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Is it worth it?

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  • Is it worth it?

    Hello All:

    You may remember my prior thread about my friend who is very low income and the whacky social services system runaround. I have an update.

    Yesterday was the appointment she had made with my Urol. She has waited two months for this appt. and has only been going to the free clinic since then for treatment.

    The receptionist was a little snotty upon our arrival. I noted a tone in her voice, but, my friend didn't. She started out by saying we HAD NO APPT! But, my friend had papers to prove she was supposed to come that day sent from their office. Then she said, "She's from Hagerstown isn't she, (like she knew her) and then, "Well, I'll need a copy of her insurance card and drivers licence." I said, "She doesn't have any insurance." (she rolls her eyes a bit) She then says, "Well, does she have any ID with her picture on it?" (you know, like normal people do who have insurance?) Yes, we had that.

    Ok, so on to the appt. with my URO (a woman). I went with my friend into the exam room. The URO comes in and my friend started her lengthy explanation of how she has suffered with all the IC, bladder symptoms and taken every drug known for cysto problems, DMSO treatments, etc. The URO is writing 2 pages of notes on drugs taken, exams, etc.

    The URO gave her a pelvic exam and of course then ordered a hydrodistention to be done at the hospital. She said the pelvic floor seemed ok.

    After that the "finance lady" came in. She was dressed impeccably and very nice. In a soothing tone she told us that today's visit was $320.00! My friend gasped. She calmed her down and said, "We are aware of your circumstances so, we will make that fee $160.00. You can pay us $50.00 now and we can set up a payment plan for you, we can stretch it out over 6-8 months." My friend expalined she didn't have any money right now, and that she cleans for a living, but, she would try to send something monthly. (It was averaging out to 54.00 a month balance) (this is just for today's visit mind you).

    Then we discussed the procedure. The doctor fee for the procedure was going to be $680.00. My friend was about ready to cry. The lady said, "It's ok, we will cut this down to $340.00 and again you can pay us a little each month for 8 months until it is paid." My friend timidly agreed. (This poor woman was so scared and feeling overwhelmed.)

    While all this was going on, I wrote out a check for $160.00 and handed it to the nice lady when she was finished talking. She smiled at me and said, "Awww" and accepted it. We didn't say anything to my friend.

    When we got the the desk to discuss making the arrangements, we realized on top of all this we will also have the HOSPITAL fees. This will have to be arranged through the hospital and she told us they have a special program set up for people who can't afford to pay. She was very nice. She even said she would call the hospital first for us and then call my friend.

    When we got outside I told my friend I had covered her doctor bill for today. She was overwhelmed and incredibly thankful.

    Last night, I talked it all over with my husband and he wants to pay the $340.00 for the URO's services the day of the hydro. Hopefully, the hospital will work with us and we can get a big break there.

    Now, only a couple things remain.

    She has to get Xrays and bloodwork. She said she would try to get it done at the clinic for free. But, I'm doubtful. Can anyone offer any suggestions about these things?

    Also, after all this happens, i.e the hydro is done, and the bills are in the process of being paid over ones' lifetime. What good will it all do? What is all this gong to accomplish? We pretty much already know that the woman has IC, it's obvious. The URO wouldn't prescribe any meds for her until she does the hydro, so that's out. But, my point it, after hydro is there anything they can do other than collect the money for the services? This is an incredible financial hardship for someone with no insurance.

    I ask this because this is what happened to me. She did the hydro and she told me I have IC. So, after that what? Do we really need to do this and spend an incredible amount of money to be told something that is obvious? My hydro actually made me worse. I was not as bad with IC before as after the hydro.

    Your thoughts?

    Last edited by Boni; 01-27-2006, 11:29 AM.

    IC diagnosed 2/05
    Alkaline Diet as much as possible
    VitaMixing, Power Smoothie Drinks,

    Hydrocodeine for pain


    ROM: 8:37 "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerers through HIM who loved us."

  • #2
    I don't have suggestions, but what a wonderful friend you are. I see you are a believer from your Bible verse tagline. I would pray about it and follow your gut. it sounds like you are a great instrument for God for your friend. He'll help you figure it out.

    Diagnosed August 2001

    Current IC meds: Elmiron (since 2001), Levaquin (one pill after intercourse to prevent UTIs), Effexor (for depression & anxiety)

    Past IC meds: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril), Detrol LA, Lexapro (for depression & anxiety, but also helped my IC) (They all helped, but I was able to discontinue them.)

    I've been virtually symptom free and able to eat & drink whatever I'd like for about 8 years now.


    “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl

    “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” ~ Brian Tracy


    • #3

      What a great friend you are. she is very lucky to have you and your husband to help. Most of us don't have anyone. Eventho we don't know what will happen next for her, what ever it is at least she has you. I was lucky OU medical here has a great program for low income patients. It's good for a year at a time then you have to reapply but i was approved for 100% this year. which means i pay nothing. They also had another program they call reduced liability which is to cover all there doctors expenses not matter what the specialty. Sometimes its a copay, sometimes is a $25 a month fee (nomatter how many times you go) and luckily for me i was approved again for 100%. I will have to reapply in june and probably won't get approved the same since i won my work disability case which gives me my insurance back, but i hoping that it will still help because copays and deductibles still add up way more than i can afford since i'm not working and have no spouse income and that doesnt even include prescriptions. What was most amazing is that Ou medical center is where i found my uro, who specializes in IC. He does many studies that i participate in. You are an amazing person to help her through this. I lost every friend i had when i got sick and i had a bunch. Luckily i have my mom and now my Ic friends online. It's truley amazing that you can be such a good friend to so many but when you need someone they disapear. my hydro made me worse and to be honest i won't do it again.
      amanda amanda


      • #4
        i agree with all the other post, you are a grea friend and she is lucky to have you. has she tried to apply for medicaid, i know alot of doctors dont ake it but there are a bunch that do. you said she wasnt making much money so she should qualify. thats the only i dea i have about what to do about the bills. and judt to tell you again you are really a great friend!
        IC MEDS
        Elmiron 100mg three times daily,Oxycontin 40mg twice daily, Ditropan 5 mg twice daily,mg once daily,oxycodone as needed

        OTHER MEDS
        Lexapro 20 mg daily,Hyzaar 100-25 mg daily,Norvasc 5mg daily,Nexium 40 mg daily,Zocor 20 mg daily, Metformin 2000mg twice daily,Singulair 10 mg daily,Phenergan 25 mg as needed,Zomig 5 mg as needed,Advair 500/50,Nuva Ring

        High blood pressure,Diabetes,Asthma,Migraines,Panic Attacks


        • #5
          I agree that she has a wonderful friend in you.

          I hope that she will be among the 50% of IC patients who are helped by hydrodistention. I know I am and it's what has given me a life for the past 31 years.

          There should be some kind of program at the hospital for charity care. I also would encourage her to apply for medicaid.

          Stay safe

          Elmiron Eye Disease Information Center -
          Elmiron Eye Disease Fact Sheet (Downloadable) -

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          Click on ICN Shop at the top of this page. You'll find Bladder Builder and Bladder Rest, both of which we are finding have excellent results.

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          Diet list:

          AUA Guidelines:

          I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

          Anyone who says something is foolproof hasn't met a determined fool


          • #6
            Any ideas on the bloodwork and Xrays? Where can she get this done free?

            What happens after the Hydro? What is the main reason for a hydro?


            IC diagnosed 2/05
            Alkaline Diet as much as possible
            VitaMixing, Power Smoothie Drinks,

            Hydrocodeine for pain



            ROM: 8:37 "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerers through HIM who loved us."


            • #7
              I'm an out of work English teacher working as a legal secretary until I can find a job in Ohio. No teaching job = no insurance, so I know how difficult this is. My local hospital let me have many of my tests done for free due to my low income...I don't make a lot now, and I was a student working on my Masters for a while before that. All I had to do was prove it and it was taken care of. I DID have to pay all these fees from the companies that read the results of the tests because they are separate from the hospital, but I got a payment plan for that. Not too bad.
              I'm taking Elmiron now, which, without insurance, is $300.00 a month. I can hardly afford it, but i can't do without it now that I have it. I just qualified to have it delivered to my Doc's office free of charge by filling out a few forms from one of those prescription assistance programs. If you want a link to it for your friend, please PM me. It's very worth it for all types of medications. Elmiron is the only one I have opted to get for free through the program, but I know they provide assistance for darn near everything.
              I'm being married in May to a funeral director (heehee) and will have insurance then. Also, I'm reapplying for teaching positions in the coming months. I'm not holding my breath...forgive the politics, but Ohio sucks in terms of education. Forgive the word 'sucks' too.
              Hope your friend gets some use out of this stuff. Thank goodness for you looking out for her.

              Diagnosed with IC October 2005