Friday, October 16, 2009

I love my gov't insurance...when I can use it with civilian doctors

I went to my doctor today because I threw out my back on Sunday morning. I knew that he wasn't going to be able to do anything for me, and I was 100% right. The best he could do was offer muscle relaxers, but since I am still nursing...nope. Motrin, motrin and more motrin.

While I was there, I asked about the PMDD, and...well, here's the comment card I just submitted online:

"I came to my PCM with suspicion that I had a certain medical condition (PMDD). He had never heard of it. He looked it up on the computer and, after asking me NOT ONE SINGLE QUESTION to determine whether or not I actually had it, he proceeded to prescribe me a medication which is SIMILAR to one that is FDA approved for PMDD, but not THE SAME. He said, "It's the same thing," and I took his word for it. But it only took a quick internet search to see that it is NOT. (Yasmin as opposed to Yaz - different dosage of estrogen.) Don't get me wrong, he's a really nice guy, I just don't feel that my concerns were treated with the seriousness they deserved. He did, however, send me over to immunizations to get a flu shot. When I asked if he thought it was really necessary, he said, "Oh yes, especially this year." I am baffled by this comment, since the seasonal flu vaccine that is currently available doesn't protect against H1N1, even I know that.

After waiting 30+ minutes in immunizations, I went to the pharmacy to pick up my Yasmin. I was told it wasn't ready yet, and after waiting for another 25+ minutes somebody finally actually *looked* for it and found that it had been ready, on a shelf, the whole time. Nobody said "sorry for the wait" or anything to that effect. They just put the bag on the counter, and that was it.

By the time I got home, Central Appointments was closed for the weekend, so I have to wait until next week to *TRY* to get an appointment with a different doctor. (The Tricare Online appointment-booking system? Absolutely worthless.)

I spent over 2 hours at the clinic today and all I have to show for it is a flu vaccine I hadn't intended to get, and a medication that isn't an FDA-approved treatment for the condition that I'm still not even sure that I have. Not a very impressive first experience at your facility."

ETA: Yes, I know that Yasmin has been shown, in studies, to help alleviate PMDD, but it's not FDA approved for that purpose, and I don't like going off-label. Also, given my history with side effects from bc pills, I'd feel a lot more comfortable with the lower dose of Yaz. More on this story as it unfolds...


Mother Hoodwink said...

I love the title of this post. I think it's how most military families feel. It's also exactly why we've chosen to go with Standard while living here. If he were on Prime, there is no way we would ever be able to see a civilian doctor since it's freaking Norfolk. There's Navy clinics all over Hampton Roads. Ugh. Military doctors really need better training.

Kerry said...

Yeah, everyone who has disagreed with me that Tricare is good insurance, actually has problems with their *clinic*, not with Tricare. I was actually very happy with the military clinics in Hawaii. But here? If I *could* have Standard, I would!! How can a DOCTOR not have heard of a condition that they have *TV commercials* for? Sheesh.

Mother Hoodwink said...

I know! Navy doctors need to watch more TV. I've only had one issue with Tricare and that's because there was miscommunication between them and my OB. They wouldn't talk to each other so I had to go back and forth and be mediator. That was annoying.

If we ever get stationed to a place where we couldn't be on Standard, Josh will most likely be a nurse by then and can make sure we see the good doctors. After everything we've been through with bad Navy doctors, I'm not so sure I could handle it if I didn't have an in.

Kerry said...

You, my dear, are lucky.
The real kick in the pants is that this guy has only been my PCM for a short time. I randomly got a reassignment letter a couple of weeks ago. So if I had gone *last month*, like I intended to (but just never got around to it - d'oh!) - I would have seen a different doctor. I never even met my old PCM. *forehead smack*