I went to see the doctor today, so I could do what they call “establish care,” which I guess means it was a time to get to know each other since we had never met before, sort of like a first date. And on every single first date I’ve ever had I was nervous. I’m talking palm sweat, light-headed nervous. Today was no different, although the heat outside didn’t help to get rid of the palm sweat.
Just to get it out of the way, I hadn’t been to a doctor in nearly two years, a fact that my wife reminded me of pretty much every day of those two years. But it was complicated, certainly, because my job didn’t offer me health insurance, and to be a part of my wife’s plan would have been prohibitively expensive. So, I kept hoping I didn’t get seriously ill, and that the issues I did have would be stable until I could get back for a doctor’s visit.
1) I didn’t get seriously ill. So, thank god for favors. There were a few times when I thought maybe a small common cold was something more, but each time it proved to still be common.
2) My issues were relatively stable. I had enough of my blood pressure medication to make it through three months after I stopped visiting the doctor. Then I had three refills after that, but they ran out in under a year. So I called and explained my situation to the doctor and he gave me three more refills.
But then he moved away, and I was left high and dry. Then began the waiting game. And I waited with no insurance and a dwindling supply of pills. So I started doling them out at a slower pace than I was supposed to because I saw no other way I was going to make them stretch until I could see a way back to the hospital. Of course, though, my wife found out that I wasn’t taking them every single time I was supposed to, and she was less than pleased. And I understood where she was coming from, but I still saw no other way around it.
Until this year, when I was forced to get health care. And I’m not going to debate the merits of Obamacare. But I am going to say that it should honestly be more affordable. We now pay $399 per month for my healthcare alone, and that’s astounding, to say the least. In fact, I have no idea how we’re going to even keep up those payments throughout the course of this long year, but I do know that I’m going to utilize it as much as I possibly can right now.
Which is why I finally made up my mind to establish care with another doctor in the same system, so I could begin getting regular installments of my blood pressure medication again, and so I could ask for help on dealing with some of my other little aches and pains. Oh, and apparently to get a tetanus shot too, which I didn’t realize was in the plan or maybe I wouldn’t have gone. I am not a fan of needles, believe me.
So now I’m back home, my arm hurts, and I’m out a $30 co-pay, but I got my medications refilled and I met a nice woman in the deal. Maybe not quite the best reason for this first date, but I think I might be up for a second. At some point.