Written on May 22, 2012 by Kristin Anderson
My father is a doctor. My mom is a nurse.
I was raised around doctors, hospitals, doctor’s offices.
And this was before I became a professional patient. I have worked an inordinate amount of time in medical facilities. I clearly have a fascination and comfort level with these places.
That is, until I have to step into them for my own care.
When it comes to my medical appointments, I avoid, procrastinate and find all reasons to stay out of the doctor’s office. My ability to avoid has become all the more consuming as I try to build my new healthcare team.
When I ventured out on my first medical appointment, I was excited and optimistic. I found the office! Ka-ching! The front desk staff was nice! Double ka-ching! The resident actually did a very thorough, sensitive healthcare intake!
But then the doctor walked in. She gave me five minutes. Sound familiar? She never asked for my history. She never laid a hand on me.
She was a pain management specialist and never laid a hand on me.
She ordered me to stop a vital pain medication without instructing me how to taper the medication.
She told me my significant number of trigger points — which cover my upper and lower body and cause all who touch me to grimace in horror — were not so significant.
The doctor walked in. She gave me five minutes. Sound familiar? She never asked for my history. She never laid a hand on me.
Every time I spoke up, she cut me off. I left that appointment in despair, frustration and eventually, anger. I paid a $40.00 co-pay for those five minutes.
This week, I received a bill from the facility for $221.25. Puzzled, I looked it over and pulled up my EOB. Still puzzled, I called my health insurance company.
“Yes, the facility also charged you for your appointment and the insurance doesn’t cover this charge.”
$221.25 for those five minutes. And I wonder why I avoid the doctor’s office.