Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lab Work Held Hostage, Validation From My Endo, & Watch 30Rock Tonight!!!

The Waiting Game......

I made it to my endo appointment yesterday with 10 minutes to spare, and the waiting game officially began.

I checked in electronically, (because my Endo office became high tech overnight) and waited for my name to be called.

When it was, I went to the front desk, and paid my outrageous co-pay and asked: Did you get my labs?

And I waited patiently while the receptionist checked. Turns out, she did not. There was nothing that looked like my lab work was showing up on the computer (did I mention they were all high tech) and she put in a call to LabCore.

I was nervous and agitated. This wasn’t the first time my insurance company designated lab company had screwed up my lab work, but I TRIED to remain calm. I could feel my blood pressure boiling and I was ready to call LabCore myself.

I was sent back to the waiting room and waited. My name was AGAIN called and I was led back to the area were I would be weighed (UGH) my blood pressure was taken (normal) and my finger was stabbed. Blood sugar was 175, two hours after lunch. I could live with that – and gave myself a correction bolus.

Then I was led to an examination room, where I was left to my own devices ( twitter, email, and note scribbling) and waited. And WAITED. AND WAITED.

Finally, Dr. J came in and said something along the lines of: The lab won’t release your lab work without your social security number. What is it?

Me: Whaaaaat? Why is my lab work being held hostage?

He repeated something about my ss# and only having the last 4 digits in my file that he was holding in his hand and a miscommunication between the original lab that took my body fluids and shipped them off to LabCore so they would be covered my my insurance. I gave him the rest of my digits, and off he went. Did I mention the fact that I was impressed that Dr. J was dealing with this LabCore snafu?

I looked at the clock, and thought about the small ransom I was paying in parking fees and wondered if I could send the bill to LabCore. Did I mention that I couldn't find any street parking and was paying through the nose at the hospital's parking garage?

Finally Dr. J returned and said: Hello Kelly! I have your lab your lab results and I’m really quite happy.

Me: You are?

Dr J: YES, I really am! Your kidneys, liver function are normal, cholesterol is great, and no anemia or thyroid problems to speak of. Seriously good numbers all around! Care to guess what your a1c is?

Me: Honestly, I have no idea at this point Doc. I can't even guess.

Dr J: OK, I’ll tell you. 7.1 down from 7.4 at your last visit – I’m really thrilled with your labs and your A1C progress.

Me: OK, I’m shocked. I’m thrilled, but I’m shocked none the less. Dr. J, I’ve been feeling really burned out as of late. I mean I’m doing what I have to do, but I know I need to do more. I’m always tired and my exercise is almost none existent these days. I stopped the Symlin because my only large meal is at dinner. I barely eat during the day! Not to mention the whole insurance, Symlin thing.

Dr J: You stopped the Symlin. OK, we need to try again. Don’t worry that you’re only taking it once a day. That’s OK. I really think if you give at another try, you’re going to feel better – because your numbers are going to be even better and your liver won't be dumping as large of sugar because you won't be spiking as much. OK, keep in mind, I'm paraphrasing and the liver part is somewhat sketchy in my memory.

Me: My insurance company is raking me over the coals as far as Symlin is concerned. They want almost $200 dollars a month for a Symlin pen and I when I heard that, I was like, no way, I’m done. If it weren’t for my friend (who shall remain nameless, per her request) sending me her Symlin pens (she stopped taking them, but her pens had already been paid for by her insurance) I wouldn’t have any.

Dr. J: OK, you know what? Your insurance is wrong to charge you that much for one Symlin pen - Shop around and see what other pharmacies will charge - I’ll write you another script. In the mean time, come to me if you need more. I’m going to grab you some more samples and you should be good for a few months.

Did I mention how much I love my Endo?

I talked to him about cutting my cholesterol meds and he agreed that going on the lowest dose of simvistatin (10mgs) would be fine. And then he told me that if I was still having hair volume issues we could look at other medications.

Then we talked about the whole 1 and million thing and how my Eye Specialist had passed away.

Me: I hate his partner and I’m not going back.

Dr J: Why?

Me: Because when I went for my appointment last time, he wasn’t nice, and he didn’t read my file before he came in to exam me. He was “shocked” at how young I was. And I called him on not reading my file. He said something like, well, I just saw ocular occlusion and diabetic and I just assumed you were a senior citizen.

Dr J: First off, your ocular occlusion had NOTHING to do with your diabetes! And secondly, I don’t care how busy a Dr. is, he or she always has time to read a patients file – It’s not an option, it’s a must! I agree, go to another specialist – I would if it were me.

Did I mention that at that point, I just wanted to give him a big hug!

We finished up our exam, and then he gave me a boatload of medicine samples.

I left my Endo feeling happy with myself regarding my diabetes for the first time in a very long time. I still have work to do, but I don't feel like the battle is ALL uphill. And I also left feeling validated - which is something I always feel when I leave Dr. J's office, regardless of my lab results. I'm really lucky that I have a great Endo who listens to my concerns, makes me feel good, and works with me!

Now, for something completely different & fantastical!

My niece Cristin will be featured on 30Rock tonight, so I highly suggest you watch!

Here’s a production still with her and Tina Fey!! Cristin is an amazing talent and she's a salt of the earth young woman to boot!

Did I mention the fact that I love her very much and I’m SO PROUD OF HER!

Tina & Cristin filming 30Rock - Episode 516: TGS Hates Women!


Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Very awesome all around. This doc sounds completely amazing. Congrats on your wonderful A1C. Woohoo!

Renata said...

First, so awesome about your endo being supportive. I will be interested to find out your results from shopping around for the sym...uh I can't remember how to spell it. Symalimanlin Symalin Simulin...whatever.

Very cool about your neice. And even cooler that youare so proud.

Michelle Golladay said...

Way to GO! I am so happy for you! I love hearing good diabetes news!
This made my day!

Robin said...

Woo Hoo! Yea Kelly!

Meri said...

There is NOTHING better than a wonderful endo appt! I'm so happy for you!

And I'll be watching! How exciting for your family!

Anonymous said...

You know... I was having a horrible day at work and was so ready to throw something. Then I read this. And it made me smile, and be all happy for you. Way to go, Kel. This guy sounds like an awesome one, and it's so sweet to have that. I'm not a regular watcher of 30 Rock, but I'm going to tune in and check it out - since, you know, I was very impressed with your niece's role on The Good Wife! Fantastical all around, indeed!!!

Penny said...

Will be tuning in tonight!
Congrats on the great A1C babe.
We gotta meet up soon - Sweet Freedom when the weather gets a wee bit warmer!

Hallie Addington said...

Yay Kelly! You and Avery are A1c Twins!! Great job, chica! Wonderful endos are like a gift from heaven! We had a doc not read her chart once... she came in and sat down and said, "Um... there was sugar in her urine. I'm concerned about this because it isn't normal.." I said, "Does she have ketones?" The doc looked at me like I had 3 heads and then looked at the chart... "Oh... she's diabetic. Ok." I almost laughed. She looked so thankful that we knew ! HA! And I was thinking, "Uh, yeah. No shit - she has sugar in her urine. Tell me something I don't know!" Giggle, giggle! Way to go! Glad it was a good day!

Joanne said...

Yay on the a1c, and I love hearing about supportive docs. Too many out there who just don't give a rip.

Oh man... I missed 30 Rck tonight! It's one of my favourite shows, but my husband was out and I had bedtime duty with both kids... usually a two hour affair by the time I'm done.

Need to find it online. How cool about your cousin!

Unknown said...


(fist pumping in AZ, my friend)

Kelly said...

You-are-AWESOME!! I hope you FEEL proud! ((HUGS))