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Wed Apr 24, 2013, 02:56 PM

Got a call from my Doctor's office today............

I am an unemployed, uninsured diabetic. I have not seen my Doctor in over a year. I have been keeping up with my medications (except for injections, the medicine is over $500 a month).

I kept getting letters from the Doctor's office saying that it had been x amount of time since he had seen me. I wrote back and explained my circumstances. I had a call back from the Diabetic patient coordinator. She understood the situation and gives me samples of injections medications the office receives.

I called in for prescription refills the other day. I had a phone call from the Doctor's assistant, who said he would refill it but he needs to see me. I said I have no insurance or employment, she could talk to the Diabetic Coordinator.

The Diabetic Coordinator called me today, she said she had talked to my Doctor, he understands the situation, he wants to see me and there will be no charge.

Now this is how patient care should be.

60 replies, 12077 views

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Arrow 60 replies Author Time Post
Reply Got a call from my Doctor's office today............ (Original post)
mrmpa Apr 2013 OP
peace13 Apr 2013 #1
mrmpa Apr 2013 #2
Voice for Peace Apr 2013 #3
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2013 #4
busterbrown Apr 2013 #5
michigandem58 Apr 2013 #6
Marrah_G Apr 2013 #7
Warpy Apr 2013 #8
narnian60 Apr 2013 #12
Warpy Apr 2013 #19
hollysmom Apr 2013 #9
mrmpa Apr 2013 #10
hollysmom Apr 2013 #20
kurtzapril4 Apr 2013 #53
Cleita Apr 2013 #11
jwirr Apr 2013 #13
DainBramaged Apr 2013 #14
zarnon61 Apr 2013 #15
Rider3 Apr 2013 #16
Blue_In_AK Apr 2013 #17
LittleBlue Apr 2013 #18
mrmpa Apr 2013 #26
LittleBlue Apr 2013 #33
Liberal_in_LA Apr 2013 #21
TxDemChem Apr 2013 #22
mountain grammy Apr 2013 #23
Squinch Apr 2013 #24
mrmpa Apr 2013 #25
EC Apr 2013 #27
Gothmog Apr 2013 #28
rhett o rick Apr 2013 #29
mrmpa Apr 2013 #35
ReRe Apr 2013 #30
Triana Apr 2013 #31
lunasun Apr 2013 #41
TexasTowelie Apr 2013 #32
BlancheSplanchnik Apr 2013 #34
tpsbmam Apr 2013 #36
spanone Apr 2013 #37
gateley Apr 2013 #38
Warren Stupidity Apr 2013 #39
area51 Apr 2013 #50
Jennicut Apr 2013 #40
DonRedwood Apr 2013 #42
B Stieg Apr 2013 #43
Le Taz Hot Apr 2013 #44
MoonchildCA Apr 2013 #45
mrmpa Apr 2013 #47
Ms. Toad Apr 2013 #51
caseymoz Apr 2013 #46
DearHeart Apr 2013 #48
pansypoo53219 Apr 2013 #49
Post removed Apr 2013 #52
California Expat Apr 2013 #54
Chemisse Apr 2013 #55
caledesi Apr 2013 #56
tofuandbeer Apr 2013 #57
BlueToTheBone Apr 2013 #58
mrmpa Apr 2013 #59
BlueToTheBone Apr 2013 #60

Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:04 PM

1. I am so happy for you!!!

 

You are correct...that is how patient care should be!

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Response to peace13 (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:05 PM

2. Thank you. eom

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:06 PM

3. yes.

 

good for you and glad you found good care.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:11 PM

4. That is really wonderful news.

Your Doctor is a man with a conscience and a heart.

Yes, this is how it should be!

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:12 PM

5. Disagree, You still went through way too much trouble.

I realize you know that...But I want a freaking card in my wallet which enables me to
see anyone at anytime...anywhere.

And to the nay sayers. Yea, Iím aware that if I donít have an emergency I wonít be able to see someone immediately.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:12 PM

6. Yes and no

 

There should be no cost, but you shouldn't have to explain your situation and rely on the good graces of others. However, I am happy for you and bless the folks helping you.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:13 PM

7. My doctor is like this too

When you find a Doctor that truly cares for their patients, stick with them.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:16 PM

8. Doctors were allies when I was broke

All of them reduced their fees and in some cases, waived them completely. All worked with me on getting enough medication to keep me alive, giving out samples and checking the lists I'd brought from Wally's, Costo and Target to see if there was a cheap generic that would do.

I was lucky that nothing more drastic than blindness happened during my last lean period. I was lucky that when my dad died, he surprised me with enough to live on and the sale of his house not only paid mine off, it bought me a corneal transplant.

Oh, yeah. I got lucky and I know it.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:31 PM

12. Nothing more drastic than blindness...

whoa.

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Response to narnian60 (Reply #12)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:49 PM

19. When I get sick, I don't fool around.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:19 PM

9. I am so sorry.

I am glad your doctor will see you, Ihave doctors like that, but i can afford to pay them thankfully.

Have you checked to see if there is anywhere you can get your medication cheaper? There are on-line apps. A friend of mine got her prescription for 1/10 what she was paying by going to Costco - you don't have to be a member, they have an uninsured group plan for people members or not, it offers still cheaper medication, but you can't be under a plan to get it,. my pills were cheaper under that plan than they are under my insurance.

http://patients.about.com/od/savemoneyondrugs/tp/How-To-Compare-Drug-Prices-Online.htm

I hope everything goes well at the doctors, good luck.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:24 PM

10. Just got back from Costco half hour ago............

I got two scripts filled, 90 days each for $10.78. The price at Costco for the injectables was still near $500. That was the lowest price I could find.

Oh and my 83 year old mother went with me and bought $209 worth of food. She's now napping.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:52 PM

20. I out the links there because the friend that got the cheaper price at costco

found an even cheaper price at her local pharmacy, it never hurts to check, the prices do vary,
I have been blessed and have no idea about the price of injectables, but hope they would go down for you some day.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 08:18 AM

53. Very often the maker of the drugs you use

Will have a low or no-cost program. Check out the drug maker's website. I get my MS meds for free...the co-pay on it is $1200/mo.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:24 PM

11. Most doctors will do a small amount of what you could call pro bono in taking

care of people who can't pay, but at the end of the day they still have expenses to cover and no one is giving them free rent. I'm happy that you are getting the care you need, but we still need a system where patients are taken care of regardless of ability to pay and that doctors do get paid for the work they do.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:31 PM

13. The old way. Free for those who cannot afford it. But back then we did not have the things that were

needed for the follow up.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:32 PM

14. My endocrinologist gives me samples of some of my meds I just cannot afford, even with a copay

there are some wonderful doctors out there, it's usually the shitty ones who get the press



Great story, I am so happy for you.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)


Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:41 PM

16. Wow!

Not only did you get a good doctor, you also got a decent human being. Good luck and good health -- to you AND your doctor!

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:42 PM

17. That's excellent.

It's so encouraging when health care providers do the right thing. I had an instance several years ago where I needed some chiropractic care but my work insurance only covered the first $500. My chiropractor ended up treating me three times a week for eight months for no fee because he disagreed so strongly with insurance company policy. He did wonders for me...I'm totally okay now.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:44 PM

18. Have you checked with the pharmaceutical if you can get free drugs?

 

Some, like Eli Lilly, have programs to give you insulin if you're unable to pay.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #18)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 04:08 PM

26. Yep I did,..............

I had to pull from my retirement funds last year, so i was above their income limits in 2012, however 2013 is looking a bit different.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #26)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:15 PM

33. Glad to hear it

 

Retirement income is ridiculously misleading.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:54 PM

21. I'm happy for you

 

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:59 PM

22. That is wonderful

It is so refreshing to hear about practitioners who put their patients before money.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 03:59 PM

23. If my friend had been treated that way, she'd be alive today.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 04:05 PM

24. Tell this to everyone. There are people like me who are insured, and would like to make

sure that your doctor has a large caseload so he can easily absorb the costs of doing what he is doing for you. (He isn't, by chance, in the NYC metropolitan area, is he?)

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Response to Squinch (Reply #24)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 04:07 PM

25. No he's in western Pennsylvania......eom

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 04:26 PM

27. Huh?

No we shouldn't have to rely on the help of others for health care. It should be there for all.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 04:32 PM

28. This is wonderful news

I am a Type II diabetic and I am glad to have a job and insurance. I really appreciate the way that your doctor is treating you. Your story made me smile.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:04 PM

29. I respectfully disagree that this is how it should work.

 

The doctor should also get paid. Medicare for all!!

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #29)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:40 PM

35. Touche & I wish there was medicare for all...............eom

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:09 PM

30. Yessirrrreeeee!

Have you ever gone to your county's Health Department? They might be able to help you. Give them a call and just tell them what meds you take and if they can help you in any way since you don't have health insurance. There was a time when I was in the same situation. The way my Dr and I worked it out is I paid for the office call, and then he would send me home with 3 months worth of meds (from samples that were left by pharmacy detail people.) There may have been one med they didn't have, so I would have to pay for that one, but it was usually generic, so didn't cost much. I am so happy that your Dr has stepped up to help you out!

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:09 PM

31. Providers/doctors are definitely not the issue in most cases...

 

....it's big pharma and big insurance that cause most of the issues with healthcare in the U.S. Greedy corprat interests.

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Response to Triana (Reply #31)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 07:11 PM

41. +1

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:12 PM

32. I'm a type-I diabetic and long term unemployed. Check with social services where you live.

I'm too young for Medicare and don't meet eligibility requirements for Medicaid since I'm single and not considered disabled. My county has a medical assistance program and I qualified because of lack of income. If your unemployment benefits have ended or fairly low, then you may qualify for these programs immediately even if your 2012 tax return places you above the eligibility limits.

I qualified for receiving insulin pens for both long-term and short-term insulins, Lyrica for neuropathy and medications for cholesterol and high blood pressure/kidney support that will be paid by the medical assistance program. They can also refer you to organizations if you are taking anti-depressant medications and direct you to your local food bank if necessary.

I had to show proof of residency (three months), provide an income statement, ID, Social Security card and a list of medications that I was taking. I also had to complete some additional paperwork, but they did not ask for any records from my prior physician

Although the medical clinic is staffed by a nurse practitioner I received exams, plus blood and lipid panels that were as thorough as what I received from my private physician.

I also would check on seeing if you can obtain a reduced price on glucose test strips (Freestyle Lite). I was able to save about 50% by searching on the Internet and completing a quick form online.

Good luck--hopefully this will help you stretch out any savings that you still retain. Please let me know if any of this helps or you can send me a DU mail if you have other questions.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:39 PM

34. that made me smile!!!

Good to encourage people to speak up. So often, people don't think they "should", or something.

VERY happy for you!

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:52 PM

36. Wonderful! Actually, where I live, that's the way it actually is for SOME medical care....

Our local docs and even the hospital have joined together and many are part of Project Access, a program through the local medical society foundation. I now have Inclusive Health, the ACA federal insurance available to NC residents with preexisting conditions (I have many) -- thank goodness we had a Dem governor when it came about and she + Dem legislators made sure we got it -- our state is all ReTHUG right now (ugh....gives me hives to even type that) but there's no way they could get rid of it. There's no way they would have brought it in in the first place -- they turned down the Medicaid expansion. Arrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!

Through Project Access and other medical support programs offered through my county, I had years of free doctor care from a neurologist (MS), nephrologist (chronic renal failure), free annual gyno exams and mammograms, a free biopsy of a mole of concern and more. I've had free MRIs, free CT scans and my lab work was always free all through the local hospital system. And if the mammogram, etc had found cancer, surgery and further treatment would also be free. It's truly amazing -- I've not found that in any other community I've lived in, though I'm sure there are others who do it. But the degree to which it's been done here is awe-inspiring. Not sure how those programs will change with the coming of the full ACA....I guess time will tell. I have a massive deductible and have had to forgo some needed health care (e.g., physical therapy) due to the fact I hadn't met the deductible so it would be cash out of pocket for me.....not affordable. That's the kind of thing that the ACA DOESN'T address. And things like prevention.....my 1%er sister is two years older than I am and has had 4 colonoscopies since she turned 50 -- she'll be 60 on her next birthday. I'm 58 and I've never had one because of the cost. THAT is something that's disastrous in the ACA.

You do, indeed, have a good and caring doc. And, yep, that's the way it should be! They have the right to make a good living being docs, but as the docs here have shown, that doesn't preclude seeing patients in need for free.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 06:17 PM

38. Agree!

I had to go to the doctor (thyroid medication) for a refill, Same circumstance, no income, no job, he finally said no more refills until I came in to see him. He charged me $150.

My dad was a doctor and if he'd been alive, he would have been FURIOUS at this guy!

I'm glad you got one of the good ones.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 06:39 PM

39. No really it isn't.

 

It should not be up to the good graces of a good doctor that you get the health care you need. In other developed nations there would be no question at all regarding your ability to pay, you would just go to the doctor, get your care, and that would be that. Good for your doctor for being a caring human being, but really, this is not how health care ought to work at all.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #39)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 04:09 AM

50. +1 n/t

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 06:52 PM

40. I feel guilty now for having a four months supply of insulin.

I' m a type 1 and I have good insurance through my husband. We have to do mail order now but I have a good supply of strips, lantus and humalog. Having no insurance is so dangerous for us. I hope the doctor has some strips for you to keep track of highs and lows. Good luck.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 07:43 PM

42. You just gave me a little bit of faith in the system

or at least your dr's office.

Good health to you!

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 11:39 PM

43. I'm in the same boat...

but there aren't many docs in L.A. who understand the true meaning of grace as does yours.

Hang in there!

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 12:27 AM

44. When both my husband and I were unemployed

I found a doctor who only charged me $60.00 for an office visit but then would load me up on free samples and told me to come on in and get more (no appointment) when I ran out of the ones she gave me. She did this for 2 years and then guided me towards the patient assistance program and, with her Attending Physician's Report, I got 12 months worth of free meds (worth $3600). I've got that through December of this year.

Doctors like that LITERALLY save our lives.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:30 AM

45. You may be eligible for Obamacare now.

Do a search on pre-existing insurance in your state. In California, we have PCIP. It's available to anyone with a pre-existing condition who has not been covered by insurance for six months. This is a federal program administered by the states. Here, in CA, it's really easy to apply. You just need a doctor to state you have a pre-existing condition (for which they even had form letters set up) and proof of legal status, such as birth certificate. It's so much quicker than most insurance policies. There are no questions about medical history etc. If you are sick, you are accepted.

I have it now, and so does my best friend who was diagnosed with cancer. I'm 50 and I pay $370 a month. It's the best insurance I've ever had. I needed surgery and had some major complications and they paid all of it. It pays 85% with a max $2500 out of pocket, $25 doctor copay, and a great prescription drug plan.

It's a bridge program, until the law takes full effect. It literally saved my life!

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #45)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:39 AM

47. Suspended here in PA...............

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/health_insurance/9189/pa_fair_care/666211

I would have been eligible on April 1, 2013. Had health insurance prior but it was at $570 a month. Since I went from a group policy to the $570 policy, pre-existing conditions weren't considered. However I only kept the insurance for unexpected hospitalizations, Doctor's appointments were out of my pocket & would be about $100, with an out of pocket max of $5000. This policy was depleting me.

I was going to apply for the program but a you can see, PA suspended it.

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #45)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 06:48 AM

51. Here's the link to find the PCIP plans in all 50 states.

Last edited Thu Apr 25, 2013, 07:28 AM - Edit history (1)

https://www.pcip.gov/

Glad you found it It was missing from the original bill, and it was one of the things I lobbied pretty hard to put into the bill so that people who were unable to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions had something immediately. The 6 month waiting period is a real barrier, though. There are a number of people who have insurance (through COBRA, or the HIPAA personal plan extension, and high enough medical needs every month that they can't afford to drop insurance for 6 months in order to get on the plan.

ETA: Oh, crap. I just read the link - even though the plans were under-enrolled from what was predicted, the people in the plans have such significant health conditions (Duh!) that they have suspended enrollment in order to continue to care for the people who did enroll without running out of money.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:37 AM

46. Not really. Yes, you got it for free.


But you had to go through a lot of hassle and stress to get it. Nothing a person in need of medical help should have to go through.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 02:35 AM

48. You're lucky! I have an asshole for a doctor!

Unemployed, have insurance but a massive deductible(only for dire emergency), so everything is out of pocket for me. This damn doctor gave me one refill of all my meds and will not give more until I have a blood test. Well, said blood test will run about $800. No way I can do that, so off the meds I go in a month or so. Don't know how to get my RX without the blood test.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 03:38 AM

49. take him a chicken.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)


Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 09:56 AM

54. emergency room visit

Went to the emergency room the other night, I was having some pressure in the middle of my chest. i might be my hiatal hernia, but I didn't want to take chances.

I was in the waiting room for about 10 minutes, got an EKG and had my blood checked, no enzymes that would indicate a heart attack.

Made an appointment for a stress test and went home.

Got the bill today, it amounted to 300 Swedish Kronas, about 45 dollars.

Did I mention that there was only 2 other people in the waiting room?

I do love Sweden...

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 10:58 AM

55. That is wonderful.

I hate the way pcps hold back the prescriptions if you haven't been in for a visit. It's annoying for me, potentially devastating for someone without insurance.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 12:49 PM

56. Good people! Got MS injections for FREE!

Call now. Delivered for FREE...count on them .

ADVANCED CARE SCRIPTS [ACS]
(866) 681-7131 / (877) 985-6337
l now ...they actually care.

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:00 PM

57. Beautiful story! Thanks for sharing!

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Response to mrmpa (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:28 PM

58. what are you injecting? Victosa?

We looked at that, but the high rate of pancreatitis was a big turn off and we've decided to stay with insulin. Good luck and glad you have a real doctor.

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #58)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:31 PM

59. Levemir..............

is what I'm getting for free. Was on Lantus & Victoza. I did read about panceatitis with the Victoza, so wasn't a fan of it, plus it really didn't help with lowering blood sugr readings.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #59)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:43 PM

60. I haven't heard of the this one.

Why is this so much more than Lantus?

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