Monday, July 13, 2009

What happened to caring?

As I sit in the passenger seat as my husband drives the 101 in Los Angeles (yes isn't technology wonderful. I just pull the 'ol lap top out, plug the broad band card in and away I type), watching folks be rude and obnoxious as they drive. My thoughts turn to wondering exactly when we stopped caring about and for each other as human beings. When did it become so important to be first in the freeway lane that it was worth cutting the person off in front of you and risking your life causing an accident to do so?

While it's true that no one promised any of us life would be easy, or fair, why do some insist on making it that much more difficult by the way they treat their fellow man? I read blogs of fellow MSers that are going through such hard times. Isn't it enough that we're dealing with this disease that controls our lives on it's own whim of which we have no control? Why then do we have to fight with insurance companies and cold, unfeeling physicians who don't seem to really give a crap. As a medical professional myself, some of the things I read (and have experienced myself) makes me absolutely ashamed to call the profession my own. Heck, sometimes as I watch the evening news I'm ashamed to call myself a member of the human race.

So, at the very least, why do we have to fight insurance companies for treatment? Heck, why do we even have to wait so long to even receive the oh so carefully worded notice of their denial? I have now been waiting three weeks, almost four to wait to see if I'm going to receive authorization to go to UCLA. Of course, it may be denied. After all, even though there is not a single physician (supposedly) in the entire Bakersfield region allowed to write the prescription for Tysabri, (hence I HAVE to be evaluated by the UCLA MD's to get the prescription), UCLA is "out of network" and I have to be granted special permission. Even though my Neurologist feels that Tysarbri may be my last shot at stopping the progression of my MS and heck, maybe even get some function back.

So, I wait, and my MS progresses. It's progressed so much over the last month that my physiatrist told me last week that a leg brace on my left leg will no longer be of any help to me.

So, I wait to see if some unfeeling, uncaring, nameless, faceless person sitting behind a desk, who doesn't give a crap about me or my situation, will decide to bless me with special permission to go to UCLA. THEN, IF UCLA agrees I need Tysabri, I'll sit and wait to see if the same nameless, faceless person will ALLOW me to have the treatment.

There is something VERY wrong with this process. Oh to go back to the days of real "case management". When patients with chronic diseases where assigned a dedicated nurse to follow each of them by the insurance company. A nurse who had the authority to authorize services and who VISITED the patients. Got to know them and what they really needed. I can't even get safety rails authorized.

Oh to go back to the day when folks used their turn signals and the person in the next lane waved them over.

1 comment:

Webster said...

We live in a capitalist society, and capitalism is predicated on greed. Our government is greedy, our leaders are greedy, our industries are greedy, and our insurance companies are greedy, always looking out for their profit margin and stockholders instead of the people they supposedly serve. So we get screwed by those in power positions and we can't/or don't fight back, because what are our options?. That sets us up to be angry and selfish ourselves, because if we don't look out for #1, who will? It takes a strong and somewhat enlightened person to care.

That's my off the cuff answer to what happened to caring. Sucks, doesn't it?