Something that we lack. I'm not going to get political about healthcare. I'm very thankful I am one of the people in the United States that has health insurance. And I work for a large corporation so the coverage is good. But still not going to get political, I'm going to get personal.
My issue is with the system as a whole. Not the benefits that my health plan covers or the price I have to pay, but the treatment from the system. I've seen more doctors than I care to count, which includes at least eight this year. EIGHT. I'm not even kidding. I saw five in April and May alone, when I was struggling from a double internal hernia and a gall bladder that needed to come out. Now why did I see five? Because each doctor doesn't offer comprehensive care. They only care about a PART of you.
I saw three gastroenterologists after my overnight stay in the ER for "pancreatitis." (note...I didn't have pancreatitis...that's just the diagnosis they chose to give me.) I was in excruciating pain and they put me on 30 mg of oxycontin twice a day. They ran many tests on me and found nothing, going so far as to say that I had an "abdominal migraine" and basically my pain was all in my head.
I had no doctor to provide any comprehensive care. I had to maneuver the medical system in Portland, finding my own referrals to surgeons and doctors in the area. I had to fight for myself, having no one in my corner (medically speaking) to fight for me. I ended up seeing two surgeons, the second one did surgery the next day. I could have died had they waited longer. Or had I not been persistent and just suffered through the pain.
I've had a migraine for four years. Scratch that, over four years. It started in August 2006. I've seen so many neurologists, tried so many medications, had so many tests that it's fair to say I don't believe there is anything that can help. Yet I'm still seeking, still hoping that some medical breakthrough will come through and my migraines will subside.
I saw a new neurologist yesterday. I had to wait over an hour after my appointment started because he had so much paperwork to go through. And once I saw him he had no new ideas. He had such old paperwork, my last neurologist hand wrote his medical notes so this doctor wouldn't take it as "legal" and wouldn't review them. Thankfully I had a list of my current medications and duration from my insurance company so he prescribed what I needed.
He did think of a "new" idea. He prescribed me a calcium blocker that also is used for high blood pressure, and sometimes used for migraines. Well...he obviously didn't review my records that well, I was on it in November of 2006. One of the side effects was dizziness and feeling faint. And the reason I stopped taking it was because I fell down a cement staircase where I lived.
The problem is and always will be, I am seen for each portion of my body. I have yet to find a doctor who can help treat all of me. I guess for now I have to be my own best advocate and hope that by the grace of God my medications don't overlap in a negative way.
I hope and pray that someday I will be pain free. But for now, I am my comprehensive medical care. And I'm not qualified.