and I have IgM antibodies to Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which means I had atypical pneumonia some time in the last few months... which is interesting b/c I was never diagnosed with pneumonia.  SO THAT'S FUN!  LoL.  Anyway, I'm assuming the doctor today will have something to say about all of that.  Or maybe he'll just pretend it didn't happen.  Who knows?

On top of my kind of weird lab results, I started feeling crappy again.  All of my joints hurt, I had a 14 hour migraine on Friday that I have left-over headache from, my back is killing me, I have bizarre heartburn, almost everything makes me nauseated, and I want to sleep for approximately 13 hours a night.  Great.  I don't know what any of that means other than "I'm broken!" but it still sucks.  I guess I'll explain all of this to the doctor this afternoon and we'll see what he says.  I'm bracing myself for "Well, there's nothing conclusive..." and a subsequent suggestion of anti-depressants or something about fibromyalgia (which I don't really believe in, despite having been diagnosed with it at one point...).  So yes, that's my health, up to the minute.  Constantly failing in one way or another.

In other news, it's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving... what the crap is THAT???  Where did November go??  How is next weekend December?  I am working tomorrow, but hopefully leaving a little bit early (or at least on time, if I get in at 7:30 like I did yesterday and today), and then Thursday we're having dinner at Levi's house in Philly... although I'm not sure why he's doing it there, since there is nowhere to really sit, and their kitchen is tiny.  It's supposed to me, Ken, my mother, Levi, and his roommate Rick, so if that's the case, Levi and Rick should come cook at my mother's so we can all stay on this side of the bridge.  But whatever.  So, I'm supposed to make apple pie (Levi has requested 2), and mashed potatoes... Levi and Rick are making the turkey and the stuffing, my mom is bringing spinach... I don't know what else.  Maybe I'll make bread.  But yeah, so that's Thursday.  Friday... I am working because my job is lame and I refuse to use paid time off when I'm not actually doing anything... and I should seriously just HAVE that day off b/c no one else will be here and it's stupid for me to be here, but... whatever.  Saturday, my mom is cooking Thanksgiving II, and Aunt Kathy and her husband Jack are coming up from MD... and Levi is supposed to be there... and Ken and I will be there, obviously.  And then Sunday... doing nothing.  Yay!

It's 12:30... I should investigate some kind of lunch, and then go consent some patients, and then get the heck out of here to go to my appointment.  I have class tonight, but I decided that I am not going because I hate it and we just had an exam, and we don't have a quiz... so I'm not going.  Unless I find out there's a quiz. Then I'm going.  I guess.

Until then, working, doctor's office-ing, and then home to take copious amounts of drugs to try and solve this pain problem.  Ow.

- A

1 comment:

  1. Oy, that doctor and his office sound totally ridiculous. It can't be that difficult to put a referral in, for real. But I hope you feel better soon! And happy Thanksgiving!


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