Without any notice, my neurologist of nearly three years quit. I was assigned to a new one and six months later the entire practice was no longer covered by my health insurance plan.
I had to find a new neurologist!
I had to find a new neurologist. The doctor did not have recommendations for me. I called the health plan and asked for a list of neurologists who specialized in facial pain/Trigeminal and Occipital Neuralgia. They told me to go to their website, look up the specialty I wanted and call that office.
After a week of phone calls, I found someone and I called. They told me to have my primary care provider (PCP) send a referral. I explained that he did not treat me for this disease. Their response? “Your health plan requires a referral from your PCP.
My PCP told me to make an appointment to discuss this and then he would give me a referral. The referral was approved and I was finally able to make an appointment. It was scheduled for 5 MONTHS from the date I spoke with the scheduler.
After I told my husband about it, he asked, “Do you track all of this anywhere?”
“Do you mean the 22-page document I have that has every nuance of my health care encounters since 2014?”
He said, “Of course you do.”
You bet I’ve tracked my health journey.
Please be sure you do this because your medical chart does not include all aspects like the hours of time you spent making phone calls, the appointment dates that are months out even when you are desperate for care, and the social issues like how you were treated.
Because you have chronic pain, YOU WILL NEED THIS DOCUMENT as you travel through your own health care journey. Take it with you. I have offered it to every new doctor I have seen and they were thrilled to have it. I consistently heard, “I wish every new patient would do this.”
Take the following with you to your initial appointments:
- Your health care journey document.
- Prescription medications.
- Phone numbers and addresses of all your doctors.
- Phone numbers and addresses of all your emergency contacts.
- Surgery dates.
I also keep them on my phone and table which I carry with me. I ALSO HAVE A PRINTED COPY because I don’t want to be stuck if I’m out of power.
I hope this will make your journey a little easier.
Gail Sinclair, Master Hypnotherapist, Certified Nutritional Consultant, & Karuna® Reiki Master Teacher, works diligently to teach others how to work through the 7 Stages of Chronic Pain and Learn How to Thrive™. She lives with Trigeminal & Occipital Neuralgia, Rheumatoid & Osteoarthritis, & Fibromyalgia and continues to learn tools to turn her attention away from the persistent pain of her body.