Thursday, January 29, 2009

LIFE IS GOOD (kind of, sort of)

I think it's possible that I may have talked to the most annoying person ever a few a days ago. I got a bill in the mail for $1,765.00. It was from Intermountain Laboratories and my insurance had denied it because they are not a preferred provider with Altius. Apparently the bill was for some very extensive lab work. So after talking to several incompetent people who could not even explain what the bill was for I was given a number for a supervisor. So I thought I was going to actually get somewhere at this point. No it just got worse. Supervisor Karen was able to explain that the bill was for pathology services that I had done at an Intermountain facility. I explained I had Altius insurance and didn't ever go to Intermountain facilities. She said "Did you have a biopsy on November 18th?" I said that I did at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center. Supervisor Karen proceeded to tell me that was not possible. She said I must be mistaken about where the procedure was performed. I was getting nowhere with this lady and arguing with her just made her more and more positive that she was right. Finally I said "I had a kidney biopsy and I chose to do it without sedation. I was wide awake when they stuck that big needle in my back over and over again. I also know exactly what hospital I was at." Supervisor Karen said she would have to check into it (with total irritation in her voice) and call me back. So when she called me back this morning she said "It turns out you did have that biopsy done at Salt Lake Regional" and then she did a courtesy laugh. I wanted to say something mean but I didn't. Supervisor Karen explained that Intermountain Lab is the only Lab capable of diagnosing the kidney biopsy samples I needed and the insurance will pay after it is billed again.

And I'm sure you have all been anxiously awaiting the results of my latest blood work (wait.....maybe that was just me). But I'll tell you anyway. My GFR is up to an amazing 15. Yep it's up one whole point. To put this in perspective the normal GFR of someone my age should be 99. So I'm off a little (story of my life). The exciting thing about this is that it takes me out of stage 5 kidney disease, which is called end stage or failure and puts me in stage 4 kidney disease which is called severe. Considering the fact that the previous three GFR's were 13, 11 and 14 this is good news. It also puts off dialysis for a while. Unfortunately I still feel extremely tired and just generally sick but I am trying to stay hopeful. I guess I sounded a little too excited about my one point jump and my doctor said "You know this is still very serious and you aren't out of the woods yet." Reality, obviously, is not my favorite place to be.


  1. You had a kidney biopsy without sedation? Linda!!

    Glad you've been downgraded.

    Supervisor Karen--kind of annoying.

  2. Mom, your kidneys are improving by leaps and bounds! Ha ha. I wish they were so much better and that I could be there for ya. I love you to pieces!

  3. What an annoying person to talk to, I want to give her a talking to about customer service, but I know you won't agree to that! Well, one point sounds better than going down or staying the same. I just hope that you feel better really soon.

  4. I'm so glad that your kidneys are slowly improving. I hope that they continue to get better, so that maybe you can actually feel like a normal person again someday.

    And supervisor Karen sounds like a gem to talk to on the phone. I'm glad they got it all straightened out. Love you and miss you Mom!

  5. I can't stand talking to people like supervisor Karen. I would have been really peeved. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. I hope you feel better soon. Ben

  6. This is for Ericka,

    I do want to read your blog! Here's my email: