Women’s Health

My hope was short-lived. I reviewed your chart with Dr. Light and the front desk. We confirmed that your insurance would not cover the visit, however, we are willing to call in the depo (prior research showed that Huntsville Hospital pharmacy carries it the cheapest in town) but that you would likely have to pay for the depo out of pocket as well. You could bring the depo prescription in to us when your period starts, and that way you’d only be seen as a “nurse visit” for administration of the depo only (cheaper than office visit). I hope this is a satisfactory alternative for you. Are you fucking kidding me? I didn’t want to be on the Depo any more. I don’t ever want to take the Depo again. How did they think that’s what I wanted, when in the last email, I specifically told the doctor, “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.” Going off the Depo had been mentioned in my need for the appointment and in other communications, including one to this doctor, back in September, where I said, “I would also like to change from Depo to the minipill because I’m worried about bone loss.” I know that I’m not always the best at communicating, but I think I’ve been pretty clear about not wanting to ever have another Depo shot. It’s not a satisfactory alternative because it’s not what I was asking for at all. I’ve already been on the depo for a year, have received the shots from you guys every ten weeks until the last one, and wanted to go off of it because of the bone loss concerns–vitamin d deficiency, Ehlers-Danlos, and a family history of osteopenia. I wanted to go on the mini-pill because it still offers the progesterone, but doesn’t have a risk of bone loss. After the September incident, I waited until October, like I was told, to schedule the annual exam so that I could get the prescription for that. Is there any way that I can have my annual and get that prescription instead of the depo that I do not want to take? I get the feeling that I won’t get the appointment or the prescription, but I’m not going down without a fight on this whole thing. I’m sick of being given the run-around. This is a relatively simple exam. You stick the speculum in, then the spatula, then the brush. Not hard.1 And writing a prescription doesn’t take long at all. Why is this so fucking difficult for them to do? Right now, I’m considering going off the Humana completely & going back to Medicare/Medicaid so that I can find a gynecologist who will do my stupid pap smear and write me this prescription. I don’t understand why this has to be so difficult. I don’t understand why every interaction with these people seems to end with me either in tears or foolishly expecting for them to actually do their jobs before finding out that they don’t intend to do them. I’m flexible enough that I could probably do it myself. ↩

Are You Daft?

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. 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. ↩

The No-Show That Wasn’t