Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Rumour of the Earth is Dim and Confused

"is that....cheering?"

Well, now I don't know what the hell to think.

I've just gotten back from my appointment with Dr. Szewczyck and I'm more confused than ever before. When I explained why I was seeing her 2 months earlier than I should be, she informed me that yes, they were still in negotiations and no, she doesn't know how it will play out, but she hopes it will be fine, but she isn't sure.

Basically what United Healthcare is doing, according to my doctor, is altering their contract to now require patients under 70 to pay 40% of the cost of their healthcare. I don't know anyone who can afford 40% of the $50,000 that a PET scan costs. Or 40% of a course of chemo or radiation. Patients over 70, you know, retirees on fixed income, will have to pay 20% of their healthcare costs. She said that what they want is to not only have Ironwood prescribe cheaper drugs, but also give less care. Of course that's not a realistic option.

So yeah, more reason to believe our healthcare system is screwed beyond repair. If insurance companies can't raise premiums they'll just cut services and prove yet again that healthcare is only for the wealthy.

The other issue for Ironwood, of course, is how can they just stop treating someone in the middle of chemotherapy or radiation treatments? So they're focus in negotiations is to keep at least these people under their care and get accommodations from UC over that. Being done with my treatments, I will not fall into this category.

Then I mentioned that I was under United Healthcare through Access and she got all optimistic and said that might change everything since it's welfare and not technically real insurance. She ran off to ask someone about it but came back without an answer. Apparently the person she talked to is swamped with calls about the very same issue.

Anyway, the gist of the meeting was that I'm "85% cured" and just need to keep following up. My bloodwork all looked good. We re-set my appt for the 3rd of Jan and hopefully we'll still be able to keep that date.

Not actual tire.
Or nail.
I was late for my appt. I walked out to a flat tire. I've had a slow leak for a few days but this is the first time it's gone flat. I used Kevin's compressor and filled it and rushed to Ironwood. On the way home I stopped at Walmart to get it patched.

Under what circumstances would it go from a simple patch to having to purchase a whole new tire? Yup, no patch. The nail or whatever is in the sidewall and therefore they can't patch it. I don't have $20 to my name, much less $80 so I told them to put the damn tire back on my car and drove home. Awesome.


Kat said...

Just be careful with that tire If you can (and your vehicle is front wheel drive) put it on the back you won't lose control if it blows or goes flat.

Wendy Todd said...

I've been following your story since you were diagnosed, Guy, and I thank you for your honesty in sharing your journey. I am so thankful we have free government funded health care for all here in Australia. You really have faced some harsh challenges this year and yet you're still able to find positives to focus on along the way. I'm praying for your continued recovery and that your insurance gets sorted quickly and doesn't impact on the rest of your treatment/care. God bless you.

Guy said...

I'll be careful, Kat.

Thanks Wendy. Aside from it being good therapy for me, I was tired of reading glossed over accounts of cancer treatments and wanted to give a fairly unvarnished account of what I'm going through.