Friday, February 6, 2009

How I can end up spending the better part of a day on the phone with insurance and the doctor's office

The past week has been incredibly frustrating. I was turned down for three of the five jobs I'd applied for; I didn't hear anything on the other two. My sleep continues to be on and off, which can make a person a little crazy all by itself. I tried to force sleep a couple of nights by taking two Benadryl, which resulted in grogginess the entire day after and still waking up every couple of hours. I took a generic version of Unisom tonight and was (am) up after 2 hours.

My primary-care doctor is about three hours away and so I conduct a lot of business with her via e-mail. My husband's insurance has been hounding me to get all my medications via their mail-order program, so I have been trying to transition them all. There are seven or eight of them. The health insurance took so long to process the initial switch that I ran out of everything for several days, requiring several frantic phone calls back and forth with insurance and the doctor's office, paying almost $20 to have overnight delivery, etc., and after all that neither my antidepressant nor my sleep medication were included. I've emailed my doctor two or three times in the last couple of weeks to have those things transitioned as well. Of course, the emails were never answered and I found myself playing the call-everyone-involved-two-or-three-times game a couple of days ago to try to get those medications transferred to the mail order pharmacy program before I ran out of them, having to request expensive overnight delivery again. My doctor and I have had a long-standing relationship, and she has never had a problem changing a medication for me. Unfortunately, I think her staff is getting their signals crossed now; I haven't had any direct communication with her at all on this issue, and after thinking all was said and done and the medications were ordered, I get a call yesterday from her staff saying I had never gotten the new sleep medication from her previously and that they were just going to discard the request from insurance to fill it--because insurance had referred to it as "a refill". (I had made it clear to insurance that it was a new medication.) Of course, this was left on my voicemail at home while I was out; of course, I received it after their office had been closed on Friday afternoon; and of course, they acted annoyed, like I was trying to put something shady past them, sounding rather indignant with me on the message they left. And of COURSE, the sleep medication is the one being disputed.

Doubly frustrating is the fact that I tried repeatedly to get the fax number for the doctor to send a request for the new medication to insurance, but insurance would not give it to me, preferring instead to fax something to the doctor and have her fax it back to them. If they had simply given me their fax number in the first place, I seriously doubt this would have played out the way it did. I left a frustrated message on the doctor's office voicemail in which I doubtless sound like a total freaking loon, telling the entire story for what felt like the 500th time and trying desperately to say the right polite words at proper intervals.

"How do you not go mental?" a friend asked me not long ago. I chuckled somewhat ruefully; I think it's too late to refer to it as "going" mental at this point.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
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