Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 • No Comments on Stressed (4w1d)
I hate the military healthcare system. Hate it.
My “appointment” on Tuesday confirmed my pregnancy. Yay! At that time, I was given the same paperwork I was given 8 months ago (with the same things crossed off because no one has bothered to edit the “Congratulations on your Pregnancy” paperwork they give newly pregnant women)and told to schedule my first prenatal appointment in 48 hours. Since I’ve been through this before, I reiterated with the charge nurse that I’m 41, have had previous miscarriages, have fibroids, have been told that I should be seen prior to 10 weeks. I asked her what I needed to do to make sure that happens. She said that all of that information is in my file and when I called for a referral, they’d see it.
And yet, I’m right back in that loop of them refusing to see me before ten weeks. I called the main appointment line this morning to schedule my appointment. I told them I’m going to be 42 in six weeks. I told them I have had three previous miscarriages. I told them I have fibroids. I told them that I was told I’m high risk and should be seen earlier and they said… “The earliest appointment is May 12.” Which is, you guessed it, ten weeks. Well, nine weeks and six days.
When I said that wasn’t acceptable, she offered to transfer me to the OB/GYN department at the naval hospital. I said fine. So she transferred me and that woman told me the earliest she can get me an appointment is April 21. Okay, that’s some relief. Six weeks/six days is better than ten weeks. Oh, but that’s not my actual prenatal appointment. I asked what that meant. She told me they’ll do my blood work then, but no exam, no ultrasound and it’s a “group” appointment—an informative “class.”
I don’t need to sit in a room with a bunch of 21 year old baby Navy wives and learn about fetal development. I do not need a class. I need to be seen by a doctor. I need my first OB appointment before ten weeks. I need an exam and an ultrasound to check out those fibroids and the embryo implantation. I need not to have to call three different numbers and talk to four different people. I told this woman all of this and she got snippy even while I was starting to lose it. She said I could speak to a nurse if I wanted. I asked her if the nurse would tell me something different than what she was telling me. “I’m not a nurse, I don’t know what she’ll tell you,” she said, ready to be done with me.
I told her to transfer me.
Only, I don’t get to speak to a nurse. I get her voice mail. It was a little after 11 AM and I left her a long and detailed message about my situation. I recounted my age, my miscarriages, my fibroids, the fact that I’ve already been told that I should be seen sooner than ten weeks. It is now after 3 PM and the nurse hasn’t called me back.
I hate the military healthcare system.
After that phone call, I called a local OB/GYN office that a couple of friends use. The receptionist said it would be two to three weeks because I’m a new patient. But guess what? I can get my first OB appointment with them on April 20. Six weeks/five days, no ‘class,” no need to call three different numbers and talk to four different (disinterested) people. Wow.
Of course, this now means I need to disenroll from Tricare Prime so I can actually see a civilian provider without a referral. It also means finding a general practitioner to cover my regular medical issues. It means paying a copay for appointments and prescriptions. But that all seems worth it given what I went through this morning.
I’m trying to find out if there is a way to maintain my current primary care physician and healthcare plan while being referred out for the OB/GYN. Reading the medical benefits and policies online has been headache-inducing so far. I don’t know if there’s an answer. But I’m trying to just stay calm (ha!) and get through this process so I can actually see an OB. I know I could have another miscarriage and I would really like it if I’m not in an emergency room the first time I see a doctor.