This place has an amazing array of experts in so many fields, and I find myself at a loss as to how I can help a friend who is suffering. I hope to find some ideas I can share with her as she tries to get on her feet, health-wise.
I will call my friend "Mary." Mary and I grew up in the same small town and our parents were all teachers. Mary spent some extended time living in Seattle and working for a couple of software giants as an editor, but both companies have gone the way of hiring people for a "project" and have not included benefits.
Mary moved to California to teach for a few years and accrued a small retirement amount and had health benefits. Then bad health struck...fibromyalgia, and one doctor told her she has RA. It became increasingly hard for her to work, and then her father died. She moved back to Oregon to take care of her mother who was ill with cancer, and her mother died shortly after.
Her health has grown significantly worse and she is pain most of the time. Once, she went to the ER to see if there was anything they could do--because she had no insurance. They called her estranged brother...a cop....who promptly told the doctors that she was just fishing for narcotics ( untrue) and they sent her home with a lecture.
Eventually she qualified for SS disability so now Medicare pays a little toward her prescriptions that another doctor finally got her. Sometimes I pay for them if she has run out of money.
She called me today, crying hysterically. Her latest doctor "fired her" because a young doctor at an urgent care facility called her and said that Mary had had medicine (narcotics) from two different doctors--without researching why. She had kept her old doctor in Seattle but could not make the trip anymore, so the doctor transferred her prescriptions to a doctor in Portland. All Mary wanted from this trip to urgent care was to talk to someone about adjusting her meds for the next time she picked up her prescriptions. The doctor flipped through her records quickly, saw the names of two doctors and he picked up the phone an "reported her" to the primary care person who had been the intermediary to refer her to the doctor in Portland. She spoke with Mary over the phone and "fired" her, which meant no refills and also cancelled the MRI she was going to have to see what might be going on in her neck.
She is frantic because she feels nobody wants to help her. She is a good person and is not out seeking a fix of drugs.
Does anyone have any ideas of what she can do to find a doctor who will LISTEN to her and EMPATHIZE with her situation. She has no money left..she has been forced to cash in all her retirement just to keep her parent's house running, and to have food and gas for her car. She is in over her head financially and because she is young (52) she does not qualify for a lot of other help.
It hurts my heart to have my friend in this condition.....