Another day at the "doctor's" office....
I am fairly new to Fort Bragg, and found myself (and my two very active toddlers) at the clinic on post today-we were there for three very long hours--I needed a referral for an endo. and of course they couldn't give me one over the phone seeing as I have had type 1 diabetes for 22+ years, oh no, they required me to come into the clinic for an appt. just to have them "verify" that I am diabetic (oh what a sick joke the last 22 years have been!) So I sit and wait with two sick kids and they weigh me (ugh), take my height (as if I've grown in the last 15 years) take my blood pressure, only to have a PA ask me a series of lame questions including: "on a scale of 1-5 how willing are you to learn today? (uhhh a 5!), ask me what language I speak and prefer (ahhhh, I'm speaking English, aren't I?--is this a joke?) , Have I ever been pregnant (you think I brought these kids for moral support or fun?) or if I've ever had diabetes (DOH! Isn't that why I'm here) and when I say yes, Type 1 since age 8, he asks me if I take any medications (I am completely amused by now) I tell him I'm on the pump and he's clueless as to what that is (almost as clueless as the security at the airport that thinks the tubing is for bombing the plane) So I explain and tell him I take humalog....then (get this) he says that he can treat my diabetes that he has other diabetic patients (oh really, then why haven't you heard of humalog of know what th epump is?!) So I politely demand that he give me a referral for a doc off-post. He wouldn't do so and ended up giving me a referral for a doc at Womack, but since Womack is so understaffed I will prob. get to go off-post.
I have a name of a doc I want t see, but was told that I don't get to pick the doc, that TriCare will assign me one...so here we go again, me fighting the system to get the treatment I want and deserve. The funny thing is that when I called the office of the endo. that I wanted to see, they told me that I need a referral to see her-I said that I would pay out of pocket and I am self-referring and they refused to make an appt. for me. I was sternly told that they work off of referrals only. But franky, I am way more educated about my diabetes care than some PA that has known me for 5 minutes and who is clueless about the disease. Yet, somehow my care lies in his arms, and now worse yet, in the hands of TriCare! It may take a year, but I will get to see that doctor! I also just got notice that TriCare is requiring my doc to fill out a form explaining why I need to test 8-10 times a day b/c they don't want to pay for strips. Seeing as I don't have an endo. here yet, I haven't been able to get my strips the last two months (luckily I have extras) What BS! You would think that they would encourage preventative measures to avoid costly complications, but they don't!
If I have learned one thing from the moves and beaurocracy of military life, it's that you need to fight for what you want (when it comes to insurance companies & doctors offices) and that after seeing so many incompetant doctors, you really learn to appreciate a good doc and you learn early on which docs are good. It's a system of trial & error, but with a lot of effort and a good fight, you can find a good doctor-if you're willing to fight for one! Good Luck to you all that have to begin a new battle! (oh, and try not to bomb any planes with that "suspicious" tubing connecting to your detenator-errr, I mean insulin pump)