Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Doc

I've been seeing a fairly unconventional doctor over the past year to treat low thyroid function, as I thought that might be the root of all the problems I'm having. I'd see him once every month or two, get some blood drawn, and get an increase in dosage for WP Thyroid, but nothing really changed for me. When I finally hit my max dosage of WP Thyroid (2.5 grains), he suggested another increase, which meant I was going to have to purchase two bottles of the medication each month (one 2.5 grain bottle, one .5 grain bottle), increasing my monthly drug bill from $20 to $40.

While Dr. Paleo didn't charge me for office visits, I did have to pay $50 for every blood test, so it was getting really expensive for me to keep doing this. And why would I pay twice as much to keep taking a drug that wasn't working? Doing the same thing over and over again without results is silly. I'd like to point out that if I went the conventional route, I'd probably be prescribed a different generic brand of thyroid medication that my insurance covers at a discount.

But I made the decision last month that I was done with thyroid meds, and started to phase myself off of them. Step 2 was finding a new doctor that could prescribe me something that works.

After getting a list of qualified doctors that were in-network with my insurance company, I made an appointment with the doc closest to my house. I had to wait a few weeks to get squeezed in, though, which caused me some anxiety. I'm never all that excited to have to share my embarrassing background with yet another professional, but I prefer to treat it like ripping off a band-aid. Just get it over and done with.

So my appointment time came last Thursday afternoon, and I arrived a few minutes early, signed in, and waited patiently for the administrative assistant sitting at the front desk to get settled from her return from lunch. And waited. And waited some more. When it was clear she wasn't going to check the sign-in sheet anytime soon, I approached her and introduced myself as a new patient. She was pleasant enough, took my ID, insurance card, and some paperwork I had pre-filled out, and then delivered the news that my one-hour appointment was going to cost $132.

Already I started second-guessing my decision to leave Dr. Paleo.

Unfortunately, the type of appointment I need doesn't fall into the realm of annual check-ups or "preventive care" (although I'm not sure how getting myself out of unhealthy patterns ISN'T considered "preventive care"), and therefore isn't covered by my insurance until I hit my deductible, which is $2500... so really, something catastrophic needs to happen to me in order for my plan to cover anything, at which point they'll cover 80% of my costs.

I thought about walking away, but nah. I paid it. #Desperate

Fry from Futurama saying "Shut up and Take My Money"
Hey, this image works pretty well today too. 
The doctor didn't show up until one hour after our appointment was supposed to start, which made me anxious because this was the middle of the work day and I hadn't expected to be gone longer than an hour. Dr. Paleo usually got me in and out of the office pretty quickly. I was already getting negative vibes from this new place.

When I finally saw New Doc, I didn't waste any time. I shared my life-long problems with food, that he is professional number 127 in a long list of doctors, psychologists, and health coaches I've hired, and I just want to not have to deal with THIS. Ever. Again. In My Life. I outlined exactly which medication I wanted, how long I planned to be taking it, and how I would be able to phase myself off of it in one year's time.

Yeah, I do my research... except when it comes to knowing how much I'm going to be paying for things. Just like I was shocked that the cost of my appointment was $132, I hit the floor when I learned the medication I want costs $325 per month...

Which is why I'm here almost one week after my appointment with no medication in hand. Yes, New Doc wrote the script (only after suggesting a few other ideas, which I dismissed), I dropped it off at CVS, and have been stuck playing a frustrating game of Monkey-in-the-Middle with my doctor, insurance company, and pharmacist about whether they are actually going to fill this prescription or not. I can't afford $325 per month, the insurance company is requiring some type of "pre-authorization" that other methods have been tried and haven't worked (maybe I can send them a link to my blog as a pre-authorization), and the doctor is still suggesting other methods that - based on what I'm reading about them on the internet - I'm fairly certain will NOT work for me.

In other stressful news, the host of the Airbnb I had reserved six months ago for celebrating my friend's 40th birthday tomorrow night has disappeared off the face of the earth. As you can imagine, losing out on your accommodations the day before your trip - especially in Orlando, where everyone and their mother goes for summer vacation and pickings are slim right now - is quite disastrous. I've spent most of the day anxiously trying to get a resolution, and Airbnb helped me get another space. It was more expensive, but Airbnb covered the price difference, and it's not too much further away from Universal Studios than our original place, so at least everything is coming up Milhouse there. Airbnb is awesome.

So you won't be hearing from me until next week after my guests leave, but if I don't have my freaking pills in hand before my next post, heads will roll.

/ranting from an angry (food) addict

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