COPD and Bronchiectasis Damage in the Lungs

COPD Definition

Chronic Obstruction Lung Disease (COPD) is a term that includes a whole group of lung diseases that block airway flow making it difficult for an individual to breath. Typically they are short of breath and their lifestyle is affected to the degree of their disease.

I was recently diagnosed with bronchioectasis, which is a lung disease that damages some area of the lung so that it is not longer smooth. The effect of this phenomena is increased congestion, which causes a frequent cough. Recently I had an appointment with a pulmonary doctor due to bronchitis which didn't improve after a month of antibiotics.

He ordered a high density chest cat scan this past Monday, but my insurance company turned it down. Since when does an insurance decide how a doctor practices medicine? They said I didn't meet the criteria.

I am so furious about this, as this insurance isn't cheap, and the doctor stated the reason for the test was to rule out bronchiectasis. Ultimately the doctor was able to get approval, which confirmed his diagnosis.

Bronchiectasis

Source:  AnatomyTextbook
Source: AnatomyTextbook

Bronchiectasis

What's Ahead for Patients?

I called the insurance company again just before my doctor after the appointment, and they are supposed to get the doctor on the phone to see if there is another reason for the test. Maybe the current infection sample that I donated at to the lab yesterday will be an adequate reason.

There is another test, a bronchoscopy, I had following the cat scan. The cat scan could have eliminate the need for this other test, but not in my case. I was put to sleep and the doctor used a tube to go down in my lungs to see first hand what the problem is and take samples of tissue or infection. Now, that really was not a good time, as the sedation did not keep me asleep!

I needed all these tests from the beginning and battling the insurance company should not have happened as I have a legitimate, serious medical problem. If the insurance company can get away with this, how will it be with the government controlling our medical treatment? I believe Obamacare will be a big problem for those of us with chronic diseases.

Experience with Asthmatic Bronchitis

I had developed asthmatic bronchitis last summer and it has been a problem off and on ever since. My health continued to deteriorate, resulting in increased shortness of breath with any real activity, wheezing and coughing all the time. I have been treated for infections several times. I am been on antibiotics and steroids much of the time, which help temporarily but haven't cured it. This condition has changed my whole lifestyle.

The insurance company sent a letter, as did the doctor, stating treatment for reflux disease, which I don't have would be appropriate, as well as, the use of steroids and decongestants. What do they think I have been taking? They suggested a chest x-ray. I've had 2 already but a more definitive test is necessary to determine why I am not getting well. They mention that since I have no smoking history the above recommendation would be adequate. I wish I could go to their office and cough all over their desk! I know, Yuck!

Summary

Doctors are trained and should be the ones who determine the course of your treatment for any disease. I have been blessed with good doctors who always talk to me about options and answer my questions. I don't want to change doctors, as they have helped me have the best quality of life possible for my problems. They explain why they want to do certain test or try certain medication but if the insurance companies and/or government make the decision, things will no longer work well for people like me.

© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 43 comments

Unchained Grace profile image

Unchained Grace 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Pamela, after the three TIAs I experienced some years back, neurologists and all that could provide nothing and the only supposed treatment was shutdown because the medical reports allegedly could not present any clearcut evidence as to the causation.

Yet, God healed me. Delivered me from the problem and eventually from the residual aftereffects. I am no great fan of insurance companies and two hospitals had in the past caused me grief due to ineptness and misdiagnosis.

Quite honestly, what you're experiencing is just a small taste of government structured and run medical insurance. It will get worse. Big Brother has gotten into our lives on so many levels and is now trying to withold medical treatment at their own discretion.

Taken to the next inevitable level, the government is now trying to assume the position of who lives and who dies. It is why Jesus is my physician. He has proven to me over the years the miracles of healing and deliverance when mankind shut me down and out.


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

You have to watch our for some insurance companies, they do this kind of crap. Getting you doctor to write letters and back you up can make these insurance companies change.

I hope you are doing better.

Keep on hubbing!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Pamela,

Hock a loogie on a letter and sign it and then mail it to them!!!!!!!!!!


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Pamela,

My husband is a retired physician, and never gave in to the demands placed on him by working with a large Hospital. In his urgent care practice, he would not do innecessary tests to inflate the cost nor would he overcharge someone who had no insurance. he always charged them the minimal amount and sometimes not at all. also, he prayed with his folks that would allow it. Now that he is retired he offers his service for free to people in our congregation. There is always a way around the Gov. blessings dear


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Thank you all for your comments. I do think this is what is control is the wave of the future.

Unchained Grace, I think the Lord is going to heal me also.

Some hospitals are a lot better with their quality of care and the doctors as well. Working as an RN for all those years let me see miracles and some things that weren't too good. I hate the thought of the government controlling our lives!

Eovery, My doctor said usually insurance companies will send out a form which he fills out if there is any question, but this company doesn't do that. They are supposed to have left a phone number for him to call next week so we'll see.

Tom, I think your suggestion is a winner!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Coffee snob, He sounds like a wonderful man. My mother had her leg amputated about 4 years ago and before the operation the surgeon came out, held our hands and led us in a prayer. The surgery went very well as God was in control. God will heal me in some way I know, as I just feel he still has a plan for me. Thanks for your comment.


partisan patriot 6 years ago

Pamela

First off I hope you get well soon and I'm not in any way making light of your situation. But; having said all that relax; very soom King Husseing and his Death Panels will be in charge of your healt care and if you are even able to find a doctor; most will have moved to a more doctor friendly country, they will not be allowed to see you. However you will be allowed to visit your government provided Cough Counselor who will work with you on cough supression and mucus management or they could tell you just go away and eat an apple!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Patriot, I am thinking of relocating to a more friendly country where the cost of living is low then I could afford to pay for my health care if necessary. I am afraid the King of the U.S. will not by sympathetic to my problems as I'm probably over the age of usefulness!


Unchained Grace profile image

Unchained Grace 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Pamela, no matter where we are, the alleged King of the US is immaterial to the healing God brings. We know where our help comes from and so, while we can relocate, we're still under the healing from Jesus. The elderly and others will end up catching a very raw deal before this is over.


nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well and hope you get better soon. I'm with you it should be up to the doctor what tests and treatments you get. They're the ones that know you and what your symptoms are.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Unchained Grace, Thank you. I know the Lord is my healer. I am trying to walk in trust and know that His will for me is to be healed. What I said to Patriot was a bit of a joke because he always gets obama in on any of his comments.

Nancy, Thank you so much for your concern and comment.


tipperary profile image

tipperary 6 years ago

I cant believe what i just read. Since when has the insurance company the right to contradict a doctor. What are things coming too, i hope you get this sorted and get the test, surely they should be acting on the motto " prevention is better than cure ".


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Tipperary, Thank you for your comment. I couldn't believe it when they wouldn't approve the scan. Maybe it will get sorted out this week but it shouldn't have happened in the first place. It make your wonder is this the wave of the future?


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

My goodness, Pamela. I had no idea. I really do hope that you do get better and recover from this. I do agree with you about how the government should no interfere with our lives medically (and in many ways, in non-medical ways as well). Thanks for sharing this with us. I hope the same situation doesn't ever befall me :(


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I am so sad to hear that. Don't worry Pamela. There is another way. And never give up. I think God never sleep. I hope you'll find the solution soon. This is become dilemma, in other side we paid the insurance well and I know it not cheap. And My insurance is has typical with yours. Just for recommended disease will covered by the insurance. As a client sometimes I felt unsatisfied, but I hope it will changed soon. I hope your asthmatic bronchitis will end soon and you always health....amen


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Dohn, The interference of the government and in this case the insurance company is certainly frustrating. Thank you for your comment.

Prasetio, Thank you for your comment. God never sleeps is a good reminder that he is a mighty God and can heal me. I know he has a plan. Thanks you for stopping by my hub.


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

This has gone on for sometime. When pressed the insurance companies often say they aren't prescribing the treatment, they are merely telling you what they will pay for...this way they can't really be sued if things go badly since they never really say you can't have whatever treatment you or your Dr. wants. (splitting hairs really) I'm sorry this has happened to you, I hope that it all works out. I wouldn't stop trying, more pressure sometimes works.

My personal feeling is that dealing with the government in this capacity would be no worse, perhaps not better, but not worse.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Mulberry, Thanks for your comment. You may be right about the government but there's now way to know right now. I have had medicine they wouldn't pay for but never a procedure.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I had bronchitis when I was small and luckily I grew out of it. It is horrible and can truly sympathise with you. Then on top of this the struggle with insurance. In England people critisize the NHS and yet they don't know how lucky they are.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Heelo, Thank you for your comment. I wondered if you liked your heath care in England which I presume is called the NHS? Do you get seen in a timely manner and do you receive quality care? I would love to hear from someone that really knows, like you.


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

scary thought if the Government ran healthcare. I was just at the doctor the other day and I went in cause of my vertigo and I had an new syptom of ringing in the ear but he totally ignored that talked my about my blood pressure was still not good enough his concern about my fatigue. Which I think is just due to my menstrual cycle I just get super fatigued the week before and during also I think my sinuses care the cause of some of my issues too. Its um my body and I know something is not right but sadly it seems I get ignored into what I think is troubling me which I just could be right about. Im on a medical card so Im just a charity cause it seems.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

Pamela-I am with you 100%. I hate the fact that the insurance company makes the decision over the physician. It is so unfair.

The explanation about you not ever having smoke was extremely poor in my opinion. Have they not heard of second hand smoke. Have they not heard of people having lung cancer that have never smoked at all.

Do they realize, the amount of anxiety they are inflicting upon you. Keep fighting they need to rethink this one.

Sending Hugs and positive thoughts your way,

Sage


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Janny, I would have thought your doctor might have considered an inner ear infection which can cause vertigo and there are plenty of other reasons for that problem. Bllod pressure doesn't have symptoms. I have never found a doctor who knows what to do about ringing in the ears, nor is their a treatment that I am aware of as I have that problem also. Maybe an ENT doc could help you with the vertigo and sinus problem as it doesn't sound like this one helped at all and you deserve could medical care no matter what. Thanks for stopping by.

Sage, Thanks your comments. I will keep fighting this situation because I want to get well. I did breath in my share of second hand smoke, but for them to mention that was insulting. They only care about their bottom line.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Pamela I am so sorry to hear about your condition. And you know that whatever ails you I will be praying for your healing. I know we need healthcare reform , I do not doubt that fore a minute. As this is a prime example of why we need reform. But like you I agree that what they are trying to resuurect is not the answer. But I hope your Sunday is peaceful today. And I hope sometime in the near future Doctors will be able to make medical decisions and not some clerk in an office .


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Tony, Thank you for your kind comments. I am having a good day today despite my physical problems. Hopefully the doctor will be able to talk to someone in charge this week.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Dear Pamela,

Your point is well taken, once you take medical decisions away from the doctor and his patient you have madness. This what must be preserved at all costs and if the government is running the show we don't have a chance. Good luck with your problem. In the end I believe you will get the test, and I hope it is negative.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

BPOP, I think your are right. Thank you for you for stopping by.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Insurance companies bother me for many reasons, this one certainly being one of them. Coupled with the fact that no one knows your history like you and your doctor—even if he's not your primary care one—and that most of the people who run these companies or work for these companies are people who have not really worked long enough in the field to know what they are talking about.

Yeah. They may be nurses and doctors. But those can also simply be titles. It does NOT mean they have the time in profession in real settings to really bear the knowledge.

I sincerely hope you are ultimately able to work out the details.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Springboard, Thank you so much for your comments and I fully agree. Thank you also for the good wishes.


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

You are so right about the changes. What needs regulation is the Insurance companies with lower prices. Drugs are on the market due to wheeling and dealing in Washington which should not be also. It is scary and I hope it works out that you get what you need. Good luck, this is awful. Thanks for sharing


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Ictodd, I fully agree with you and appreciate your comments.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

You've hit on one of my 'causes' again. This is a great hub about a very real problem that is happening to very real people. ...do you mind if I share it?


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Hanna, No I don't mind if you share it. I talked with the office today and my doctor has more paper work to fill out, then he apparently has to talk to the head of the department at my insurance company. In the meantime, my culture will be back tomorrow, and I know I have an infection so maybe that will help. I am doing a lot of nebulizer treatments which leaves you very shaky for a while afterwords but they at least give me relief. Sorry, I guess I'm rambling. Thanks for your comment.


Roberta99 profile image

Roberta99 6 years ago

This is a problem many of us are facing. Hopefully by now you have had some good answers. You are in my prayers.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Roberta. Thank you for your comment and I appreciate the prayers.


tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

Isn't it the truth, Pamela? What about HMO? There is another subject that we can write about:) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.I am with you!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Tim-Tim, That's true. Thanks for your comments.


Nikki Dee 6 years ago

Insurance companies have destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands (maybe up to a million or more in the US, several millions world wide) of people with myalgic encephalomyelitis by mislabeling this neurological illness (WHO ICD10 G93.3) as "psychological" and giving it a new name "chronic fatigue syndrome". In order to learn more about this injustice, read: "Osler's Web" by Hillary Johnson (see: http://www.oslersweb.com/), and this report by Professor Malcolm Hooper in the UK: http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/magical-medicine.pdf


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Nikki, Thank you for your comment.


nickshamrock profile image

nickshamrock 6 years ago

This is a very good article! I wrote about this somewhat in my one of my articles "Fixing American Health Care," so please don't mind me, I'm going to provide a link there directly to yours.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Nick, Thank you for your comment. I appreciate the link and I'll look at yours.


D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

D.Virtual.Doctor 6 years ago from Europe

I do not live in the US and may not know your system well, but nevertheless, based on this great and wonderful hub, I see it as ridiculous. Are the insurance companies gambling? Why then do we insure our health and Life? TO wait until we die? Is there no measures individuals can take up against these companies? I think this hub is one of the (if not) the best I have read so far.... It is well informing and as well creating a great deal of awareness. If the doctors are restricted to some certain professional protocols just to suit the insurance companies then I suggest that such companies should get their own doctors to treat their clients......(and then we wait and analyze the death rates of such clients)

THis is a great hub. Your passion is so axiomatic here and I really do appreciate reading it. I hope as a future doctor, I will not encounter this, if not, I will be one of the greatest enemies to such organizations. Everything is not just about profit and loss, reputation and humane-qualities are as well needed. Cheers!

D.Virtual.Doctor


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Thank you so very much for expressing your feelings about this situation, particularly since you will be a doctor when you complete you training. I think many doctors feel the same way you do about this type of situation. Thanks again.

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