Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No Appointments Available

After a sleepless night due to sinus pain and a jaw that is locking up I decided to call the Tricare Appointments Line.  I was hoping to get in today or at the latest by Friday.  Wishful thinking on my part.  Tricare informs me that the soonest they could get me in to see a provider would be the 30th of November.  Wow, really?  The clerk on the phone tells me that my other option would be the Emergency Department.  I'm a category 4 or 5 with this sinus infection and locking jaw, I have TMJ.

Okay so no appointment for me.  My husband was at PT this morning as most soldiers are at 0700hrs.  So I walked the one mile in the rain to the Emergency Department.  I left a note for my husband on the kitchen counter with the light on telling him where he could find me if need be and the reason why of course.  Yes, I did walk there and no I didn't take my cane with me.  The cane would have slowed me down.  Yes I got talked at for not using my cane when I got there.

At 0830hrs my husband shows up at the Emergency Department looking for me.  I was willing to walk home.  I know that he has a class today and I didn't want him to be late for it.  But he called his first line and told him the situation.  They guy was nice enough to let my husband be late to class today so that he could take me home.

Thankfully within ten minutes of my husband arriving I was discharged.  Off to the pharmacy.  Luck was on my side with the pharmacy this morning and I only waited ten minutes to get my medicines.  Levaquin, Isolep, Mucinex D, and Tylenol were prescribed but of course they don't dispense all that and I'm smart enough to keep the over-the-counter medicines on hand at home.  I don't like taking Levaquin as it messes up my stomach but I'm allergic to three types of antibiotics so I just deal with it.  The Isolep mouthwash is a new one on me.  It contains Diphenhydramine and Lidocane, they compound it themselves at the pharmacy.  Hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight.  I was diagnosed with Acute Sinusitis.

My instructions for discharge were to secure an appointment in 2-3 days.  So when I got home I called the appointment line again.  Still no luck.  Seriously?  I mean I just got out of the ER!  One would think that would put me at a higher priority but no.

Tricare really needs to be revamped.  I'm not sure what benefits it does allow now since I'm being denied appointments and haven't seen my Primary Care Provider in a year.

Men and women sign on to the military knowing that if they have family members they will be covered by insurance through the military.  But what they aren't told is that the family members don't get the care that is necessary and often go without diagnostic tests because of budget cuts.  Tricare no longer allows yearly Pap exams ladies.  If you have had two negative Pap exams in a row you are now put on the every other year list for Pap exams, they did this to me just this year and there is cancer in my family.  Nor is the Pap exam done by the OB/GYN any longer, its now done by the PA or Nurse on duty, unless you are active duty then you get to see the OB/GYN.  This would not be tolerated in civilian medicine.  Too many budget cuts to our medical have caused the family members to go untreated.

A year ago they found just one cyst on my thyroid.  This year I now have two and they've decided I can go three to five years before I'll be seen for it again.  What is wrong with this picture.  My cyst multiplied.  I had an aunt have to have her thyroid removed.  Hello, family history.  I should be monitored once a year.

On my EFMP paperwork it states I should be seen by my Primary Care Provider once a month, not the PA or Nurse.  It also lists the specialists I'm supposed to see and how often.  Why is it so hard for me to get the proper care?

Why are there no appointments available for family members within a reasonable amount of time for urgent care?

I follow the rules and avoid the ER and according to their slide show I try to make an appointment with my Primary but to no avail.  Sheesh!

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