The Mind of Bluesleepy

Tricare strikes again 1 March 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 7:01 pm

I know this may come as a surprise to some, but Tricare has screwed up yet again. Please try not to be too shocked, as hard as that may be.

I have to go to the naval hospital for all my prenatal care, and of course, they have a system of how they go about their appointment schedule and everything. My first appointment was simply a chat with one of the nurses to let me know how the hospital handles OB care, when I’ll have appointments, and things like that. She didn’t even take my vitals or weigh me, which didn’t really bother me in the least.

But she did tell me I was overweight. Thank you, Captain Obvious. It’s a problem being overweight when you’re pregnant because it can lead to several health problems for both you and your baby, one of which is gestational diabetes. At its mildest, you have to monitor your diet very carefully, but at its worst you could lose the baby before it’s born. Absolutely no fun at all.

So in the interest of keeping me healthy, she signed me up to talk to a nutritionist. I was not too keen on the whole idea when I first heard it because my sister Michele has really taught me a lot about healthy eating, and I didn’t think the nutritionist could tell me anything she didn’t already teach me. But I was willing to go anyhow, and humor the nurse.

To this end, I called Tricare, my medical provider, to let them know I had a referral to see a nutritionist. They told me that I was signed up for a class called “Why Weight.” How very clever. I was not impressed. I did NOT want to be in a class full of overweight mothers-to-be who ate junk food and soda all day and then wondered why they were heavy. I figured it was going to be two hours of my life I was never going to get back. I ranted and raved, but in the end I went anyhow.

Last Friday, I went in to the hospital, and after asking a corpsman and an information booth staffer exactly where this room was, I checked in with the corpsman on duty and sat in the waiting room. While out there, I saw an overweight girl, and we each figured out we were there for the same reason. We started talking, and I mentioned the issues I had with not being able to get a civilian OB, which is why I have to go to the hospital for all of my care, and she just listened. I had no idea whether she was pregnant or not — I don’t really look pregnant (unless you see me sans clothes, which I don’t really recommend), and she was one of those girls who carries her weight in her stomach area anyhow.

But once we entered the room, I knew I was in the wrong place. For one thing, there were men in the room, and they were middle-aged. They obviously weren’t husbands of the one girl who was in the room already, being something like 20 years her senior. Then the doctor started to speak, and I knew absolutely I was in the wrong place. It was a weight-loss class, lasting four successive Fridays, and it taught people how to lose weight successfully without resorting to a fad diet.

I spoke up right away, and told the doctor that I can’t lose weight. She looked at me funny, and I told her I was pregnant. She wanted to know why I was there, but all I could tell her was that Tricare told me to show up. So I did.

I went ahead and stayed throughout the two hours, even though that Friday’s session was all about how not to be a stress eater, and to curb eating that results from simply being bored. That is definitely not my problem. If I’m bored, I go find a book or get out my cross stitch — I don’t just eat. And I don’t eat when I stressed. In fact, if I’m really stressed, I tend not to eat because I feel nauseous.

After the meeting, I talked to the doctor, and she told me I should come in for a 30-minute follow-up one-on-one with her. I went back to the corpsman that I checked in with to make the appointment because I really didn’t want to talk to Tricare again. The corpsman was really surprised that I had been put into that weight-loss class because it states quite clearly in my record that I am pregnant, and a pregnant woman can’t lose weight. All she can do is monitor her weight gain so she doesn’t gain too much if she’s already overweight. So I should never have been put into that class.

It’s all fixed now, so I guess it’ll all work out. I suppose this is clearly a case of “you get what you pay for,” seeing as Kurt and I pay quite little for my health insurance. I am grateful to have such affordable health care, but I’m telling you — sometimes it’s just not worth it to have to deal with them.


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