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18 September 2014 @ 11:15 am
A Rant in D Minor  
So, my mum decided I should go to the doctor's today, after her characteristic swap from the 'you're fine' nurse, to the 'maybe you're not fine' mother. It's an inner struggle she has, I get it. We've recently had to switch doctors and our new one leaves appointments blank for emergency, same day people. I rang and had an appointment within half an hour. To give perspective, once at my old doctor, I rang a month in advance for prescription renewal and the first appointment they could give me was for three months later. To get to not only have an appointment while I'm still feeling the same symptoms, but within the hour of my phone call is a miracle. Is this how Americans feel?

Good news: I did not rupture my eardrum.
Bad news: I have an ear infection and probable strep throat.
Worse news: there is not a single fuckin' antibiotic available without food dye in it.

I am not allergic to food dye. I had that tested earlier in the year. I am, however, sensitive to food dye and have completely cut it from my diet and felt much better for it. When I eat food dye, particularly one derived from the cochineal bug, I get a pounding heart, a flushed face, and a tendency to have panic attacks or feel paranoid. It is not a pleasant experience. I have had amoxicillin before (as the very Russian pharamcist told me) and I don't remember being very strange on it, so I hope it will work out.

At the very least, the next seven days should be fun! I apologize for any weird posts I might make.
 
 
 
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 18th, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC)
:(

I'm sorry to hear about the ear infection plus lack of useful antibiotics. My mom suffers from similar restrictions and it's often a battle for us to find her something she can use without having to compromise the diet she needs to be on in order to feel functional. I hope this go around for you is better rather than worse. And hey, any weird posts are welcome. We're all very accepting here on LJ. :)

To get to not only have an appointment while I'm still feeling the same symptoms, but within the hour of my phone call is a miracle. Is this how Americans feel?

It's really just a momentary happiness before we get a letter from our insurance company that doesn't explain to us why they won't cover a visit they should and thus we're now about $500 poorer if we're lucky.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 18th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)
My mom suffers from similar restrictions and it's often a battle for us to find her something she can use without having to compromise the diet she needs to be on in order to feel functional.

Yes, I sympathize. I have lot of food sensitivities that aren't allergies, but nonetheless make me feel crappy. Companies are getting a lot better about not putting those things in food, but it's still far better in the US and Britain than it is in Canada. They aren't allowed to use anything made from the cochineal bug in Britain, which means I can even eat candy and stuff from there, on good days.

Further research suggests the dye in this particular drug is not from cochineal bug, so fingers crossed that's true and I don't also react to this particular dye. I'm not sure when you could use natural dyes why you would choose use artificial ones that even the FDC are a bit skeptical about, but that's life, I suppose.

We're all very accepting here on LJ. :)

Quite honestly, we can't get much weirder than we are right now, can we?

It's really just a momentary happiness before we get a letter from our insurance company that doesn't explain to us why they won't cover a visit they should and thus we're now about $500 poorer if we're lucky.

Yes, I do realize the downside of whatever the term for the opposite of Universal Healthcare is. My mum once went into anaphylaxis in the States and they made her go to billing and put down her credit card before they would even see her in the ER.

I was just delighted not to have to go and sit in the ER for eight hours to be told I'm fine and sent home.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 18th, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
but it's still far better in the US and Britain than it is in Canada.

Yeah, that was one part of our visit to Canada that always gets my mom. We sort of have to actively research the food and restaurants.

Further research suggests the dye in this particular drug is not from cochineal bug, so fingers crossed that's true and I don't also react to this particular dye.

Here's hoping!

I'm not sure when you could use natural dyes why you would choose use artificial ones that even the FDC are a bit skeptical about, but that's life, I suppose.

I'm going to go with the lazy guess that it involves money and artificial stuff is somehow cheaper than natural stuff.

My mum once went into anaphylaxis in the States and they made her go to billing and put down her credit card before they would even see her in the ER.

Ugh. That's horrible. And sadly horribly typical. I feel like I learn more about the healthcare system the longer I'm in the psychology field because so many practicing therapists I know refuse to take insurance precisely because the paperwork and red tap is ridiculous. At the same time, they are charging like $300+ a session so it really narrows down who their patients are.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 18th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was one part of our visit to Canada that always gets my mom. We sort of have to actively research the food and restaurants.

Swiss Chalet recently put up a feature on their website where you check your allergies and they tell you what they serve that you can eat (which is a brilliant idea), so there's now a place I could go to eat out if I wanted.

Otherwise, when we went to the wedding, we rented a hotel room with a kitchen and I brought all my own food, and took my own food to the wedding. There's just too much out there I can't have, I'm not placing the onus on someone else. On the other hand, when my parents go down to the States for shopping, they always come back with tons of treats for me, so that's nice. And organic food is more expensive, but I have found lots of stuff I can have. I even found make-up I can use, and previously, it was a good ten years without being able to wear anything. I do think we're making a turning back towards homecooked, organic, local food, rather than easy, quick, unhealthy food.

I'm going to go with the lazy guess that it involves money and artificial stuff is somehow cheaper than natural stuff.

I'm fairly confident this is why so many companies use soy oil and lecithin when there are literally tons of other types they could use that aren't common allergens.

I feel like I learn more about the healthcare system the longer I'm in the psychology field because so many practicing therapists I know refuse to take insurance precisely because the paperwork and red tap is ridiculous.

Oh wow, that's awful. And you have such an epidemic of mental health patients not getting the care they need, too.

The government health insurance people have made no money on me over the years, considering how often I've been sick and how many chronic complaints I have. I don't know what I would have done if there came a point where they said 'that's it, no more for you, you've reached your limit'. We could even claim the gas money and hotel costs when I went to Toronto to see specialists. It's all a trade off, I suppose. In the States, you can be diagnosed with cancer and have the tumour removed on the same day, but have to pay for the rest of your life for it. Here, you have to wait for months to even see anyone, but at least you're covered for what they do to you.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 18th, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, that's awful. And you have such an epidemic of mental health patients not getting the care they need, too.

I know. Even though I'd ideally like to charge a flat fee an hour if I ever do private practice, I can just see how the system is set up so that I'll essentially need affluent clients who can pay out full fee out of pocket so that I can treat less affluent clients at a lower rate. It's not a great set up to say the least but I really despise how so many people I see now who really need to be in therapy can't afford it beyond a few sessions. The clinic I'm in now does a sliding scale and my other clinic treats low income university students for free so I feel like I've gotten a good look at disenfranchised populations and their needs and how the two clinics that I'm at are extremely few in terms of being low cost.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 18th, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
I haven't got much of an idea of how Obamacare works, other than many, many people don't like it, but will that help at all with this sort of thing?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 18th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
I once sat down with a patient to try to help her navigate Obamacare. It was beyond confusing. If the actual setup of this system actually helps people with better benefits, I feel like 99% of the people in need won't be able to access it because it's so confusing. The paperwork and what you need to tick off in order to get to the next part is so convoluted that I imagine many people tick the wrong thing and end up not getting what they're due.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 18th, 2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
That's fairly standard for health benefits here, too. My mum hurt her back badly last year and can't work anymore. She's trying to get disability benefits, and the amount of paperwork and the fighting and the coercing and the doctor's notes required is mental. I get that people cheat the system, but it makes it that much harder for people who are actually sick or hurt to get help. There's one form she has to fill out that's something like twenty pages.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 18th, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if I feel better or worse that health benefits paperwork being terrible is universal. Probably worse. Canada in some ways has been my standard for how healthcare should work as in everyone deserves healthcare.

Also, I'm not sure if it's less so in Canada but in the US, the fact that doctors can charge what they can while providing minimal care has set up a culture of power crazy physicians for the most part. But then again I'm aware I'm dealing mainly with doctors in New York where everything is extra bad.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 18th, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)
Canada in some ways has been my standard for how healthcare should work as in everyone deserves healthcare.

My impression of Canadian healthcare is Ontario healthcare, which has been in a lot of trouble since the Mike Harris government fucked it over. He cut tons of nurses and closed a lot of hospitals and now there's just nowhere to send anyone and no one to see anyone and no one to look after anyone. I don't think it's quite as bad elsewhere in the country, or at least, I think we have it the worst here.

Also, I'm not sure if it's less so in Canada but in the US, the fact that doctors can charge what they can while providing minimal care has set up a culture of power crazy physicians for the most part.

That I don't know, but I would suspect most procedures cost the same amount, considering the government is paying for them. I think there would be a flat rate, but I can't say for certain. I grew up with two parents in the healthcare system, though neither doctors, and I can say for them at least, they provided excellent care under horrible conditions, and not paid nearly enough. But my mum talks about a new generation of nurses who just don't want to actually nurse. They've all gone through school training to be managers and taught to be 'above' beside nursing, and so they spend most of their days not doing anything and getting paid the same amount as someone like my mum, who's done it for forty years and is doing the work of herself and six other nurses who are standing at a computer, looking at MSN coverage of the Kardashians.
aelfgyfu_mead: Carson Beckettaelfgyfu_mead on September 18th, 2014 10:13 pm (UTC)
To give perspective, once at my old doctor, I rang a month in advance for prescription renewal and the first appointment they could give me was for three months later.
That just seems ridiculous! I'm glad you've got a doctor who could see you today.

I can usually get an appointment the same day for something urgent, but I may wait for an hour or more because I've been worked in, and I can't always get the tests I need the same day. It's still way better than you're talking about, but a lot of things don't get treated the same day.

And a lot of people who don't have money and insurance just don't get treatment.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 18th, 2014 10:20 pm (UTC)
That just seems ridiculous! I'm glad you've got a doctor who could see you today.

My old doctor was swamped with patients. Just swamped. She retired to do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and the new doctor is fresh from med school and only took on a certain number of patients, so her work load is much less. And it's their policy to leave emergency appointments open. With my old doctor, it was easier just to go and wait in the ER for eight hours or try to get into a Walk-In Clinic. My old doctor also had a policy of always seeing you for prescription renewals, even though I've been on the same medication for fourteen years, but this doctor will renew many of them without seeing me, which is nice.

And a lot of people who don't have money and insurance just don't get treatment.

Yeah, that's the downside, and I am often appalled by how much doesn't get treated down there because of costs, or emergency treatments that people spend years paying off. We sort of need the number of clinics and doctors you have down there, with the free Healthcare we have up here. Because of the cost of healthcare being free, they keep cutting the number of nurses and hospitals and doctors to balance it. So, the crush of patients gets bigger and there are no beds to put them in and no appointments for them to be seen.