On Thursday, after I explained that 10 mg was not helping me cope during that time of the month, as I remained as testy and as prone to flying off the handle as ever, Dr. Old Dude decided to double my dose of Lexapro. I took the prescription to the pharmacist on Friday, and it was there I learned that my new, supposedly "better" insurance refused to cover the sanity medication. I was going to pay for it first and fight for coverage later, but when I saw that the total was $102.99, the fact that the cost had broken into three digits caused me to balk. I decided this was ridiculous! I wasn't going to stand for it! Why do people see fit to tear what little money I have out of my hands? That's a third of a month's rent! That's half a month's worth of groceries and whatnot! You bet your darn tootin' ass I was gonna lodge a complaint somewhere! To the phones, me mateys!
Predictably, according to the insurance, I could do nothing, as my words had no weight. If I wanted those drugs to be covered, I had to contact my doctor and let him handle the matter. This first proved to be an annoyance, as I could not reach him over the weekend, and then became a greater irritant when he was also out of the office on Monday, and finally it became nothing short of a shocker when I finally did reach him this afternoon, and he proved how utterly incompetent he is when it comes to being a patient advocate.
He did not know the number of the insurance company, so I asked him to look on my insurance card, of which he has a copy. "I don't know where to call," he said, sounding flustered. "There's only numbers for member services, providers, behavioral health ... there's a thing on the back for emergency or urgent care, but that's a P.O. Box in Texas ..."
Oh, is that so? In the first place, you, good sir, are considered a provider as far as I know. In the second, I don't give a damn where those three numbers say they lead. You had better call any and all of them, and if they're not the proper one, ask to be redirected. Put forth the effort and navigate the phone tree! If you achieved your M.D., then you are surely capable of such a feat, yes? What came out of my mouth was something like, "Dr. Old Dude, I haven't had medicine since Friday. I think this qualifies as a medical emergency. Please call those numbers."
When he continued to fuss, I finally hung up and did it myself. I called the insurance again, asked about the procedure, obtained the number for the "Precertification Department," asked again what my doctor had to do just to make sure, and then I relayed all this information to my helpless physician. It is now in his hands. All I can do is call back on a regular basis to make sure that he followed through.
After this, I'm never going back to him (I've obtained the names of the doctors that Mr. and Mrs. Dance like, and I'll be making the rounds). My ability to believe in his skill or the quality of his care is completely shattered. I generally consider doctors to be my intellectual equals or even superiors, and in the past I often assumed that they were more capable, knowledgeable, connected people than me as a result, but now I see that brain power has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to get things done. You can be a genius yet still be nothing more than an impotent fool if you lack action.
I leave for the Hoosier Homeland tomorrow night, and I will not return to New City until Monday morning. I will be unmedicated for over a week. Beautiful. Just beautiful. It's certainly been special so far. I can fairly safely conclude that the "twinges" that I once felt are a result of going off meds abruptly, as they are back with me now. Thank goodness I am not currently PMSing, or there would be Drama.
Dear Dr. King (family doctor) and Dr. Saine (surgeon),
I now realize just how freaking awesome you guys were when I was under your care. You got shit done. Thanks for being such competent people. I realize now that it is a very precious trait, and it's invaluable as a medical provider. Keep on rocking.