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When Healthcare Lets You Down

As patients with chronic conditions, we heavily rely on the healthcare system. Let’s face it, we need it. Whether we’d like to believe it or not. Even those of us who use alternative methods of treating our condition need the healthcare system for one thing or another.

It’s not easy to rely on the healthcare system

It’s not easy to rely on a system that’s widely out of your control. Each year, things change more and more. Insurance, Networks, costs, not to mention the actual facilities themselves. Healthcare changes so much, it’s hard to think of it all as anything other than a business. Instead of worrying about emergency room wait times, now many of us are left more concerned about the cost sharing. How much is the copay, if it’s covered at all.

While the system isn’t all bad, it can be difficult to navigate. It’s overwhelming and because we’re the ones diagnosed with life long illnesses, we are the ones forever impacted the most.

Nervous to see a new doctor

I was referred to a new doctor recently. I was very nervous about it. I hadn’t seen a new doctor in years. I couldn’t imagine how that appointment would look or what to even say once I arrived. It was a different experience.

My doctor referred me to this new physician because he (the new physician), specialized in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, not just gastroenterology, unlike my last provider. I’d become comfortable with my last provider, but I knew the relationship between us would come to an end soon or later. My condition has always been a lot. On top of ulcerative colitis and the symptoms and complications that tag along with, I also have many complications associated with Crohn’s Disease. It’s difficult living life in the middle and although I’ve already had my colon removed, the complications and inflammation still occurs.

I knew I would need to see a doctor who specialized in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, so although intimidated, I went in with an open mind. So much so that I forgot a very important factor, my network: Is it even covered?

Insurance barriers

And of course, it wasn’t. I went to the consultation but unfortunately wasn’t able to schedule the procedure the new doctor recommended. I was confident in his abilities, but with him not being covered, there was no way I’d be able to afford it. It’s sad and unfortunate that we, as patients, have to deal with these debilitating conditions, on top of disappointments like these.

In spite of what I went through, there are things you can do to get a doctor or facility covered. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, as well as other online resources, provide more information on how you can get the coverage you need. I know these situations suck, but don’t let it stop you from fighting. When I was told there was nothing else that the provider could do, but refer me to another doctor, I searched high and low for someone else who specialized in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Although hard to find, I finally found someone a friend mentioned. It’s a bit of a drive, but proper treatment is worth it in my opinion.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.