Experience - Brochioectasis Lung Disease
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 patients are short of breath, and their lifestyle is affected to the degree of their disease.
COPD fall under two types:
- Emphysema - destruction of the air sacs
- Chronic Bronchitis - inflammation of the bronchial tubes
My Personal Experience
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.
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 two already, but a more definitive test is necessary to determine why I am not getting well. They mentioned 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!
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