It Saves You Money, But Okay…

Woke up yesterday and finally dug into my mail, did my few bills, and presto – I now have double the doctor appointments in the next seven days. ๐Ÿ˜ย I guess it’s good I opened my mail when I did, but I now have more days reserved for doctors than I do for myself. ๐Ÿ˜’ The super-earlyย involuntary one is all the way up on the NW side of Columbus.ย Another “We want you to see our guy.” appointment mandated by workers comp, to determine (yet again… I’m losing count) if my injury/disability is worthy of the meds I’m being prescribed. ๐Ÿ˜”

Keep in mind, it was only a handful of months ago that my doctor was told WC was no longer going to cover my monthly doctor visits, because (as they were allegedly claiming) I missed appointments and didn’t pick up the meds that I am subscribed… just a bunch of nonsense stuff. ๐Ÿ™„ So me, trying to do anything to avoid more forced exams, more industrial commission hearings, the potential refusal of payment for my meds… I actually asked my doctor to switch me to something different, but with what sounded like similar positive treatment results. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ I did this because I wouldn’t have been able to afford the monthly Lyrica prescription if they decided to stop paying, and also because I legitimately never feel good and was hoping that the change might not only help me feel better, but also cost my former employer’s WC insurer much less – a possible win-win, which I foolishly thought would make them happy and maybe leave me alone.

But no… just a couple months later, now I have to see another examiner under the premise of justifying what I’m now being prescribed. ๐Ÿ˜ฃย I hate that the shit they’re doing is working… almost always delays in getting certain meds filled, that weird phase where they were making false claims and threatening to stop paying for visits, etc… and it worked. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It spooked me, so I made a change that I stupidly thought would make those things go away, and instead that’s probably what triggered this new exam. “If you were taking (that) for so long, why are you now okay with taking (this)?” is the direction I’m expecting this to go. Yeah, I’m sure the guy who will have seen me once will know better than my doctor who has been treating me forย over a decade.

Of course this couldn’t come at a worse time. More on that in a later entry, maybe. ๐Ÿ˜”

(Unrelated…) I honestly don’t feel like doing anything. My chill is pretty much gone for the day. ๐Ÿ˜  Oh, and the “wait, there’s more” from my “Chaos” entry the other day, when part of the town was without power? Nothing surprising. Everyone forgot how to drive, everyone was in a hurry and mad at anyone who dared to treat a dead traffic light as a 4-way stop, rude ass people in the stores acting as if the fucking sky was falling, and just the general unraveling of all the fragile humans’ brains pretty much like you’d expect. (GREAT idea, Skippy… rush to the opposite side of town to buy a whole bunch of fridge/freezer food, while also complaining that you have no idea when your power will be back on. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜’)ย And then while driving again, this bizarre woman who had the right of way at our intersection actually started waving her arm wildly, mouthing something at me with an angry scowl on her face… which was her “polite” was of telling me to go ahead and turn in front of her, I guess. Fucking humans, man… a few hours without electric and they’re basically fucking cavemen again.

Variety Week

I actually thought about making an entry over the weekend, but the prior few days were pretty eventful, and I knew today could be as well… so yeah, I basically actually just treated my weekend as a weekend, other than finally cleaning the kitchen and doing up all my bills.

Bri had her baby on Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜Š I didn’t make it in there at 6am like she had to do, but I was there a few hours later and stayed several more hours… taking a break to go home, since I could tell it was gonna take a while. And in that time I was able to help Dad get his car back from the repair shop after getting the AC serviced. (Hmm… AC serviced… we’ll come back to that.) As I was ready to head back to my house after that, Bri messaged me that she finally had him (9 hours of labor… yikes…) and she wanted me to come back to the hospital.

Of course I went back in the next day as well to visit them… and as you may know, whenever I do an extensive amount of “stuff” sometimes my body’s like “Okay, that’s enough out of you” and I kind of crap out. ๐Ÿ˜ And that’s pretty much what happened. But it didn’t end there. Later in the evening, Cassi called in a mild freak-out, because her cat was getting ready to deliver her kittens and seemed to be having trouble and was making all kinds of awful sounding noises – so she wanted me to come up, just in case we had to take her to an emergency vet.

You know, they may have actually been Friday. ๐Ÿค” That’s how frazzled my brain was. I dunno, it was late in the evening and it was on a day where the last thing I wanted to do was to “do anything” at that point. Hence taking the weekend off for the most part. But I slept well last night, had a comforting dream… which of course I remember zero details from… but woke up feeling good enough to go out and use the hand trimmer to clear up the tiny branches growing out of the trunks of my crabapple (I think)ย trees so the mowers aren’t at risk of losing an eye around them… along with cutting out some other “trying to grow” baby trees popping up in weird places in the yard.

That wasn’t an intended part of the day though, so I’m just taking that as a bonus, because today was when the AC repair guys came to check out the furnace and AC. ๐Ÿ˜ Long story short, I went ahead and opted to have a new one installed. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ The current unit is about 20 years old, any replacement parts (the compressor, specifically) would have to be a used part, the refrigerant used isn’t available anymore… just lots of things that made replacement the smarter (yet more expensive) decision. Whether I live here until I die, or if I sell the house in a year and move into an apartment or whatever… it’s just the better, yet painful choice. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

He gave me the estimate, but is gonna officially type it all up and send me an itemized version later this afternoon for me to sign. So I’m a little twitchy right now, but really, I’m not even paying for it. ๐Ÿ™‚ When Mom passed, her and Dad made sure that she left me some money, so technically Mom is going to be buying a new central AC system for me. That makes it a heck of a lot easier to think about. Okay… I need to give my head a break for a bit, but should be checking emails later this evening.

Research

I ended up getting almost 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, likely thanks to my normal evening meds and a couple Tylenol PMs taken at just the right moment. Sadly, I still woke up tired, at least physically… but my motivation game was strong. I guess this was the right day for that combination though, since it’s the weekend and there really wasn’t much that I could do “out and about” to continue my meager progress from last week.

I’ve looked up a bunch of different doctors and “family practice” offices in Lancaster and nearby cities, so I’ll be able to make some calls and maybe even stop by some of these places on Monday. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also researched some urgent care places and narrowed it down to two that may be able to help with the tests that I need. ๐Ÿคจ That’s my backup plan, should the “find a new doctor that doesn’t have a two month waiting list” thing fail. ๐Ÿ˜’ And then on top of that I’ve gotten names and info from our local hospital’s site, so I’m prepared to goย there to talk to someone about my predicament if need be.

My main concern (after just getting the “serious stuff” started) is doing this in a way that won’t screw me over when it comes to my insurance and the bills. ๐Ÿ˜ณ I assume it’s always like this, since it’s been this way with any insurance that I’ve ever had, but basically you have to jump through all of the required hoops. ๐Ÿ™„ Like, you can’t just go to a heart specialist and ask for an EKG without having been referred to that heart specialist by your “normal” doctor. ๐Ÿค” I mean, I guess you can… but your insurance won’t pay for it without the referral.

So yeah, off and on throughout the day was all of that, and then in the evening I remembered that I needed to make a couple phone calls.ย The first was just returning a call from one of my attorneys regarding their recent court actions on my behalf, and the second was to leave a message for the company that I’ve chosen to trim my hedges and spirea bushes, to let them know that I’m on board.

Tomorrow should be a lazy day. ๐Ÿ˜ I can’t think of anything that I’ve forgotten, at least not right now, so hopefully I’ll be able to sleep in for a bit before I go to visit with Mom and Dad in the afternoon. If I don’t get too late of a start, I might even try to hit a couple of thrift stores before returning to Maven, the homestead, and a rapidly-approaching Monday morning.

Prepping to Prep

With all of the rain and warm weather, it’s getting to be about that time for mowing to start up again. I’ve already talked to my lawn d00d and got that all set up, but I still have to get out there and get things kinda cleaned up beforehand. I’ve got lots of plants that start growing before the first mowing even happens, plus the still-standing corpses of plants that grew and died last season… so I’m gonna do my best to get rid of all of that stuff, which will actually make the mowing that much easier for d00d’s mowing guys.

This work shouldn’t be too taxing, but I’m still planning on using the better part of a day to do it. Also today I’ve been gathering names and numbers for bush trimming services, so tomorrow I’ll be able to make some calls (hopefully) so I can get some estimates for the bushes around the house as well as the ones along the rear of the property. I hate spending money, but since I didn’t have anything done with them last year – I guess I can mentally take whatever it costs and divide it by two, telling myself that it was actually for service that covers two seasons of “bush stuff.”

Surprisingly, I got a decent night of sleep last night, so that’s gonna make today easier… half chill, half prepping for stuff that I need to do this coming week. I’ll be glad when all of the “outside stuff” has been handled though. It’s the same as the inside of the house… my brain just relaxes more easily when things are cleaned up and looking nice. And right now the outside of my property looks pretty rough.

How Could I Not?

Here I’ve been, telling my friends “Nah, I’m not going out for Black Friday. I can’t even think of anything I need, and especially if I have to be out among the sea of people.”ย and I thought I was telling them the truth. ๐Ÿ˜ Actually, most of those two sentences are still true… because no wayย would I consider going out to fight with the thousands of other assholes at the crack of dawn come this Friday – but it turns out that I did need something, and I didn’t even realize it until a just few minutes ago. (Deja vu… heh)

I’ll go ahead and describe the item, then I’ll get to the “deal” part of it. I already have a Playstation 4, and about a year ago Sony came out with a virtual reality headset for it which has been selling for $299. Also known as way too friggin’ much. Well, now that they’re preparing to come out with an updated version of the headset soon, prices in some places are dropping to $199 for the current model. Still expensive, but much more reasonable.

For me, any VR gaming that I end up doing will just be a bonus. Because, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve played a game on that system. ๐Ÿ˜• Things over the past couple of years have warped my brain, taking away the desire to do many of the things I used to find fun… but anyway…

I had actually given the PSVR system a brief look when it originally came out, but mainlyย  because of the photo and video applications. I have a 3D television, but I’ll now be able to watch 3D movies or videos on the headset. Same thing with 360ยฐ virtual realityย videos. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Does anything start to sound familiar? ๐Ÿค” At this price point, this thing sounds perfect for me since I’ve got a cheap 3D video recorder and a camera that can shoot 360ยฐย photos and videos. Honestly, the thing is made for me to own.

But it wasn’t even floating around in my brain as recently as 15 minutes ago, that is, until I saw a post from Cheap Ass Gamer that showed the system available at Kohl’s for $199 – plus for every $50 that you spent, you’d earn $15 in Kohl’s Cash which can be used for in-store purchases later. So I hit the site, put the PSVR in my cart, added a $1.00 foaming face mask (to push the total to just over $200) and boom… $60 in Kohl’s Cash, effectively making the final price only $140. ๐Ÿค“ Giddyup.

This should really encourage my shooting in those alternative mediums.

Wait, How Much?

The other day I did some investigating in regards to the monthly cost of the various medications that I’m prescribed, for the injury/disability that is currently covered by my workers comp claim. It’s been quite a while since I’ve given it much thought, but man… now that I see the numbers… damn. ๐Ÿ˜ง These are the prices that I would pay if I had no insurance, and was paying for my prescriptions with cash.

  • Medication #1” – Brand Name: $284.99 / Generic: $73.59
  • Medication #2” – Brand Name: $1314.99 / Generic: $535.99
  • Medication #3” – Brand Name: $996.99 / Generic: (N/A)

So with those figures… add in the monthly office appointments, the potential tests or procedures that I might need to have in the future… and you can see how I’d be a bigger financial burden to my WC insurer than one might originally think. (And it sure makes these settlement negotiations feel a whole lot more significant to my future.)

“Wake Up, Case 1485729-4”

Fell asleep around dawn and then was awoken by a phone call from one of my attorneys a few hours later. ๐Ÿ˜’ We’ve got quite a bit of outstanding issues right now, and after the long weekend I could almost feel this call coming… so much so that I didn’t turn my ringer off, since I did need to talk to him.

This entry might as well be titled “What Else Is Wrong?” since, in part, it’s essentially going to be a sequel to my most recent post. As you may or may not know, I try to keep my online presence as free as possible from a) bitching about my pain/disability, and b) talking about specifics of my workers comp case. Partially out of pride, partially because nobody really wants to hear about it anyway.

I’m not sure I even remember what I used to be like before all of this dominated my life. I know it’s not pleasant now, to put it extremely mildly, and I know it’s a constant pain in the ass… so even though it’s hard to remember, I do miss the time when my life was my own and I wasn’t being led by the nose through by doctor visits, IC hearings, physical disability, medication requirements, mental stress, pharmacy policies, insurance companies, and now actual an actual court case. ๐Ÿ˜ž

I’m just frustrated because we’re less than two months away from the court stuff starting and so far the settlement stuff is going nowhere. ๐Ÿ˜• Their side will submit their brief to the court, my side will have a few weeks to reply, and then it starts getting serious. The court will likely want to depose any doctors that have seen or treated me, on both sides, which means I’d have to hope that I could essentially “rent” my doctor for half a day to give testimony – which would be ridiculously expensive. ๐Ÿ˜ฃย (Not to mention ridiculously annoying since he’s already submitted report, after report, after report, in writing.)

So my attorney is going to find out how much they’ve paid each year, on average, for my treatment and medication – and then tomorrow or the next day, when I go to the pharmacy to pick up this month’s meds, I’m going to have them print out what the “out of pocket” cost would be for each medication if I was paying for them with no insurance at all. ๐Ÿค“ With those figures we’ll again try to come up with what we believe is a fair settlement, and then they’ll have to decide if the continuing costs of fighting me are worth it – rather than just settling this and making me go away.

I’m just worried that we won’t be able to get this done before the date of the first hearing. I’m sure it’ll be (us) “Here’s our offer.” followed by (them) “Well, that’s nice, but this is what we’re willing to pay.” followed by (us) “C’mon, get out of here… we need at least (this much)” and then (them) “We’re gonna have to think on this.” with (us) “Well we’re gonna have to think on this too.” Heh… so I don’t know what the odds are of avoiding this court case at this point, but I’d think they are slim.