Well, they came around somehow. After arguing and arguing, the doctor's office finally told me they'd pay the bill. What a relief! They told me they couldn't do anything until I'd talked to the doctor, because the doctor was the one who ordered the tests. Well, I didn't even end up talking to her. I'm guessing it was discussed between her and the billing department, because that was who contacted me in the end. In some way, I wish I'd have been able to let the doctor have it for ordering those tests in the first place, so that it wouldn't happen again. But I guess I'm glad to have the bill taken care of regardless. However, I will not be going back to that office ever again. The previous gynecologist I had had problems with her billing department, as well. So I don't want to go back there, either. Wish I could just find a good one and leave it at that. Hate going from doctor to doctor.
I'm not even going to go into my feelings on the whole Center for Health Care Services thing. I mean, they're so swamped that you have to wait months for an appointment and I'll be lucky to have even adequate care if I can't get to see a doctor when I need to. Don't see how my prescriptions, etc. can be managed that way, or how I'm supposed to make do in the meantime, while I wait to finally be given a doctor's appointment some months from now.
Otherwise, I think I'm doing okay. Weird, but seems fine for now. I think it's too early to say whether the Seroquel is doing it, or if I'd have been having a sort-of normal phase anyway. I just remember feeling so good to be out of the hospital that I kind-of think that that was the thing that did it, at least for the time being. Don't know how long that will hold out, but maybe I'll just be so anxious to stay out of that place that I'll manage somehow. I doubt it could be that simple, but I can hope. My meds were so messed up before the whole depressed episode anyway, that really I can't be sure that that was the reason I got so bad. I mean, I'd run out of a couple of them for a while. How do I know that the meds weren't working and that's why I got depressed, rather than the fact that I'd been off them for a few days and that's what messed me up? But the hospital docs thought to switch things up, and indeed made several changes at once. I have been having this weird feeling like I'm itching all over and I can't relax and be comfortable. I mean, I itch so bad that I can't sleep because I can't stop scratching. Have no idea which change could have caused this, since they made so many at once. Could have been caused by the increase in the Lamictal. Could be caused by the Seroquel. Indeed, I've had reactions simply to the dye used to color the tablets before, so it could be something that easy or it could not. Wish they'd have only done one thing and let me follow up with another doctor later. I'd have more of an idea what's wrong. I just don't like it that they don't care what my feelings are on the matter and are going to do whatever they want whether I like it or not. I have no more faith in the doctor I will see sometime in the hopefully not-too-distant future than in the hospital docs. I have a feeling I'll just be a number to them as that's how I've been treated so far. Plus, I wish they'd listen to what I'm actually saying, instead of me having to repeat myself several times, or keep rephrasing everything because they don't accept the answer I gave them because it wasn't the answer they expected. I mean, I got tired of saying, "That's not what I said. I said..." Ugh.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Okay, not EVERY one. But if I hadn't found a certain Dr. R. here in SA, I'd think all doctors are idiots who don't listen to their patients and are just out to make money. They don't CARE about people at all. Today, I called my gynecologist, a certain Dr. Gurwitz, because they charged me for 3 tests that I didn't order. But the doctor ordered them, so they won't take the tests off my bill. Well, they also said that they don't normally order those particular tests unless it's discussed with me and the doctor. There's no way in hell I'd have asked for a Gonorrhoeae (sic) test or a Chlamydia test. I'm not sexually active, so there's no reason to test for those things. I'm sure I mentioned that at my appointment because they always ask. So I don't know why they'd have ordered them based on my appointment. Plus, they know I'm not working right now and each of these 3 tests they ordered for me were $100. The most they offered me was a discount, that would make the total bill $240 instead of the $375 they billed me for. The only thing I should have to pay for is the exam and the pap test, which was all I asked for. As it is, they charged me $125 for the exam, which was $55 the last time I was there a year ago. They told me that was the lowest amount they could charge. But-- and I said this, too--if it had been that much last time, I wouldn't have come back. Not only that, but they didn't even give me samples of my medication. Last time, they gave me enough samples for the whole year. I got nothing at all this time, and the prescription they'd given me was so expensive, I couldn't afford it. So really, this has been the most expensive doctor visit I've ever had (hospital and ER visits aside), and I'll never go back there again. I just felt scammed and like they didn't care whether I could afford all this stuff or not. It's my word against the doctor's. What can I do? I'm calling back tomorrow to talk to a billing supervisor, but I'm not optimistic. But so far, after the doctors at the hospital and the people at the Center for Health Care Services (like low-cost help for the mentally ill--but it's like the McDonald's of health care because they see so many people and it's not like it's GOOD health care, just so-so care), and now a gynecologist that I had previously liked, I don't trust doctors at all. If anyone has any ideas as to any recourse I might have for being overcharged, I'd like to hear them, because it's really unfair for me to pay for things I didn't want.
Friday, March 5, 2010
I feel embarrassed about this. But I just got out of the hospital. For the first time ever, I've now been hospitalized for depression. Really, all I wanted was to talk to a suicide counselor. But the hotline I called must have been a different one, because she sent the police to my house, and they took me to the hospital. I ended up there all night long in the ER. Literally. I called the hotline around 10:00 or 10:30 pm. I was at the hospital soon after. Then, it was 7:30 in the morning by the time they finally told me I had no choice but to be admitted. I didn't sleep at all. And all of this was triggered by the fact that my neighbors don't let me sleep, so I got anxious and depressed. So now, are they making me feel any better? No, not at all. Really, by that morning I wasn't feeling suicidal anymore. I was just tired and really too tired to think about it. The moment had passed. Still, I had no choice. It was still 4:30 or so by the time they took me upstairs to my room, which I had to share (not good, I'm a light sleeper). I was exhausted, but they had me doing a few things once I got up there. I had no chance to sleep. They make you eat dinner at 5:00. I don't even get hungry until 7:00 or so. But I had to eat. Still, the food upstairs on the 7th floor was waaaayyy better than the stuff in the ER. It was at least tolerable. I couldn't even eat the stuff downstairs. Then my dad came to visit. They told me I'd get to go home the next day. The next day, I met with the doctors. They didn't want me to take the new meds until that night. So I was there another day! Really, BEING THERE made me feel depressed. Everyone there was nice, but the patients were depressed and that was hard to take. Some of them were worse off than me, being that they talked to themselves and stuff. Plus, I really missed my dog. I didn't like the hospital beds. It felt like I was just sleeping on the box springs. Plus, they check on you every 15 minutes. Those doors were not quiet, so I heard it every time and it made me jump. I didn't feel comfortable with someone watching me sleep. I had nightmares about it when I managed to sleep an hour. I just felt worse being there. They didn't let us outside at all. They didn't let us exercise. They didn't let me have my facial moisturizer or my facial cleanser, but my roommate got to keep her shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and body wash. I got zilch. I didn't trust them to watch my stuff that they were holding. They had it locked up, but it went through a few hands by then, and they told me they had to inventory it, so they went through each item before they locked it up, including my cash. Then, when they let me go, I got a sheet of paper saying they think my diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder instead of bipolar. I read about schizoaffective disorder. The schizophrenic symptoms match me not at all. I have no idea why they'd say that. I'm bipolar. So I'm pissed about that because now I don't trust them to help me. They're going to be treating a condition I don't have. And because I need help paying for my medications, I have to see their doctor or I don't get my pills. I don't trust their doctors. I'm so unhappy about it all. Not to mention, I didn't get all the stuff coming out that I went in with, including a couple of dollars and a vial of my motion sickness pills that mysteriously went missing. I just don't trust them at all. I hope I get a good doctor. I wish I could continue to see my old doctor.