Here is a long quote from a friend of mine battling cancer. It seems that no matter where she goes (she lives in New York) she is hit with amazing cluelessness by her doctors and the insurance company. Initially she was sent home constantly. She was even told it is all in her head. Later she was told “oh you have lung cancer” right off from the doctor as if she was a piece of furniture, with the doctor not even looking into her eyes, just placing check-marks on her notes in the “OK, this is done” manner. The doctor left after and did nothing. This has been now a one-year battle to get her even diagnosed but the saga doesn’t end there!
She had to move so she picked up all she had and moved to a different place—still in New York. New doctors, new hope, new tests. They finally found out that she had brain cancer. OK. So now we know what she has to let’s get treated! Right? No… not that easy!
This is where I now start the quote from her about her latest visit to her doctors (I removed names and adjusted sentences here and there):
Journey on, journey on…Yesterday was to be a visit to the radiologist, after seeing the oncologist on Tuesday. The radiologist was to re-scan my head and then speak with me on the results of the new scans in comparison to the last scans while I was hospitalized. I traveled across the river, over an hour drive, only to find the doctor was NOT doing a scan and he would just chat with me instead? I am not there as a cheap date, I wanted some info, which since I do live in this sick body I feel I am entitled to.
It was one thing after another that put stalls and squeaks into the conversation.
Then it was like I could have the scan done if I wanted it at the same place as my oncologist is…lot closer to my home to say the last. Then it moved on to insurance approvals, he was not sure they would do another at his place and he wanted it down there!
In the meantime, the hospital will not release my records of scans to the new oncologist…NOT IN THE NETWORK!
So here I sit, wondering if or when my brain will blow up and splatter my skull from here to Mars and back.
Then there is the stress of having my 1st chemo set up for Wednesday…but I have not heard back from the oncologist about scans needed before treatment begins…so I feel like I am going in playing blind man’s bluff!
No one seems to know what the next hand is doing, no one wants to speak honestly with me, I have asked but they all take the sugar off the cookie before sharing it with me. It is insane in this medical world…it is more about money and approvals and paperwork; the thing that everyone complains about…what the heck would they do if they had to do REAL paperwork that nurses and doctors once did?
Below is a photo of the crystal and penny shine of the ice clinging to everything on the Minnewaska trail that we must take to get to the river and across. It was my blessing for the day, as well as my friend trying to pull me out of my depression and tears all the way home. I thank you my friend for putting up with my tearfulness instead of cheerful behavior…you have been such a wonderful support to me!
So the journey goes on, nothing much to add in details… I will just let it all go and work on art…work on art…work on art! My saving grace, with all my friends here on FB! Love to you all and may your voyages in life be smoother than the tsunami I have been thrown into!
For my friend, who I honor, and for the doctors, healthcare and insurance administrators who read this, please mind your manners! You are dealing with sick people and not numbers!!
The saga of my friend is worthy of a biography (this is a snapshot of one day! And she has been at this for a year so you can imagine what kind of biography this could make and how it can show the true face of our medical system now!). How did the healthcare system deteriorate in this country to this low?! And no, it has nothing to do with Obama Care so if that is what you want to post, do not! It is because insurance companies are in business to make money on the sick and pharmaceuticals are in the business to make profit off their drugs and doctors who get commission after certain drugs are prescribed or treatments provided that run the system all wrong. It must change.
We need an overhaul where health becomes patient focused and not “in network” or “out network” focused–not to mention money focused!
I hope someone up there above the hierarchy of paper-pushers and money counters will read her story and know that this is one person out of hundreds of thousands who go through these kinds of experiences every day! If you can make a difference in this crazy healthcare system, please do! Contact me so I can help you with similar stories! I have many!
The time I was confronted with cancer, I told the doctors involved to tell me exactly what was going on in my body, what my chances of getting rid of it were, how they were going to tackle the problem, what I could expect from the necessary operations, the chemo, how long it would take, and…….that I would kill them if they didn’t tell me the truth, especially when having messed things up. From that conversation on all behaved like I wanted them to behave. In the end there was one specialist left. We became kind of friends, and he kept guiding me after I was declared clean again, in a professional, caring, and no nonsense way for a couple of years, to make absolutely sure no tumor was left behind or was trying to sneak back in again.
The doctors described here in this section of your blog come across to me as sadistic and incompetent weasels leaving their patients to rot and at the mercy of a bureaucratic system without a soul. Yuck! They should get waterboarded, and then hang over a bonfire to dry.
Next time your friend is visiting one of those creeps, she should ask a ruthless man to wait for the doc outside of his office and gently make it clear to him, the time he comes out, that there will be unhealthy consequences for him if he would keep messing things up for her. Mostly that’s enough, and it could be some hard needed fun for your friend too.
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I agree. I do exactly as you do. Unfortunately in the US many people are intimidated to chills by a white coat. I am not sure why but they are. They forget why they came, they forget their illness, they forget to ask half the questions they were going to ask. I am trying to guide them but rarely do they understand what it means to stand up for oneself. Since I am not like that and I have no problems kicking a doctor where it hurts, I cannot relate to these problems. They do not happen to me either. But you and I are made of a different material most people are. We are strong, have confidence, we know who we are and who our doctors are. They cannot treat us like this.. they are left in the dust if they do. And they know that so they treat us nice and efficient.
And yes, the entire medical field here is messed up; pharmaceuticals are kings, insurance companies are their whores, and doctors are their slaves. The patients are actually simply money making dummies. That’s all.