What Happened Before and a Little After (Part IV)

by irms

Update 3
I know what you’re thinking.  It’s been so long since my last blemail (<- that’s a cross between an email and a blog, pronounced with a hard ‘eee’ as in blee-mail, brand new word, just made it up) that you feel like we’re breaking up. We’re not.  Don’t convince yourself we’re flawed just so you can break up with me before I break up with you.  I know how you are, so let me explain:

[ Warning:  This message is mostly concerned with the insurance scandal that has become my life, so if you’re not interested, I suggest you skip to the bottom paragraph. ]

When last we spoke, I told you I had a hard time finding a primary care physician because I don’t have insurance, and many of you wrote with your insurance-getting/avoiding suggestions.  Thanks, I tried many of them, but it hasn’t worked out for me, yet.

When the company I worked for closed up shop two months ago, I resumed freelancing and that’s been going pretty well.  I can pay for stuff, and I make my own hours (for the most part), so I am able to deal with the effects of my medications. (More on the meds in a moment).  With that handled, getting health insurance has become my number one priority.

When I discovered that I couldn’t get COBRA, I tried for a ‘Garaunteed Issue Plan’ which is insurance with outrageous premiums and a bigger chunk of the debt landing on the patient than in a traditional plan.  I was denied.  Post-denial, I applied for the ‘Major Risk Medical Insurance Program’, which I have recoined, ‘Insurance for the Terminally Ill’, but which, I have come to find out, has a 4-5 month waiting period, in addition to the even-more-outrageous price tag.  Finally, as a last ditch effort, I attempted to get MSP (Medically Indigent Services Program), to cover the cost of an appointment with the nuerologist, but the plan was thwarted and may be denied on account of my financial stability.  The irony is tortorous.

I’d already be married (to anyone that has insurance) and morals be damned, but my own mother is threatening bodily harm if I do so.  I can’t stand up to my mom (anyone else is fair game).  But my mom? I’m a weenie, I just can’t.

I did see a doctor at a clinic, in an attempt to get a primary care physician, but the appointment was a complete waste of time and money (I’m a cash patient!  It’s not cheap!).  He said, in so many words, that he couldn’t help, I absolutely must see a specialist, good luck doing that without insurance, and, yes, keep taking the pills.

Some of my former students have expressed their distaste that this ‘health issue’ would be a lame way to ‘go out’.  Thanks guys.  Eloquence is a hard thing to teach, but you certainly got your point across.  Be assured, I have no intention to peg out so easily.  I plan to die fighting crime and rescuing superheros somewhere between here and the Baltic sea.  You’re welcome.

Others have written to encourage my writing, saying I should do it professionally, write a book, make a million and the devil take insurance.  Who needs health insurance with a million bucks in the bank?  Well, I think it’s a billiant idea, and I’m completely onboard, if someone would please just tell me how to make that happen.  I’ll write articles about panda bears and marigolds for a check that size.  Just show me where to place the pen.

How I’m Feeling
I’m just going to say it:  these prescriptions are a slowly tightening noose around my neck, and I can’t reach my knife.  I’m tired, hot, nauseas and my body hurts.  It feels like someone has a permanent I.V. shoved between my muscles and my bones and they’re pushing liquid into my body which hurts because it’s stretching out my limbs – or feels like it is.  I feel tired, but not the usual kind of tired.  A cup of coffee isn’t going to save the hour.  It’s a fatigue that saps my will in addition to my strength and leaves me lying down too much of the day.  I get hot sometimes, with an unnatural heat that has nothing to do with the temperature in the room, and some sporadic dizziness and nausea that makes me feel like my eyes can’t catch up to the movements of my head.  The discomfort comes in spurts, especially after I eat and shortly after I take the pill cocktail.  Other than that though…I feel fine.

I feel confident, now, after two months of trying to see the pattern, that these feelings are a weird combination of the pills, the last time I slept, for how long, and when I ate.   The good news is, when I feel good, I feel pretty much back to normal.  That’s something, isn’t it?

bottom paragraph
Today I finally had an appointment with the nuerologist.  The same one I saw in the hospital, the same one who had a family/personal emergency, the same one I’ve waited two months to see.  When she learned of my no-insurance status, she didn’t kick me out of the building…she tried to help.  She informed me that, being a cash patient, I could pay $550+ dollars to hear her speak for 20 minutes today in her private office, or, go by the hospital clinic first thing tomorrow morning to see her there and save four hundred bucks.  I did the math and I said, “How do you take your coffee?”  So.  One more day.  Twenty more hours.  By lunch tomorrow, I may have more answers than I have now.  (I’ll also be a couple hundred bucks poorer than I am now, but at this point, something’s gotta give.)   As always, I am grateful for the emails, texts, and good juju everyone has sent my way.  I am especially grateful to the amazing friends who sit with me on my bad days and drink tea or do nothing, because it’s all the energy I have to spare.  The sitter-withers (as I now call them) should be monetarily rewarded for that kind of friendship, it goes way above and beyond the call of duty. I am humbled by your love each day.

Until the next installment,