The Monday Peeve – 55

 The Monday Peeve is where Paula Light invites us to vent about something that is annoying us. I try not to let too many things (outside of politics) get to me. But today was yet another attack on my sensibilities.

I called the medical center early this morning. After being on hold for an extended period, I was transferred to a different office. I did not want to talk to the people in the office 40 minutes away, I wanted to talk to the office 15 minutes away, whom I had called. After more transfers, I was back to the office I called. Not a good start to my medical adventure.

I explained that my back was in agony and I needed to see someone. I told them this has been going on for 3 weeks. Happily, they told me I could see the NP today and offered various times that were available. I accepted the earliest appointment. I figured I would do a few other chores after the medical appointment. The fewer times I leave the house the happier I am.

Once I checked in, I politely told the front office that my patient portal had indeed stated that I was to see the doctor for my well check at the beginning of September, and not the NP. She said that I did get to see the doctor, so all was well. I explained that I was grateful that I got to see the doctor, but that was the plan all along even from their front office. I had the appointment for 4 months. She started to get defensive. I again stated that I was glad I saw the doctor because I had some concerns and the doctor took a lot of time to listen to me. (Not that I gave her much of a choice.)  I also reminded her that I am not on Medicare so when I have an appointment with the doctor, I should be able to see the doctor.

As today’s visit was a same day appointment I was more than willing to see the NP.  After the usual questions about what meds I was on and taking my stats, the NP came in. She did an exam of my back and neck. Then she asked when this all started as well as what I had tried. I explained about the Epson salt baths, the prescription strength Motrin, the heating pad, the back massager, the Biofreeze, and the acupuncture and chiropractor treatments. She manipulated my legs and back to see what hurt. Most everything did. I was happy that I was not getting a rushed exam.

She advised I continue taking the Motrin for my back as well as my hip. Her evaluation was that I did something to strain my back, which is very possible. She ordered x-rays of my back and sent a prescription for muscle relaxants. She told me to take the Motrin whenever I am in pain. (I guess she didn’t realize I am in pain most of the time.) I brought up my concern about the Ibuprofen on my kidneys. She agreed that too much would definitely cause damage. So, my question was how much is too much. Of course, she had no answer to that. It is frustrating to be told to do something. But don’t do it too much, and by the way, they have no idea what is too much. 

I left there and got Annie her dog food at the pet store. Then I went to the other medical center where they do X-rays. They don’t take appointments so it was a crap shoot if I would be there minutes or hours. I made it through the screening and checked in at radiology. I only had to wait for 15 minutes so that was great. The tech told me she would be doing films of my neck and middle back. I was surprised because the main issue is my lower back. She asked me to call the doctor’s office back to see if they could add it to the order so I would not have to make the trip again. There was no cell service in the lead covered room, so the tech asked the check-in station to call the doctor’s office. They were at lunch of course. The tech returned and said she had read the orders incorrectly and I WAS supposed to have a full spinal set of x-rays. Just another glitch in the medical system. 

After the x-rays, I went to the pharmacy to see if the prescription had been filled. It is not an automatic given that things get filled on time. The pharmacy tech got all strange when I asked for my prescription. She handed me over to another tech who said the order did come in, but the insurance company would not pay for it. I was beyond frustrated. I could not understand why if it was deemed necessary for my treatment, why the insurance company refused to cover it.

The pharmacist came over to the counter and asked if I was over 64. I told her I was, and she informed me that no insurance company will provide a muscle relaxer to anyone 65 or older. I was appalled once more. She explained that insurance companies worry that if someone over 65 takes a muscle relaxant and falls when they wake up, then the insurance company will be held liable. I asked the price of the meds. $50 dollars for 10 pills. I didn’t feel like I had a choice. I will only take them as needed and hopefully, I won’t need them for long.

The pharmacist and the techs were all complaining about the lack of availability to get proper treatment once you are over 65. Just when you really need to be taken care of, you are treated like less than an equal. Ageism at its cruelest.

My peeve for the day, week, month, and year is that just because I reached 65, it does not mean that I am dispensable.


28 thoughts on “The Monday Peeve – 55

  1. This is really very bad way to treat people over 65. In my country, we pay mostly ourselves for doctor’s visits and meds. But all that is affordable. Specially the meds. Something that costs $35-40 in the states is less that a dollar here !

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It is. We really don’t have an integrated health insurance here but we can visit a doctor whenever we want. The fee is 3000/- in our currency which translates to around $20. Then the meds aren’t that costly either. My monthly supply for all meds including my glucometer strips is 7000/- in rupees which translates into $ 40 or so.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lauren, our healthcare system deteriorates more every day. I am going thru similar issues with GI problems and xan’t get to speak to my dr….appointments are a 4-5 month wait….messages go back and forth and are days between responses. That’s after having to call to remind them I’m not getting answers. It’s only gonna get worse if you know who is re-elected! Hope the meds help you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s really unfair to people over 65. How can they do something like that!? Even I’m frustrated. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling. Just like Sadje, in my country too very few have medical insurance. And medical care is affordable without insurance too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes,, pretty much. If a prescriber decides one thing, the insurance co should not get in the way. I’d have thought that could make them equally liable – denying treatment that a doctor has recommended.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren, as I told you, even my MIL was prescribed muscle relaxers and Medicare paid for them – she was 84. I know in your case it is not Medicare, but it is extremely frustrating nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s not right is it. Since I hit 60, the only good thing has been that my prescription medication is free.
    I am on Naproxen for my back which is ibuprofen based so I have the same kidney concerns. I don’t take them all the time as paracetamol is usually enough but sometimes I need something stronger.
    Our health service here is very hit and miss. Our local doctor’s surgery is much to be desired, and Hubby’s recent operation goes from one extreme to the other (I haven’t done a post yet on the latest development). All I can say is the treatment he has received at the A&E 30 miles away has been brilliant. Hope you feel better soon Lauren

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Tell me about it! We don’t have health insurance as we can’t afford it but our endowment insurers stripped our policy of all profits as it still had ten years to run and they were using similar means of funding to pay out against policies due to mature that year. We’d been using it as a savings plan and cashed it in later using that and our savings to pay off the remainder of our mortgage. Best move we ever did.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. In India, you can most meds for free at Government hospital if you have Adhar card and the prescription from a government doctor. The pain is to get the doctor to see you. X-Ray, Ultrasound, doctors are free. The only challenge is to ensure they are not sleeping in their room.

    Liked by 1 person

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