Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What? Me Worry?

It’s time again for the blog carnival. I am enjoying these. I hope everyone has been checking out the others. There is great stuff out there. So be sure to do that.

This time the theme for the ChronicBabe blog carnival is ‘How do you deal with the medical establishment?’.

To be honest. I don’t. Not really.

Having End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and being on dialysis is an auto acceptance for the Medicaid and Medicare. Of course you can’t have any money or property or anything of value to your name, but it’s an auto. So I don’t deal with insurance issues.

Well, except for when Medicare kept sending me cards that said I was a male. It took three visits to fill out paperwork and show ID, but I was able to be a female again.

And I was diagnosed when I was six and a half, so I never really dealt with any of the inter-tanglely-businessy end of stuff. It was put in place by my mom thirty-some years ago.

I just show up where people tell me and they stick needles in me. That’s my job.

I will say this, no establishment can be maneuvered without proper guidance.

This usually falls to the social workers. Right now I am extremely lucky to have a great team. My social worker gets it done. Even before I know there is something that needs doing.

For example, at the end of June a number of people ( at a different dialysis unit ) found their transportation approval expired. It has to be renewed twice a year.  They found out when they tried to get to dialysis and no one would come and get them.

Yeah. That’s a bad day.

I knew mine was coming up. (In a vague sort of ‘end of June, beginning of July, maybe, sure why not’ kind of way.) When I asked my social worker about this…done. As in it was done two weeks earlier.

Yeah. She rocks.

I do remember when my sister was sick and we were trying to get her on Medicaid before she died. It was just awful.

Really. Awful.

She did not have a good team with her. And without the social worker doing her job it took months to do what should have taken a few days. It actually took me going to the records office to get her chart so we could get a copy to send to the authorization person. And they were still uncooperative and difficult.
Again it was mom who did the hard parts. Dealing with the phone interviews, the stony office workers, incompetent medical staff. I don’t think I would have been able to manage it all.

So yeah. A good social worker is a must have.

And a smart mom doesn’t hurt none either.


  1. A smart mom is a must for me as well, as I was a teenager when I was first diagnosed. Glad to hear your team is working for you (it's so often not the case)!

  2. Knock on wood, my husband and I haven't had any major insurance battles yet, either.

    And it sounds like having a social worker on your side is a good thing in your case.


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