Kindness of Doctors
Appreciation,  Compassion,  Coronavirus,  D.G. Kaye,  Gratitude,  Health and wellness,  Kindness

Gratitude for Good Doctors and Medical Staff in #Coronavirus Times

What a day. When did it all begin? Never mind. We’re here now. It was not a great lab report, but it got the ball rolling.

 

In this time of corona, it’s difficult to see a doctor now with all the lock-downs in place. But that doesn’t mean we stop needing them. I can’t help but wonder just how many are scared and sick with other diseases and maladies that require regular checks and testing. Truly a frightening time to be sick and worrying about other illnesses besides the worry of this ominous virus.

I know first-hand how much red tape has come down in the medical system in order to deal with the global virus – we can’t go to our doctor for concerns, we can’t even get our blood pressure taken at our local pharmacies right now as they’ve closed off the machines. Now, anything that can’t be dealt with by telephone means having to go to an emergency hospital room, and most of us don’t like going there under normal circumstances, let alone with fears of crowded ERs and an invisible virus looming.

Elective surgeries everywhere have been postponed indefinitely, and elective is a loose term covering a huge umbrella which would cover things like – surgeries that people have chosen to have – or not, colonoscopies, which are nobody’s favorite but are life-saving, among many of other cancelled procedures and postponed testing that are necessary. Unfortunately, during uncertain times while protecting the health system from becoming overwhelmed, there’s going to be fallout somewhere.

But there are ways to deal with circumstances, and Tele-health calls are a good start with our doctors. And if we happen to be lucky enough to have an amazing doctor who knows us well as their patient and agrees with symptoms, they can request a test. We are our own best advocates when we know something isn’t right, so we must convey how we’re feeling to the doctor on the phone. And there it begins.

It was touch and go when I was informed that since there was only one operating room available, there was a possibility hub’s surgery time may be delayed. But we were halfway to the finish line. Dr. B was finally able to schedule Hubby for his long awaited procedure. You may be wondering how we managed to even get scheduled for the ‘elective’ surgery that suddenly became emergency when evaluated by the doctor, finally allowing him to schedule a surgery because it’s deemed necessary.

My husband’s recurring bleed out episodes had him losing a lot of blood. He’s usually facing one of these episodes annually ever since he had maximum radiation for his prostate cancer 10 years ago.. But this one decided act up 2 days before we were to fly home from Mexico, a mere 4 months after his last procedure.

I’d emailed Hub’s surgeon’s secretary, Lisa, who knows the drill. I told her we’d be home in 2 days and asked if she could book him a surgery for the following week, and we were elated to have an appointment for a week after our return.. But that was the same week the world changed and I got an email from Lisa at Dr. B’s office 2 days later, informing she was sorry, but no elective surgeries till further notice. Then she called to elaborate on the new hospital rules and  we did a Tele-health call with Dr. B and he said he was working on a plan to get Hub in.

The only other way into getting a surgery in Corona times is by having to go through the ER as an emergency. I know all the signs of Hubby’s health and I also know when it’s hospital time. Dr. B knows Hub’s history and knows my husband needs a fixing. But there is only one operating room for Endoscopy floor set up now and it’s for emergency surgeries. Since we’d spoken to Dr. B a few weeks prior, he gave me all that info and told me if Hub bleeds again to call his office and he’ll schedule him as an emergency. Well thankfully there’s been no episodes since the call 2 weeks ago as we awaited, but gratefully, Hubby has his lab blood-work done monthly and copied off to 4 of his doctors. And just because he hadn’t bled again didn’t mean that he wasn’t weak and tired from the 3 big bleeds since Mexico, and I knew last week’s labs were not going to be a good number based on Hubby’s weakness.

I was right, and so it turns out, his very low hemoglobin number at the lab, sent an alert to 2 doctors, one, our GP, and to Dr. B.  Our GP’s office called to let me know the number was low, which I’d already seen a copy online of the report. I told the secretary I took him to the pharmacy to check his pressure, but they closed off the area. She told me Dr. K would call me Monday. She did, we chatted about Hubby’s health and I told her he wouldn’t go to the hospital as she suggested, to check his pressure because he doesn’t want to be in the ER fearing the virus. So she was kind enough to invite me to bring him to her office and the secretary would check his pressure. And it was low.

We went straight home as I was expecting a call from Dr. B after receiving an email from Lisa earlier in the morning after Dr. B saw the report, informing he’d be calling us later. And he did. It unfortunately took my husband’s sorry labs for Dr. B to finally be able to deem his procedure an emergency, and Dr. B booked him in for Monday (yesterday), which was ultimately changed  when Lisa called me and informed me to relay that once again the hospital changed Dr. B’s surgical on call day to Thursday. My Hubby said, he’d waited long enough for Dr. B, he can wait another few days, not wanting another doctor involved. And another bonus was Dr. B had taken the liberty to set up 4 sessions of iron infusion at the hospital for Hubby because his iron levels are dangerously low. Personally, as I write this, I’m concerned at my husband’s weakness and am going to send another email to Lisa to inform Dr. B that he may well need a bag of blood as the infusions take a few weeks to be effective.

So, I took Hub to hospital last Friday for his first infusion, although this is not the first time he has had them. I was so impressed with the setup. Nobody allowed to accompany the patients past the entrance, so Hubby had a lot of anxiety over this visit without me with him to guide him around the hospital and answer questions and fill out forms. I told him it was all organized and I wrote a note for the nurses of allergies and meds and my cell phone number, asking to please call when he’s almost done. And it was perfect.

I parked in front of the door, took him in to a temporary station in the lobby where you tell them what you’re there for, they sanitize your hands and give you a mask (if you don’t have one on, of course we did!), ask you if you’ve been sick or traveled in the last 2 weeks then send you on your way with directions or to the attendants a few feet away for those who need assistance. So I asked if a volunteer could take Hubby in a wheelchair as he has no energy to walk for long, and of course a nurse aid gowned and masked wheeled him to the pharmacy first where he had to pick up the vial of iron infusion because for some reason it’s not covered under hospital medicine so required paying for, which our private prescription plan pays 80%.  Then the nurse administers it through intravenous in the clinic. The hospital was well setup with friendly cheery personnel and staff as usual, so I knew Hub was in good hands.

After I returned to pick him up, Hub told me the pharmacy said we were no longer covered for that drug and charged him $100 instead of the $20 I recalled from past infusions. I was pissed as I pay way too much monthly for that extra prescription coverage and that stuff was covered 2 years ago when we needed it for him then.

As soon as we got home I called the insurance company inquiring how to be reimbursed, got an incompetent agent who didn’t have answers, kept putting me on hold (which was my clue he was clueless), and finally told me we needed a special form from them that has to be submitted by the doctor who prescribed the medication. I laced into him asking what this run around was, and why I have to get a doctor to fill it out when he already prescribed it. I didn’t receive direct answers. Once I received it by email, I looked it over and the page for doctor to tick off and fill in was pretty foreign to me. So once again, I scanned the form into an email and sent it off to poor Lisa asking her if she was familiar with this  form, and I filled her in with a condensed version of how the hospital pharmacy charged us full price.

Lisa to the rescue, again! Ten minutes after sending her the email, my phone rings. Lisa informed me that she thought it was better to call and explain better than in an email. We ended up chatting for over an hour and I discovered just how much she is like me when it comes to injustice. Then she filled me in.

Apparently this drug is not on a list for insurance to pay without going through ‘the special form process. Why? Bureaucracy and BS method of insurance trying to get out of paying. The doctor must fill out the form and ‘code’ for the drug, of which there is no code because it’s considered a universal life-saving drug. Because there’s no code for the drug, it must get sent to the Ministry of Health for approval from the doctor’s office. If the Ministry approves it (which Lisa said there’s no reason they shouldn’t given the circumstances), then they will cover the costs for future infusions and reimburse me for the last one – EXACTLY what insurance hopes for. But if they’d decline, then they’d send the decline form to the doctor and Lisa would forward to me, then I would have to submit the decline form from the government, along with any unpaid receipts to my insurance, and then they would have to pay me back. THANK YOU LISA! And no thanks to you greedy, robber insurance companies.

So, as it stands now, we’re crossing fingers for Thursday that all goes well and that the procedure goes forth. Hopefully, we won’t have to lay out another $100 before the next infusion before the ‘yay or the nay’ comes back from the government approval. And lastly, am I ever lucky and glad to have such an amazing team of doctors and medical assistants. Compassion can actually extend beyond the call of duty!

Good rapports and asking a lot of questions can go a long way when we need our doctor to step up to the plate. My persistence has paid off. Now crossing my fingers Hubby gets his procedure Thursday and hopefully, no emergencies will push him to the end of the line. I’ll keep you posted!

 

©DGKaye2020

 

 

Follow Me on Social Media!
Name: D.G. Kaye job Title: Author Business: DGKayewriter.com Image: https://dgkayewriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/first-aid-2789562_1280.png Facebook Url: Facebook Twitter Url: Twitter Instagram Url: Instagram LinkedIn Url: LinkedIn Pinterest Url: Pinterest
More Sharing Buttons - The WP button is for reblogging!

D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

56 Comments

  • Toni Pike

    What a terrible ordeal, Debby. Your dear hubby is so lucky to have you, and I hope all goes well with the insurance, government and procedures. Those insurance companies are a nightmare, no matter what country you live in. Thank goodness you have such caring health professionals. Sending you lots of loving hugs. Toni x

  • Darlene Foster

    Wishing you and hubby all the best and that the operation goes ahead as planned. Scary times but you seem to handle these things well. Better than I would for sure!

  • Marian Beaman

    I was reading along amiably until I came upon the words “My husband’s recurring bleed out episodes!!” Your husband is one lucky man for having you as an advocate – wow! I’ll hope and pray Thursday will work out well for you both, including a lower priced infusion, $20.00 instead of five times as much. Sending hugs: ((( )))

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Marian. I am lucky to have him too. As you know from my books, we’ve both had our share of looking after one another. Just in these uncertain times we have to get a little more creative to work around the added obstacles. I’m well trained at this. 🙂 x

  • Jim Borden

    Your husband is lucky to have such a strong and knowledgable advocate like you. I wish him the best with his surgery, and hopefully, all the insurance problems work out ok.

  • Pete Springer

    Your tale makes me frustrated for you. First, there are so many rules and regulations regarding insurance and the associated bureaucracy that many people give up in frustration and pay for something that should be covered. You shouldn’t need a Ph.D. in BS to get the necessary drugs. Next, the world of what insurance will cover and won’t cover is a complete mystery to the layperson. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard statements like, “Well, it should be covered. Let me resubmit it.” Then, mysteriously, it goes through and is covered the second time. I know you understand how tenacious one has to be. If we don’t die from not getting the necessary medication, perhaps we’ll drop dead from having a heart attack dealing with all of the red tape.

    Whew—rant over! Insurance companies get me going.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for chiming in Pete. As you know, in Canada our healthcare is all covered in Canada, including medications given in hospitals. We have extended private insurance to cover our personal prescriptions, and once in awhile insurance decides to take off an eligible medication – usually because there is no generic available, but now I found out for a ‘universal’ drug, that’s rich huh? But, if you go through the hoops and have a great doctor who will take the time to go through the nonsense the long route, we can get reimbursed. This is a new thing for me, and even Lisa thinks it’s bogus insurance duckout timewaster. Yes, so for those who accept the answer ‘no’ you’re not covered, and don’t have the know-how or the energy to skirt around these robbers, they must eat it. Ya, almost heart attack material, but you can rely on me to get to the bottom of it, lol. NO is not in my vocabulary 🙂

  • judith barrow

    I’ve said it before Debby: you are one determined lady. Your love for your husband shines through this post – keeping fingers crossed and sending good vibes for Thursday. <3

  • John Maberry

    My sympathies–and empathy. Even in Canada hassles exist with medical care during COVID-19. Can’t believe you had to put up with all this–sure sounds serious enough to me! And then to get jerked around for an OK and money. I have an issue I’d like to get taken care of too–but it won’t qualify here in the US either. A hiatal hernia that acts up–pinching the top of the stomach some days when I bend while sitting down. Hardly amounts to the ordeal your husband is enduring. Elective procedures will be coming back within another month where we live, I think.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks John. And I’m sorry you too are waiting to see a doctor. Seems you are one of the many I mentioned in my post. No doubts there are many waiting for the medical system to remember them too. We’re lucky to have such great doctors. And I will add that not all Canadians have extra insurance, as our healthcare is paid for and senior prescriptions are, just ‘some’ meds aren’t covered, but with request from doctor to the ministry, I’m sure they will. Sadly, that indicates there are others out there paying for this drug that if properly informed could get it covered. Other than this incident, our drugs are not too expensive because they are regulated by the provincial government – not lobbyists, lol.

  • sally cronin

    You are brilliant Debby and G is so lucky to have you in his corner.. along with Lisa and Dr. B. As you say it takes a village and you also have all of us behind you willing you both on. Fingers crossed and hoping that all goes according to plan. ♥

    • dgkaye

      Aw, thanks bunches Sal. I’m truly grateful for your friendship and support and cheerleading, lol. You will be updated. <3 xox

  • acflory

    That’s truly awful, Debbie. The one thing you can honestly say about insurance companies is that they aren’t in it for /us/. Seems as if all these big corporations have turned into robber barons. So glad you and your medical team have the knowledge and tenacity to fight back. I hope your husband’s procedure happens on schedule and that all goes well.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Meeks, thanks so much. Yes, thankfully, it’s not like the US as we have so much paid for here and government controlled pricing, but it doesn’t make it right. And I’m never one just to ‘leave’ a situation alone without pursuing resolution. 🙂

  • Christy B

    Oh my goodness, so much for you and hubby to think about right now, Debby! I’m sorry you’re both going through this. Lisa to the rescue indeed! Thinking of you two xo

  • Diana Peach

    I can relate, Debby. My parents’ health issues have required jumping through hoops and lots and lots of advocacy and negotiation. Your husband is so lucky to have you. I hope all goes well tomorrow. Sending hugs. <3

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Diana. I can just imagine what you’re going through with both of them to worry about and the scariness going on in senior homes. I hope all is safe on your end. Hugs and thank you. <3

  • Sharon Marchisello

    I feel your pain. I thought we had it bad dealing with insurance companies in America but it sounds like you have it in Canada too!
    I fear we’re creating many more problems in our efforts to protect ourselves from this pandemic.

    • dgkaye

      So true, because this virus was new to everyone so we’re learning as we go. And in defense of our healthcare here, it’s all paid for except prescriptions, but in hospitals we don’t normally pay, which made this med strange that had to be paid for. Seniors drugs are covered, and our drugs are much cheaper than the US. But hey, insurance companies are all out to charge us and pulling teeth to ever get them to pay up. But I will be paid! Lol 🙂

  • Marje

    Oh dear Debby. What a worry, especially during this time and all the financial considerations on top. My mum had to go to hospital for a minor thing and I worried about her so much. I do hope your hubby gets his procedure okay. Sending you both love and light and lots of hugs. Marje x

  • Robbie Cheadle

    My word, Debby, this sounds like a real nightmare. I have never had this sort of issue with the health insurance paying for medications that are prescribed by a specialist doctor. All insurers are trying to get out of paying for things now with this coronavirus economic meltdown. It is a disgrace.

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    My God! I’ve read some of your previous posts about your husband’s condition, and I’m sorry you both have to go through all this. The last thing you need is to have to deal with useless bureaucracy when your health is at risk, but yes, the system is not geared to help (whatever they say). We’re like some people are professional and humane at the same time, and they’ll go above and beyond the call of duty. Good luck to your husband for his procedure on Tuesday. I’ll be thinking of you both and sending positive thoughts. All the best.

  • Stevie Turner

    Good luck for tomorrow, Debby. Your hub’s lucky to have been given a date. Over here it seems everything has been put on hold. I phoned our insurance company to get the authorisation for a minor procedure at a private hospital (it would take many weeks to wait for it on the NHS), and although they said they now have a new system where they can refer to a consultant for free, apparently none of the consultants are working at the moment!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Stevie, and oye! I tell you it’s madness. I’m blessed to have such great doctors and cooperation, especially at this time. But as I stated, until the government declares an ‘elective’ procedure an emergency is the only way in with our system currently, other than going through emerge. It took borderline number flagging danger zone with his hemoglobin to allow this to happen. And as I write now, just spoke to Lisa and all is confirmed!!! Fingers crossed now. <3

  • Carol Taylor

    Hubby is so lucky to have you as his advocate…What brilliant doctors and receptionist you have Debs…Fingers crossed hubby gets his procedure today sending positive vibes that all goes well…Hugs xxx

  • Charles L Jackson

    Hi Debbie,
    I’m sadden to hear all the hardship and frustration you are going through. You are one determined lady and if anyone would persist it would be you. Please know you and your hubby are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Hugs,
    Chuck

    • dgkaye

      HI Chuck. Thanks so much for your lovely words. I will update on this post, but just to let you know. Hubby had the surgery yesterday and thankfully Dr. B has found and fixed the leak! So much gratitude. <3

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Debby – sorry to have taken so long to get here … didn’t realise you’d been going through this drama – I do hope hubby is feeling easier now – and the admin side is sorted out. You’re right you do have a good team in place – and you’re wise enough to realise when things need to get done, or aren’t right … all the best and stay safe. Hilary

    • dgkaye

      Hi Hilary. Thanks so much for your kudos and good wishes. And never apologize for timing. I appreciate your visits, and there are no time limits my friend. As of this writing, hubby is on the mend! Thank you. <3

  • Deborah Jay

    Insurance companies are the lowest of the low 🙁
    I’m sure a lot of the time they make it so difficult to claim in the hopes you’ll just give up and pay out yourself – but they haven’t met us, have they?
    Good luck to your hub for Thursday, this is such a difficult time for anyone ill with anything other than ‘the virus’. The UK government had to change tactics a few weeks into lockdown, when they noticed a sharp rise in people dying of non-virus related medical issues, because they’d been told to stay away from doctor’s surgeries. Now they are encouraging people to get in touch with a doctor, and to realise that even things like immunisations are going ahead regardless, just with more precautions.
    Love to you both <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Deb. Yep, insurance is universally notorius for screwing people. But ha! They’ve agreed to pay, and hubby’s surgery went of well. So thank you! <3 xxx

  • Colleen

    Well, Sis… knowing how this all turned out, I’m just glad that it’s over! What an ordeal. You definitely have a lot going on. I’m glad G is feeling better. I love you both. <3

    • dgkaye

      Aww, thanks bunches Sis, I love you too. Yes, you do know it all, LOL. Yay for Dr. B. putting my Humpty back together again. <3 <3

  • Liesbet

    Such ordeals, Debby! I hope the surgery takes place and goes smoothly!

    I’ve wondered as well how people with illnesses and diseases deal with all that during this pandemic and it has been my worry from the beginning that people will die, due to the restrictions in hospitals or the fear of getting the virus and therefore avoiding hospitals. It will be another horrible layer to all this. And why, oh why is it always such a hassle to deal with insurances?

    I’m glad you have doctors who are familiar with your situations. I am in need of an eye doctor and a dentist – have been in need for those for many months – for which I had to be here, in Massachusetts. But, 1) since my health care plan has changed, I don’t have familiar doctors yet and 2) none of these offices are open, so I can’t even schedule appointments… This situation is starting to drive us – and anyone else – up a wall.

    • dgkaye

      Everything you said about the backlog is true. Doctors are all doing telehealth calls to patients who require it. And of course there are the many who are/were awaiting to be tested for potentially terrible things that were brushed into the elective category to prepare for an unknown virus, not knowing how many will succumb. or how many hospital beds. I think most countries know approx. when they can resume and the backlog will be terrible, but what are the choices. Just means, some are going to die either way and it’s awful choices. Personally, I think that those in the medical field should open up and wear PPE like all medical staff should do for these times, and patients come masked, just like the hospitals. My hub goes for iron infusion now once a week and they are amazingly organized in that hospital. Everyone is gowned, gloved and masked. My hub goes there wearing a mask and I walk him into the makeshift reception in the hospital entrance. They ask all the pertinent Covid questions and make you use hand sanitizer right in front of them, then a volunteer brings a wheelchair and takes my hub to the clinic. Then they call me when he’s almost done so I can pick him up at another door. And thank goodness, he had the procedure last Thursday and he’s on the mend again. Never a dull moment here, lol. <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: