The Opposite of Healthcare

I’m scheduled to get an MRI a week from today, two weeks after my doctor found a bone chip in my arm after a fall. This sucks. It really does. I get all sweaty from the pain of loading the dishwasher.

Do I really want to whine about my shoulder? Not really, but I want to scream out about a medical system that acts as though injured people are a pain in the ass. We are. It’s true, but why the hell become a doctor or a nurse if you don’t want to help those whiny people who come into your office?

Here in the Northwest, we are the leaders in HMO insurance. Copays, paying the doctors for the list of well patients of on their computers, ten minute appointments. It’s all there, guiding the doctor to do the least that is necessary, to limit contact.

Last week, the nurse spend the first five minutes in the room with me with her back turned to me. What the hell? Are you talking to that computer or to me? If I hadn’t felt so shitty, I would have waited for her to look at ME before I answered any of her questions.

They don’t like it when you advocate for yourself, but I have to tell you that last week, I was so unused to the pain that I was in a fog. I couldn’t advocate for myself. I came and went without anyone making any kind of personal contact. They didn’t tell me about limiting activities, about medications, or why it would take two whole weeks to get scheduled for an MRI. I called my insurance company this morning and I don’t even need preauthorization to get an MRI. The people at the imaging center said I was good to go as soon as someone called to schedule the appointment. The problem, apparently, is that they wrote on my orders that they would schedule it and let me know. A week later, they still hadn’t picked up the phone to schedule my MRI.

Whine, whine, whine.

This week, I’m getting used to the pain and I want to know if I can go hiking with the dog. I need to mow my lawn and vacuum the floor. I need to sit at the computer and type even though it hurts. I have work to do and no one has told me that I shouldn’t.

No one has even told me to go off the anti-inflammatory the pharmacist said I should only be on for five days because it might damage my kidneys. Okay, I’m smart enough that I went off of it, but I’m in more pain than I was. Do they give a shit about that? And as far as they know, I’m still on that shit.

Nope. They probably don’t. And they probably don’t care.

I’m telling you people, if your company offers you the option of an HMO at a reduced cost, don’t take it. Your health is worth staying with regular insurance. When the doctors and nurses around you start getting into an HMO mentality about your care, you’ll be calling 911 from the waiting rooms of their offices, hoping that someone will get to you before you become unconscious. You’ll be living with injuries for a lifetime because they weren’t handled with care at the beginning.

Unfortunately, the poison of the HMO has traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest and across the country because it is a great way for insurance companies to save money. And the doctors? They’ve got 1000+ patients and they could give a shit who you are. You get better answers from WEbMD. Welcome to twenty-first century medical care.

Thank you for listening, jules