owie

So I’ve got a bad back. I’ve had a bad back for a while. And Thursday, the day after the Great Big Sea concert, it decided it was going to remind me it was a bad back.

Not quite a spasm, but DAMN. It was bad, bad enough I was in tears, and continued to be that bad, right through the weekend, to today. Still. I’ve spent the days off doing *nothing*, catching up on DVDs that we’d gotten & hadn’t watched, playing some video games…BORING. Couldn’t sit for long periods, couldn’t stand, could only lie there & hurt. Big hurt.

I’d quit going to my usual chiropractor a couple months ago; whatever he was doing, it wasn’t doing any good. I hadn’t healed, I was still achy & sore & stiff on a continual basis, and finally, I made the decision that if, after more than a year of ‘treatment’, if he wasn’t doing any good, he was going to keep on not doing any good and I was wasting both time & money; I’d *never* been re-evaluated in that whole year. So with this flare-up, that’d left me with a problem — no doctor.

(aside note: I’d gone to a regular doctor about a month ago on the back pain & my sinus infection, and that doctor watched me walk, had me bend over, and said, “nah, it’s not a herniated disc, you’re fine” (yeah, I’m just making the pain up), and took Xrays, saying they’d call if they’d found anything. There was no callback. More on that in a bit.)

So, on Friday, I scheduled an appointment with another chiro, after seeing an article in our local newspaper about a place called “The Back Pain Institute” which used decompression therapy with good results. Okay. Can’t hurt, might help. Called, asked the receptionist if they were under my insurance’s network, got told “We accept all insurance”, okay fine fine good. Got told to have the “regular” doctor fax the Xray report over.

Well, there’s where the problems started. I’d made the appointment early Friday morning, and called the regular doctor’s office right after that, requesting the fax. By late Monday afternoon, the new chiro’s office told me they still hadn’t gotten the report, and it took two more calls (the last decidedly snarked-off) before the R.D.’s office finally faxed the report.

So, this morning, I went into that new Chiro. Nice, expensively-decorated posh office on Kenny Ave. Got taken back to a room and made to watch a 9 minute tape touting the benefits of the decompression therapy (first warning bell went off). Then, just as the tape finished, in walked the Chiro, who said he’d looked at the report, had me bend forward, poked my mid-back a couple times, and said, “Yes, your disc is degenerated and you’re a perfect candidate for this therapy”…(Second warning bell, but still willing to show interest)…”My receptionist will go over your insurance and payment plans with you, and we’ll get started.” (HUH?)

At which point, I was taken into another office at the front and told, “We’re not in any insurance network, most of them want us to write-off too much of our costs, so it’ll be $4000 for 20 treatments on the decompression machine.” (please reference earlier quote about accepting all insurance). I only sat there, stunned & aching & in pain to the point of tears again, as this perfectly-made-up-and-impeccably-dressed wench started going over financing and credit options. I mean, DAMN, even when I’d gone to my prior chiro, without insurance, his office visits were only $45 per, and that included roller-massage therapy! I finally managed to get enough of my brain together to stammer something out about needing to discuss such a big amount with my husband, and left. And promptly went home to Brett and dissolved into tears, pain & hurting & frustration because dammit, I’ve lived with this crap long enough, and either I’m getting blown off as old, or there’s nothing wrong, or I’m getting put into endless treatment that does no damn good.

So, longer story abbreviated, I calmed down enough to go onto my insurance co’s website, called my insurance provider because I had absolutely no clue where to go for this kind of thing other than a Regular General Doctor or a Chiro, and got suggested that I try an osteopath (real doctor, does manipulation, and can refer to other therapy). Okay. Searched their database, found one right down the street, called. Spoke with a nice & sympathetic woman who said the earliest they had open was in two weeks (yipe), but after I scheduled the appointment, said she had me flagged to move up ASAP if they had any cancellations before then. Then she asked if I could get the Xray films & report from the other doctor & have them sent over.

Okay. So I called the regular doctor, requested that, and got told, “We need a release form sent over before we can send those.” (oh yeah? they didn’t need it for the new Chiro!)

And aching & sore & having had ENOUGH of this shit, I hauled off with “Excuse me? I’m the patient. I’m TELLING you to do this. Those are my records. You’ve already done this for another doctor. Please send that stuff over there.”

“We can’t do it without a release form.” *click*

And, aching & sore & having had ENOUGH of that shit & ready to get medieval on all doctors, nurses, receptionists & whatnot, I drove down to that Regular Doctor’s office and stood in front of them and demanded my Xrays and report. Which, by law, they have to give me — it’s my medical records. And which I now have.

And which I opened & looked at as soon as I got them home. Right there, on that report, for those xrays done for this “regular” doctor who told me there was nothing wrong…”degenerated disc & vertebrae”.

Mad is not the word for it. EXTREMELY FUCKIN’ PISSED OFF comes close.

And what tops the day off? Because I can’t afford any more PTO at this point, I limp into work (get promptly greeted with “Chris…? You look like shit, what the hell are you doing in???”) and pick up the paper and see right on the front page of our “metro” section…that Ohio University had hackers break into their alumni server & steal SSNs. And the article even QUOTES the damn university folks as saying that the info on that server was there in error, that they didn’t mean to have it so unprotected.

Guess who’s an alum of OU? Can we say “lawsuit”, boys & girls? Oh hell yeah.

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