Last month a sticky air mass slimed the east coast and dumped a gooey mess on my head that looked like a toasted marshmallow.
With my mind mired in goop, I became paralyzed from a crippling condition known as Constibraintion. When the creative cog gets stuck in a muddy rut of words because of too much input and zero output, writing slogs to a stop. Life has been overwhelming lately – doctors not doctoring, insurers not insuring and a blogger not blogging (me) because of technical crap. Nothing works anymore since Ludicrous fired Logic then stole her house in Malibu.
Seriously, when a basic logic theorem – all angels have wings, all birds have wings, therefore all angels are birds – can’t be applied to an insurance policy, sanity gets sucked into a wormhole, crashes into bizarro-world Earth and explodes upon impact, scattering DNA across the universe.
Sometimes on a clear night, you can see glutinous bits of brain cells light up the sky like the aurora borealis. I mean really.
My doctor is covered by my insurance when she’s at a hospital in the South Bronx but not when she’s at a clinic in White Plains. The reason my insurance company tells me – because hospital clinics aren’t covered even though the hospital that manages the clinic is. Confused yet? Let’s talk specifics.
Back in 2001, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis by a wonderful neurologist who was on my insurance plan at the time. She practiced at the MS Center in White Plains, New York, which provides outstanding services to MS patients.
I was one of those patients until two years ago when my husband’s insurance plan changed several times and the MS Center was not covered by either policy. I had to find a neurologist covered by our plan and then test drive him.
The doctor I found had a degree in neurology as well as veterinary medicine. I thought WTF, took him out for a spin anyway, then discovered he was a lemon.
He spent ten minutes with me, typed (or pretended to type) something on his rolling computer keyboard and then abruptly left the exam room. After collecting my records, I said, “Sayonara,” and hit the gas.
Sometime later, I landed in Mt Kisco with a new neurologist, Dr. Dunderhead, and a new insurance policy, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, where I received another quickie exam that lasted ten minutes, if that. Naturally,
I assumed at the time that the sub-par exam would be the worst part of the visit. But that was before Dr. Dunderhead Googled a question about Vitamin D3 and its relationship to gallstone development, of which my digestive system is in charge.
Since I was taking 3,000 ius of Vitamin D3 per day, this inquiring mind wanted to know if the dosage contributed to my digestive system’s decision to produce a gallstone without getting approval from the department head.
Meanwhile, my husband discovered that the wonderful neuro, Dr. Elkin, was on our insurance plan. But only when she practiced at Bronx Lebanon Hospital in the South Bronx, even though she still worked at the MS Center, a clinic managed by White Plains Hospital, which is on our insurance plan.
“Hospital clinics aren’t covered,” the insurance case manager said. “Dr. Elkin doesn’t practice in White Plains,” the hospital administrator said. “But White Plains Hospital is covered,” I replied.
“Yes,” said the administrator. “So all angels have wings, all birds have wings, BUT in this case, all angels are NOT birds.”
So, I, and other MS patients like me, covered by Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield or a similar plan, cannot see Dr. Elkin at the more convenient, safer location without drug dealers and drive-by shootings, and have to schlep to the South Bronx wearing a bullet proof vest and helmet.
I never thought I could end up in a hospital after a trip to a hospital but in the South Bronx, where anything is possible, a logic theorem lies dead on a gurney from a gunshot wound.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. I am! My next appointment is in February. I’m hoping to get a stylish suit of body armor for Christmas.
What’s your healthcare horror story? (I should have posted this on Halloween.)
Thanks to Mike for the marshmallow prompt. Thanks to June for preventing my brain from melting. Thanks to Jayne for giving me a much needed, kick in the ass. Jim, thanks for being by my side during our trip through Oz.