This is going to be a long ranting post about all the frustrations I’ve had with my gallbladder issues in the past month. If you are looking for a rosy post with rainbows and butterflies, come back another day!
Never in my life have I been treated as poorly as I have during all my gallbladder issues. The medical field is absolutely amazing. They charge an arm and a leg (sometimes literally) and then they think they can treat you like you’re not even a human being with emotions and feelings.
Oh where oh where do I even begin?
How about when it all started, over a month ago.
I was diagnosed with GERD when I had my first attack. That’s right. Acid reflux. They couldn’t wait to get rid of me and weren’t even going to send me home with pain pills! WTF! Once we got home, the pain increased so we went to the naval hospital because we were still covered by Tricare at the time.
A little back peddling. Last fall, my husband who served 13 years in the US Navy was, in civilian terms, “laid off”. That’s right. LAID OFF from the military! He still had 2 years left on his contract that if HE were to break, he would end up in jail! BUT, they can terminate it for no good reason other than the fact that he was heading for retirement in 7 years. Your government would rather fund officers their 6 figure retirements than keep good enlisted men and women who do the dirty work and are the ones living check to check. So, with his job we also lost our healthcare. Healthcare that we would’ve had for LIFE if he was allowed to retire. Yea, I’m still a little raw over that. If you don’t know much about Tricare, you pretty much pay ZERO out of pocket for any medical expenses.
My entire life I’ve NEVER been sick, hospitalized, or had surgery. I barely get the flu! All the years of insurance and I rarely used it other than for my checkups, the occasional urgent care visit, and my RX. Oh, and that therapy that’s helped me with my emotional eating disorder. Yea, that. That’s another post for another day.
February 17th was when I went to the ER for the first time. February 28th is when our Tricare officially ended. Figures.
The naval hospital is the one who found out I had gallstones and took my pains seriously, unlike the other ER. They said I didn’t need it out that day but it needs to happen ASAP. I advised them of my insurance running out and they said, “oh no, we’ll get you in before the end of the month and you’ll receive 90 days of extended coverage for post-op.” Great. I scheduled my pre-op a few days later and long story short, the surgeon looked at me like I had 5 gallbladders when I told him about the insurance. So, being in a shit load of pain, I contacted all kinds of useless stone cold “people” in the Tricare system and all of them couldn’t care less about my story or my feelings or my situation and told me flat out NO.
I do have insurance that I just took on with my job but it’s shitty. It’s an HSA which requires you to meet the full deductible and your out of pocket max. Well, it’s going to run me around $6000 for this fucking surgery. I was devastated. My husband was laid off from a damn good salary and luckily has another job now but it pays a couple thousand LESS than before. So, yea. Another bill is just what we need right now. Two steps forward, 3 steps backwards.
I decided I wouldn’t have the surgery. I can manage just fine with diet. Yea, right. That didn’t work. So I sucked it up and made an appointment with a specialist. The night BEFORE my appointment, I had the worst gallbladder attack of my life. I thought I was having a heart attack. It was like 2 ninjas fighting with swords inside my stomach while someone else was cutting my chest and back at the same time. It takes your breath away. You can’t speak or think.
My husband rushed me to the ER (the same one that mis-diagnosed me), and from the minute I stumbled in I was treated like shit on the side of the road. I barely mumbled out, “I’m having a gallbladder attack” and the bitch at the front demanded I tell her my symptoms. So I said, my stomach, back and chest are on fire and I can’t take the pain. WTF do you think are my symptoms you incompetent bitch!
They immediately got me in Triage with the most callous, cold hearted monster I’ve ever encountered. He took his sweet ass time putting in all of my information. Never once looked at me in the face. I swear he gets off by seeing other people hurt and controlling when they get in to the doctor. He told me I’d have to wait in the lobby. I screamed out, “I can’t wait! I’m in so much pain. Please.”
He raised his voice and said too bad, you’ll have to wait.
I kid you not. I was MADE to wait in the ER for almost 2 hours! I’m not one to make a scene. In fact, I prefer to lay under the radar most of the time. But, this pain was so intense, I was literally screaming, crying, shaking, and on the verge of passing out. I went up to the front desk 2 or 3 times and they could clearly see my condition and I pleaded with them to pleaseeeee let me go back. All I got was the stereotypical bitch receptionist reply of, “Ma’am, Ma’am, Ma’am you’ll just have to wait. All of our beds are full.” Did I mention I detest the word ma’am?
NEVER did they treat me like a human being. NEVER did they treat me like a patient in pain. NEVER did they prioritize my condition. For all they know, my gallbladder could’ve been bursting which can be fatal if not treated on time. Shit, I could’ve been having a heart attack given my symptoms! Now I see why people have DIED in the ER waiting rooms!
I’ve never felt so uncared for. Never felt so mistreated. Never felt treated so inhumanely. IT was horrible and it was traumatizing. Thank GOD my husband and parents were there. NEVER go to a hospital alone. You need a team to stick up for you . . . and serve as witnesses for goodness sakes with the treatment you are given!
I felt like that show “What Would You Do” when they have someone in pain on the sidewalk and people just keep walking by. It was just like that. It was as if I didn’t exist. It was horrible.
So, the next day I head to the specialist and I’m thinking I’ll definitely have a date for surgery today. NOPE. I had to go back to the naval hospital to get my ultrasound results and drop them off and THEN they would contact the surgeon to set up not the surgery, but the consultation. My frustration is boiling at this point. I feel like NOBODY is listening to me and NOBDOY fucking cares that I’m in pain. All the while, I’m living off crackers, chicken broth, and apple juice. So, my nerves are at their limit. Don’t mess with a hungry woman in pain! It’s safe to say I had a “Mickey Meltdown” that day.
Monday, I get a call from my dr’s office that the surgeons office will call me that day. She’s sent all my reports, ultrasound results, bla bla bla. 5pm, no call. I left a message.
That brings us to today at 11am. No call. So, I called. Believe me they are going to remember my name! I was immediately met with that same, “Ma’am” bullshit attitude and excuses that are totally irrelevant to me and my condition. I called her out on it and it seemed to stop. I’m fucking done with these assholes treating me like a number. I’m fucking done with knowing I’m, going to be in debt over this shit and nobody giving a flying fuck about me. I’m done with waiting around for “medical professionals.”
If you want anything done in this world, especially as it relates to your health, you MUST take charge and stand up for yourself. Whether it’s raising your voice and demanding to be seen at an ER, telling a bitchy receptionist to lay off the attitude, or calling 500 times until you get the answer you want . . . and DESERVE.