Doctor's Appointments- The Money Drain

Mandy Crest Health Guide
  • One thing leads to another. So said the doctor recently, just before arranging for another specialist and more rounds of tests. Try as I might, I just cannot escape the merry-go-round of doctors, tests, and insurance woes.

    After my COBRA period ended this January, my husband and I were faced with the reality that having multiple sclerosis means that individual insurance policies are VERY expensive and cover very little. So I vowed that I would no longer put up with unnecessary medical tests, follow-up visits, and specialists unless absolutely required. I was going to take control of my health care expenses, as so many television and internet pundits have told me I should.

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    It had been working out for several months, but here we go again. I have had a minor medical condition for the last 10-12 days, and over-the-counter medications have failed to clear it up. I was certain what it was, and that a quick visit to my general physician would result in a prescription and an uncomplicated cure. I was right about that part. My diagnosis was correct and the proper medication was prescribed. The doc, upon hearing about my insurance situation, agreed to fit as much as he could into one visit so that I wouldn't have to return.

    Still in control, I suggested that we check for urinary tract infection, since I, and many MS patients, are prone to that. The test was negative. Could it be that all that pure cranberry juice I've been drinking has been working? Whatever the reason, this was one doctor's appointment that was going along just as planned. I was in control now!

    Until he found something new. It could be something big, but it could be minor, you know the routine. So, it's off to another doctor for me. After being rejected by the first doctor on the list, who didn't want to accept my insurance, I have an appointment with another doctor soon. In spite of my intention to put a halt to adding doctors to my growing list, I could hardly ignore this new development. I will go, get it figured out, and, hopefully, will be able to put it behind me.

    But Doc wasn't done with me yet. He continued, “Now, there is one more thing.” As he spoke, it was abundantly clear that this really could be something. Or not. But it is obviously a problem that must not be ignored. So, I am scheduled for testing at the hospital, on my way to solving one more puzzle.

    According to my neurologist, many of my all-too-frequent relapses are actually pseudo exacerbations, brought on by other health problems yet to be discovered. Is discovery imminent?

    Both my neurologist and my general physician are on to something. There has got to be a reason for all these pseudo exacerbations... and one thing does lead to another. Where, I wonder, is this leading me?

    As for the talking heads who deny a health care crisis, things are not as simple as you say, for someone with a chronic illness.

Published On: May 05, 2008