The No-Show That Wasn’t

Well, I may get to see the doctor after all.

I got a response late Friday afternoon to my complaints over the scheduling (or lack thereof) of my annual exam. It was from one of the attending physicians in the OB/GYN clinic at UAB’s Huntsville offices. It sounds like I will probably get to have the exam and may get the prescription for the mini-pill after waiting over a month.

I am unsure of what you have experienced with the scheduling. Can you clarify for me what date you were in the office and were told that you could not be seen? I notice a cancelled appointment 9/22/15 with a no-show appointment two days later on a Thursday. I apologize if you perceived the interaction as rude, and I will address the situation accordingly, but I will need specifics of the encounter. Our clinical days are limited, and I won’t be back in the office to respond to an email until Monday, but if you call our front desk, I’m sure they can work with you to get you seen in the office.

So I explained what happened back in September. I tried to do it as calmly as possible because I know that if I sound angry that I won’t be taken seriously.

The day that I came in the office & was told I couldn’t be seen was actually the Thursday no-show. I showed up for the appointment and, as I was signing in, was told that my insurance wouldn’t cover the visit, so I could either pay $90 to have a birth control consultation or wait a month. I was then told that someone had already left a message that my appointment was cancelled, which was untrue. I tried explaining how I needed the medicine and asking if I could appeal the decision or do something so that I could still go through with the appointment. Again I was told that, unless I paid the $90, I couldn’t see a doctor that day. That is a lot of money, especially when you’re on a fixed income, so I had no real choice. (I was going off Depo, which was due that week, because of the risk of bone loss. I have Ehlers-Danlos, a Vitamin D deficiency, and family history of osteopenia, so I wanted to avoid bone loss.) I left in tears & have been worrying about my anemia since then.

I was somewhat surprised that they had marked that appointment as a no-show. I don’t know why I would be as I’ve seen updates to my Electronic Medical Record at UAB’s Huntsville clinics where they’ve falsified results.1 I’ve wondered, since the day in September, why they didn’t go ahead and schedule my annual when I was in the office. It seems like they could have, if they intended for me to come back. And that had me wondering if the reception staff at the clinic wasn’t planning on seeing me again. Does that sound paranoid or delusional or something? Because I sort of feel like their behavior has made me feel a little more paranoid or, at least, more anxious.

Anyway, like I said, I’m hopeful I will get my exam and that I will get to go on the much-needed medication asap. This whole situation has been frustrating and tiring. It would be nice for it to resolve already. I’m still waiting to hear back from the customer service people at the insurance company to find out if there are other gynecologists in town that are in network. Knowing their reputation, I would doubt there are. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong.


  1. With my strep tests, one went in and changed the ordering physician from the doctor who saw me at that appointment to the one who had seen me the time before–who hadn’t ordered the test at all. If you’re going to falsify data, you might want to make sure you turn patient notifications off. 

I Need That Appointment

After getting the notice that UAB was closing their OB/GYN office in Huntsville, I sent a request for a first available appointment for an annual exam. You know, the exam that I was I could schedule in October…when they cancelled my birth control consultation without informing me and told me that I could either pay them $90 that I didn’t have if I wanted to get my birth control that day or schedule an appointment for an annual in October and get it then.

Obviously, I should have fucked up my finances even more and paid for the $90 appointment because I got this response to my request:

Unfortunately we are no longer scheduling annuals due to the closure of our office next month. Your last one was 10/14/15 so you can have one at any time. I show you have Human insurance and MC. You should contact Human for a list of preferred providers. Once you find a new Dr you will need to sign a release form for your records. Feel free to call if you have any questions

Needless to say, I was not amused. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I was pretty pissed off, so I fired off this response:

I understand your office is closing, but this appointment is important and time-sensitive.

I went off the Depo, then was rudely told my birth control consultation appointment was cancelled when I arrived for said appointment, and was told that day that I would need to wait until my annual exam at your office to get the birth control prescription. Now you’re refusing to schedule the exam?

This birth control prescription is to keep my anemia in check and prevent me from having to undergo infusions. I’ve already had some bleeding because it has been so long since I had my last Depo. And I’ve already started having early signs of the anemia popping up.

If I am even able to find a local doctor that takes the Humana & the Medicaid, it will probably be 2 months for me to get in, so I would appreciate you making an exception in this case…especially since part of this predicament is on you guys in the first place.

Yes, it’s manipulative.

Yes, it’s abrasive.

Yes, all of that was necessary.

The reality of their office closing on short notice is that it’s putting lives in danger. I know that they still have pregnant patients that they need to see, but they also have cases like mine where birth control is a life-saving medication and they have people who may have diagnoses of cancer delayed by months because they had to transfer their care to another doctor. I am so sick of doctors and their employees acting like routine appointments are unimportant. They may not seem to be important to some patients, but they are actually very important for others.1

And it will take a while to find a doctor who takes my insurances. It always does. Right now, I can’t even get the physician finder on Humana’s website to work. Once it starts to work, I can’t even guarantee that who they list will even taken the insurance.2 What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to let my health get worse? Am I supposed to just pretend like all of this bullshit, douchenuggetry, and dumbfuckery is acceptable? Fuck that. This is my life that they are messing with and they don’t have a right to jeopardize it. I shouldn’t have to sit here and wonder if I’m actually going to get medicine that I need in time to avoid infusions. I shouldn’t have to worry that lately I’ve been cold on hot days and that I’ve been paler than usual. But this is what I have to worry about when medical offices and insurance companies decide to make arbitrary decisions that endanger my life.

I know that neither the office nor the insurance company are intending to harm patients by making these decisions, but that is what is happening/can happen when they cut off proper healthcare.


  1. Actually, they’re very important for all of them. 

  2. Humana has a tendency to list people who don’t accept their plans and not list ones who do. 

Daily Debate: Oct. 8, 2015

Does a culture that promotes purity endanger women and girls? What good comes from a culture that teaches girls that their worth is directly tied to their virginity? Does it also cause irreparable harm to boys and men?

Daily Debate: Oct. 7, 2015

Four percent of websites are considered pornographic; a much smaller percentage than most expect. Many people like the websites while many others hate them; and some who claim to oppose them enjoy them privately.1 I know that they’re a touchy subject2 for a lot of people, but I want to know what you guys think of them. Do you approve of porn? Have you ever viewed it? Do you think that it objectifies the actors? Are people who view porn complicit in any abuses that may go on in the porn industry? Has the industry done enough to prevent things like sexual assault, unwanted pregnancies, and STDs on set? Does viewing porn contribute to issues like pornography and/or sex addiction? Does viewing porn make it hard3 for people to relate emotionally to others? Does it encourage dangerous behavior in its viewers? Or is controversy related to porn exaggerated? Can porn be empowering?


  1. Josh Duggar 

  2. Pun intended. 

  3. Another pun. 

Daily Debate: Oct. 3, 2015

Do you believe that gender roles and gendered play1 should be strictly enforced in children? Or should children be allowed to play with toys that they are most comfortable with, even if those toys are traditionally associated with the opposite sex? Do you think that what kids play with as children impacts their views on gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or overall equality as adults?


  1. Dolls for girls. Cars for boys. 

Daily Debate: Sept. 30, 2015

Abortion is an issue that a lot of people are very passionate about whether they support it or want to abolish it. How do you feel about the issue? Do you support abortion in all cases? At what point, if any, do you no longer feel it is appropriate? Are you feelings about abortion shaped by religion or personal experiences?

Mystifying Contraindications

My designer drug came today.1 It’s actually called Pennsaid2 and has the same active ingredient as Voltaren, which the orthopedist didn’t tell me when he prescribed it. Actually, he didn’t even tell me the name of the drug. I have been twiddling my fingers3 since the appointment wondering what this miraculous anti-inflammatory that he assured wouldn’t put my can’t-take-NSAIDs body at risk of going batshit when it encountered the drug.

I knew when I saw the name that this was definitely an NSAID.4 And guess what? It has the same big boxed “fyi-this-could-kill-you” warning that all other NSAIDs have. It even says that if you have asthma5 or have issues with NSAIDs6 that the drug might not be safe to take. It goes on to say that despite being a topical drug and having absolutely nothing to do with the digestive tract at all, it can cause ulcers. Well, that’s just grand.

I was so proud of the orthopedist for finding something that I could take that might help my leg.7 Clearly that pride was misplaced. I know that I’m more prone to adverse reactions than most people.8 I know that it says that it’s not likely to happen, but that doesn’t mean that it is safe to give it to a patient who has clearly told you9 she CANNOT take NSAIDs. When I tell a doctor I can’t take something, I mean that I cannot fucking take it. I’m not playing around. There are some drugs that I don’t like the side effects of, but will take anyway. NSAIDs are not one of those. I list them with my allergies because I know that they are not just unpleasant, they are contraindicated given my history of stomach issues1011 and the gastric bypass surgery.

So now I’m on alert. I’ll try the stuff a couple more times to see if it’s actually safe. If I don’t react, I’ll keep using it, but I will always be on watch. I don’t think that I’ll be taking it long, though, since I’m already having some nausea, acid-filled burps, and some of the most intense upper abdominal pain that I have ever felt.12 I’m hoping that maybe the pain was me psyching myself out and that the nausea/HCl burps were a result of a little too much of my turkey tacos. If it happens again tomorrow13 then I will know that it isn’t the food. I don’t want to stop taking it and realize a long way down the line that it wasn’t actually making me sick. I also don’t want to end up with a perforated ulcer like Jenn, so I’ll be cautious about taking it.

Anyway, I guess I could start blogging more at night. Some of the other medicine I’m on for the knee issue and for other issues has been keeping me up to 4 AM lately. If I’m up, I could do something sort of productive. Of course I’d have to be careful because the meds do make me a little more loopy-brained than I usually am.

Oh, btw, I want to apologize to anyone14 who got annoyed by all of my tweets today. Over the weekend, I saw that #DefundPP supporters were planning a tweetfest to promote their hatred of Planned Parenthood and their related ignorance of abortion, birth control, etc. I decided to join in, except I would post facts, quotes, personal stories, etc. Basically, I was trying to help give people on Twitter some legit information instead of some bullshit propaganda. I also wanted to piss off the #DefundPP supporters. Considering the tweets that they sent me, I’d say it worked. Between being called evil, being compared to Nazis, being compared to Jim Jones/Jonestown, having my head called fat and ugly,15 and some other pleasant remarks, I’d say that the mission to piss them off was one that I clearly accomplished.

There were some real assholes who decided that because I support access to abortions that I must hate babies and that I must have had an abortion. I think people who jump to that conclusion are like homophobic individuals16 who think that if you’re pro-LGBTQ rights that you must be in the LGBTQ community. Anyway, they determined that I was a baby-killer and that they would encourage their followers to harass me for killing this child that I don’t ever remember conceiving let alone aborting. That was the only tweet that I reported to Twitter because people in that movement can go a bit above-and-beyond on that scary, dangerous behavior.

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah. I’m sorry for flooding some of your Twitter feeds with my #DefundPP tweets. It was for a good cause, but if it was annoying to you, and I don’t think that you’re a horrible human being, then I am sorry for my behavior.

If I think you suck: Who the fuck cares what you think about my tweets? I certainly don’t.

I guess that’s all. ‘Night, y’all.17


  1. My dad got me started on calling it a designer drug

  2. I see what you did there, pharmacology people. 

  3. Or, you know, something else that’s fidgety. 

  4. If it hadn’t been, then I would give the company major props for their attempt at trolling. 

  5. Check. 

  6. Double check. 

  7. It doesn’t work well either. 

  8. Yay genetics! 

  9. As I typed this I thought of Willy Wonka–of the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory film version–in his office at the end of the movie saying, “It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal!” 

  10. My father also cannot take NSAIDs without having his acid issues flare up. He’s where I get the 80 mg Protonix + maxed out Gaviscon = still bubbling with hydrochloric acid stomach from. He also passed along his caffeine allergy. 

  11. Though it’s worth noting that Nana, mom’s mom, goes into anaphylaxis with anything, including skin creams, containing aspirin. 

  12. Considering that I’ve had GERD for around 20 years, gastric bypass surgery, and gallbladder failure that led to gallbladder surgery, I have plenty of experience with upper abdominal pain. Hell, it even ranks up there with the cramps from hell that no other woman in my family has. 

  13. technically, later today 

  14. that I don’t dislike 

  15. and some weird comment about homemade yogurt 

  16. They tend to be homophobic as well as “pro-life” so it fits from that perspective, too. 

  17. Heh. That rhymes.