Yesterday, despite being tired, I motivated to finding solutions to my current problems which I have control over. The porch is clean and maggot and fly free. I called the doctor's office to set up this wonderful transportation through Mass Health and the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, and I waited for a call back from Maria.
The call never came on Wednesday. Thursday morning I get back on the phone, ring, ring, ring, "Hello, I need to speak to the girl about transportation, I called yesterday."
Karen "You need to talk to Maria ~ she is not in today. She said it takes 30 days for the transportation to be set up."
Me, "Thirty days, wow, well, I am sure I will need to go back to Springfield for my follow ups and possibly surgery, good thing I called (and have at least a back up ride for Monday). Can I speak to Dr. Yee, I heard she can file it electronically."
Karen "It is Dr. Yee's day off. She won't be in until tomorrow." Me "Do you think you can have her call me then?" holding off the irritation as I thought to myself, (okay, I said it outloud) if you guys ordered the proper test the first time I wouldn't have to go through this invasive procedure", trying to hold it together before my tea and cig.
Slight loss of control as I did get a little (or a lot) snappy in my pre caffeinated state. Mind you, I just got off the phone with Robin in Springfield, checking to see if I will be there Monday and who also knows about the transportation form!
I reeled in my emotions and phoned the BRTA to gather information. I spoke to a nice lady there who told me it was three to five days and could be filed electronically. None of this thirty days bullshit. What the fuck ~ do people just pull imaginary numbers out of the air in order not to do their jobs?? (Apparently Maria is one of those people!)
It is frustrating enough to prepare for something difficult without getting the run around ~ my question is ~ why do they add more stress and problems for patients? Obviously, since I have been complaining about my inability to walk since as far back as October and all I get from the Osteopath is "I don't feel any heat so you must be fine ~ take some ibuprofen.
I didn't realize that hands were diagnostic tools! I must be from a different planet to think that science and medicine go hand in hand, not that some peoples hands are magic tools that feel all and see all and the lack of heat present through said hands means that everything is fine and hey ~ I don't need to walk anyway!
The woman at the BRTA did offer a suggestion ~ go through the doctor I am going to see in Springfield. Great idea, they actually do work and help people there so I thanked her and set off to dial up Robin. Robin is eager to help, but has never done it before since they are a specialist, most people have primary doctors who take care of their patients needs.
So it occurred to me, as I was writing this (to purge the excess negative energy from my body and brain!) that someone has to be covering for my primary today. So I pick up the phone and call back and speak to Karen again.
"Hi Karen, Jennifer here again, I apologize for earlier, I am just frustrated and I wanted to let you know that it only takes 3 days advance for that transportation approval and not 30 days as Maria is under the impression for starters, and is someone covering for Dr. Yee who can write out this prescription ~ after all it is only a prescription???"
Karen, "I did leave your message for Dr. Yee. Dr. K is covering. Hang on a second." On hold for a few minutes and then "Can we call you back, what is your number." "The same one I gave you ten minutes ago, and I rattle off the number (again), "What doctor are you going to?" I provided that information as well and now I wait...some more!!!
The bitch of it is, I had great doctors here when I left for Williamstown. Long term doctors who knew me before and after my accident, who treated me and knew about my low tolerance for meds and high tolerance for pain. Doctor's who know that I do not seek medical attention unless it is absolutely necessary and I am not chasing drugs.
I took their poison for 8 or 9 years and the best thing that ever happened to me was my meds getting stolen and the thieves trashing me to my Williamstown Doctor who did not feel comfortable prescribing meds to me , and wouldn't even speak to me on the phone! (funny huh? If you knew me it would be!)
Into a very dangerous withdrawal I went from opiates, painkillers, nerve medication, antidepressants for nerve pain, seizure medications for nerve pain (oh, did I mention ~ they told me I didn't have nerve damage, but gave me a surplus of meds for nerve pain!!!) I did not seek medical attention and hoped that it would kill me (the withdrawal), it didn't and I am here and well, but it lead to my boycotting medical treatment for a number of years. Not one of my smartest moves!
When one lives a reactionary life they don't always make the smartest decisions in the heat of the moment. That is true (or was) of me. Part of that work I have been doing on myself is learning how to not react too quickly or negatively. There is always a solution and it is easier to find when you are not reacting to a situation!
Since coming back to Pittsfield, it became necessary to go to the emergency room after a fall a few years ago. I had to do a follow up with a primary which took me to a "Family Clinic". When I met my non English speaking doctor (not even clear broken English) we shook hands and she told me three times in 2 minutes that she does not prescribe narcotics. No hello's just I don't prescribe. I told her that was fine I am not looking for drugs ~ I was there for a shoulder problem.
She did a physical, ignored the shoulder, did bloodwork, lectured me on smoking cigarettes, gave me a card to quit smoking and made another appointment. Shoulder? Took her 6 months to order an MRI (telling me I never mentioned the shoulder) ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!
When the results came back I had not one but two tears in my rotator cuff. Never complained my ass!!! Never mentioned it?? Once a month for 6 months I mentioned it ~ do you understand that broken English you speak?????
Needless to say I fired her after she gave me the results and upon getting my records (which she said I could get) I almost got arrested at the front desk asking for them! Welcome to Pittsfield, the land of a great Medical Center (as long as you are not poor and can be labeled a "drug user"), which is how everyone that is not in that elite group is classified.
It burns my ass so much that I will suffer in pain in silence. Now it is beyond a matter of principle for me. If you have been reading my blog right along you have watched me go from no doctors to baby steps to regain my faith in this city and their band of professionals.
Trying to seek out Doctors who know me and building that basic trust. Dr. Yee was outside my realm of someone I know. I am still trying to have faith and trust in her. Dr. Kaye in Springfield ~ I trust 150% He was the one that gave it to me straight on how I could be fixed (not just the band aid).
There is a glaring difference between the medical care and attention you get in Pittsfield versus the care you get from the Doctor's in Springfield. I am sorry, I am not making it up at all ~ things that take months here take days there.
I saw Dr. Kaye on Friday and on Monday his staff was calling me up to get the next step going for that week. That I had to put it off for a week in order to arrange my ride was on me. When I saw Dr., Dasco who is doing the test, on Tuesday he set up the procedure for Monday to give me time to get back there and set up a follow up for Thursday to give me time to recover for two days flat on my back!
For me, there is no contest. There should be no difference in the care I get there, here or anywhere. It shouldn't make a difference if I am the "right" person, know the right people, income status, etc., to determine the level of health care I get, or more to the point how I get treated by doctors due to the circumstances of my life which was brought on by something out of my control!
In a perfect world, this would be so, but I live in this one where you get what you get based on who you are, who you know and that is a fact Jack!