Print Story Stacky VS the medical community
By StackyMcRacky (Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:31:31 PM EST) (all tags)
An exercise in pain, in many parts.  Most of it happening in the last 2 weeks.


We’ve been going to the same vet since I got her and I have been super happy with them up until a few years ago when the owner retired (there were originally 3 vets, the owner and 2 others) and sold the practice to Veterinary Clinic of America, a national chain.  Their prices shot WAY up and the other 2 vets left.  Since Porschea is a healthy dog, I continued going there because I was too lazy to find another vet.  At her annual check-up last Dec they wanted to run a blood panel because “she’s a senior dog now,” but most likely was an annoying upsell.  I figured what the hell and let them do it.  They called me a few weeks later to let me know her liver enzymes were a bit high and they would like her re-tested in 6 months.  Liver enzymes fluctuate wildly, so the high number in itself didn’t mean much.  In July I had her retested and the number was MUCH higher.  Their recommendation was to have another $1000 in tests run and put her on a supplement that cost $100/mo.  They wanted to check for liver cancer, adrenyl disease, diabetes, and maybe some other stuff I can’t remember.  Oh, and high liver enzymes could also just be a sign of stress but we needed to rule the other things out.  A quick check to Dr. Google told me the supplement wasn’t a joke, and could even help with stress.  I picked it up at 1-800-PetMeds for only $78/mo and started giving them to her.  While she hadn’t been really lethargic or anything, she was a bit down.  If you’ve read my other diaries/G+ entires/tweets you’ll know this was a HORRIBLE summer and we’ve all been stressed to the max.  Anyway, 3 days after going on the supplement she was back to her 100% crazy self.

2 weeks ago she started demanding to go pee multiple times in the middle of the night, and each time it was like she was trying to single-handedly rehydrate the yard, one pee at a time.  Then I noticed she was sucking down water like there was no tomorrow.  Hrm.  And she was becoming VERY lethargic.  Diabetes came to mind, but I kind of didn’t want to acknowledge it.  The next day DK and I dropped The Dude off at school, and Porschea barely lifted her head to look at us when we got home.  She then stayed in the exact same place for the next 6 hours.  NOT normal at all.  I went to the Pet Boutique and asked the woman there for a recommendation for a good vet in the area, because I flat-out don’t trust our old vet office any more.  I called as soon as we got home and made an appointment for the next day.

They ran a full battery of tests (which only cost $200, I would like to add) and found her to be severely dehydrated with a blood sugar of 436 (normal is 70-145) and a UTI!  They kept her overnight on an IV and ran some other tests.   We picked her up the next day and she was MUCH improved!  She’s on a prescription diet now (expensive, but they gave us a TON of coupons) and has to have insulin injections twice a day. 

About that a regular pharmacy it costs $200+ for a vial!!!!!1111one!!!!  If you call a club pharmacy (Costco, join the Rx club at my local grocery store, etc) you can get it for $60-70.  However, you can get a special generic only sold at Walmart for $24.88.  I absolutely hate RuinAmericaMart, and this makes me hate them even more.   So if you’re a person without insurance and need this stuff, if you don’t have access to an IdiotMart, you’re boned.  And remember, kids, the USA’s health care system is perfect just the way it is!!

For the record, I am breaking my principles and shopping at RuinAmericaMart.  On the one hand, I am disgusted at myself, but on the other hand I like to save fucktons of money.


Being the good little boy scout that he is, clock called in his Coumadin prescription to the pharmacy, knowing they would have to call the doc because she refuses to approve more than a 30 day supply.  He went to go pick it up and learned the refill had been denied because “it was too early to refill.”  Um, what?  He’s out of pills, how could it be “too early?”  This was on a Friday, so first thing Monday he called the doc.  No response.  He called again Tuesday.  No response.  He called again Wednesday.  Again, no response.  At this point he had been off the meds for almost a week, which is Not A Good Thing.  Thursday I went to the doc’s office (we have the same GP) and demanded to speak to somebody about this.  The receptionist tried her best to get me to just leave the info, but I refused.  When the nurse came out 10 minutes later, we had a very nice chat.  Or not.  Basically, they refused the refill because he needed to make an appointment.  Why couldn’t they have returned his call days ago and told him?  No response to that query.  Also, they had decided to change the rules for refills:  he had always made an appointment every 6 months and gotten his blood done every 6 weeks.  Oh, no, that’s not their policy!  It’s appointment every 3 months!  Um, OK, again why didn’t anybody call him back?  *crickets*  We also argued about pharmacy law in Texas and a few other choice items.  I eventually got them to send a refill in by making an appointment for clock on the spot for this Friday.


During my argument with the nurse we learned that the Walgreen’s down the street has been filling his prescription for the wrong amount.  The doc calls in 32 pills (a month’s supply) but they only give him 30 (because the doc also called in the wrong dosage information) with no refills remaining.  We’ve had so many problems with this pharmacy over the last year, they’re now fired.  We’re going to the pharmacy at my regular grocery store which is farther away but the people are actually helpful, and they give him a 2 pill “refill” when the doctor calls in the wrong directions so we lose no pills.


What was once a tiny whitehead pimple thing on my lower eyelid burst into a giant cyst/sty thing during my pregnancy with DK.  It never went away, so I got a recommendation from my GP (the one from above) and went to an opthamologist.  The thing was too big for them to take care of on the spot, so they wanted me to book some time in the operating room to get it removed (they’re going to remove it from the INSIDE of my lid!  THAT IS FUCKING GROSS AS HELL!).  The receptionist at the front desk got me all set up, and I did the dance moves to get the kids taken care of while I had this done.  I show up for the appointment this past Monday morning and.....uh, why am I in the clinic, because my chart clearly says I need to be in the o/r.  Oh, it seems the receptionist read it wrong and booked me incorrectly.  See, Wednesday is the only surgery day so I have to make an appointment for then.  This Wednesday all surgeries are downtown because the elevator isn’t working in the building.  *sigh*  They hook me up with a surgical coordinator and we make the appointment.  Oh, and since it’s technically “surgery” in a legally-insurance-defined “operating room” I need to get a surgical clearance signed by my regular doctor.  OK, fine, my mother has the kids so I’ll run by my doc and get her to sign the paper.  Well, it seems my appointment in August wasn’t enough of a physical for her to sign off on the clearance, so I need to book an appointment for a proper physical.  Oh, and there will be a $20 fee for her signing the clearance.  At this point, I was pissed as hell.  $20 fee for signing off on the paperwork needed by the doctor she sent me to?  Fuck that!   

On the way out of the building, I stopped in to another physician practice a nurse friend of my mother’s said we should switch to and picked up a card.  I asked the super-helpful receptionist what the wait-time was for a new patient appointment (1 month out, etc), and she said they could see me as early as the next day.   clock made an appointment for this afternoon and was pleased with the outcome.  He cancelled his Friday appointment with our now old GP.  I’ll be making an appointment with the new doc as soon as I find the energy to coordinate everything I need done for me to be away from my kids for more than 2 seconds.



We are going camping on Friday.  We’ll be meeting a college buddy of mine and her family.  We will have a good time!  Hooray!

< Changes [WFC entry] | Getting the story straight >
Stacky VS the medical community | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden)
this story by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 11:06:56 PM EST
reminds me of how much I love my doctor, and of how awesome our local clinic and hospital are. I could have had a LOT more difficulty with the billing people and the medical staff after my boy's hospitalization this spring.

A good doc (and clinic staff) are worth their weight in gold.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake

veterinary upsells by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 11:57:19 PM EST
Many years ago we had a vet we loved.  She left.  The place later got bought.  Eventually it seemed that more and more tests were being advised.

It culminated with one of our cats having a mysterious illness that was never entirely diagnosed correctly.  Eventually they determined it was a liver ailment and had me giving the poor cat an IV daily for a about a year.  No fun.  The clincher was when, a year in, they let slip that the cat would just never get better.  We were paying thousands to keep the poor damn cat in suffering.

Anyway, moral of the story: if you don't like the vet, get a new one.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Sounds like your real problem is by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 01:17:48 AM EST
"managed" health care, not so much the clinical staff. They do what their overlords tell them to do.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

No by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:28:56 AM EST
Failing to return phone calls in a case like Clock's is incompetence.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
it was incompetence by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:35:17 AM EST
like iGrrrl said, not returning phone calls is inexcusable.  also, not knowing pharmacy laws?  come on!  she said clock's Rx with NO refills was good for 6 months of meds.  WTF?

[ Parent ]
Bad medical staff by me0w (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:33:46 AM EST
Refill fuck ups are always a piss off. I was about to run out of one of my meds so I called the pharmacy like a good girl and they sent a request to the doctor's office. The doctor's office told the pharmacy that I wasn't a patient and denied the request.

The first rule of psych meds is: Don't stop taking your meds. I ended up having to go to the hospital to get a supply until the pharmacy and doctor's office could sort their shit out.

And another annoying thing... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:42:00 AM EST that I've known people who've gotten into trying "alternative medicine" because of crap like this. I hope you find good medical staff.

the alternatives by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:05:00 AM EST
for clock, it's death.  no other alternative exists.

for me, it's a painful removal of this thing under my eye instead of a doc who has the experience and equipment to handle it (i'm told it will take about 5 minutes, but they can only book time in the o/r in 20 minute chunks).

[ Parent ]
pet diabetes by reellife (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 11:21:13 AM EST

Been there, done that. My cat had diabetes for the last 4 years or so of her life.

I have about 120+ unused (still in bags) U-40 insulin syringes I will send you if I can get your address.

Offtopic, but... by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:25:21 PM EST
Welcome back, lurker!
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
[ Parent ]
Aw, shucks by reellife (4.00 / 1) #13 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 06:46:25 PM EST
I have been discovered and have to back into hiding now.

[ Parent ]
we use U100 by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:33:30 PM EST
and yeah, welcome back!!

[ Parent ]
Nice Try by reellife (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 07:04:48 PM EST

Apparently, I can't even give this stuff away. Seems a waste to pitch them. They have been sitting collecting dust since cat permanently retired to the the flower bed in April. Oh, well...

Maybe it is age, work or $unknown_value, I just haven't been compelled to write or comment on anything that requires more effort than a book of teh face status update in a long, long, long, long time. I apologize and will try to correct it in the next code revision.

[ Parent ]
freecycle? by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:12:17 PM EST
maybe some drug addict would like them?

my vet told me the canine insulin, which was U40,  was taken off the market so everybody has to use human, most of which is U100.

Thanks for offering them, though!

I keep meaning to write a diary, but never have time to.  I was so full of anger I made it a point to write this, and it took all day to complete.

[ Parent ]
heh by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 06:16:29 PM EST
My grandmother gets test strips for her dibeetus.  Twice a day she tests.  She gets 60 a pop, enough for a month.  The last 3 times the pharmacist has claimed that twice a day testing at 60 strips should last 6 weeks.

I got lucky... by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 08:09:42 AM EST
I didn't go to doctors or dentists for many years because, well, I dunno. Several years ago I broke a tooth, eating cheese. Went to a dentist that I found on the insurance company's website. I chose her because her office was across the street. She looked me over, did some serious teeth cleaning (I hadn't been to a dentist in years...), and recommended a dentist of the rest of the work, and also a GP.

The GP got me on Chantix to quit smoking. The new dentist has been great.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

You bastard! by lm (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 08:13:46 AM EST
I still haven't found a good dentist. I'm seriously considering suing the one I tried last.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
small animal vets by lm (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 08:17:54 AM EST
I heard a show on NPR a few years ago. (It had to have been 2008 or earlier because I recall listening to it while running around doing errands back in Cincinnati.) Quite a few people go into small animal medicine, acquire a metric truckload of student loans, and then graduate and discover that there is a huge glut of small animal vets. The end result is that prices are increasing across the board because each new vet gets a smaller piece of the market but still has to pay off the same amount of student loans.

Apparently, if you want to be a vet and make money, the place to be is in large animal medicine where there is a chronic shortage.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
the vet by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 09:55:36 AM EST
VCA is like taking your car to the dealer: there's a set script and price list for everything they do.

the new one makes intelligent decisions based on symptoms and facts and works from there.

when an old roommate's horse died, she had to take it for an autopsy to get the insurance money.  the closest place was Texas A&M, 90 miles from Houston.  not cheap to get her dead horse there.

[ Parent ]
my cousin's by garlic (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:39:07 PM EST
on coumadin now, because a bad doctor put his swelling leg in a cast immediately, and he got a blood clot. The bad doctor's cut the cast off when he complained of excessive pain, said he might have a blood clot, and sent him on his way instead of treating the newly created problem. It was fucking awesome.

We tracked down some good doctor's at Rush, where they refused to let him leave the hospital because they were worried he wouldn't be able to get or afford the blood analysis necessary to get his clotting factor correct.

Stacky VS the medical community | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden)