Getting Treatment for My IBS Hasn’t Been Easy
There have been many times in my life when certain people used to ask me why I don’t see a doctor regularly since I "complain" about pain often. I try to explain to them that I’m not trying to “complain” but just helping them understand how my pain works and is different from “typical stomach pain”.
Also, the complete answer to why I don’t see a doctor regularly isn’t simply black and white. It’s not like I’m choosing to be stubborn and purposely not seek care for my health, which can sometimes be the case. However, for the most part, there are complicated gray areas to understand.
My experiences with doctors
I’ve neither seen nor have had a primary care physician in a long time, and it’s for many reasons. One of them being the fact that I lack trust in doctors due to my past experiences, which I’ve spoken briefly about in my past articles on this site.
I have tried to change my mentality on meeting new doctors to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, I’ve been disappointed time and time again either due to the apathy, disbelief, and down-right discrimination I’ve faced from some physicians, therapists, and nurse practitioners (not to mention I used to work in the medical field).
My frustrations have not changed
I understand that it takes time to get my physician to know me on a deeper level, but at the same time, I have so little time to even speak to a doctor during my appointments that every time we end up getting a brief exam and going over the same basic facts about my medical history.
It’s insane that although my overall appointment can take me 2 hours, most of the time is spent waiting and we only spend an average of 5 minutes with the actual doctor. With that being said, I still want to continue the search for a decent doctor that is invested in seeing their patients get better holistically. I’ll admit that is a lot to ask for, especially having Medicaid for health insurance. This is the complicated gray area to understand in my life.
Insurance can be a real headache
I have been having issues with my insurance for a long time because the state program through which I purchase my Medicaid is crap, to put it nicely. Every time I check my account to pay my monthly bill, I get notified that my insurance is not verified because I need to provide proof of income.
This has been happening over the past year, even though I have sent my proof of income several times online and via mail. Whenever I call, of course, I get a different person every time, I explain my situation, and they tell me in the most reassuring, confident-sounding tone that they fixed the problem, and my online account should update shortly.
After countless attempts of getting this fixed, the account has yet to be updated and my insurance coverage is still not updated. This has created such an inconvenience for me because it prevents me from seeing a doctor regularly since my insurance coverage is pending. And as a result, it’s been extremely difficult to get treatment for my IBS.
Seeking IBS treatment is complex
So, you see, it’s not like I don’t want to seek care for my chronic condition. It’s the fact that the healthcare service I do receive lacks quality and makes it very difficult for me to even be able to use my health insurance when and as often as I need to.
My purpose in briefly writing about my experience with the difficulty of getting treatment for my IBS is to hopefully help others facing similar struggles feel less alone. But more importantly, I want to shed light on how the healthcare system’s structure has a way of discouraging patients to either seek help or trust in the medical care system altogether – from the administrators, to the doctors, and even sometimes down to some janitors who work in the medical industry.
Again, there have been many reasons as to why I haven’t seen a doctor on a regular basis. And, to be honest, I wish I could despite what I’ve been through because the older I get, the more important I realize it is to see a doctor and update my medical records. However, at this point, it seems like finding a needle in a haystack and unfortunately, my chronic condition doesn’t allow me that kind of energy to keep being let down.
Can anyone else relate to my experience? Do you feel like it’s hard to get treatment or care for your condition, or health overall because the healthcare system is letting you down? Please feel free to comment below and share it with the community. Thanks!
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?