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View Diary: Best healthcare in the world? 50 million will soon be uninsured (260 comments)

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  •  Spot on, nyceve. (2+ / 0-)
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    howd, Onomastic

    I'm a medical "frequent flyer," unfortunately. My medical care is costly, and I have tried desperately to avoid unnecessary costs, but it took me a while to catch on.

    Since my condition is systemic, I see a lot of different docs. It's up to me to keep the information to each of them current, despite some medical record computerization.

    I fight for generics (been a medication tester for too long, which has caused serious side effects including cataracts and glaucoma as side effects from meds, as well as wasting with significant muscle mass loss), I fight unnecessary tests, often suggesting alternatives such as waiting to combine blood draws or wait for a med to take effect. I bully, challenge, do my own medical research, coordinate treatments: in short, I'm forced to take the role of both case management and protection of my health. Indeed, I could write a book on both my medical condition and medical waste.

    The irony? All of my doctors are very good and my insurance is wonderful. I like my insurance company, I like my docs and they like (or are amused/cowered by) me. They are trying to help, but there is a system that is bigger than all of us and all the docs. Waste is built into it. I've had tests duplicated by different docs. Now I refuse and tell them to look at the record unless I think a test is necessary.

    Even worse, not everyone is as capable of doing the above for any number of reasons (access, insurance, information, assertive -- which is very hard to do when chronically ill, BTW, so that's not a blame statement) to be their own advocate.

    I've had my doctors tell me, "Use it. That's what your insurance is for." Oh, my, do they hear it then. When I tell them that my medical insurance costs aren't just "mine," that spending a lot of money on me impacts others by raising others -- and my -- premiums, they seem stunned that I think of the "greater good."

    Sorry about the essay, but I'm pretty passionate about the interpersonal side of illness and how it's handled medically.

    Medical care is expensive. And it isn't always good treatment, no matter the cost and no matter how hard good doctors try.

    BTW, no self-pity here. I have it so much better than many, many others. That's why it's important to me to get into the medical system's face. I figure I've been given a unique forum to do so, especially since one of my docs is using me as a (my term for it) "professional specimen" with med school students. Now I'm gettin' my hooks into them early. ;>)

    So sad.

    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 09:31:32 AM PST

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    •  Bless you bleeding heart and thank you for (0+ / 0-)

      sharing your courage and caring. Your story is an important one. So many folks are cowed into doing what ever they are told to do. Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies are authority figures to many. I know from experience, that if you're in the middle of fighting for the life of someone you love, it can take awhile to understand that just because the doctors, hospitals or insurance companies say so, doesn't mean it's right or necessary.

      All the best to you dear.

      Peace

      "After all, enough is enough." - Jiminy Cricket

      by Onomastic on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 04:30:22 PM PST

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