A few years ago, I had to have half of my thyroid removed. The insurance company wouldn't allow the removal of the whole thing since the other half had mini growths and the ones on the section that WAS taken were 'only' pre-cancerous. I have had to have ultrasounds on what's left every six months since then. My last one was a three weeks ago and I got a call from my primary doctor's office saying that the largest growth had tripled in size since January and they were sending me to the throat doctor for consultation. I've spent the last 2 weeks worrying myself sick about this...and then this happened (copied from the email I sent one of my best friends):
I got to Dr M’s office and the first thing I had to do was fight with the snotty receptionist. She said I have a past due balance and if I wasn’t paying it today, they’d have to reschedule me. I told her that I had already skipped buying my meds this week to pay for this visit and taken time off work, so either I saw the doctor and they could get paid when I have the rest of the money, or she could explain it to my family lawyer if I died from lack of treatment and my parents sue her ass.
Then I get ushered into an exam room…and wait. And wait. And wait some more. Dr M finally comes bounding in and cheerfully says “So what brings you in today?” WTF? Did he really just ask me why I’m there? Turns out that the hospital didn’t send the ultrasound results over to him per Dr B’s request, so he didn’t know anything about it. I waited another 45 minutes for him to get the charts and look everything over.
The good news is that the girl at Dr B’s office missed reading a decimal point and the tumor hasn’t tripled in size, but it has grown by 1/3. (which to me is bad enough) Dr M said it could go either way- he could see if the insurance would sign off on the removal, but it would probably be safe to go another 6 months and check it again. This is when it all caught up with me and I started getting hysterical. I told him I’d spent the last 2 weeks worried sick, reminded him of the family history of thyroid cancer, and said I wasn’t doing this anymore. He freaked out when I lost it, so he called Humana to see what we’d have to do to get an authorization for the surgery.
This is the part I really love. The INSURANCE COMPANY gets to decide if I’m in enough danger to need surgery?!? They won’t approve it without a biopsy first, despite the family history and the fact that the tumors on the half that was already removed were in the early stages of cancer. So I go in Tuesday to have a needle punched into my throat. And then they’ll decide what we’re allowed to do next.
It’s not that I want to have surgery, but I want to be done with this. I’m sick of being sick, and I’m even sicker of worrying about all of it.