Sunday, November 6, 2011

Press 2 If you want to bash your head in with the phone.

I think my finger may be infected. Well, that is not totally true. Everyone else thinks my finger may be infected and now I am getting paranoid. I think it is new skin and scar tissue, not redness and swelling. It doesn't hurt. Whatever. The moral of the story is that I was fear-mongered into going to get it checked out. Now, before you call me crazy, you should know that I have been getting staph infections since I was about 11. Anytime I get any kind of major cut, I freak out about getting a staph infection in it. So, I am normally a wee bit paranoid about flesh wounds.

I decide to go to the local urgent care. I gather my workers compensation paperwork and off I go. Now some of you may already be shaking your head at me, but in my defense, I had more faith in our medical system.

I walk in and start explaining what happened, where I got the stitches, etc. I DID NOT say anything about Worker's Comp purposefully because I went to this same place to attempt to get stitches out last time I cut myself and they refused. I planned on paying cash for this visit and sending the bill in. I also refuse to lie because, well, what's the point? She finally asked enough questions that I had to tell her it happened at work and yes, there was in fact a claim filed. She refused to give me medical care of any kind. She refused, really, to even discuss it further. She just continued to say that I needed to go back to the EMERGENCY ROOM where I was originally treated. Now. My finger is slightly red and a tiny bit swollen (I still think this is scar tissue.) There is not an open, pussing wound that screams "WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE" every time I look at it. This is not an emergency. The ER I went to was in the heart of downtown, so it is very busy all the time. With real emergencies. Violent ones. Not so much ouchies like I was walking in with. No. I would not go.

She said that I should have been recommended after care. I explained that I refused because I planned on taking out my own stitches. I never got the paperwork. I had nowhere to go other than the ER.

I told the woman, again, I would just pay cash. Pretend she didn't hear the term "workers comp." All I wanted was for someone to take two fucking seconds and say, yes, that could be an infection or nope, you are fine. If it was an infection, write me a 2 second prescription for an antibiotic and I would be on my merry little way. I didn't even care if I saw a doctor, I would trust a nurse. 

Refused. To. Even. Speak. To. Me. I was livid. What if I walked in and the stitches had been ripped out and I was bleeding everywhere? That is the closest medical facility to my house. I guarantee I would have been refused treatment. 

I was willing to pay the bill in full and accept full responsibility for it. I don't have health insurance, so there was no issue there. I just wanted to pay cash for a prescription or a simple "you are fine." 

Refused.

Tell me that there is something wrong with this...because I was BAFFLED. Totally confused. I needed medical assistance and was refused when I had more than enough money to pay the bill. The proper thing to do is go add to the patient load of an already busy ER so someone can look at a finger that is a little pink? Not to go to an urgent care with one family in the waiting room that has plenty of time to see me and take care of the problem. AND. The worker's comp card does not say there is a restriction. 

I was pissed. I still am pissed. I don't understand how medical care in this country can even claim to be slightly effective. 

What next, you ask? I am doing the only thing I think is reasonable. Wait until it gets worse. I am not going to a fucking ER unless I have a fucking emergency. And I sure as hell am not going to spend 16 hours on the phone with an office that is ONLY open while I am work. I can't just take a quick break and make a phone call. That isn't really the way my job works. I get zero breaks. Zero. I eat food hovering over a trash can in between rushes. There is no time to deal with "press 1 if you think we are ridiculous." 

Note: I do.

1 comment:

Josey said...

Ugh, I hate hate hate insurance. I was dealing with mine again today - our whole health care system is so fucked.

I hope your finger is okay...