And she swears theres nothing wrong, I hear her playing that same old song….
September 8, 2008
The moment I saw the envelope I knew was it was; a reminder about my 6 month mammogram and biopsy. Since last spring I had been using all of my very best ‘ignore it and it will go away’ tactics, but there was no denying the envelope was real and it was time to face the music. Six months ago, during a routine exam my Dr found a number of lumps in both of my breasts. After some very painful and very ineffective attempts aspirating them (read: stick a needle into your ta-ta and try to suck out whatever is inside) he concluded they were solid masses and I needed to see a surgeon. My surgeon concluded pretty quickly that they were NOT CANCER (maybe i should have started with that) but they needed to be dealt with, as they could become cancerous. Sixteen in total, we would start with the larger more difficult ones and move on to the smaller ones. I know that their is no excuse, no reason to ignore your heath, but since I am being so honest….here are the five reasons I have put it off for six months.
1) It hurts – yup, it does. Anyone who is wearing a white coat or a set of scrubs and tells you you will only feel a slight pinch is LYING. Apparently they are not capable of using any sort of numbing technique. This means all biopsy’s, not matter how close to my ribcage, are done with me wide awake and feeling everything and it hurts.
2) It is time consuming – Due to the non-numbing situation, they are only able to do a few at a time for fear that it might be too much for my body to take…or for them to take when I start screaming bloody murder. This means I have to go in at least five or six times for appointments that can only be made smack in the middle of the day at a hospital that is notoriously running behind schedule to spend most of my work day in a waiting room reading back issues of US magazine. I have a brand new job and no sick time, you do the math.
3) It is expensive- Because I am too young to be getting mammograms every six months my health insurance does not pay for them. Yes, you are reading this correctly. My health insurance does not feel my mammograms are necessary even though my Dr has ordered them and needs them to keep record of the progress of my tumors (ALL 16 of them). The last conversation I had with Horrible Heath Insurance Helga went something like this:
Me: I am calling because according to the information I have, all mammograms are covered. However, I am being billed for mine in the full amount.
HHH: Well, all preventative mammograms are covered, as are follow up mammograms. Not mammograms that are ordered by your physician. You are too young to qualify for preventative mammograms and you need to have first mammograms for follow up mammograms.
Me: So, you you mean to tell me that if there was nothing wrong with me you would cover the mammogram, but since my Dr is worried about something, you won’t.
HHH: We like to encourage preventive care and good healthy behavior.
Me: But you just said that I don’t qualify for preventative mammograms because I am not old enough and I am trying to engage in healthy behavior by seeing the Dr and taking care of this. I feel like I am being punished for being young and having this heath issue.
HHH: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Me: * CLICK*
4) It is aggravating – Horrible Heath Insurance Helga is not the only one making my life difficult. Every time you call the scheduling office you get transferred to a million people. No one can figure out whose patient I am or what waiting room I should be sitting in leaving me to wander around the hospital in that oh so attractive gown looking for my Dr and my handbag. Once I find the correct place and lay down for my umpteenth sonogram no one will tell me anything and I can’t figure out who should be doing what. For example, another fine bit of information from Horrible Heath Insurance Helga.
HHH: We pay for the surgeon to read the biopsy but not perform the biopsy. We pay for the radiologist to perform the biopsy and to read the sonogram but not to perform the sonogram. We pay for the sonogram to be performed by a tech but not to be read by the tech. If the biopsy is done with the assistance of a sonogram we pay for the radiologist to perform both the sonogram and the biopsy but then do not pay for both the radiologist and the surgeon to read the sonogram and biopsy. This is all listed on our website for additional clarity.
5) I am scared. There, I said it.