Bee's Hive

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Re Thinking Texas

I started this blog for happy messages about my life and quilting. Lately things have not been so happy even though I now live in San Antonio, Texas where the sun shines all the time.

I love living here. I love going outside everyday and seeing a wonderful blue sky. I know back in western Pa. where I lived, they are preparing for winter that will arrive sometime in early October with the first snow fall. All of this makes me very happy.

The saddness comes from not knowing if I'll be able to stay here. After searching for 2 months for doctors I've come up with none. Soon my meds will run out and I've gotten into serious condition for the lack of doctors in my life. After calling over 50 doctor offices I soon realized that they don't take Medicare in Texas.

Then I turned to trying to find any doctor who would allow me to pay CASH.  Not possible in Texas. They only take insurance, but not Medicare insurance.  I'm baffled, when did insurance become better then cash?  Finally after many calls to the University of Texas Hospital they sent me to a Clinic. Okay, I'm not happy with going to a clinic, but at this point if thats the only way I can get a referral to specialists, I'll do it.

The first clinic I was sent to took my finger impression and a photo and then told me they didn't prescribe medicines..What?  I have serious Rheumatoid Arthritis, Tylenol won't help!  The clinic was full of just what I would expect from a clinic. Many people of Mexican heritage, many asleep in chairs, many looked abused and homeless.  Not a place I would normally find myself at.

I went home feeling pretty angry. Finally my son found an RA doctor who would take Medicare. I arrived at 9:30 for a 10:00 appointment just like they asked me to do. I was again photographed...this is really beginning to annoy me. I'm feeling like my privacy is being violated each time I'm asked for a finger impression or photo. Then I was handed 22 pages of questions which I had downloaded from the net and already filled out. The receptionist went over the questions with me, asking things I really didn't want to answer and had nothing to do with illness. Finally a nurse took me into an examining room. She sat at the computer and began going over the sheets of questions, again asking me the answer to each question. The tapping of the keys & repeating the answers again began to make me very angry. Finally I told her I would not answer anymore questions and wanted to see the doctor. She cheerfully said, "Well lets move on to your social life".  I lost it! I told my son we were leaving...and we did at 11:25!

Again I hit the internet and phone. I was given a number to call for a family clinic associated with the University Hospital. When I called yesterday I was told they didn't have a new schedule made out, call back tomorrow.  Today I was very ill but at 11:am I managed to make it to the phone after lowering my pain with meds I have. I've been horading them for fear of running out before I get a doctor to write a new script.

I was rudely told by the person on the phone that I should have called at 8:am, now there was no appointments for new patients. I pressed on. I told her no one had told me to call at 8:am or I would have been sure to do that. She then spoke to me in Spanish and hung up.  I don't think what she said was anything I would have wanted to hear! 

I have one option left. Next week, after the holiday,  I will go to the University Hospital ER. I hope they can give me meds for the kidney infection I have and can refer me to some specialists to take care of the RA and liver diseases I have. I need a uroligist immediately. The surgery I had back in Pittsburgh in April didn't get rid of the infection. At this point I am thinking the problem might be a fungal infection caused by the RA injectable medicine I take. I am told that can be deadly.

I am pretty upset at this point. I am in trouble with the RA meds. They are no longer working and I need to be moved to a stronger injectable. I have no idea what the problem is with my liver without a blood test. I just know I am having trouble keeping food down. Soon I won't have pain meds left and I'll be in real trouble at that point.

It's not looking good. Without doctors I won't be able to stay here. Funny, I came here to be able to have a life and doing that might just kill me.  sigh.............


Rita said...

Dear Bea,
I thought I was in a bad situation and well I am. But....I've been wanting the very best for you and thought this move might very well be just right. Well........I'll pray for you and for the next ER you visit. I cannot imagine that you are so sick and are getting the run around. I'm so sorry. Keep us posted. Please..

Rhonda said...

Oh dear. I'm so sorry to hear that you are having trouble finding help. That is really not good.
Try calling the Senior Citizens office, lots of times they have suggestions.
I hope things work out for you.

Sherry said...

I do not understand this AT ALL! You should not be getting this sort of runaround. My mother is on Medicare. Texas does have doctors that take Medicare without the 3rd degree you are getting. And in a city the size of San Antone...there's just no sense!

My mother has a cardiologist, internist, neurologist, back surgeon, pain management, general med doctor.

This just absolutely flabbergasts me!

Of course, it's more than flabbergasting's endangering your life!

shawkl said...

Dang it Bea! Wish I could have stayed longer, not sure what I could have done...but I just feel so helpless for you!

The emergency room sounds like your best best at the moment...when you get to the bed...lay down...and REFUSE to get up until they DO SOMETHING! Make-um call security before you budge!!

Who is the senator or congressman for that area? Get Dave to find out and call them...something!


Rhonda said...

I have another idea or two. Check with the Texas Department on Aging (might have to look that up on Internet). They were a big help when my step-father was having trouble; another is the office of Human Resources (don't know where it's located exactly).
Hope one of these helps you.

Darlene's Quilts and Stuff said...

I was just told yesterday by a dr's office that Medicare is accepted everywhere. Well it doesn't sounds like Texas is still part of the US. If you try a University hospital I do believe they have to accept you as a patient on Medicare. Don't give up I know it's hard but hang in there.