Today makes two weeks since the hoop-jumping commenced. I did as I was required; saw my PCP to get an oncology referral (even though my insurance knows I have cancer).
My PCP claims they called me to say the referral was approved and to call the oncologist. That was pure fabrication. I only found out, because I called a week after the appointment since I hadn’t heard anything.
This past Monday, I called the oncologist’s office and was told they hadn’t even reviewed the file yet. They couldn’t tell me how long it would take for the doctor to review the file to see if she could even treat me. She only reviewed files in between seeing patients.
Now my PCP was told I was having anemia symptoms, yet she didn’t flag the file with any urgency. She put it through as a basic referral. This is the problem with using a PCP for conditions they don’t treat. If they are to facilitate care, then listening to the patient would be a good place to start. If the patient deems the situation as an issue, then the doctor has an obligation to process that information accordingly; especially if they are symptomatic.
My energy levels are falling. Day to day life is becoming more and more challenging (again). Yet, I sit and wait because the medical profession has no sense of urgency. I’ve upped my caffeine intake and back to taking naps the second I get home from work.
When will doctors get a clue they are messing with people’s health by their lack of concern. They aren’t battling a life-threatening disease. They aren’t waiting in limbo to see if the cancer has spread or new cancer has emerged. They have all the time in the world (at this point).
Yet, I and so many like me, are dependent on a broken system that doesn’t value life. This is our reality. We struggle, we worry, we pray and we just wait.
About a month ago, I picked up a part-time job waiting tables on the weekends. I work a day job, Monday through Friday and then started waiting tables; working seven days a week.
I admit, I don’t eat the best on the weekends, with having to be to work at 7 and off around 3:30. Sure, I could eat on my break, but 1) I don’t want to waste the money to buy the food I serve and 2) it’s not really gluten-free and I don’t want to risk having a reaction with a packed cafe.
After I got off work on Sunday, I was very dizzy. It continued to get worse. I tried sleeping it off and was barely able to get out of bed. This continued into Monday, which I thankfully had off. I had to hold my daughter’s hand for stability, just to walk when we went out of the house.
My husband and I debated if I should go to the hospital. I know it’s related to extremely low iron levels. My anemia is taking forever to get under control and I am not ready to admit I need an IV transfusion. In part, because my veins roll and collapse and IVs (or even blood draws) are extremely challenging. Let’s not mention, how I despise doctors and hospitals and my oncologist and I are still aren’t speaking.
I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to drive to work this morning. It was really bad and scary yesterday. I reluctantly emailed my part-time job, explained the situation and stated as an ADA accommodation, I can only work Saturdays now. I will use Sunday as a day of rest. Even though chemo is completed, my body isn’t as healed as I had hoped. I will be picking up more iron pills, as I cannot skip taking them or I will end up back in the hospital.
The silver lining is I will be able to return to attending church on a regular basis. I have missed that. It’s important to have fellowship on a consistent basis.