Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Well...and sigh

Usually when I go to a doctor for a follow-up after a test, I'm not charged. Since that's always been the case in the past, I didn't think about my current lack of funds as an issue for a follow-up. Today, however, I went to my appointment with the neurologist regarding the MRI and X-rays, and there was a $10 copay, which I didn't have. The way it works with my insurance is that if the doctor charges, then there's a copay, but I didn't realise that ahead of time. Apparently, despite my owing a miniscule amount compared to the hundreds of dollars my insurance has paid them this month, I can't be seen.

So we've rescheduled for October 4th.

I understand that they're a business. I understand that it's not their fault that I don't have any money to give them, and that it is partly my fault. I'm assuming, since they checked with the doctor when I asked if I could bring it early next week, that I don't have some terrible brain tumour or something of that like, and the whole thing probably just verified that I'm perfectly fine. I'm assuming that despite the fact that I was able to reschedule within a week when the MRI was down and that there were just two other appointments today before I got there this afternoon, that perhaps they're hitting a busy time and that's why I'll have to wait a whole month. At least I would hope so. You know what they say about assuming, don't you? I'd hate to think that a person who probably makes 100 times more than I'll ever make as a librarian would jeopardise a patient's health by turning them away with a delay over a few dollars (and before I get comments to this effect, the 'but they've invested so much' argument won't work, since my education has cost about the same as a doctor's, and I value it dearly, but society doesn't per se...on the other hand, at least I don't have to make life and death decisions on a daily basis and keep major malpractice insurance up, so I consider it a trade-off).

Sigh. I hope they won't bill my insurance for a cancellation. I was there, even if I never got through the door. They weren't rude per se, but I've never had this come up at a doctor's office before. I've forgotten my cheque book once, and another office let me bring it in later that week. My vet has even held cheques a few times. Even when there was a mixup with the insurance a few years ago at another specialist's and I had an extant bill of over $500, I was still seen. Ah, to return to a time when doctors actually billed you.

I talked with Dwana, who took the time to listen despite her own issues (thank you so much!) and I feel a little better. She suggested that maybe our primary doctor, who has a background in neurology, could go ahead and read my films for me. I have those, and everything else was supposed to be sent to him, too.

Because right now, I'm not feeling like giving the neurologist any more of my money or United Healthcare's. And I'm really tired of being in this slump. But, it will hopefully get better soon. At least tomorrow is payday, even though it's all going for my rent. :)

And some good stuff has happened today. I released my first book through BookCrossing.com. A co-worker brought me the 'Sookie Stackhouse' books I've been wanting to read for a long time but couldn't find the start of the series. They're Southern vampire stories. You ever notice that in most horror fiction, vampires in the US congregate in New York, Chicago, LA--which make sense, all that food in one place--but then there's a whole sub-genre of bloodsuckers travelling through the American South? St Louis, New Orleans (and little towns around it), Atlanta, Dallas...you name it, we've got great Gothic potential. I guess little towns in New England are just too cold. :)

So, I'm going to go read for awhile. I still have electricity for now. I figure if it will go off, it'll happen between now and 5.

But some part of me thinks everything will be better when certain things align. I've had some idea in my mind that I'll hear from the library about the same time I get my ergomic wrist thingies in, and our materials management head was on his way out the door to get those (assuming he can find them, apparently they are being elusive...the problem with needing latex free stuff). And who knows, maybe the electric company will wait until I'll have money coming in? Stranger things have happened in my life. I know I've bitched a lot lately, but a lot of great things have happened, too...just not so much this summer. :)

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