SERIES: Healthcare in America #36, Ana Gordon, This Is the Bronx

This is part of an ongoing series in which Bronx writers share their personal stories on the state of healthcare in America.

By Ana Gordon, April 7, 2019

Doctor Diagnosis to Patient on Medicare: “You’re too old.”

For fifteen years I’ve been on Medicare, supplemented by an employee retirement plan, but co-pays and deductibles are so high I’ve stopped seeing my doctor every year for check-ups. It seemed that every check-up required more tests, more medications, more paperwork, and more money. 

I am a senior citizen on a fixed income who worries about how my expenses get higher every year. I don’t go to movies or restaurants. I don’t buy clothes. My dog, who is my constant companion, is my only luxury.

A few times in the past five years, I’ve had dizzy spells that worry me but my doctor can’t tell me why or how to stop them. The last time I saw him, he told me I’m old and he can’t explain everything that happens when you age. He made me so angry I decided to switch doctors, but, when I called my insurance people, I got such a headache from listening to music and being told that every nearby doctor I mentioned was out of network, I gave up. 

When your fears become real. . .

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