I’ve been posting about this a bit on FB, but this a longer one, so we go:

More on the ongoing eyeball saga!
File this under:
#eyeproblem #medicalinsanity #idiots

So today was my eye doctor appointment.  I go, and have to repeat, yet again, what is going on.  I was referred here (1 block away from the referrer) and was surprised (somewhat) that the doc didn’t have ANY info from the ER…at all.

I go through the exact same process, AGAIN, that I was subjected to in the ER a few days back.  Following that, the doc decided he couldn’t tell what was going on, so did a full dilation (which is a strange feeling) and takes a longer look.  He discounts the dilation problem in the right eye as there are issues in the left eye which can change how the pair operate.

After much humming and hawing around, he announces that he is not sure what could be causing the distended veins in the inner/lower portion of the eye, but that after the deep viewing, there is no evidence of tumors or any other issue…the eye itself is in perfect health.  He then suggests that it might be something in the orbit further back that is putting pressure on the eye (possibly sinus related).

I am biting my tongue at this point, as I had suspected this very thing for the last few weeks, as other than some pressure and a bit of blurring to that eye as a RESULT of the pressure, I have NO SYMPTOMS of anything at all other than it looks like I’ve got mild conjunctivitus.

He says he wants a CT scan scheduled so he can get a better idea of what is going on.

I nod, seeing $$$ start to fly out of my non-existant self-pay-starving artist pocket.

Back in the waiting room now, a flouncing-middle-aged-overweight-texas-big-haired spinster flounces out to me (looking very much like the scary woman in Office Space).

To the room at large, she announces in a cheerfully loud voice,
“Well, since you’re SELF-PAY, we can get you set up for a CT scan!  It will only cost you 1100 dollars…UP FRONT, and then you can make payments after that!”

I look around the room at the people now staring at me for just a moment before bursting out laughing.

“So you think that’s great?”  I ask.

“Well, sure,” she replies, oblivious to my mounting righteous fury and indignation.

“So for this to happen I have to come up with more money than I would to buy a used car up front.  For a procedure that has been in place for twenty years, on equipment that has been bought and paid for at least 10-15 years ago, so that I can lay down for 5-10 minutes while a technician pushes a couple of buttons to generate a picture….ARE YOU INSANE?”

She was now obviously butt-hurt, and looked around nervously.
“Why are you angry with me?”

“I’m not, ma’am,” I replied with my best cab driver “pay up or die” look which indicates the very opposite of my words.  “I’m infuriated that you would think that I could pull that out of my butt in an instant and that it is no big deal for a procedure that IN ANY OTHER FIELD would be no more than a quick reasonably priced service ancillary to the main cost which should be TO THE DOCTOR for his expertise.”

“Well,” she stammered…”I could check into prices more in depth and get back to you.”

“You do that,” I replied.  She flounced off.

At this point, I grabbed the doc, who was passing by slowly, obviously listening in.

“I have no issue with paying for a procedure, but is it necessary to have this immediately?”

“Oh no, you’re not getting worse, and there is no sign of disease in this.  Within the next few weeks should be okay.”

“So stay on the steroid drops for now then?”

“Sure!”  and off he went to the next patient’s room.

Cost for this awesome visit: 70$.



I did a little research (10 minute googling) at home this evening.  I can find CT scans listed online for as little as 190 dollars in Colorado (WITH NO INSURANCE required), and my procedure looks to run about $360.

Our system is broken.  The idiotic mandatory do it or else solution by our government does NOTHING to fix the problem of spiraling costs, because it CREATES the issue.  A little research on CT scan pricing shows that when medicaid/care/insurance is involved these prices go to nearly $8000, with a average median of at least $4000.

We need to stand up and start demanding the REAL COSTS when going to the doctor.  A little research goes a long way.

I’ll schedule my own CT scan and take care of this myself.  More on the saga soonish!

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