The Final Straw

Switching Dr’s… problems with billing… problems with u/s results…

I’m switching Dr.’s:

1) I shouldn’t have to wait this long for test results.

2) I shouldn’t have to have a go around with billing at the  hospital because the doctor’s office receptionists can’t take a copay. The last time I go to the doctor the receptionist tells me I have this outstanding balance. I know. I had just gotten a call from the hospital saying my credit card was declined, the one I was trying to pay my bill with. I tell them it shouldn’t have been and resend the bill. I then find out why. My credit card was compromised and was shut off by the bank. Well, we wait… and wait… and no new statement. Finally, three days ago, my husband gets the bill we were waiting for. And he promptly pays it. Then I get a phone call today  (the 29th – as I had begun writing this post on the 29th) telling me there’s a new charge (from my doctor’s visit a few weeks ago). OK. So I called my hubby and he confirmed that he’d paid the old bill. But I told the lady on the phone  that I wasn’t going to pay via credit card over the phone, and she got pissy with me! I told her that I’ve had a credit card compromised and she said “we can send out a paper statement, but this will be going to collections!” EXCUSE ME??? No it will not. I will be going straight to the hospital’s billing department Monday morning and complaining about this. The billing is a) not even overdue b) already PAID and c) I have the right to request a paper statement. I am not required to pay via credit card.

3) That pain in my lower, left abdomen/pelvic region is back – and bad. I’ve had it now since Thursday late night, and it’s persisting. It’s a vague, dull ache the entire time. And then, on top of that, I will be stricken with an intense colicky pain. I’ve been putting heat on it (oh, Endofemm, how I love thee…), but for now, I am abstaining from any pain meds (even Tylenol). Even though I haven’t had a migraine in ages, with the lack of sleep due to late-night schoolwork sessions one may come on, and I need to have a clear system for my midrin.

4) Dr. felt that pain wasn’t endo related, wasn’t ovary related either, but had to be ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis. So, yeah, we are back to that again. But here’s the kicker. She was supposed to refer me to a gastro – not the same guy who biopsied my inflammation the last time and then told me it was “seasonal” – but the nurse never called me with the appointment. I’m perplexed. And what I think is funny, is that even if it were something like diverticulitis, all I eat is whole grains and fruit! What would the doctor be able to do for me?? I’ll tell you exactly what will happen: I’ll get a colonoscopy – it will be fine – they’ll say “nope, it’s endo – my doctor will say, “BUT you looked good!” – and I’ll be back at square one, in pain and frustrated!

Solution: Get a new doctor. One who will refer me to the doctor they say they will when they say they are going to do it (it’s been a month now!!). One who can see all of my other doctors’ notes, which is vital when you have Sheehan’s. I have a lot of doctor’s trying to balance hormones and keep my migraines at bay. Having a gyno on board that can be really “on board” would be helpful. The two hospitals I deal with just can’t talk to each other effectively. They fax each other and it gets lost because they sent it to the wrong doctor!!! And it takes them 3 weeks to figure this out!!!!!!! I’m just fed up.

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2 responses to “The Final Straw

  1. Found your blog on Yaya’s site…

    Just wanted to give you some good-luck wishes with the new doc and breast u/s. (I went thru the whole breast u/s thing a couple of years ago- like you I had only one breast with the issue at the time, but IT was BENIGN! You will be in my thoughts.)

  2. Endochick,

    I’m so sorry you had so much trouble paying your bill. I have had similar billing battles with healthcare providers that either bill me for services that were not provided at all, double bill me, incorrectly bill the amount, keep billing for things that are paid already, etc. It is shameful that patients have to go through such hassles! I’m sorry you had to go through that. Good for you at not being bullied into paying with your credit card by phone!

    I’m so sorry about your pain.

    I have been putting off a colonoscopy for a very long time. I’ve had diarrhea since the early 1990s. Literally.

    Colonoscopy #1 was pronounced “normal” by a gastroenterologist. I had switched GYNs sometime after that and my GYN referred me to a colorectal surgeon because he believed something was wrong.

    The colorectal surgeon did Colonoscopy #2 and pronounced a “malrotated colon/paraduodenal hernia”. Interestingly, he compared the films from the 2 colonoscopies and told me that I had had this malrotated colon at the time of Colonoscopy #1 – 3 years prior! He seemed to think the 1st gastro did not recogize the problem that was already there in 1993.

    So a month later, I had a laparotomy (large incision/major surgery). The GYN removed endo. The colorectal surgeon did a hemicolectomy… a bowel resection where a foot of my colon was removed. While they were in there, they just happened to notice a carcinoid tumor on my appendix. So they took that out too. That surgery was in 1996.

    Fast forward to the year 2000. After having given birth, I began having cyclical rectal bleeding. For 18 months after delivery, I had rectal bleeding before and during my period every month.

    I had moved to a different city in the meantime. I was referred to a gastroenterologist by my GYN. He was spectacularly unhelpful.

    Eventually, I switched to another gastro. He did a Colonoscopy #3. He said it was “normal” except for him finding some ‘lymphoid tissue’ in the rectal area. I asked what that meant and was essentially told that it was no big deal/nothing to worry about. The rectal bleeding happened for a few months after the 3rd colonoscopy and then suddenly stopped on its own.

    I had laparoscopies in 2003 and 2004 where endo was removed. Whereas I had had endo found in the cul de sac in many surgeries prior, it was NOT found in this location during these 2 surgeries. Given the symptoms I was having, I figured they’d find it there during these surgeries — but the endo was elsewhere. The fact that the rectal bleeding was so predictable/cyclical made me connect it to endo. However, my doctor (highly skilled at removing endo) didn’t see endo in the cul de sac in 2003 and 2004.

    The rectal bleeding stayed away until about 5 months ago. Like before, the rectal bleeding began before each period and continued throughout… stopping when periods stop.

    In January, I had a new symptom that scared me… rectal bleeding mid-cycle with rectal blood clots! I saw my primary care doc yesterday. Every bone in my body wanted to skip mentioning this. I knew if I told her about it, my days of avoiding Colonoscopy #4 would be numbered. I also knew I had to tell her.

    So she told me what I knew she would… I called the gastroenterologist today and asked them to fit me in ASAP, per my primary doc’s request. (I was too damned tired to call the gastro yesterday by the time I drove home from that appt).

    So, I have an appointment set up to see the gastro this month. The receptionist on the phone today was super-nice. Then he will surely order Colonoscopy #4. Bowel preps make me very, very, very ill. My 1996 prep (preceding the hemicolectomy) led to passing 4 kidney stones in 2 days (2 before surgery and 2 after). Obviously the stones were already in there since they don’t just form overnight. But I am convinced that the bowel prep for that surgery stirred them up. I will not ever do that particular type of prep again.

    Anyway, I know the odds are very good that Colonoscopy #4 will be another “normal” one because I have no doubt that endo is the cause of my rectal bleeding. The scary thing for me is that I have never had rectal clots before. While they could be endo-related just like the blood clots I get vaginally, it still scares me. I mean… What if (God forbid) I had colon cancer? I can’t exactly ignore the rectal bleeding now that I’ve had clots rectally and now that I had mid-cycle bleeding.

    Granted, mid-cycle (ovulation time) symptoms can happen with endo and that is probably what’s happening. And I very much do not want a colonoscopy because bowel preps have a violent effect on me.

    For me, bowel preps mean spending a good 12 hours in the bathroom. Either I’m having painful, agonizing diarrhea… I’m vomiting… or both. Generally I’m sitting with a bowl in front of me in case I need to vomit.

    When I manage to make it off the toilet, I never make it out of the bathroom because it’s too risky and because I wouldn’t make it far. So when I do bowel preps, I end up with a blanket and pillow and I lie on the bathroom floor in the brief periods of time I’m not at the toilet.

    So I understand your reluctance at having a colonoscopy. I am dreading mine. I just couldn’t commit a “lie by omission” and not tell my PCP what’s happening. The only person I might be hurting if it’s not endo is myself (well… and my family).

    So I very reluctantly am on the path heading for yet another colonoscopy.

    Jeanne

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