I had hopes for the therapist I was seeing after the 3rd visit. I felt for a brief amount of time that maybe we would work well together. After two more visits, it just isn't going to work. I really need to listen to my gut instincts the first time around and start trusting myself. Long story short I have mailed the following letter to my therapist.
"It occurred to me after leaving your office after our last visit that I can not personally afford the $50 fee, which is why I am on Medicaid in the first place. Nor can I, in good conscience, ask for my parents to shell out $50 because I was ill that day. It was not as if I just blew that appointment off, nor could I consult a crystal ball 24 hours before the day of my appointment and realize that, aside from getting very little sleep, I would also be vomiting.
The first appointment that I canceled, I gave more than 24 hour notice. In fact, I called 48 hours prior to the appointment and left a voicemail inquiring as to the proper procedure, as I was unsure whether I would be able to make that appointment after dealing with my mother’s stroke, along with everything that has been going on. When I did not hear back from you by the following afternoon, I left a message with the front desk canceling that appointment before you returned my call the following evening.
When I was ill and called to leave you a voice mail, I stated that I was ill and would need to reschedule my appointment. I then never received a response at all. After a week had passed, I called yet again to make an appointment, at that point, my call was returned.
While I understand the need for a $50 fee without 24 hour notice of cancellation, occasionally situations arise that can not be predicted. I had previously been informed by you that, if there was a snowstorm, I would not be expected to keep my appointment, and there would be no penalty under those circumstances. Yet, I somehow doubt that you would advise someone who was vomiting and operating on two hours of sleep driving to your office. I do not believe you would want to put my life, nor the lives of others on the road, at risk, simply so I could make an appointment. I also firmly believe that if you were ill, I would get a call from your office canceling my appointment; were I someone who took the day off from work to see you, I can assure you I would not be billing you for being to sick to hold my appointment and my lost hours at work.
As I had stated previously, I am not on SSI and have been continually denied up to this point. My parents, who are retired and on a fixed income at this time, pay my rent, my food and my utilities. My mother, who does have health insurance, still has to pay co-pay after co-pay for every appointment she attends to treat her illness. They are not made of money and, at this point, I will not push them further. If I were to charge the fee on a credit card, they would still be paying, as they are the ones who pay that bill as well.
It left a bad taste in my mouth when you asked, "Well didn't you check your credit card balance before you left the house?" First off; I would like to be clear. I am dealing with an illness right now in which I am literally dragging myself to appointment after appointment, regardless of the fact that I know damn well that other people feeling the way I am would not necessarily be able to do; I am doing this on top of having an anxiety disorder and a mother who is slowly dying. There is no question in my mind that I have been damaged by Xanax regardless if medical professionals want to believe it or not. It doesn't take much effort on anyone's behalf to look into what I am saying; there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people suffering with the same issues from which I am suffering after taking that class of drugs. This damage (and it is nothing less than damage) to the body takes, on average, 6 to 18 months to clear up, and, is some cases, longer. So; no, I didn't check my credit card balance before I left the house. I was busy getting ready and reserving every last bit of energy I had that day to come see you. Trust me when I say someone can look fine on the outside and be dealing with extreme illness inside. I sincerely hope you never have to deal with anything remotely similar to what I have had to experience.
I will not be returning to see you, and I plan on seeking out another therapist. I understand you still may decide to try to bill me for being too ill that day to make my appointment. If this is the case, the bill will go in the trash with the rest of the bills I can't pay right now. It is not as though my credit can be damaged any more than it already has."