Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Glaucoma

Ocular hypertension is back. Stupid ugly scary back and I have to get it checked out.

But now…NOW…I am being forced to acquire a primary care physician. Sorry. Wait. Let me back up. I went to the eye doctor on Saturday, bending over finally and giving in to Father Time by getting fitted for bifocals or more nicely put - progressive lenses. Remember a few posts ago I talked about my old glaucoma diagnosis? Remember how I said I was told I didn’t have glaucoma and I could go my merry way? No more drops? No more two visits a year? No more cereal bowl in a dark close carbon-dioxide laden room?

Gasp/Breathe/Gasp/Breathe/Gasp/Breathe Breathe Breathe breathe breathe.

OK. OK. Sorry. Whoooo. Sorry. Sorry.

Pressures are high. Really high. Like take away her driver’s license and slap a handicap sticker on the car she’s going blind high. So high that even I was worried.

The fun begins. This is no longer within the scope of my vision plan. We are now entering the land of the medical benefit access. HMOs. PCPs. Acronyms out the hoo hah. And oh the complexity. Understand, before I can stop myself from going BLIND, I have to:

  • Call the insurance company to understand the process and my benefit (HMO)
  • Go on line and find a physician in my plan (PCP)
  • Call the physician’s office, ensure they take my insurance and are taking new patients (ASAP)
  • Make an appointment for an initial examination with the PCP who is an MD
  • Take time off work to go to initial appointment (SOL)
  • Endure weigh-in, blood pressure check, temperature check, invasive questions about my menstrual cycle, my last pap smear, my most recent mammogram, whether I smoke, how much I drink, when I last had sex, my seat belt utilization, and what my turn ons include (SPaFGimMIGTSM)
  • Tell them that all I want right now is a referral to my specialist (DO)
  • Get referral from my PCP to see my DO (OMFG)
  • Call my DO to set up an appointment

Meanwhile I call my previous DO, to get my MR (medical records) to transfer to the new DO so that we are prepped and poised with all information at hand should I GO EFFING BLIND BY THE TIME I GET IN TO SEE HIM.

All that was after calling my HMO and going through the automated voice response system.

  • Femme bot: “Are you a member or a provider?”
  • Me: “Member”
  • Femme bot: “Thanks!” (I love the enthusiasm that is interjected into the femme bot on the other end) To better serve you, please say your Plan ID or enter your social security number into the keypad”
  • Me: "Blab la Blab”
  • Femme bot: “Thanks! Now, say or enter the primary card holder’s date of birth”
  • Me: “Blab lab blab”
  • Femme bot: “I’m sorry,” (she really sounds it too) “that date is not in my system. Please say or enter the primary card holder’s date of birth”

Unfortunately, at this point, someone came up to my desk and needed my assistance, so I had to hang up. It went much more smoothly the next time I called.

  • Femme Bot: “Are you a member or a provider?” “Customer Service”
  • “Thanks! To better serve you, please say your ID or enter your social security number into the keypad” “Customer Service”
  • “OK! Let me get you a customer service representative to assist you.”

Nooooow we’re talkin’.


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