I am sitting here pondering life – and my health in general – and thinking about what I wrote about fatigue the other day. I’m not over-tired, but a little weary, and considered taking a nap. But my drive to not give up on the A to Z challenge told me, “No! Go write your posts!” So here I am.
This post doesn’t really have TMI, but guys – if you don’t want to see a rant about the state of OBGYN care in the USA, feel free to move on – or at least scroll to the end.
This is a busy week for my health. I had a routine doc appointment yesterday. I have been going to Planned Parenthood for routine OBGYN care since I lost my insurance several years ago. Now that I have new insurance, it seemed like the right thing to go there since I had my “annual” scheduled, and then consider switching. After all, they will bill my insurance and I shouldn’t have had to pay for an exam because it is preventative care.
Except they didn’t actually do an exam. The “annual” is now blood pressure and weight with a script for my med refill. I knew PAP smears are now only required every 3 years. No one has ever mentioned that pelvic exams and clinical breast exams are no longer necessary.
Ladies, how do you feel about that? I was sort of pissed.
To ice the cake, they then tried to charge me a specialist co-pay. I said, “I’m pretty sure this is covered under preventative care, and there is no co-pay for that.” The woman said, “No, you were just here for a script refill.” I said, “No, I was here for what you call my ‘annual,’ and even if I was not, I still was not sick or here for a medical concern; therefore this is not a sick visit. It is preventative care.”
Someone correct me if I’m wrong. (I’ll also be calling my health insurance company about this). By the definition of preventative care, the visit qualifies. Even if they only take my blood pressure, that is considered “screening.”
Anyway, they actually seemed unsure after I challenged them. I think they are confused by it all, and I can’t blame them, but someone needs to figure it out – STAT.
(I did not, by the way, pay the co-pay. I will if I find out they were right, but they agreed to wait and see what their main office says).
Tomorrow (Thursday), I go for a 2 month follow-up with my family doctor. Despite having been sick a couple of times, and hurting my foot, I’ve lost 12 pounds since the last time I saw her. We had been monitoring my blood pressure because my bottom number seems to be creeping high. She explained that even though I have some stress/anxiety, those things impact the top number more than the bottom. The bottom number is a legit health concern.
That brings me back to yesterday, when the tech at Planned Parenthood told me my BP was 104/68. I didn’t even hesitate. I told her, “You need to take that again.” She got a similar number. Thing is, I know how to take a blood pressure. The cuff was too small, wrapped around my arm too tight, and she didn’t pump it up very high. I’m not sure how she could have gotten a correct number. I took my BP when I got home and it was closer to my normal, which is rather healthy (including that bottom number, for a change), but not nearly that low.
Health. I’m trying to be healthy. I’m trying to care for myself. Why, now that I have health insurance, is everything so difficult (hah!)?