the further decline of Amerika, part 33...

So, I went to a specialist yesterday to see just what the hell is got hold of me. After an hour of poking and prodding, including having some crazy fiber optic snake poked up my nose and down my throat and playing twenty questions, it was decided that I should get blood work done to test for, among other things, Lyme disease. Which is what I've been thinking has been the problem all along, but the GP that I go see when I'm on death's doorstep has something against Lyme, I believe and definitely has something up his butt about patients playing at self-diagnosis, and kept insisting it was my sinuses. What ever is going on in that particular region is, in my opinion, only a symptom of something else, but my protestations fell on deaf ears. So, any way, this specialist wrote a script for some pretty hard core antibiotics, which I started taking yesterday after dinner. Aside from the way I look and act, which in some eyes is a dead given that I ingest all sorts of recreational substances with abandon, I rarely ever take anything stronger than Tylenol, and even then, I prefer using caffeine, hot and black, in large doses, to combat minor pains. My body is pretty drug free... discounting the caffeine, Dewar's and occasional foray into tobacco... and the damn antibiotics kept me up all night. Only eight more days to go of that crap. Oh, back to the real reason for writing this, I also got a script for a CAT scan of my head. There seems to be some pressure build up, from what looking in my eyes could tell, and he wants to be safe, rather than sorry. (I think what instigated this was my telling him I was involved with roller derby, thus most assuredly needing my freaking head examined).
I called the hospital today to set it up. Never had a problem before, when I had an MRI and previous CAT scan, but now it seems that my insurance company won't let the hospital validate the procedure, I have to call myself to do so. OK, not a big deal, I thought. I call the insurance company and manage to short circuit the endless droning of the automated help crap and get hold of a real, breathing human. I explained the situation. "Oh, we don't verify procedures any more, we have a service that does that, you have to call them." OK, I can do that, too. I call the service and get a woman on the phone had a pleasant voice, something, I thought, that could garner her great fortune doing voice over work for commercials that featured worn out washing machine motor bearings... but I digress...
After explaining the story one more time, she proceeded to try to help me out.
I told her my name. I told here my group number and ID number. I told her my address, phone number, employer, employer's phone number and address. I told her the doctor's name, number and address. I told here why I needed the CAT scan. I told her that, in spite of my malady and not feeling up to my usual chipper self, I was having a wonderful time answering all her questions and that all this gay banter was making a good go of what started out as a shitty day. She asked me to hold on while she input all the info.
"Sorry, sir, but that hospital is not in my records. As a matter of fact, it is not even in our database of providers."
I remained the picture of calm resolve; "Well, you've been sending money to it in my name for nine years now, and I drove right by it this morning on the way to work. It still stands, I assure you."
*insert dead air and the distant refrain of crickets singing here*
"Sir, I can't authorize a procedure at a hospital that doesn't show up in our records. You're going to have to get your doctor to call us, maybe he can straighten it out."
"How about if I call them? What needs to be done?"
"Well, you could. You have to ask them for their tax ID number so we can enter them into my system."
I can picture the FBI showing up at my house tomorrow, wanting to know why I tried to pry a tax ID number out of a hospital.
(That was me hanging up, not her. I couldn't take this conversation anymore).
So, let's recap. My insurance company no longer handles it's own affairs. The company that does can't find my hospital. I have to bother the doctor to do my insurance company's job. I have money wrenched from my pay every week that goes to pay my portion of this supposed health care plan and they can't do their job.
Mean while, I sit here aching and feeling like crap and I can't even get the test I need to see what is wrong with me.
I shall retire to Bedlam...
pearls before swine...


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