Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Starting Over

I think I've written before about how important your medical team is when you are a diabetic.  As you age with diabetes you have a team of doctors who know you, and your body. They are constantly checking for changes and helping you address them.  Right now I have a crew of doctors I really just love.  They are my primary care physician, my gynecologist, my podiatrist, two eye doctors (one for regular checkups and the other who works with her to check me for any eye damage caused by the diabetes), the endocrinologist, and my diabetes educator (ok she's not a doctor but she helps me).

It has taken me years to get to the point where I have a team that I like, who all seem to like me (or at least they put up with me) and where I can schedule and have work 2 or 3 appointments at one site in one morning.

And two days ago that all blew up. I got a letter from my insurance company telling me that they are no longer working with Palo Alto Medical Foundation.  And that I would be assigned a new primary care physician at the end of the year.  Since this is a g-rated blog let me just say that the cursing that went with this announcement was very, very blue.

Things were already getting complicated because I'm working for a nonprofit that is going to give me absolutely free insurance when I finish my probationary period.  The only problem was it was Kaiser insurance which would not cover my staff of doctors. I seriously was considering continuing to spend almost $500 per month for my own insurance just so I could keep my doctors.  But now that's all over.

So here I am.  Literally starting over and rebuilding a team, a team which took me since 1998 to put together. I am planning my farewell tour of the doctors.  One last visit to get one last look and to get a copy of my records for my new doctors. 

I cannot imagine the chaos this is rendering in other lives where people are in far worse situations, where they are being actively treated for cancer, heart disease, aids - to be told nope can't see that doctor any more is a nightmare.  There should be a grandfather clause.

So a new chapter in my treatment begins.  But I do find myself wondering - is this all a first volley in a tough negotiation and will there be another letter in a month saying, oopsie, we didn't really mean it, we were having a tiff but it is all worked out.

I'll keep you posted.

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