Infectious Disease Appointment Scheduled

Infectious Disease Appointment Scheduled

I have an appointment with an infectious disease doctor! It’s not until the middle of May. On the one hand that feels so far away. On the other hand, I really need the bills to be spread out so I have time to raise money, so…yay?

While poking around in my patient portal, I realized there are a couple of outstanding blood test results from Friday’s visit with Dr. Onc. 

One of them, an ANA test, is a repeat test I remember having at least twice prior to my brain tumor diagnosis. It was irregular then, but those results were not actually helpful. So I don’t anticipate getting anything valuable from the results this time either. 

In fact, while reading up on it again and discovering how uselessly hedge-y the interpretation of antinuclear antibody test results can be, I wonder why it’s ever ordered. 

Whatever. There’s always a chance it’ll provide a clue. Right? I guess? Maybe?

The other is an HIV test. Dr. Onc just shrugged at that when he mentioned it, as I recall. Y’all, he’s trying. Seriously trying. 

It’s really hard not to be mad at my body, but I think it’s more accurate to be mad at my blood. It never, ever reveals anything helpful. At least my brain is like, “would you please look at this fucking thing?”

[Please pardon me while I take a moment to process the resentment I have for the nurse practitioner who laughed at me for using the word “seronegative” back in 2016—presumably for not buying formal medical training entitling me to use terminology we’d both understand.]

Anyway, thanks to my friend Eva, I’ve got some extra birthday cash to put towards my bills. It might seem like a not-fun way to spend birthday money, but I assure you it’s worth the lifted weight to get closer to a zero-balance. Particularly with the cancer center.

It might not always seem like it by my writing, but I want to state for posterity that the people who do the work do deserve to get paid well for it. It’s the US healthcare system that puts the strain on me now. Jacking up prices and hurting patients are the inevitable consequences when the insurance company’s only goal is profit.

But now I’m just repeating things I’ve said a thousand times before.

Have a nice Monday.

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Next Stop: Infectious Disease

Next Stop: Infectious Disease

Talked to a nurse at the cancer center yesterday, and she told me to expect a call to schedule an appointment with an infectious disease specialist, because my oncologist was referring me to one. This is the next stop on the diagnostic itinerary following the colossally unhelpful excisional biopsy.

It’s strange to say this, but I feel relieved. I genuinely thought after the surgeon’s follow-up that I’d be on my own trying to figure out what to do next.

I wasn’t thinking I couldn’t get medical help, but that I’d have to figure out who and how to ask and that I wouldn’t be up to the challenge. I am not used to medical competence, even though it’s been years since the tumor diagnosis trauma.

So, no appointment yet. But soon-ish.

I did feel well enough yesterday to move my next primary care appointment to April. It was scheduled for Tuesday, but I just can’t juggle all the things. I still have to work out Dan’s health insurance situation, and also Monday is my birthday. I didn’t want to spend it worrying about the next day’s doctor appointment. Because I absolutely would.

Besides, spreading the appointments out gives me longer between bills. Right now I owe about $500. But I am anticipating bills from the anesthesiologist, the surgeon, and the hospital for the biopsy. So far only the lab has billed me, and it was only $125.06. (I say “only” because it’s exponentially more expensive to have a lab look at brain tumor cells—ask me how I know.)

If you’d like to help me out, there are non-money ways to do so listed here. Or you can use the links below.

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Correction: It’s $125.06 for the pre-biopsy consult, $57.87 for the labs, and $350.00 left on the outstanding cancer center/oncology stuff. Sometimes it feels like Medicare doesn’t cover enough. (Because it doesn’t.)

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