The Call: The lingering mess

I figured I would write at some point about what went on behind-the-scenes with Duke and CIGNA last Wednesday. However, after five exhausting days of aggravation and fact-finding, I can’t write a definite narrative of what happened. Writing a detailing accounting would not be helpful to me, and it might actually be harmful to someone who goes through something similar, because I doubt my specific circumstances come up a whole lot.

No one did anything that warrants litigation. Above all else, what would have prevented this situation would have been a robust single-payer healthcare system. I don’t live in a country that wants that. Failing that, I could have used a winning lottery ticket that would’ve enabled me to dump of cash into Duke Health’s coffers.

The system just sucks.

Now, all I have the energy for is putting one foot in front of the other so that I can do a passable job at work, make it through dialysis treatments each week, and complete the steps that both Duke and Carolinas Medical Centers are requiring of me to be activated on their respective transplant lists. For a few very frustrating reasons, I’m not active on any list at the moment. So, right now, there is zero chance of getting a call.

But once you get reactivated at Duke, you should be really close, right? No. It’s not a simple serial list. A kidney came up that was a good match for me, and I was still the third alternate. If anyone can present me with evidence (not an anecdote) that my “average” wait at Duke is no longer 3-4 years but “soon”, or that it will be far shorter than 2 more years at Charlotte, I’d like to know.

I expect that most readers will not understand how I can be so dismissive of having an optimistic attitude. I remain hopeful, but hope is not the same as optimism.

So that’s it, for now. Back to being aggravated because I’m at dialysis. I could list a dozen things that I’m hating about right now. I won’t. But I don’t know how I can do this two more times this week, and indefinitely after that. Of course, if I ever make it a habit of skipping the dialysis, the transplant centers will knock me off their lists.


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