Thursday, March 23, 2006

Addicted to Oxygen

In general, I have a set of fabulous doctors: my internist, chiropractor, dentist, and surgeon.

But recently I have had the frustrating search for another doctor who can help me breathe through my nose. One side collapses considerably more than the other, so especially at night I can't get enough air. After visiting four ear, nose, and throat specialists, there were two prominent doctors who told me what needed to be done, but they don't do that type of surgery...I would need to go to a plastic surgeon.

The receptionist for my third referral said the doctor does the surgery, but won't make an appointment unless I opt to have some other facial plastic surgery at the same time. Granted, that might prove to be a vast improvement, but my coffers aren't full enough to cover non-insured "work". The next referral had moved or was no longer in business. Hummm. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Doctor number five (ENT/plastic surgeon) has a totally different surgical solution, but the office wanted to check with my insurance to see how much would be covered, since this would not be a patient-paid cosmetic change. That was almost a month ago and I've not heard from them since.

So...I got a sixth referral whom I saw yesterday. This doctor may be the most expert of all those I have seen. His professional opinion was that the holes are big enough to get the air I need even though the side collapses (as everyone's does) and that I should just learn to sleep with my mouth open and breathe through it. Well, duh. After all these years, as old as I am, don't you think I would be doing that if I could? He would not do any surgery.

I'm back at square one. Not getting enough sleep because I can't get enough air. Surely I'm addicted to oxygen to go to so much trouble and expense (even if most of the expense thus far is on the part of my insurance company).

I suppose I should feel fortunate that I have insurance that will at least pay for all these "rejections". But I doubt I can get away with many more search missions. And as far as referrals are concerned, I'm really just getting names from my PCP, but don't need to have official referral paperwork, waiting, etc. to add to my frustration. My search started around the first of the year and here it is almost three months later. My dilemma is whether to continue my pursuit and find a less reputable doctor, or just suck it up!

1 comment:

Sara said...

Try that breathing machine that Steve and Dave are using. I hear it's wonderful. I should have gotten one before I let my insurance go!