The doctor-go-round is finally slowing down and will soon come to a stop. Five weeks ago, I had spine surgery to end the sciatic nerve pain that has been wrecking my life for the past 20 months. Yesterday I saw the surgeon for my post surgery visit. Do I have your blessing to resume my normal activities? I asked him. Yes, he said, Unless your normal activity is carrying around concrete blocks. Ha ha When I started listing all the things I was eager to get back to, like brisk walking, lifting weights, cycling, and swimming, he did a little back pedaling. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to do some physical therapy. It was as if I was trying to skip off the doctor-go-round, and someone grabbed me by the collar and said, Not so fast little girl. The medical profession is not done with you yet. We need one more shot at your money. But seriously, I think its a good idea. I need someone to tell me not only what I should not do but also what I should do to hasten the healing. Obviously, jumping onto a treadmill and running for an hour is not the answer, but neither is it sitting around all day, trying not to bend, fold, or mutilate.
When I got home in the afternoon, I actually bent over to pick up Pippens bowl, and sure enough, it didnt hurt. Lets see. What else can I try? Oh right. I have to go see a physical therapist.
So today, I was happily lying on a moist pad with little electrical thingies tingling my back, when the therapists office manager came to me with an apology. Oh no, here we go again. I knew what was coming. Nothing could go this smoothly. It seems that the insurance company, which has been nothing but a pain in the anatomy, requires a referral from my primary care physician. This ordinarily wouldnt be a problem except for 2 things. First, my primary care physicians office cant seem to make that referral process work, and secondly, they fired me as a patient, because I was too much trouble. Oh yes, they fired me. It might have something to do with my saying Im sick of your incompetence. To add insult to injury, this office manager called that doctor, even when I told her that I am no longer their patient. Im actually between PCPs, because I couldnt get in to see my new PCP until next week. So, this means no physical therapy until I can get a referral from my new PCP. Shes just going to love this. First thing out of the shoot, shes going to have to deal with Aetna and their cumbersome authorization hurdles to jump. And to add another frustration, this office manager says she has never had this problem before. Nobody else has ever had to have a referral from their PCP. Always before, patients only had to have a referral from the surgeon. Only me. Go figure. Again I say, will this ever end?