Stressors

First off, thank you for the comments on my last post (I commented briefly too). You have no idea how grateful I am for your detailed disclosures—you have helped us enormously!

I am writing today to help me calm down…

I want to let some things go but am struggling. Stressors.

Hell

I’ll start with the one I’ll call Blood Thinner Hell. I have been here before, in the grips of anxiety caused by my health insurance. Add to that, this time, a flustered nurse with whom I had “communication problems”( I give myself accolades for the generosity of that statement).

I won’t belabor the lengthy play-by-play of the past few days because that sometimes becomes difficult to follow. The nutshell: should be switching from love.nox to Heparin this Thursday, but nurse + G H (H stands for hell) have made that a nightmare. I actually just drove to my OB’s clinic, with step by step instructions for the nurse to follow, and ended up in my OB’s office with my OB and the nurse, who was shaking with anger and (as happened on the phone) not listening, totally flustered by her interactions with G-Hell-I and with me. I was red-faced, breathing hard, and also very angry, but forcing calm tone of voice. My OB was being reasonable with both of us, but really empathizing with the nurse’s frustrations with the insurance dealings and the difficulty getting an authorization for the medication. I tried to explain, using my least fighting words, that “communication was not good” with the nurse—really wanting to put it more pointedly, “I think a big part of the problem is that this nurse is a poor communicator.” But I didn’t.

Now the nurse is saying that G-Hell-I is saying that I’m not covered for heparin at all—which makes no sense, as a) they told me it’s covered, and b) it’s cheaper than love.nox, for which I am covered.

It does sound like the nurse has been trying for days and has gotten the runaround. And I am trying to be generous and understanding about her frustration, but at several steps along the way in our phone calls I have been confused by her unclear communication and lack of professionalism. And now it sounds like my OB is probably going to send me to a hematologist—probably in part because they don’t want to deal with this situation any longer—when I’ve never needed to do so before. I’ve had blood thinners prescribed by OBs, REs, and they got authorization for me, no problem. And I’m supposed to start the meds in two days. In case I go into labor, they want me to have the option of an epidural, and love.nox takes 24 hours to leave the system and can cause hemmorhage. I will be (understatement) so upset if we end up having to pay $500 out of pocket for a drug that our insurance covers, to avoid that (scary) risk.

It all left a very bad taste in my mouth, but I am glad that I got to talk to my OB face-to-face. I did not have an appointment but showed up at the clinic (because I couldn’t get a yes or no from reception about being able to talk to the doctor on the phone today, and I knew it had to be today). She said she was glad I stopped by. She said that they have never had this much trouble getting an authorization before. She seemed understanding toward me but also at a measured distance. I think what it comes down to is that I really needed her to apologize for the nurse’s behavior. Now I feel funny—like I’ve been relegated to the “difficult patient” category, instead of the nurse being relegated to the “difficult nurse” category, and like I have no idea what is going to happen when it comes to this blood thinner issue. OB says that it’s okay to wait until even as late as Monday to switch.

What I need to do right now is let go of the unpleasantness that has transpired, and trust that it will all work out. For my baby’s sake, I need to do this.

What I also need to do is try to let go of defeating thoughts that this has damaged my relationship with my OB, whom I very much need to trust and feel comfortable with right now. I think it will be fine, that I just need some time to pass. I also need to dispel unserving thoughts that I will now feel uncomfortable in general at this clinic, for the rest of my pregnancy. I have control over that.

The truth is, I have control over all of this. Negative spiraling is just unneeded drama. Focus: things have been really good and easy with my OB, we are on the same page with birth preferences, and this does not have to come in the way of that.

I was going to write about another situation (this one with my MIL) but I think that’s enough for now! Thanks for listening, as ever.

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5 Comments

  1. Ugh, like you need this stress right now. So interesting that difference between “difficult nurse” and “difficult patient,” especially when you are just trying to make sure you’re doing all the things you need to to keep things going well. Frustrating!!! I hope it is resolved, I hope you can feel comfortable moving forward, I hope this is a bump and the rest goes smoothly. Argh.

    Reply
    • Oh man! I just called my insurance and after a mere 20 minutes of pleasant phone calls, I have secured the drug—$0 copay, free overnight delivery to doctor’s office, etc. It was so easy to figure out!

      Now I know for certain that a big part of the problem was the nurse’s communication skills. I know from experience how difficult dealing with insurance, GHI in particular, can be, but not so in this case. I can’t believe all of that unnecessary stress. I feel validated. But what is up with that.

      Shall I write a letter detailing my experience with the nurse, or shall I let sleeping dogs lie, hmmm…

      Reply
  2. Davidah

     /  November 5, 2014

    Great news! If you need to for yourself, write up the story of the nurse’s behavior but don’t send it to the OB. She is naturally going to defend her staff, but that doesn’t need to get into the middle of your relationship with your OB. This is a little hurdle that you have now leapt over and you can look forward to continuing down your path.

    Reply
  3. Guarantee this is not the first time this nurse has had issues with a patient or her colleagues. Bad communication like that is a pretty terrible thing in a medical setting. Your OB probably knows the deal.

    Reply
  4. We ended up “complaining” (well, we tried to frame it as giving feedback) on my RE’s assistant because she never returned my calls and just basically was completely clueless whenever we asked her to do anything (i.e. get us copies of tests). My RE actually seemed really interested in hearing it, and we suspect it might not have come as a complete surprise to her. Either way, sorry for the stress that you absolutely DON’T need right now!

    Reply

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