Medical Mishaps

I have never before in my life been so disappointed in the medical field as I have been this year alone. It almost seems as though my doctor’s office staff is “Out to get me”. From the moment I got the news that I had tested “positive” for colorectal cancer, it’s been one nightmare after another.

First off, I always check to see what insurances my doctor is taking, so that I can adjust accordingly. When she stopped taking one insurance company, I switched to another. I always asked her office manager at the end of the year just which insurance company plans the doctor would be accepting for coming year.

This year, I started being billed for a doctor that was “Out of network”. I called her office manager and asked why I was being billed $190 for a physical (Which should be covered by my insurance as “Preventative”). The office manager’s curt answer to my question was “Because that’s what we charge for a physical.” That’s not what I was asking, I was asking WHY I was being charged, PERIOD. A physical is supposed to be covered 100%.

After I got the test results from the Cologuard test, my doctor wanted me to have a Colonoscopy right away. She told her office staff to fax over the requisition to a colon doctor. I was told I’d hear from the colon doctor in a few days, to schedule my appointment.

A week went by, and I heard nothing, so I called my doctor’s office and let them know. Another week went by, so I called again. Another week went by, and I was getting frustrated. I asked them who the colon doctor was, so I could call and make an appointment. When I called the colon doctor’s office, they told me they’d never received a fax from my doctor’s office.

I then called my doctor’s office to let them know a fax had never been received. One of the office staff told me they had “Emailed” it to the colon doctor. Again, I called the colon doctor and told the receptionist the requisition had been emailed to them. She told me “We don’t take EMAILS, they have to FAX it to us!”

My doctor had wanted me to have the colonoscopy within a month of getting the test results. It was 15 weeks before I finally had the colonoscopy. Fortunately, I did not have colon cancer after all.

Then, there was my mammogram. I hadn’t had one in about 3 years, and was overdue. Fortunately, there was nothing wrong there, either. However, I got a notice from the insurance company, refusing to pay for the mammogram, which should also have been  covered 100%. Then, I noticed that the refusal had come from my PREVIOUS insurance company, that I had not been with for over 3 years.

I went to the imagining center to inform them of their mistake. Nope, they had taken down my information correctly, however, MY doctor’s office staff had failed to UPDATE my insurance information in their files.

Which brings me up to last night, when I discovered that I’ve been taking the wrong dosage of thyroid medication. I thought it was odd that the pharmacy had changed my prescription dosage, however, since I’d been taking a partial “natural” dose in addition to the synthetic dosage, because the manufacturer of the “natural” thyroid medication had stopped making the dosage I’d been taking, I figured this was the new, carefully calculated dosage.

I discussed it with the pharmacist, and he showed me all of the prescription faxes he’d received from my doctor’s office. He had 3 different dosages of thyroid medications for me. I do not know where in the hell this “extra” prescription came from. Plus, as it turns out, the manufacturer of the “natural” thyroid medication had NOT stopped making the dosage I’d been taking before!

Realizing that I’d been on the wrong dosage for 4 months, I contacted a 24/7 medical hotline to find out what the dangers involved might be. The nurse could tell I was distraught, and calmly told me not to panic at what she was about to tell me.

She gave me a phone number and told me “Contact Poison Control”. My legs suddenly became shaky, and I had to get off my feet for fear of collapsing. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I had even thought about going to the Emergency room at the hospital, but the guy at Poison Control said that wouldn’t be necessary. He did, however, suggest that I contact my doctor as soon as possible. I had called her exchange earlier in the evening, but never heard back from her.

I have been told by friends and family that I need a new doctor, but finding a “Female Holistic Medicine Bio Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy” doctor that also takes my insurance plan is next to impossible.

In the meantime, I will just have to be my own health advocate, and hope I don’t end up dead because of gross medical negligence.

 

 

Don’t let them fool you!

Now, anyone who really knows me, knows how opposed I am to invasive procedures to the human body. I won’t go into the gory details of a procedure I had to have many years ago when some random test came up “Positive” for pre cancerous cells. No anesthesia was administered, and it felt like they were ramming a hot steel rod up inside of me. As it turned out, I didn’t have cancer at all, but had to suffer the pain and humiliation of being experimented on (I think my number was picked in a lottery…we need to test this procedure, oh, here’s a guinea pig…).

So, I’m about to be subjected to this torture again, only this time, they’ll give me a shot of some sort of amnesia drug, so I won’t be aware of them making fun of me while I’m under. Yes, that actually happens. Can’t remember exactly how the story goes, but while one guy was “under”, his cell phone recorded the conversation between the medical technicians in the room. I believe he sued them, too.

Oh, and then there’s the part where you’re supposed to bring along a family member or friend, to wait for you while you’re having the procedure, “Just in case something happens”. JUST IN CASE SOMETHING HAPPENS? What are they expecting to “Happen”?! And what is your friend or relative supposed to do? SERIOUSLY? So say you never wake up, is your friend/relative supposed to toss your body in the trunk of their car and figure out how/where to dispose of it? Geeze! That’s quite a load to dump on somebody (No pun intended) who’s not prepared for it!

So, what happens? Does a nurse poke her head out the door and say to your friend/relative “Uh, we had a little accident in here, can you come and get your friend off the table and get them out of here?  No, we can’t help you, it’s too big of a liability, we might drop the body or something. Oh, and here’s their stuff…” (Tosses rumpled clothing and shoes at friend/relative waiting in the lobby).

It’s weird how they have the first part of this all figured out, but nothing after. A friend of mine walked in for this procedure, but never walked out. That’s right, they bagged a nerve on the operating table and crippled her, for life. Did they take responsibility? NO. This happened about 6 years ago, and her lawsuit is still going on.

This is why I’ve put off having this particular procedure done. A back alley abortion is probably safer. Don’t try to convince me otherwise. I’m tempted to set up a camera in the room to record the procedure, not that I’m interested in actually SEEING it, but to have as evidence “In case something happens”. Even if it would be “Inadmissible” in court, it would at least be a warning to others: “Don’t let THIS happen to YOU!”.

I suppose I have the right to refuse the procedure, but Doctors and Insurance companies have their ways of coercing you into this. A teacher I used to sub for said that her doctor threatened to take away her badly needed medication if she didn’t have the procedure done.

I’ve also heard the prep for the procedure is the worst part, which I find hard to believe, since I find invasive surgery to be worse than having to starve for a few days. First, you can’t eat anything for about 3 days prior, you have to stick to liquids, in order to not have anything in your system. Then, the night before the procedure, you have to drink some radioactive material that’s probably toxic, and….if you don’t already have cancer, this stuff will give it to you.

I guarantee that if I LIVE through this procedure (You know, unless “something happens”) I will be posting about it on YELP, and any other site that will allow me to critique what happens. Believe me, they won’t even get half a star…

 

 

The Oujia Board

When I was about 8, I asked for the Oujia Board for my birthday. I don’t know where I’d first seen or played with one, I just knew I wanted one. My parents felt it was harmless enough, and bought me one. I still have it, it’s been out in the garage for over 50 years. Just recently, I got into a discussion on Facebook as to whether or not it’s harmful to own one.

One friend argued that since I have had a “difficult” life, it surely must be attributed to the fact I possess the Oujia board…

In spite of being superstitious, I don’t see the Oujia board as being any more harmful than “Operation”, “Mouse Trap”, “Cootie” or any other game from my childhood. I mean, after all, it’s just a piece of wood, paper, and plastic. It seems ridiculous to me to attribute anything bad that happens in your life to a game board.

I don’t think my life is any more difficult than that of millions of other people. We all struggle with the same thing, jobs, relationships, things breaking down (Cars, houses). On what  do people that don’t own Oujia boards blame their bad luck? Black cats? Broken mirrors? Stepping on a crack in the sidewalk?

What if I did get rid of my Oujia board, and my difficulties in life continued? Then what? What if I got rid of it, and then won the lottery? Would I attribute my good fortune to having gotten rid of the Oujia board?

Sure, I’ve heard all the stories of strange happenings to those who play with the Oujia board, but quite frankly, NOTHING ever happened with mine. The thing didn’t give answers to questions unless the players pushed it along.

I think the last time I played with it, I must’ve been in high school. My cousin and I asked who she would go to the prom with, and it spelled out some guy’s name, that my cousin never came to meet. Sad thing is, my cousin (Who was 4 years younger than me) actually believed she was going to meet this guy.

In spite of my cousin’s petite figure and good looks, she never married. DUNT DUNT DUN….could the Oujia board have been to blame? Come to think of it, I have never been married either!!! Double whammy! We were both cursed….or were we spared?

My cousin now lives in Santa Barbara, but I got stuck here in Fresno (The Oujia board again?). And what would happen if I got rid of it, and nothing in my life changed. I just kept schlepping off to my job everyday, trying to pay my bills and get out of debt. What then? What would I have to blame my “difficult” life on? Should I throw the O away? Someone once claimed that after playing with it one night, along with a bunch of college friends, strange things started happening, so they took the board outside and put it in the garbage can. The next day, they found it back in the house. Of course, she turned out to be a Pathological Narcissist with Sociopathic Tendencies (The Oujia board’s fault? Again?), so I’m not sure how much weight I give her story.

So, back to the question at hand, should I throw it away? Burn it? Or send it (Anonymously) to someone I dislike? I’m beginning to wonder, is there an Oujia board in the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Is that what’s causing all the problems?

 

 

Victory By Submission-Film Review

A few years back, I worked on a couple of scenes for a Faith-based film made right here in Fresno, about a MMA fighter.

I’ve known Alan Autry (Actor/Producer/Director) since the late 1980’s, when he came into the martial arts school I was studying at, to learn how to do a fight scene for a movie. Alan and I became friends, as we weaved in and out of each other’s lives, bumping into one another when we least expected it.

My friend and manager, Carollyn DeVore, was the casting director for this film. It’s always a pleasure to work with Carollyn and the actors from her agency. “Victory By Submission” stars Brett Prieto as “Tommy”. Brett and I had worked on a film together several years back, I always felt he had sort of a “James Dean” quality about him.

Then, there’s Casey Olson, an actual MMA fighter, who has trained with Chuck Liddell. Casey plays “Crazy Dan” in the movie, Tommy’s nemesis.

I was a little skeptical about critiquing the movie, thinking I would not be able to give it a fair critique, since so many of my friends are in it, including myself. (Of course, my 2 best gal pals, who accompanied me to the movie, roared with laughter when my face appeared on the big screen!).

I was more than pleasantly surprised with how well the movie turned out. It actually grabbed me! Filmed locally here in Fresno, CA, I recognized so many of the location shots, and I thought it was as good as if it had been filmed elsewhere, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. There was nothing “corn ball” about it, in spite of how Fresno has been made fun of in movies.

Lee Majors is also in the film. I had the pleasure of meeting Lee a few years back at the Governor’s Ball (The dinner party after the Emmy Awards), which makes it even more special to have been in the same movie as he.

Eric Roberts, who stars in one of my all time favorite Martial Arts Movies, “Best of the Best” is also in this movie.

“Victory By Submission” is a movie for all ages, however, I feel I must warn about the fight scene between Tommy and Crazy Dan. It is so well choreographed, it looks all too real. One of my gal pals, a nurse, was horrified at the fight scene. She’s seen real blood before, but could hardly look at the screen when the actors had blood and bruises on their faces.

I loved this movie, and even bought a copy of the DVD, to watch over and over again.

I hope to see more movies like this in the not too distant future.

 

 

Oklahoma Sun

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Rokki James at the Clearwater Beach Sand Pearl Resort this morning. Rokki James, born Andres Archontakis, changed his name at the recommendation of his …

Source: Oklahoma Sun