First things first: whether you celebrate Christmas or any other holidays, or just want a pick me up during this unseasonably warm and wet winter, we want to let you know that there might be something fun for you on the blog this Friday.
Now onto a more personal matter.
I hesitated about sharing this, because I try to keep personal things off the blog lately. However, it might help someone, and since my friend helped me, I should pass it on.
Gordon and I have had our annual doctor visits in November. We were less than satisfied with those, because we had to wait an hour and each of us got 10 minutes with the doctor. It was like a conveyer belt. Most of us are HMO plan patients, because that’s what you can get off the exchange in Texas.
Prediabetes has been a concern for me for a while. Predictably my A1C and fasting sugar numbers were not stellar. My A1C wasn’t higher or lower than last year, but it was still in the prediabetic range, so I made zero progress. I got the same note from our doctor I do every year: try to lose weight, adhere to a better diet, and exercise more. Word for word.
When I asked my doctor what else I can do to improve my numbers, since I have changed what I ate and how much and have gone to Mordor and back on my elliptical and have the receipts to prove it, which I showed him during our visit, he said that he doesn’t handle weight loss related issues because it’s too much hassle with the insurance and suggested I see someone else.
Gordon just got handwaved through his appointment.
So I complained about this to a friend, who clued me into something called concierge medicine. Basically, you pay a monthly fee to an internist directly. At that point, I was frustrated enough to try it. We had some additional questions about our blood work results and our regular doctor office just informed us that we have to make 3 separate appointments, one per each question, since they are technically different health issues.
Yeah. Each of us had an hour with the doctor. Do you know how bad my numbers truly are? My insurance, which nickels and dimes me every chance they can, approved the diabetes medication for me. They bypassed all of the usual try this, try that, we are not paying for this expensive drug. It was straight go to the pharmacy, pick up your meds, we need to lower your blood sugar now.
And Gordon is going to undergo some tests this Friday, because although he lost weight – as I mentioned, we both worked out regularly this year and changed our diet – his cholesterol suddenly spiked into a dangerous range.
We both needed urgent medical intervention. I, especially. If I let this go on as it was before, I would suffer serious medical consequences. None of this was addressed in our previous visit.
My new doctor texted me to check up on me. She texted me. She remembered I existed and she checked on me. I didn’t have to make an appointment or send her messages through the special system, where I would be told I have to schedule a telemedicine appointment for a 5 minute phone call 3 weeks in advance.
I called my friend and told her that she probably saved my health.
So. This is a small PSA: if you didn’t know, concierge medicine exists. And, if you have a feeling that you are not getting your questions answered, try a different doctor, concierge or not.
As for me, I’m on a draconian diet, I’m taking my meds, and I’m working on trying to readjust my life about this new scary development. I will let you know how it goes. I’ll be honest with you, although this was not the best news, my state of mind is so much better, because I know someone with a medical degree is actually paying attention to my health.
A note for the comments, just in case: please remember that BDH is not a substitute for medical professionals. We appreciate you keeping recommendations for miracle cures to a minimum.