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Omar the Lobster!
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Dad, Insurance, and Drama (longish) - August 22nd 2009, 06:27 PM

Okay, so some of you might know that I suffer from serious migraines from time to time. I've had them my whole life, so I'm used to sleeping all day to try to get rid of the pain, OTC meds not working, and vomitting often. I rarely have to visit the ER because usually I vomit and the pain goes away.
Well, for the last couple of weeks they've been much more frequent. Maybe, ballpark average is two or three times a month. But 5 out of 7 days at least, there have been decent migraines. So, yesterday, I started getting this headache at about three, but it was much different from my usual headaches (typically the pain will be in the front-left lobe). The pain was like a band across the entire back of my skull. So I lie down to sleep it off, right? No-sir-ree bob!
By the time seven or eight in the evening, the pain was escalating and declining as if my brain was in labor. The pain would SURGE for about 5 minutes and then chill out for a bit, and then repeat. Of course, every time the surging happened, it was worse than the last time. Mom came in after my sister told her I was crying and screaming, and so after asking me the usual field questions (can you see, hear, feel, rate the pain), she calls my dad.

Here's the thing about my dad. I'm under his insurance at the moment, and so anything I do medically, he gets to pay the bill. Not only is it because I'm on his plan, the divorce agreement says he has to pay all the co-pays (which he doesn't, but we stopped really caring about it). Hospital visits cost $100 as per the insurance, and we send him the bill, which of course he gets fussy about because he can't spare $100.
Basically, if I don't need to go to the hospital, I won't go. But of course, I don't live with my dad, and I'm under my mom's jurisdiction. And even if she said no, I'm 20 an I'd probably make the call myself.

Anyway, so she calls my dad to brief him on the situation because she knows how he is when I go to the ER for my headaches. Weirdly enough, he suffers from them almost as much as I do and I know he knows that the pain can be unbearable sometimes. My dad says not to call the ER yet, but instead call the doctor (wtf.) and see what he says. I'm writhing in pain, screaming and crying, and all I want is for the pain to stop. But mom obliges and calls the doctor's office, and the nurse says that the doctor on call will call us back. 5 minutes and nothing. ?Mom calls dad and almost threatens to take me to the ER if the doc doesn't call. Dad bitches some more, so mom calls the doctor's office again and pesters the nurse and eventually the doc calls us and agrees that the ER would be best. The doctor writes it in my file in case this makes the bill any less expensive.

Long story short, I go to the ER, they jack me up with some pain killers and anti-nausea meds and I'm on my way home about two hours later. I go to bed and rest up happily and don't dream.

This morning, my dad calls, first to ask how I'm doing, and then to bitch about the bill. My mom is arguing with him, saying, "If you heard her and saw what was going on, you would have called the ER," etc. From the conversation, my dad gathers that he's going to have to pay the bill in full, however much that might be, and he won't have enough money to do it. Mom says that he can make a payment, he doesn't have to pay the bill in full, but then they bicker some more and hang up.
So now the following course of action will ensue: My dad or stepmom will relay to my grandparents (moreso my grandma because she loves to bitch about that kind of thing) about how I'm costing my dad money and making his life hell, and then my grandmother will in turn tell me that I can't just up and go to the hospital willy-nilly... My grandma has this idea in her head that I just go and do expensive things specifically to stick my dad with the bill. To be truthful, I avoid doing anything at all involving medical issues because of the insurance costing so much -- I'm pretty sure that there have been times where I needed to go to the doctor but didn't because I know that my dad would have an issue with the fact that I was on his insurance and had to pay it.

Sorry this is so long. It's more venting than anything, because I am kinda mad that my dad is worried more about paying the bill than making sure that I'm okay. Trust me on this one, guys, the pain was excruciating. There was no way it was going to go away within 8 hours. And it makes me angry even more because I know that if my step-brother or half brother were in any sort of pain as bad as mine, they would take them to the ER without a second thought. I'm just pissed.


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Re: Dad, Insurance, and Drama (longish) - August 23rd 2009, 01:39 AM

Hey there,

My parents do the same thing to me so I try to avoid the doctor too. That said; you have every right to be angry and I am glad you are alright.

You sound like my dad. He suffers from migraines and he used to have to go to the ER because the doctors couldn't get his medicine right. However, his neurologist finally found the right medicine and he doesn't get quite as many bad migraines and he hasn't gone to the ER in years.

I was wondering if you have a doctor who treats you for your migraines? If not do you think you could look into it? I know it will be expensive and your dad might complain but if you find the right medicine for these headaches you should be able to get them under control.

Also, don't worry about your dad, you are his child and he should have to pay to make sure that you stay healthy. I know it sucks and it can make you feel bad but your dad should have to pay for your medical expenses and you shouldn't feel bad about it. You deserve to have good health.

Best of luck and I hope things work out for you.

Jenna


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Omar the Lobster!
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Re: Dad, Insurance, and Drama (longish) - August 23rd 2009, 01:03 PM

Jenna,

Yes, I had gone to a neurologist for some time before I started going to college, but she was a pediatric neurologist and now that I'm 20 I can't go back to her anymore. What's worse is that my insurance will run out in roughly two weeks and getting an appointment with any neurologist is a 3 month wait at least. So the only perk here is that my dad won't have to pay my bills anymore. I don't apply for Medicaid or Medicare because I'm not pregnant, and I'm not a teenager living on my own, nor am I deaf nor blind nor disabled. We were thinking about getting the Sumatriptan injections because the injection is the only state of matter that effects the migraines (pills and nasal spray do nothing), but it's only good if you have insurance. I'm calling the doctor today to make an appointment to see if he can prescribe me the injections, but now I have to come up with a $20 copay and then however much they're going to hit me for the prescription. Sigh.


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