You may recall the insurance drama I’m currently dealing with from my last post. 2 weeks ago, after I had written my appeal for the insurance company, I called my doctor’s office and spoke with the woman who handles all their insurance claims (from here on out I will refer to her as “Insurance Gal”). I explained the situation, told her I wanted to appeal, and asked if my doctor would write a letter for me explaining his reasons for ordering the gene analysis (in which I tested positive for a genetic mutation of MTHFR) and then the insurance company denied my claim due to a lack of “evidence” for me needing this test. Long story short, Insurance Gal called me back the next day and told me she had found the error and their office would be paying my lab bill. Apparently they accidentally ordered the same test twice. Easy mistake since I had my estradiol and progesterone levels checked 3 days in one week, and the gene analysis was supposed to be tacked onto my list of labs on just one of those days. So, their mistake; they’ll pay for it. Fast forward 2 weeks. The lab had already taken money out of my bank account to go toward the first payment, and I still hadn’t been reimbursed. I called the lab today to ask about it, and they told me I still owed $largesumofmoney. I explained my doctor’s office’s blunder and that they should have already paid the bill, to which the lab rep responded, “yes, they paid the bill you’re referring to, but your insurance company also denied this gene analysis. They wouldn’t cover either of them.” What?? I thought this was taken care of and the bill is due today!
I immediately called my doctor’s office to speak with Insurance Gal, and she was also confused, thinking we had already cleared this problem up. It turns out, this situation can mostly be attributed to the Culture of Death (although one could argue stingy insurance companies don’t help either). Dr. Gosser ordered this gene analysis for several reasons: family history of blood clotting, unexplained infertility (despite being tested for everything but endometriosis–but I don’t have symptoms that fit endometriosis, so why would we do surgery to check for that?), and previous miscarriage. All of these things point to a possible mutation of the MTHFR gene, which he was right–I do have a mutation of this gene. To add to the reasons, my sister (my only sibling) is pregnant with her first child (I’m going to be an aunt for the first time!), and she also tested positive for the same gene mutation. Interestingly enough, she does not have the same mutation as me, though. There are 2 copies for this gene. I have a mutated copy of one, and she has a mutated copy of the other. That more than likely means we received one bad gene from each parent. That’s an even BIGGER reason to check me for the mutation. Unfortunately, the only way the insurance company will agree to ordering this gene analysis is if a person has a history of miscarriage. Well, now that we know I have this mutation, I more than likely have had many miscarriages I never knew about, because they would have occurred very early in the pregnancy–right around the time you can start testing for a pregnancy. However, I did have one known miscarriage back in March of 2012. I had 2 positive pregnancy tests, but very soon after those tests, I experienced bleeding and went to see my doctor at the hospital. They quickly checked the HCG levels in my blood, and then the nurse came into my room and told me I was experiencing a “chemical pregnancy”. She explained that many people consider chemical pregnancies an early miscarriage, but really it just means there is no baby, because that embryo probably had trouble implanting, which is why I was now bleeding it out. Their office doesn’t consider a lost pregnancy as a true miscarriage until they’ve seen an ultrasound of the baby and know it has successfully implanted in the womb prior to the bleeding. I left the hospital that day really struggling, wondering if we had truly been parents or not. Even now I hesitate to mention that miscarriage, because the nurse’s words come back to my mind and I realize she’s right–we never saw a baby on a screen or heard the beautiful wooshing of his/her heartbeat fill a room. But then I remind myself that doesn’t matter. Life begins at conception. By the time we miscarried, our baby would have had a heart and a circulatory system, and he/she would have been developing the neural tube which would later become a brain and spinal cord. How can you not consider that a baby? Granted, it’s not a very developed baby, but a life nonetheless. Because that doctor and that hospital support and contribute to the Culture of Death, my insurance company has refused to cover the gene analysis I recently had, which could be the key to opening my womb and allowing for a healthy pregnancy (hopefully many healthy pregnancies). How, you ask? Because even though they told me I was miscarrying (loss of an embryo, or as I like to call it, a baby), they did not put it in my medical records since they didn’t consider me far enough along in their books. They just wrote that I had another failed month at achieving pregnancy. Therefore, my medical records show no past miscarriages, and so the insurance company sees no reason my current doctor, who proudly supports life, should have ordered that test for me.
I am beyond blessed to have such a pro-life and pro-family doctor now. He’s part of an authentically Catholic practice, a place where Christian charity is on display in each and every person who works there and where you regularly hear the staff and patients talking about church, family, prayer, etc. In fact, I had an appointment with Dr. Gosser last week, and at the end of my appointment, after we had gone through all the medical stuff, he set aside his notebook and started talking to me about the power of prayer, specifically novenas that some of his other infertility patients have prayed just before finding out they are miraculously expecting their first babies. He seemed to tear up a little when he told me, “I can’t imagine my life without my children.” He also reminded me of Hannah, from the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel. Hannah was barren, and she wept and grieved over not being able to have children with her husband. She asked the Lord to remember her, and to hear her prayers, and to give her a son. If God would just give her a son, she promised she would give that child back to the Lord. Dr. Gosser said, “And then my favorite verse comes up. It says ‘and God remembered Hannah’.” (You can find Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel 1.) He told me, “Please don’t give up hope; don’t stop praying. I really believe God will remember you and will bless you in His time, just like He did Hannah.” What an amazing doctor! I have never once had anyone in the medical field talk to me on this kind of level. I am truly blessed to have found a doctor out there who isn’t ashamed of his faith, and who not only supports, but promotes a culture of Life. God bless Dr. Gosser. If you live in the St. Louis area and are suffering infertility or frequent miscarriage, or if you are a Catholic looking for a pro-life OB-GYN, then I highly recommend Dr. Gosser and his practice, St. Gerard Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. We need more doctors like him, who promote Life instead of Death.