So the inevitable that I’ve been dreading since the state, in all its wisdom and compassion, decided to drop the health care plan I used to be on—limiting my viable, affordable choices to one HMO system—has happened. My current cocktail of meds is no longer keeping me healthy, happy, and hale. Actually, it’s been happening for a while, but I’ve been trying to adapt and adjust on my own. But it’s hit the point where I need to do something about it. My emotional equilibrium has veered off kilter, and aside from the problematic mood and sleep issues, I’m seeing a corresponding impact in motivation, productivity, and general engagement with the world.
I need to see a doctor to discuss, evaluate, and adjust my meds. Problem: I no longer have a doctor, as I lost all of my previous stable of them when I was forced to change health care plans. And I have nothing to go by as far as who to switch to. I may as well be tossing darts at a list of names. And considering my past bad experiences with p-docs, which have ranged from useless to malpractice-level incompetent, the prospect of random luck favoring my selection of a new doctor does not fill me with confidence.
Still, I’m thankful that my lupus/MCTD continues to hold stable. I do have a rheumatologist. Because, well, if I didn’t, my immune system would rise up and try to kill me in a fit of misguided zeal. But I’m having to pay four times what I used to for fewer services and a lesser degree of monitoring, a state of affairs that I expect will be amplified with any new doctor I see under this health care plan.
This whole thing is aggravating and dispiriting—which, all in all, is an ironic catch-22.
That's actually how I got my current rheumatologist, via recommendation from my previous rheumatologist. However, while I trusted his judgment and recommendation; I can't say the same of any of my previous p-docs.
The advantage of my last p-doc was that I'd already established a meds routine by the time I started seeing her, and she wrote the 'scripts I needed her to and listened to my suggestions when I needed to modify dosages. I've had other p-docs who've disregarded my input and wanted to prescribe meds which I know from experience don't work for me.
Eugie, I've had similar problems with mental healthcare providers and finding new doctors for various problems with my own human suit. Don't know if what I've learned will help at all, but I'll share in case it does.
Look at the Psychology Today website for new providers. I have had really good luck with them in this area, and when one isn't a participating member, they haven't minded suggesting people they like that might be. Also, don't hesitate to use the rating sites, especially the ones that let you view any complaints for free. This is a good thing to do if someone you know suggests a provider. I think the AMA website allows you to do this kind of search.
I've found that group medical hospitals, co-ops, etc, that get high ratings and accreditation have good providers overall.
Lastly, consider contacting the providers you like to ask for referrals to doctors or groups you might be able to switch to. This has led to better finds for me than the word-of-mouth of social contacts.
Hi Eugie. This human suit resides in Georgia and is of the SLE clan as well. I understand your struggle to find a trustworthy and competent doc. Sometimes other peeps recs just aren't your flavor. I get it. After a long and frustrating search, being ping-ponged from doc to doc, I found a keeper at a Physician's Immediate Care center. He actually listens to me and doesn't get all hoity-toity when I ask him questions. It sounds like an unlikely place, but this doctor is the one, the only one, who was actually willing to keep looking and doing tests until he hit upon the source of the problem. You know, because Lupus always comes with yummy side dishes. I know you'll find the doc for you. Just keep your eyes open to the unexpected. Best of luck. :)