I have to be honest. Being at the bottom rungs of income levels can mean crossing some very odd paths.
There have been times that the Poor family has not had health insurance. That can be a problem for me, since I take a large handful of prescription medicines every day. It also means that every so often I have to go wave my bottles in front of a doctor and say, “More, please.” During the rough patches I have gone to a nice little place not far away. They only charged a flat $25 for an appointment, which put them miles ahead of the other charity medical centers near me. Those want to go over your finances and then base their fee on your income and expenses. I prefer a clear price so I don’t waste my time if it’s too expensive.
At the moment, I have a dicey Obamacare plan from You’ve Never Heard of Us Medical that at least pays for my pills and a doctor visit to get new prescriptions. But I can’t get in with the doctor for another month, and last week I was out of some of my most important pills. So off I went to the friendly neighborhood clinic. I noticed there were no cars in the parking lot. But once or twice before they had been closed because the doctor scheduled for that day couldn’t come in, so I didn’t worry. I got out to see if there was a note about when they would be open again. No note. So I looked through the window and saw… no furniture. Oops.
I still wasn’t panicked. Just before we started going there, they had moved to that building from another just down the street. So I whipped out my smartphone to see if they were somewhere else.
They had been closed since March. Sad. Then my eyes bugged out. I learned that it had shut down after one of the people who worked there and her son were arrested for running a pill mill. For those more innocent, that means they were selling prescriptions to drugs like oxycodone. My nice, shabby but comfortable, friendly doctors’ office had been the sort of place I helped raid back in my law enforcement days.
But the cherry on the top of awful is that the name of the person in the news articles sounded very familiar. Was she the doctor who told me that I should apply for Social Security disability, that she had patients on it that weren’t as sick as me? The logical part of my brain reminded me that after that I had a doctor in a very reputable practice agree that I should apply, but the other part was screaming that I had spent years struggling on the advice of a drug dealer.
I pawed through some drawers and found an old pill bottle with the doctor’s name on it. Not the same woman. Whew. Yvonne and Yolanda are close enough to ring bells, and it was a relief to realize she wasn’t the one involved. I really liked her a lot. Earlier today I checked into it again and found a picture of the woman involved. She was one of the office staff that I had seen several times. I admit the whole thing left me a bit rattled.
Oh, and for those who like a complete story, I discovered that my local CVS drugstore had a little mini-clinic that took my insurance. The nice lady there gave me a three month supply of all my medicines, more than enough to last me until I see my new doctor.
This was originally posted on my old blog, Middle Class Poor.