My day began with the cancellation/rescheduling of my skin biopsy. Again.
Let me go back to the beginning of my trying to cope with this monster without my head exploding. I think.
It was January 21, 2017, the morning after one of the darkest days in my life, a day I had spent every waking hour since November 9, 2016, convincing myself would never happen, happened, when first I realized the rash that had started as a series of red spots, each about a half-inch wide on my lower right arm, spread within days to my upper right arm, then to my lower left arm, and now had marched onto my upper left arm were not going away. I called my assigned medical practice. Long/short, after decades of resisting, I agreed to take an antidepressant. [You can read about that here, in an earlier blog post, At Long Last, Medication.]
Here we are, going, three months later, and while my depression is markedly improved, the daily weeping controlled — no doubt also helped by my rationing real life to near total retreat from social media, news media, and, well, most everything — my rash — which I have been told is not technically a rash — has continued its aggressive storming of all of my body’s fronts so that it now appears on torso, legs, soles, palms, everywhere except (so far) my neck and face. Too, where it earliest appeared as spots, it has now morphed into splotches and patches, their newest mutation being a slight raising of the flesh, which progression is now occurring on the chest patches, and beginning its descent to the legs.
I have been back to the doctor five times for this condition. I have been told I might have mange (nope), been medicated with creams and steroids, which did nothing, and, on my last visit, a picture was taken of my rash and sent by cellphone to the actual doctor who owns the practice — a man I’ve never even glimpsed let alone had a visit with — and from his cellphone, somewhere in the yonder, having been told it had been going on and getting worse since January, he directed that he must see me and would do a biopsy. This was early April. When I went to the desk and tried to make the appointment, I was told the first available appointment was in June. I explained the situation — which had been going on in an office not three feet away from this desk — and was miraculously fit in for April 27.
In the interim, another medicine which had been prescribed me was denied by my insurance. Much back and forthing between drug store and practice and insurance company and me, none of which resulted in anything but me wanting to scream. While I had to keep asking questions of drug store, my practice, my insurance — NO ONE bothered to tell me ANYTHING. At every step I had to keep calling and emailing to figure out who had said yes, or no, or appealed, or not, and what had to happen next — none of the provider types apparently thinking it important enough to tell me what was going on, each assuming another of them would be doing so or doing something.
Result being, I wrote a pointed email to insurer/practice saying that the combination of a three-month unidentified rash and repeated dead-end frustration and lack of communication from all of them was undoing the good my antidepressant had managed to do and returning me to suicidal ideation and could someone PLEASE help me? Or, at least, ANSWER me.
Within an hour my practice called, during which call they said, “And the doctor wants to schedule a biopsy of your skin condition — he had no idea it had been going on so long.”
WTF? I calmly explained that he did know, he’d said the exact same thing a few weeks earlier, and they’d tried to schedule me in June, only my objection had gotten me an appointment on the 27th. They then said, “Let me check.”
Well, yes, they said, I did have an appointment on the 27th. They’d see me then. So, imagine my chagrin (though, not surprise, because incompetence and disregard for me, the poor, bottom level insurance patient, seems to be standard operating procedure) when they called me on the 25th, yesterday, to say the doctor would not be IN the office on the 27th and I would need to reschedule.
Again, WTF? But, I did. I rescheduled for today at 4:15. This morning at 8am they called to inform me the doctor would NOT be in the office at 4:15 today and I would need to call and reschedule. I called, nearly in tears, trying to stay calm — you’ve no idea how terrified I am of needles and cutting ANYWAY which would tell you how desperate I am about figuring out what this leprous looking scourge covering my body is and doing something to get rid of it — and now, the only POSSIBLE time he can see me is Monday at 8am. And he is the ONLY one in the practice who can do the biopsy.
Stay tuned. I’m losing it. PS — since all my calls and emails on Friday about the denied-drug issue, not another WORD from this practice, drug store, or insurance company. So, I guess I am again tasked with calling around to figure out what is going on with that.
I hope when whatever this mysterious illness is kills me; or, conversely, the stress from dealing with it and these medical providers from drugstores to insurers to doctors kills me, all of you tens of readers I have will join forces to sue somebody and get the money to my sister to assuage her grief.
AFTERTHOUGHT: I post without further comment this picture of the top searches landing people at my blog. Oh lord. If this doesn’t speak for itself.