Nephrologist

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do you know what a nephrologist is? Up until very recently, I didn't really. It's not the type of doctor you hear about very often.

Pediatrician?
Oncologist?
Orthopedist?
Podiatrist?
Cardiologist?

Sure. But a nephrologist?

It's a kidney specialist. And I've won myself an appointment with one.

Despite hoping for the contrary, my 24-hour urinalysis showed that protein was still present. I guess the "normal" levels range from 0-30, and mine was 30.4. When the physician's assistant told me this on the phone, all I could think was, "Are you kidding me?" I'm a measly 0.4--that's ZERO.POINT.FOUR--outside of the normal range. So, if you ask me, I don't think I have much to worry about. But given that it is over the normal limit, and that the whole point of this business it to be able to fight the life insurance company over my premium, my doctor decided to refer me to the specialist to get checked out.

Basically, her thinking is that if the nephrologist can examine me, run his tests, and deem me totally fine, he can write a letter to the insurance company certifying that I'm healthy. It's our hope that, if the nephrologist can confirm that the protein means nothing in my case, the insurance company will agree to rate me like the normal, healthy 29-year-old that we believe I am. We'll see.

At my age and with my health history, I certainly never thought that getting decent rates on life insurance would be this difficult. I'm still laughing about the fact that before my lab results came back, I was complaining about the standard rates. The sub-standard rates are much, much more worthy of complaining over.

In the meantime, we're still working on shopping around with different life insurance companies. We had another one come over the weekend to do the exam, and it kind of sucked because when I was filling out all of the forms, I had to include the proteinuria finding in my health history. It asked questions like, "Have you ever seen a doctor for or been diagnosed with..." and filled in the blank with a laundry list of conditions. Unfortunately, protein in the urine was one of them, and I had to answer honestly. So, even though my doctor seems to think this finding is no big deal, it has certainly already been a game-changer for me! Even if it's just in the way I need to fill out health history forms, you know?

To my surprise, the nephrologist's office worked magic to "get [me] in soon" (which kinda-sorta worried me, to be honest), so at least I don't have to wait long. My appointment is on Friday.

Despite the nature of all of this, and the inconvenience it's been so far, I'm choosing to be optimistic about the whole thing right now. I have my fingers crossed that everything will work out in the end.

2 comments:

Vanessa November 3, 2011 at 7:36 AM  

I had never heard of one before. 0.4% sounds very trivial to me - hope the doctor confirms this. The insurance company is blatantly trying to take advantage imo!

Good luck with it!

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