So. OK. BIG GRIPE ALERT.
Today was the day. Today…was the day I went to the doc to see what he thought about my bacterial vaginosis. And honestly, the experience could almost not have been worse. I was super optimistic, but super let down. A girl in an infamous Facebook group called Girl’s Night Out had recommended this gyno and said that he had recommended boric acid suppositories, which seemed like a step up from the usual gyno’s recommendation of fluconazole/Flagyl.
That being said…it was a pretty horrific ordeal.
Insurance: What’s Covered?
Honestly, this whole thing was as bad as it was because of my insurance sitch. So I have what I thought was pretty decent insurance — provided through my company, Anthem Silver PPO 2000/50/40. This is actually only the second time I’ve ever had grown-up insurance of my own (up until I was 26, I had AWESOME insurance through my dad who works for a big company with great benefits. Go figure).
Ever since I’ve been off my parent’s insurance, I’ve either been uninsured or had generally shitty insurance (the last one was an HMO plan that if I wanted to switch providers, would take weeks. I basically only ever went to get a dental cleaning or eye check-up).
So. This was the first time I was trying to do anything more than a eye check-up/dental cleaning. But it was a routine appointment, and I didn’t think it would be too crazy.
Insurance: Nothing’s Covered?
Well. First of all, when I went to the doc, their receptionist told me that she couldn’t find any record of me having insurance. Upon having called, she said that it had been terminated. I took it into my own hands and called Anthem, where a very nice woman told me that I had coverage, and tried to explain it to the receptionist.
She never seemed to really be able to figure out the entire extent of my coverage, but basically came back with — “hey, nothing is covered by your insurance. You have a $2000 deductible and until you hit it…nothing is covered. You have an $85 co-pay for each visit, since the doctor is considered a specialist, and then you will pay in full for any testing or medications after that.”
“Nothing is covered? What about a ‘well woman’ exam?”
“Oh yeah. If you go for that, the visit fee will be waived, but you’ll need to get a pap smear. “
OK. Fine. I was already there, so thought, “Might as well.”
That being said…the whole thing really pissed me off. My insurance is close to $500/mo. How is it that really nothing is covered?? Not even any kind of preventive care? If each time I go to the doc, it’s $85, and say I get an average of 2 tests each time (aggressive estimate) that are $75/each. It would take at least 8 visits for me to meet my deductible. Last year, I went to the doctor 0 times. So, I can only start reaping the BENEFITS of my insurance if I’m so sick that I’m constantly going to the doctor and getting tests?
This encapsulates to me why no one wants to go to the doc unless they’re sick…
What the Doc Said
So, I stayed to see the doctor under the pretense of a “well woman exam.” He did the pap smear, and wanted to test me for a bunch of other things – HPV, chlamydia and gonorrhea, a vaginal culture… they all sounded pretty routine.
Routine, but…as it turns out, NONE OF IT was covered by my insurance. And no one could actually tell me how MUCH any of those tests would cost, except the vaginal culture test ($75).
Anyway…after poking around inside my vagina to do the Pap smear, what he WAS able to tell me was that I “definitely have an infection.” And that from what I had said, it sounds like I have a chronic condition. And that I always have a low level of imbalance that is exacerbated by things like hormonal changes (which is why, for example, I have issues with bacterial vaginosis/yeast often right before my period, that normalize often when I get my period).
The Doctor’s Answer to Bacterial Vaginosis
To his credit, when I told him that I had been taking fluconazole/Flagyl for years, he told me that both of them were not the answer, and would lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (for baterial vaginosis) and antifungal-resistant yeast (for yeast infections). Which is what I now have.
He said that the only thing that I could do to treat the bacterial vaginosis/yeast was boric acid. I asked, is there ANYTHING else I can do? And he said, no, just the boric acid. Which he was going to prescribe me…and I told him I already had that at home, so no need. He was very specific about making sure that the boric acid I had was pharmaceutical grade, since many of them were not high quality. He said try it every night for 7 nights and see how you feel.
Other Food Things
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
THE BEST. I could eat this pretty much every day. It’s this recipe. And I adapted the Sunshine Sauce to use almond butter instead of sunflower seed butter, and didn’t really measure anything, but it still turned out DERIIIICIOUS.
Got a bunch of delicious things from Sadtha...def a cheat here with legume situations…but I think it was honestly fine. It doesn’t happen toooo too often.
Cast Iron and Spices, Oh My!
My friend Zach has THE BEST SPICES. Some cool things from India, and some from Burlap & Barrel, a company that my friend Ethan started a co that sources single origin spices directly from farmers. I had a ball tasting different spices. And I honestly can’t tell you exactly how it all happened, but it was delicious. Amazing things like sumac, black urfa chili…
Butternut Squash Squiggles w/ Pesto
Super yummy and super easy, not ENTIRELY compliant (because I used a premade cashew kale pesto from TJ’s), but otherwise all good. Just butternut squash, kale, and pesto. Yum yum yum.