Trying to Avoid the Hassles of Healthcare
Last updated: December 2022
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just go see your neurologist when your MS starts to act up or you’re not feeling well? Just wake up in the morning, realize you’re not having a good MS day, hop in the car, drive to your neurologist’s office, and leave half an hour later with an order for IV steroids? How fantastical does that sound? To be taken care of, from start to finish, and be able to solely focus on taking care of yourself.
The challenges of seeking care for my MS relapse
As I’m certain you know, it’s not that simple. Unfortunately, at least in my own experience, healthcare can be a bit of a hassle! Sometimes, especially when I’m not feeling my best, I just don’t want to deal with it even if that means that later I will have to pay a price.
My least favorite part of a flare or relapse
It really sucks to wake up and almost immediately realize that something isn’t right with your body. That your MS is acting up; be it a small flare or a full-blown exacerbation. After living with this disease for over 12 years, I know exactly what is ahead of me for the next few weeks.
My vision will almost certainly be blurry, if not doubled. My cognitive function and fatigue levels are definitely going to suck more than usual. I’m more than likely going to slur my speech, and probably trip over my own feet when trying to walk thanks to foot drop. Those are just a few examples of what a typical MS flare means for me. However, before I even get out of bed, what I really dread on those days is trying to seek care.
What should be a simple phone call
I’ve been through a lot of doctors since my diagnosis in 2010, so I understand that not all doctors’ offices are the same. Just like insurance, the pharmacy, or any other medical facility. That said, there does seem to be one constant; a simple phone call is never easy. No matter what I need.
Waiting on hold
I feel like every time I pick up the phone to make a healthcare-related call, it’s almost guaranteed that I’m going to be stuck on hold for much longer than I get to talk. Maybe I’m not actually on hold for that long, but when you feel like crap, five minutes can feel like an hour. Especially when you keep getting transferred around and having to repeat yourself to each new representative.
Stuck in the middle
Heaven forbid I have to contact more than one location. This typically results in what I consider the most frustrating part of making healthcare-related phone calls. Essentially being stuck in the middle of two people trying to communicate with each other who don’t want to do the whole “talking on the phone” bit. So instead of them picking up the phone and calling each other about what they need, they make me call each other for them, and relay their messages back and forth. It’s probably the best way to take the longest amount of time possible to complete a simple task.
Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with it
So, can you really blame me for wanting to avoid all of that when I am feeling terrible thanks to MS? I mean, I don’t even like doing that crap on my best days! My doctor doesn’t pay me to be his office’s personal assistant...unless you consider my medical care to be compensation. Hmmm. Well, in that case, I guess it really is like a job. I might not want to go, and I might hate doing it, but if I don’t? I’m going to be in a lot of trouble...anyway.
I know it’s pointless
I suppose what makes this all so frustrating is that while I’m trying to avoid the inevitable I’m totally aware that it’s most likely only going to hurt me. By delaying my care, the MS flare I needed care for in the first place is only going to last that much longer. It may even increase in severity. And when it does? I never feel like avoiding those phone calls was worth it. I should've just ripped the Band-Aid off!
What about you? Do you ever find yourself putting off the care you need because you don't want to deal with the hassle of it? Do you have any tips for people who also find themselves in this position? Share in the comments below!
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