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Monday, April 17, 2006

Prepare For the Rant - I'll Be Back With Something More Cheerful

I don't talk a lot of politics over here - if you're interested in that, it's all over at the "other" blog. Granny has naturally evolved into a family friendly, chatty place which is how I'd prefer to keep it most of the time. It doesn't mean that politics doesn't creep in here and this is one of those times. I'll probably post it on isamericaburning as well - I'm that angry at the moment.

On Ray's last hospital stay, they determined one of his main problem was ulcers. The constant sickness and pain was undermining him which in turn made him easy prey for all the other ailments. Rocket science, folks - I'd been saying that for a while.

They began treating him with a proton inhibitor and most of the ulcer symptons disappeared. He came home with a prescription for Protonix which our Medicare drug plan refused to honor. They said he had to try other medications first. What do they think we've been doing? The medication costs $140/month and he had a doctor's appointment scheduled for today so we decided to wait for the doctor to see if there was something else that would be covered. If there wasn't, we would have paid for it somehow.

He started feeling worse on Saturday and missed church on Sunday - just hung out as I watched him feeling worse and worse.

Today the doctor put him back in the hospital. Not because he couldn't be treated at home with medication but because Medicare will pay for medicine administered in the hospital. Back on Protonix from a hospital bed.

What kind of insanity is this? It took almost two years for Social Security to agree that he is permanently disabled, another long stretch before he qualified for oxygen at home, and now they're doing it again.

The bean counters have been instrumental in destroying his health. They're also idiots. To save the cost of Social Security, oxygen, and now one prescription @ $140/month they have incurred the cost of I don't know how many hospital stays - I've lost track. It's been either four or five since the beginning of the year I think and several before that.

I know that others have it much worse and in many ways our life is good. But I wonder if our leaders have ever read the Bible they profess to love so much. (I promise I won't do a lot of Bible thumping on this blog but these verses could apply to anyone)

From the 25th Chapter of Matthew: (KJV because I like the poetry of the language)

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me



Janice said...

Hi Ann,

Oh I'm so sorry that is bad. I'm so sorry that you and Ray are going through this and it's destroying Ray's health.
At least they'll pay for the same meds that they refused if he is in the hospital. But gees the cost of it all?

And as always you and Ray and the girls are in my thoughts and in my prayers.


Worried said...

I encounter the same thing on many levels, Ann. Occasionally I have a health situation that worsens; I know by my medical knowledge as well as personal experience that it will continue to worsen to a drastic degree if not checked, but if treated immediately can be brought under control.

Calls to my clinic or visits to my clinic's triage result in "the doctor is booked up; go to the emergency room." A visit to my doctor's office will cost $66; an emergency room visit will cost between $600 and $700. I offer to wait the many hours it takes to get worked in as a "walk-in" but usually am refused. Does that make sense?

Re: the medications. My cardiologist prescribed medication for the blocked arteries and to prevent further blockage, as the medications I was on previously were ineffective. The med. he prescribed was new and very expensive. The Medicaid refused to pay for it and insisted the old medications be used. The result? Twice over less than 5 years I had to have angiograms and treatment for blocked arteries at nearly $12,000 a pop. False economy? Absolutely. Hooray for the bean counters.

Anonymous said...

It really does make you wonder. Little things like that all in the name if money, and it's costing them AND us a fortune. My insurance won't pay $35 a month for birth control pills or $500 for an IUD, but they'll pay for pregnancy after pregnancy. Oh, and they'll pay for surgical sterilization for me (big $$), but they denied Andy's vasectomy ($500).

Sorry to hear Ray had to go back into the hospital, but at least now he's getting the drug that can help him. And maybe now that he's on it, the insurance will pay for it out of the hospital, too...

Tom said...

Out here in the boonies, we have tale upon tale of the medical screwups and it isn't just in one plan. It seems to endemic to the whole system. But that is what happens when you try to work a system which is profit based (the insurers) and beat it against the myriad of individual problems. Someone always gets left behund. That said, I will never support socialized medicine...seen too many examples of total breakdown.

Some have said that the English language was at it best when the KJV and Shakespere hit the streets. I am one who will agree and one who has contributed to its decline.

Beth said...

Yep...that's are medical system.

We spend a significantly higher portion of our GNP on health care (nearly twice the amount of money per person) as they do in Canada. Nearly 17% of our citizens are not covered at all, and we have a lower life expectancy.

Not that that makes your or Ray feel any better.

Anvilcloud said...

It's a strange system for sure. I should print this and show it to my BIL who thinks that American-style health care is the cat's ass.

Arwen said...

When my mother was still alive we had this situation over and over. She had to have IV antibiotics and insurance wouldn't pay for a visiting nurse to visit and administer so she would be in the hospital for a week where she would ultimately get a horrible infection in her porta-cath and get sicker. In my experience hospitals are not where we get better. Oh this brings back bad memories. I am sorry you have to deal.

EmmaSometimes said...


I send Ray best wishes and good health!! That is so taxing on the body so the obvious stupidity in health care can run its course. You wonder if anyone knows what they are doing in DC when it comes to health care.

I was a licensed health and disability agent at one time. After taking 2 weeks of classes & passing a 3 hr state mandatory test, I wondered how every day citizens were supposed to know their rights, let alone get their proper care? It seems their ideas don't consider someones health.

Granny, I so feel for you and Ray. I pray his health will continue to improve. (you always have a shoulder to 'rant on' here)

Jacqui said...

Health systems seem to be hopeless no matter where you are. Our state gov. has just agreed to pay our "Director of Health" close to $600.000 annualy as well as a $500.000 refit of his offices, while we have people waiting years for surgery to ease their pain etc.
You are quite within your rights to rant.
Amen to Matthew 25.

JBlue said...

Poor Ray, poor Gran, and poor all of us. It's infuriating.

DA said...

Seeing the Iraq war cost counter raise minute by minute and thinking on Rays treatment it make me feel ashamed of humanity.

Take care and keep the faith all of you across the pond :-)

achromic said...

Big hugs Granny {{{{{{Granny}}}}}}}
I know J., my spouse, is infurated by my care and we are not even on the state program......yet. I don't know what is wrong with people, I really don't.

Gina said...

OMG! I almost fell off my chair laughing at AC's comment! "The cat's ass????

I will have to ask him if he was getting his slang mixed up and meant the cat's meow. But, I am still laughing.

But, onto the definitely no laughing matter of healthcare here. It is a joke. The hospitals are only in it for the money. Period. To me, that is wrong. Now I'm not saying the drs., but the institutions themselves. When you have a system that is just looking to make a buck, how does anyone think the best care is going to be given?

I'm so sorry that the both of you have to deal with the incompetence.

Bacchus said...

I send my best to Ray and to you. I know how frustrating this system is. My mother has MS and another disease I can't spell. The hell we've gone through for her is dumbfounding. The countless appointments, paperwork, appointments, more dr.'s oppinions to tell her yep, you have serious medical issues. The juggling between social security, disability, etc for over 3 years so that she can get barely enough help to pay rent, groceries and utilities. It would cost her more for medications if she takes the medicare drug plan because of what they will and won't cover. Without out she qualifies for corporate programs that supply free medications. It seems to put those most vulnerable into a situation of damned if you do and damned if you don't. It gave everyone in our family a true glimpse of how close to being destroyed if you depend on the government.

kc said...

Sorry to hear about that. I wish you and Ray the best.

Angel said...

Insane. Just insane. And heartless.

((((Granny & Ray))))

Lavender Dawn said...

wow. They are spending so much more money on a loophole. Yay for the beaurocratic system- sheesh! I hope it works out.

Austin's been on zoloft for almost 2 years and when we moved here from WY medicaid didn't want to pay for it. They wanted his docotr to "try other medicines first." Um, hello! They did that in Wyoming, you morons. This wasn't a "new" prescription! We got it worked out, but he had to have free samples from the doc for a while. EEEK!

Protonix Prescription Information said...

My name is Michael Rodman and i would like to show you my personal experience with Protonix.

I am 39 years old. Have been on Protonix for 2 years now. Miracle drug I have suffered with gerd for a long time and tried many treatments, some because coverage wasnt allowed, so my dr had been given me samples. When I am on this meds I am painfree thank god. I feel normal. I have run out of supplies and I have been in such pain that I sleep sitting up. I go back today to get more samples, today thank god.

No side effects that i remember so they cant be that bad

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Michael Rodman