Sunday, October 17, 2010

Too bad, so sad

This is the car that belongs to my neurologist.  The 5th neurologist in 10 years.  What happens is that there are 2 established neurologists in town.  But 2 isn't enough.  So another one comes to town, and he/she gets stuck with all the medicare and medicaid patients, even tho the 2 established neuro's are not supposed to refuse medicare/medicaid patients or refer them all to the new neuro in town.  But it happens anyway, and that is why I have never had any continuity of care with my MS since being diagnosed 10 years ago.

The first one, Ms. Iris Broussard, who diagnosed me by saying I DIDN'T have MS... and then was mad because the radiologist finally got pissed at the 5th or 6th MRI she ordered, so he gave me a spinal tap instead, to diagnose the MS... she was a snotty bitch whenever I had to see her.  I was quite satisfied that she had to file for personal and professional bankruptcy and left town.  She never took a medical history from me and if she had, she and I both would have realized that I had had MS symptoms for years previously, but other regular doctors mis-diagnosed the various symptoms over the years.  Yet, when she said "It's not MS", because there were no visible plaques on the MRI's, I went home and Googled MS.  I had had, over the years, 14 of the 15 symptoms listed on the first page I looked at.  I knew instinctively that I had it, but she said nope, and kept sending me for more MRI's.

Me and MRI's don't get along.  I tend to blank out, and the body memories of being sexually molested as a child tend to come out.  It's no wonder the radiologist didn't like to see me coming.

The second neurologist I saw quit me when I lost my excellent insurance, and I had somehow missed a 60.00 bill that the insurance hadn't picked up - not even a month late yet. I had mentioned having to quit my job during my appointment, and he excused himself from the medical exam, and the next thing I knew, his bookkeeper came in and told me he couldn't see me until my previous balance was paid up.  F*ck him.

The MS community is adamant about having a neurologist as your primary care-giver.  Oddly, that was just fine as long as I had insurance.  I noticed the hospital charged the insurance company $800.00 something for each MRI.  But when I lost my insurance, they were kind to me by charging me only $400.00 something.  Doing me a favor, but totally taking advantage of the insurance companies???

The two established neuro's in town weren't taking new patients.  So, I'd see whoever was new in town for a couple of years, because they had to prescribe the power meds for MS (Copaxone or Avonex for me).  Got my yearly MRI, new script, and be on my way for another year, never really getting comfortable with each new doc because I rarely saw them. 

Then there was Dr. Domarad, who didn't want anything to do with prescribing the various pain meds I was on.  So I ended up going to the community clinic here in Rigby, and seeing a "lowly" Physician's Assistant.  The first time I saw her, I was in such pain that I snarled at her when she touched my hands.  Later that evening, she called me at home to tell me she'd found out that a new medicine called Lyrica had just been approved for MS pain.  That is when having MS became bearable for me.  She listened.

The last neurologist, Dr. Southwell, the one who owns the car above, didn't think I had MS, so he made me take all the tests all over again two years ago.  I appreciated his thoroughness, but it was disconcerting to think I maybe didn't have MS after all...  was it all in my head the last 8 years?  After taking my verbal history, doing another MRI, another spinal tap, and more nerve conduction tests... he decided I had Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, but had no explanation for the pain, because MS'er's rarely have pain he said.  Huh.  It wasn't Peripheral Neuropathy, (which comes closest to describing the pain) cause he tested for that.  Huh.  But he was ADAMANT about him being in charge of ALL my care, including my meds, so I switched all my prescriptions over to him.  I didn't understand his objection to the Physician's Assistant, and told him she was alot more handy to me, her being 5 minutes away vs. him being 30 minutes away.  I think he was just a snob about PA's.

So one recent morning, I woke up wondering when he was going to leave town ... based on past history, he'd been in town for about 2 years, so was he going to stay or go?  Literally, the NEXT day, I got a letter in the mail, saying Dr. Southwell had left town, but his office staff would be here thru November, if I wanted my records, and wished me luck.  Huh.  Thanks for NOTHING, buddy.

It also occurred to me that same morning, that NONE of the neurologists, who all insisted on being my primary caretaker, had EVER asked me about the "regular" medical issues.  Things like pap smears or mammograms or any of the recommended yearly testing as one gets older.  (Thanks, Good Morning America for bringing my colon to my attention). What this means - in the last 10 years, NONE of the neurologists have addressed "regular" medical concerns, only looking at me as a MS patient.  Not as a woman with breasts, a vagina, or a colon.  I could have lung cancer for all they know!

I guess I should make it clear that I don't blame these guys for moving on - they're getting screwed by the 2 old-timer established neuro's in Idaho Falls, and supposedly the newbies can't afford to stay here based on what Medicare and Medicaid pays them.

But it's a nice car, don'tcha think?

Best regards,

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