I Hate Medi-Cal

Today I want to rant about Medi-Cal and how dreadfully wrong they are.  There is so much red tape and garbage to slog through that few doctors take the insurance–the hassles just don’t make it worth their time.

I found one group in town that takes the insurance and Son and I went there two weeks ago to see a “doctor.”   Upon leaving, I picked up her card to see she wasn’t a doctor, but a Nurse Practitioner. Don’t get me wrong, an NP goes through a lot of schooling, and nearly equal to that of a doctor, but I felt mislead that she did not make that clear during our visit. And that she didn’t specialize in psychiatry, but epidemiology.   Leaving me confused.

I don’t know what they discussed or whether she asked him about what drugs he was currently taking or knew about his alcohol use.  I was only in the room with them for a minute, just introductions.  I did not like her vibe/aura at all.

That night Son had a terrifying paranoid episode, and could not speak sense, but gibberish.  If you asked him (for example) what color the sky was, he’d answer, ‘I don’t have a banana, but you gotta get out of here.’  Sort of scary stuff in the moment when you don’t know if he’s had a psychotic breakdown caused by drug/alcohol abuse, or is schizophrenic.  Four hours in the ER where they did nothing for him, we took him home, where he drank some more and got even more agitated.  Cops were called and they took him back to the same hospital, this time admitting him to the psych ward.

It turns out the NP prescribed Rexulti and sent him home with samples.  When we left the office though, son was angry and didn’t answer my questions, so I knew nothing of this at the time.  When we got home he took his first dose with the other meds he is on (baclofen, welbutrin, and gabapentin).  I looked up drug interactions, and it looks like that was a bad mixture made worse by  the all the rum he drank.

So he ended up in two 5150 lock ups in ten days (he admitted himself on the second one.  He had to tell them he was suicidal, or they wouldn’t take him.)  The doctors there declared him to be bi polar and put son on Depakote and Seroquel.  Both serious medications with major side effects, including the increased risk of Type II diabetes, liver problems, and even personality changes, among the many.  Son needs to be properly and closely monitored, he needs to have periodic liver enzyme and other blood tests.

We still have to find him a new MD as well.  His last doctor dragging his feet on everything from ordering blood tests to referrals to a neurologist.  This is the third or fourth GP he’s tried.  It seems the worse the insurance, the less qualified the doctor, or perhaps less experienced or more overworked.  Whatever the cause, finding the right doctor has been tought.

As for a psychiatrists none I have contacted will accept the insurance.  (For anyone who isn’t sure: psychiatrists are the ones who are trained to diagnose and then prescribe and monitor your meds.  The psychologist is the one who talks you into mental health. MDs can also prescribe antidepressants, etc., but they do not specialize in mental illness and really should not be expected to take on someone on antipsychotics.)

I didn’t plan to take son back to the NP, but it doesn’t look like we’re getting much of a choice.  I only hope she can monitor him properly.  I don’t have much confidence in her.

As to a therapist, I did find three, two of whom answered my call. Son and I visited one on Friday.  She’s quite ditzy and I don’t have a lot of confidence in her, but told son to try her out for a few weeks and see how it goes.  If it’s not a good fit, we can try one of the others.

And somewhere in all this I’m supposed to have a life of my own.



6 thoughts on “I Hate Medi-Cal

  1. What a time you and your son have had. There’s the confidentiality issue with doctors I guess…in that because your son is of legal age.. they won’t include you in the discussion..You could likely explain his issues better than he can… Hope you get some ‘real’ help soon… Diane

    1. Thank you Diane. Since Son is feeling better, so am I and a bit more hopeful and a little less angry. And yes, there is an issue of confidentiality, but my Son always notes that they are free to speak to me about anything. But that is the sticky issue with helping adult children with mental illness, 95% of the time doctors won’t talk to you.

  2. Wow, full time job. I am a person with some strong selfish streaks, and I would find myself resentful sometimes if I had to care for my adult child so much. Now of COURSE we love our kids and wouldn’t think of doing anything else when they need us. But still, I believe you deserve your own life. I hope things get worked out eventually.

    1. Things are good some days. But I do feel a lot of resentment sometimes. Talking with my therapist is key to helping deal with that. Otherwise I think I’d go bananas on my family on a daily basis.

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