Tuesday, March 22, 2011

See you on the other side....

Don't worry. I shake it off fairly well. And I talk a good game... Nothing like a chronic illness to make you really good at saying, convincingly, "I'm fine,"  when you are truly, desperately not.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I do not get suicidal.  I have family nearby who are loving and supportive, if perhaps very busy with multiple new babies and their own nutty lives.  I know how much my children depend on me to be the somewhat "normal" one in our phsycological home outlook. My husband recently (2 years past) resurfaced from what our 9yr old calls, "The Great Depression,"  (not realizing how ironic that is, or perhaps she does, seeing as she is astonishingly astute at her history homework)  which lasted five years, and, upon reclaiming his role as a non-couch-potato head of household, has set about carefully correcting us of all the wrongs and bad habits we have acquired in his "abscence."  He still has no idea how deeply the impact will be psychologically upon the children. Nor do I, but I fear it daily. He sincerely sees it as no big deal that they thought we were going to divorce, that during my sickness in pregnancy with baby e, that E thought I was going to die, that everything we do and say becomes picked to death by his corrections....but, I see it differently, and this is my blog.  I ain't no Pinoeer Woman, and Sir is no cowboy.  I hope to be NieNie someday when I grow up, but in the meantime, we suffer a lot of perils and trials.  One of which is threatening to consume me at the moment.

Of course, I'm talking of depression.  Mommy depression is a different thing altogether.  It comes in so many different forms.  It suffers loudly and violently in some, quietly and nobly in some, and the rest of us plod about as best we can.  It touches every heart within the home.  My baby pounces on my lap and says "WAKE UP MOMMY!" My kids are late to activity days, scouts, and clogging, because I can see no real reason to get up to do anything. No matter how my sweetheart (and he really is, I love him dearly) attempts to provoke change, I seem incapable of moving and changing.  Although, I did do dishes tonight. But, though I am trying desperately to do so, I find no joy in laundry, or mopping, or wiping things, or dishes, not even the pleasure of having a clean countertop once more.  I find little joy in anything but books and my children, and when I laugh with them, Sir tells me that we're being too loud and loudness ruins the spirit of the home. I am trying to learn to laugh quietly, and it ruins my laughter.

I realized, today, two important things. 

First, I am an adrenaline junkie.  Most adrenaline junkies jump out of buildings, or fight fires, or set fires, or learn to ride horses bareback, or something useful.  Me, I get places late.  Why?  It's not until the adrenaline of OH MY GOSH, WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE kicks in that my eyes and heart open wide enough that I'm alert to drive.  Adrenaline Is my caffeine.  I'm not saying this is healthy. I figure, though, that every bad habit is perpetuated for some reason, some pleasure, conscious or subconscious, that we get out of it.  And, cussing myself as I drove E late to clogging this afternoon, having woken at the last moment from a nap with mr e, I began to ponder--- what could I possibly gain from being late?  It makes me so jumpy.  There's that rush of frustration and adrenaline that gets you there, but it's too late to be on time or early, or useful in most instances.  But it's not until I am late that I get the push to actually go

So, today, big revelation, I think I figured out why.

Second big insight:  The medical bills are eating me alive.  The Lyme and lymphedema are eating my literally, but figuratively, from the moment I wake to the moment I sleep at night, all I worry about if trying to repair the damage my stupid doctor's office, Lexington Family Practice, if anyone's interested, did to my ability to be treated for Lyme this fall and get the bills paid for.

This is the second round of annoyance for the same reason, and I could not figure out what happened the first time... suddenly, as we progress into this do-over of the SAME PROBLEM, I begin to see the issue. I hate to lose a good PA because the back office is a mess, but I'm beginning to see no option.  Or I'll have to talk to the Better Business Bureau.  I'm not sure what else to do.

I went in to them, in late September, to get an appointment with a doctor in Virginia, who treats Lyme with IV, and, miraculously, is covered by my insurance. To get that appointment, and have Aetna pay for it, I needed to get a referral. I asked my doctor, who has no responsibility in my frustration, for said referral.  She wrote it down and when I called to confirm, the office said it was taken care of.  They had gotten me an appointment and everything. I got to Virginia, no worries, the doc there checked with the insurance before we proceeded, all went through fine, no concerns.

Until the bills started coming back saying I had no referral, so nothing was covered.

What they had done, although my doc wrote I needed a referral, was instead to refer me to a doc.  ie... get the appointment.  Which I did not need. So I'm trapped int he joy of semantics, although I technically asked for, and my doctor wrote, the correct semantic term. So my insurance says that the doc, and the month of IV in the PICC line are not covered because- no referral. I call my family prac's huge office to get them to resend the referral, which I've asked for and was taken care of.... right?  Nope.

 "I'm sorry" says main office, "We can't backdate referrals." 

"I don't need it back dated," I explain, "Just resend the one you sent before."

The phone rings a couple of days later.

"We're confirming the referral to Doctor Ramillo's office, in Virginia?"  the voice says.

"Yes?"  I say.

"Yes,"  they continue......"Your appointment is for next Monday...."


So, bieng, obviously, idiots, they referred me AGAIN.  I had to explain this all to a fourth person.  To cancel the appointment.  Which I do not need.  And did not ask for.  Because I jsut needed a photocopy of the REFERRAL. 

"I'm sorry,"  they explain. "There is no referral on file."

I go into my SC doc, and she says "but it says right here, I asked for the referral. "


So, tomorrow, I am going, with the baby (who hopefully will be whiny all day, as he is cutting four gigantic molars) to the main office. With my nook. And a packed lunch.  To sit until someone who is NOT an idiot can figure out what they are going to do, so that, because they did not do what they were supposed to do, I owe and additional four or five thousand dollars to various entities.

Oh, and then I'm coming home, and will start negotiations with my insurance (who has been rather patient, as, strangely enough, none of this seems to be their fault) about how the local hospital is charging us both ten thousand dollars for five hours of physical therapy lymphedema treatment, which consisted of daily wrapping up my legs with wraps, and did diddly amount of weight/change to my body. Of which, "my portion" is the remaining two thousand ish.  For five, one hour appointments.

Not even JEMSEK costs that much, and they didn't even do lymphatic tissue massage, or kenisiotape, or anything modern, just good old fashioned wrapping you up from head to toe and hope that helps.   And telling me to buy more expensive wraps on the last day.  At least Jemsek spends time with you and DOES something, even though he's not covered by insurance. And there's that tax fraud thing or something....

So, all the Medical Bill insanity, plus trying to file for the last thousand dollar refund on our FSA last year,  is inducing the insomnia causing me to be what my friend Heather O calls "drunk blogging," the late night version of drunk dialing, only, instead, on a blog.  And rambling. But I feel better.  SO much.  Hopefully you do too....just knowing you are not me tomorrow, stuck in a back office filled with people who have no idea what I'm talking about, with a tooth cutting crying two year old in tow.  Maybe that'll speed things up- I'll threaten to leave Senior Kicky Bitey Pant with them until his molars cut through.  That'll clear the "confusion" up in a hurry. 

So, see you on the other side.  Like I said, it doesn't take me too long. Just some chocolate, some buckling down into medical bills, and probably properly getting myself adrenaline filled with anger at someone or something long enough that I can fix these troubles.  Then I can collapse back into a pain filled heap later.

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