See, I’ll Still Ramble…

I had a good day out of the house yesterday. Well, afternoon anyway… did some “chore” running that I had to do, stopped off at a couple thrift stores, and then went out to visit with Dad for an hour or so before heading back home. ๐Ÿ™‚ Did quite a bit, relative to the same time several weeks ago, and it didn’t take too much out of me… but I did fall asleep way too damn early yesterday. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ It wasn’t that “drained” type of sleep… I just went back to the bedroom early, figuring I’d watch a couple movies before I sacked out, but I ended up actually falling asleep around 7pm. ๐Ÿ˜ด

Woke back up at midnight, watched the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies (since I watched the first one again a couple days ago), then fell asleep near the end of the last one and didn’t wake up until around 10am this morning. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So it’s 11pm now, I’m in bed, and I’m tired – but not sleepy – so I really have no idea when I’m gonna fall asleep or when I’ll wake up. ๐Ÿคช Luckily the only thing on my agenda tomorrow is going out to see Bri at some point. She’s one of my friends that I didn’t want to see me in as bad of condition as I was for those several weeks, especially considering that she lost her mom to cancer last year. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Two totally different kinds, so any symptoms shouldn’t be compared at all – but I just know that if people saw me during the really bad week or two, they could definitely get the wrong idea about how good or bad I was doing. ๐Ÿ˜ณ But anyway, I’m feeling “better enough” now that I don’t think I come off as “concerning” anymore… at least no more than usual. ๐Ÿ˜ So I’m 99% sure I’ll still end up seeing her tomorrow, it’ll probably just be later in the day than I was thinking when I talked to her earlier. She’s great though… and a little frustrated with me at the moment… because like she repeatedly tells me – she’s been through the worst of the worst with her mom, so she doesn’t want me to feel like I have to hide anything from her for her sake. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•

But my little thrifting trip… it was productive as well. I got a couple shirts, picked up some cheap stereo speakers for Cassi’s receiver that she got, and then found this strange, lone drinking glass with the silhouette of just a woman’s black hair and old-school glasses. ๐Ÿง๐Ÿ˜ฏ It immediately reminded me of Mom… from a few of her photos when she was really young… and when I showed it to Dad, unprompted, he immediately saw the same thing that I did. ๐Ÿ˜Š So that was kinda neat, and such a random thing for me to have spotted on a shelf where I normally wouldn’t have even been looking. I’ll have to take a better photo of that glass and then find one or two of the pictures of Mom that it resembles. ๐Ÿ™‚

Even more random, Genesee was heading back home from a trip she had taken with her family over the long weekend – and at the same time that I spotted that glass, she sent me a photo of an exit sign that they had just passed under, showing that they were only a couple of miles from the Atlantic City Expressway. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŽฐ So, yeah… even though I think about her every day, it seems like Mom wanted to make sureย that she definitely got our attention that day. ๐Ÿ™‚ย And it worked…

Checking Off Boxes

Typical “workers comp, beginning of the month, get my scripts filled” day today. Three different calls to the pharmacy, issues with my information in the computer, problems with certain ones not being approved… same bullshit as usual, except due to the incorrect information in their system I even had to stop in myself, with receipts and printouts and crap from last month. The folks that work there are great. It’s never the people there that I have a problem with… and after my visit we think everything is now updated, correct, and in process of being authorized – so maybe sometime today I’ll actually be able to pick them up.

I had to be out today anyway, so stopping in to get all this stuff sorted out wasn’t a big deal. I mean, I actually feel kinda bad for them – with how much of a pain in the ass “my case” is for them each month. It makes me wonder if any pharmacies have ever decided that certain customers’ situations were just too much work, too many calls, and too big of a PITA – and just told them to take their business elsewhere. ‘Cuz I can see how they could feel that way about me, if they weren’t such understanding and helpful folks.

But at my other stops, along with having several vials of blood drawn, we’ve started getting a lot more things set in stone. I’ve now got dates (if not exact times, yet) for the next blood draw, the administration of the radiation dose, how long I’ll need to stay away from people (which included rearranging another unrelated doctor appointment), when the full scan at FMC will be, and then the followup with my main thyroid doctor after all of the results are back and interpreted.

It’s surreal… how this is such a “big deal mind fuck” thing for me as I’m going through it, yet I’m just one of many. There are enough people needing this kind of treatment that once a week, every week, it’s radioactive “dosing day” for thyroid patients at FMC. But for whatever reason, even as you’re out in town, seeing other people doing whatever… it’s easy to feel like you’re the only person going through this shit, while actually we probably pass by people each day who are going through the same thing or worse. Working in nuclear medicine, giving the doses… I can see how that job could start feeling pretty heavy after a short while.

Bad At Feeling Bad

Saw my workers comp doctor on Thursday, discussed the additional pain in my neck and shoulder from relying on my cane (for my unrelated knee pain) this past month, but mostly discussed the upcoming WC mandated “review” – and he’s just as frustrated by what they’re trying to do as I am. ๐Ÿ˜’ Then I finally went back in to my prescribing shrink after taking a couple months’ break to get used to my new WC doc meds… and ended up spending an entire hour with him.

Granted, when you talk to a counselor you usually get an hour, but typically the pill shrink just wants to get you in and out of there, prescribing what he feels is appropriate based on the counselors notes and maybe a few followup questions. He talked to me about so many different possible meds, I have to admit that I don’t even know which ones he ended up calling in for me. I guarantee you that I’m going to be doing a lot of googling before I start taking anything… especially considering the other meds I’m already taking, and that in about a month I’ll have to stop taking my thyroid meds to prep for the next radiation pill treatment.

Meh… I’m not gonna get into all that. But I’m gonna try what he thinks I should, as long as I don’t find anything concerning that he maybe didn’t consider. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But for the past hour or so, I’ve been waking up and psyching myself up for the trip into the pharmacy. Three different doctors, multiple prescriptions, many new, some to be covered by WC, but still might not be, and then others meant to go through my regular insurance. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ For some reason they can’t mark it in their system, which meds go through which insurance, nor can I count on some of them being approved anyway, so this’ll be a fucking process today. ๐Ÿ˜ 

I know. ๐Ÿ˜ This is just what people have to do. The medical / workers comp / insurance programs in the US are shit, nobodyย does it without jumping through hoops, dealing with delays and irritation… but I’m still gonna bitch about it. ๐Ÿ˜ And sure, whether it’s WC or traditional insurance… once, maybe twice, do what you have to do to verify that “Yeah he’s broken. Yeah he needs those meds.”ย (I get it… fraud prevention) but then just cover the shit plz. ๐Ÿค• Go through that sort of bullshit long enough and you can totally understand why people, as they get older and feel more broken, just can’t or don’t want to have constant adversarial engagements with the whole system – and just stop bothering with some of it. ๐Ÿ˜ข Especially when the doctor’s hands are tied and they can’t even prescribe you the meds that could actually make you feel better – whether due to WC guidelines, insurance not covering it, or it simply being too cost prohibitive. ๐Ÿ˜  Man it fucking pisses me off…

giphy

I’m just bad at feeling bad when a)ย I’m denied treatments that could make me feel better, and b) people are still fighting to take the things away from me that merely keep my pain tolerable. ๐Ÿ˜–

Oh, and my insurance company… they keep leaving messages, saying that they want to schedule an in-home visit from a doctor that can evaluate me and give me his or her opinions as well. ๐Ÿ™„ Yeah, um, no. You’re insurance. Just be insurance. Get my health info from my records like a normal company… and don’t expect me to invite you into my house with another handful of hidden hoops behind your back. ๐Ÿคจ Okay, I guess I’ve dragged my feet long enough, and should get in town and see what kind of luck I have with all this shit.

Awesome Timing, Thanks

I went and saw the new “physician’s assistant” fella yesterday. He first confirmed that Dr Walter is still my doctor of record and that everything will still go through him… but hopefully after this initial “getting to know each other” appointment (for which I’m sure he’ll have to confer with Dr Walter at least this time) he’ll be able to handle most everything while leaving Dr Walter’s time free to help patients that can actually still be helped, patched up, or even repaired. That’s where his time should go.

Thankfully though, I really like this guy. Dr Walter and I have a decade of history from me going to that clinic for the same problem… so, obviously, even starting to get new guy on the same page as us would be impossible in one visit. But that didn’t stop him from intently listening to everything I said, as well as already offering his preliminary thoughts and ideas about my condition and treatment. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but the positive vibes were a pleasant surprise. I mean, it was really a crap shoot (what type of doctor I could have ended up with) but I should have known that their office wouldn’t hire a jackass when not a single one of them already there acts that way.

Okay, so that was the good part of the visit. Nothing has changed yet, but I told him that I appreciated having “new eyes” looking at the situation, and letting him know that I am willing to try changing some things up if he, Dr Walter, and I think that it could help with the problems which have slowly been getting worse over the months and years. I then began the walk to the front of the office to make my next appointment and hit the road, when I was told that Laura, the workers’ comp “saint” of the practice, needed to see me before I left.

She told me that my case manager contacted them and told them that I was non-compliant with my scheduled appointments, and that I was also non-compliant with getting my medications filled each month. Now, Laura has been there since the beginning with me, so she (like me) knew that what the case worker was saying was complete bunk. Before I could even say anything, Laura told me that she had already faxed more than sixty pages worth of documentation to them, to let them know that they are either full of crap and are trying to jerk me around again, or that they are incompetent. (My words, not hers.)ย I mean, how many times have I bitched here myself about how nearly every damn monthย I have to make multipleย calls, multiple visits to the pharmacy, and often still I’m not “allowed” my medications until days after they’ve forced me to run out?

Based on what they are claiming, they are now only willing to pay for one doctor visit every three months – while certain medications that I take require me to be seen every thirty days. (And it sure sounds like their eventual goal may be to straight up “kick me out” or void their obligation to me.) So, this is what I have to deal with now. And I really need some dumb shit like this, right now, when my plate is already overflowing with stuff that is pushing my health and emotions to their limits.

But that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow, gathering up all of the current information about whoever is my acting case manager, figuring out which of my attorneys handles this type of issue, and probably trying to figure out how to get records from my pharmacy – and maybe a statement from the pharmacy techs who know how I regularly get the runaround – and get everything in some kind of order, to where I can start making calls on Friday.

I had a good day today, and I do want to blog about it at some point, but I’m still furious about this. Yes, it’s all easily, easily refutable… and there’s absolutely no way that I won’t win if this gets forced into another IC hearing or actual court case… but the fact that I have to do it at all, and that theyย stillย seem determined to deny me as much of my treatment as they can. I don’t understand how any human could or would take a job like that, where if they complete their task or reach their goal, a person’s life is ruined.

If I keep talking about it I’m not going to be able to sleep again tonight, but that’s the gist of how my Wednesday went. I’m glad Genesee is still in town, because today I had to just pretend that yesterday didn’t happen… just for this one day, so that my brain wouldn’t have a meltdown from immediately trying to fix all of this. I already spent the entirety of Tuesday night through dawn on Wednesday wide-awake, sitting in bed with my phone, looking up countless things regarding my case and treatment, and sending them to the printer so I could compile and highlight them later.

When there is a reliable, well-documented, years-long pattern of delaying or denying a patient’s medication or treatment, when multiple hearings and court cases have already made it clear that the patient is legally entitled to all of it… even if it’s done in a way that technically isn’t in violation of their obligation – you’d still think it might reach a point where a judge would see that it’s nothing less than harassment, and I have to believe that one of that patient’s litigating attorneys would smell blood in the water at that point, so to speak. I’m not a squeaky wheel. Why do they want to push it to that point?

(Okay, tomorrow’s entry will be a positive one. I just had to let this out, for better or worse.)

Insufficient Quantities

Another half-work / half-shlubbing-around weekend day. ๐Ÿ˜ Cassi had the day off, so I went and got her so I’d have some company (and a helper) and so she could have time away from home. So, like the last time she was here, she’s been working on her stuff a little more and I’ve been working on my stuff more… using that bit of motivation that you get just from having someone hanging out. ๐Ÿ˜Š

A couple different phone calls to the pharmacy this morning and they’re still having problems with getting any of my workers comp related medications approved. ๐Ÿ˜’ Ten minutes on the phone, then on hold, and then told that they were gonna have to make some calls to get things straightened out.ย  Haven’t heard anything back from them for the past couple of hours, so I’ll be calling again after I finish this entry. I’m not even trying to get them before last month’s supply ran out. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Heh… and as I’m writing this I got another text notification from the pharmacy saying that one item is on order, another is ready – but with a $12 charge, and no info about the third. ๐Ÿ˜• But this confirms the typical problems I have every month… because if there’s a charge on one of these, that meant it was run through my regular insurance instead of the one provided by workers comp. I guess twelve bucks won’t kill me though.

And even though it’s Saturday, I got an actual registered letter that I had to sign for, from that “home care” medical provider that I mentioned a few entries ago. It says that they’re letting me go as a patient (okay?)ย and that I need to find someone else… despite having never used their services and not knowing who this nurse is that supposedly tended to me a couple times. ๐Ÿ˜  So I sent them another email, despite just talking to someone from there on the phone, telling them to knock it off with the bills and the mail. It’ll probably do as much good this time as it did last.

Meh… so that’s been the first half of the day. And yeah, I know that a lot of the entries in the blog lately have just been me bitching about the mundane and trivial, but believe it or not – some people do like keeping tabs on me and knowing how things are going, even people that aren’t relatives or close friends. It’s weird to have made what are essentially digital pen pals, from people who have found the blog and have then messaged me for one reason or another.

But I guess I better throw on some pants and head in town for the one script that I can pick up. ๐Ÿ™„ And like I told Cassi, the reason I go in there most of the time, and deal with this shit in person – it’s because people tend to work a littleย bit harder when you’re standing right there, telling them exactly how things are supposed to be, and nudging them in the right direction when needed.

Heh… this was quite a ramble for just some medical billing filling bullshit. ๐Ÿ˜

The Rest of My Month Looks Fun

  • ใ€ฐPharmacyย  /ย  monthly visit to jump through hoops for meds
  • ใ€ฐPsychiatristย  /ย ย intake appointment
  • ใ€ฐDentistย  /ย  temp crown removal and permanent crown installation
  • ใ€ฐEndocrinologistย  /ย  injection #1 prior to 131 treatment
  • ใ€ฐEndocrinologistย  /ย  injection #2 prior to 131 treatment
  • ใ€ฐFMCย  /ย  nuclear medicine department for radioactive iodine (131) treatment
  • ใ€ฐHomeย  /ย  (one week of isolating myself from the humans)
  • ใ€ฐFMCย  /ย  full body scan 7 days after 131 treatment
  • ใ€ฐPsychologistย  /ย  first “real” counseling session
  • ใ€ฐRehab/Painย  /ย ย monthly WC appointment

Spent most of this morning on the phone, trying to wrangle all of my other appointments around the iodine treatment schedule – since that’s the one that is the most important, and the one that effectively removes a week of possible scheduling time from my life.ย ๐Ÿ˜’

EDIT: Just got off of another call with Dr Walter’s office. We’re now trying to figure out how much of a pain in the ass it’s going to cause… me being seen by his PA rather than directly by him, because Dr Walter is my “physician of record” when it comes to anything related to my workers comp claim – and they loveย finding any reason that they can to deny me treatment or medication.ย ๐Ÿ˜  This sounds like it will be a work in progress, and we probably won’t know what the negative side effects are until they happen.

Turning The Corner

Well, the last day of the three-day weekend went by a little too quickly. ๐Ÿ˜• Got some stuff done around the house, but just as importantly, got the number of a repair guy to come look at the AC unit outside. Rick and Amy used them when they had central air installed in their house, and they’re based on Bauman Hill – not too far from where we lived when I was a kid. I can’t believe it’s still been near or in the 80s during the first week of October. ๐Ÿ˜“ Thought for sure that I’d be fine waiting…

So tomorrow morning I get to call the AC guy, the pharmacy (of course), the endocrinologist’s office, and Ricart. I have three recalls on my car, including the one that says my steering wheel could fall off, so it’s about time to get all of that looked at. ๐Ÿ˜ง I might also see about having them repair the cracked plastic around the mirror housing on the driver’s side. But yeah, lots of calls.ย Yay. ๐Ÿ™ Oh, and I almost forgot the billing office for my WC doctor, since they accidentally billed me for my last appointment. (As if I haven’t been going there on WC’s dime for over a decade… heh… wth)

Talking with Bri yesterday, she asked if I was going to be going to the fair at all this week. Jim G is already coming down on Friday, so I was planning on at least making an appearance there with him… but now it looks like I might be making a sooner-than-expected trip to the fair tomorrow with her. It’s not a done deal, but if she’s not doing anything else I know she wants to go. And between my stuff, her stuff, her mom’s stuff… we’ve got plenty to catch up on. I just hope I’m up for all the walking.

If I do end up going, I’ll probably take the new camera with me. We were talking about just looking at critters and eating shitty food, but I’m sure I can find something worth covertly recording. ๐Ÿ˜Ž A viewer request has asked for a comparison between “as shot / true 360”, “standard HD with focus points / target tracking”, and “little planet” modes. One of these days I’ll even do the “bullet time” mode, even though I think I’m gonna look goofy. I guess there’s also a hyperlapse mode somewhere in there as well… this camera really is amazing compared to my first 360 camera. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I dunno… just trying to get back to feeling “normal” and not dwelling on medical stuff each day. ๐Ÿ˜ I’m feeling better now that I’ve gotten the house straightened up some and got the bills all done up, so now I’ve just gotta keep doing the normal adulting that’s required and just hang out until I know what the next step’s gonna be. ๐Ÿ˜” And whatever “big” stuff that I’ve got to do… I’d rather just get to it. ๐Ÿ™„ This waiting isn’t doing my brain any favors.