So, remember when I was pregnant and I had this ongoing kidney problem? They kept telling me it was a UTI, but then the lab results would come back and show no infection. Eventually they sent me to a urologist, and he wanted to do some sort of X-Ray that he said was safe for pregnancy, but I didn’t feel comfortable with it, and then when I found out that our course of treatment, regardless of what it was, would be to wait and see if it got worse, I didn’t see the point.
So… well, the symptoms have come back. Blood in urine, pain on right side.
So far, this is what I have done. Keep in mind that we think our health care expenses are too high. Consider whether my problem has ANYTHING to do with the evil insurance company who is helping me pay for this.
1) Go to primary care physician (actually, someone else in his office). She says *shrug* dunno what the problem is.
2) Go for renal ultrasound, which is, according to Dr. Whomever, the place to start with this.
3) See a urologist, referred from Dr Whomever. Dr. Gallagher (urologist) appointment goes like this:
– Hi, I’m Dr. Gallagher. Having blood in your urine? How long? OK, we’re going to have you do a CT scan to find out what’s going on, and we’ll follow up by looking at your bladder with a scope. You’ve had a catheter before when you had your kids, right?
OK, I am seriously NOT KIDDING. That was our conversation. This was WORSE that OB appointments (which were pretty perfunctory, but at least I got weighed and blood pressure checked). He literally walked in, ordered a test, and was done with me. Now, he did stop to answer my questions – or, rather, to listen to my questions. But I got the distinct impression that I could have saved myself time, hassle, and considerable expense if there had been some way for him to just look at my file (where he could have ascertained that yes, I have blood in my urine and it’s been off and on for at least 3 weeks) and order a CT scan without having to waste my time and his by actually meeting face to face. Dr. Holland (ha – remembered her name!) could have just called him up and asked his opinion, and we could have skipped the apparently incredibly unnecessary ultrasound and gone straight to the CT scan.
(PS, CT scan: $1600.)
Now, let’s take a minute to examine that last question. I’ve had a catheter with the kids? What? That’s a really bizarre assumption to make, eh? To have had a catheter, I would have had to have had a C/S. I know that they’re increasingly common and whatnot, but the majority of women are still having babies the regular way – without a catheter. I couldn’t even give that question justice, I was too taken aback. I ended up muttering something about not being sure why I’d have a catheter for having babies, but I’ve had one in my life, yes.
I spent less than 5 minutes with him – WITH QUESTIONS. I spent 20 minutes with the scheduler scheduling the CT scan.
and. AND!! They wanted to do contrast dye. Now, I happened to have looked it up before I left, suspecting they might want to do that. (I thought I remembered this being mentioned 2 years ago, too.) According to Hale and Kellymom, the contrast dye is NOT a problem. But I asked anyway. And their radiology department said that women have to wean for 48 hours after contrast dye. 48 HOURS! What? That is crazy. How many woman have switched to formula because of this one radiology department? Wean for 48 hours?
Rather than argue with the scheduler, which seemed pointless – she was just the messenger – I ended up telling her that I would respectfully decline the test, then. She was so polite – honestly – and ran out to ask Dr. Gallagher, who said “ok, just do it without.” I’m not worried about having to wean for 48 hours (because it’s a ridiculous recommendation) but I’d rather not ingest that crap if I can get by without it.
I will be printing off the info sheet linked above and giving it to the radiology department, though.
But, seriously. This COULD HAVE gone like this:
1. see family phsician. family physician knows that this is out of their expertise, so she calls specialist and they do a phone consult. he recommends a CT scan and then a followup appointment with him afterwards. I go for CT scan. I save myself considerable money and time, and I decongest the medical system just a little bit.
Why don’t we do THIS? Consumers do not demand it. Hospital and medical system policies prohibit it. annoying.