Bubble Doesn’t Always Work

It’s been a rough, rough week… but I’m not even gonna talk about all of it. I don’t want to take the chance of spreading more negative emotions just because it helps me to get things off my chest. Going to bed early tonight. Hoping for a reset of my body and mind. Glad I made it through the week… sadly, the same can’t be said for one of my old friends from school. He was a couple grades ahead of me, so I was actually closer to his little brother. Definitely one of those things where nobody even saw it coming. But yeah, I’m tired of this week… so the sooner I get to sleep, the sooner it will be over and I can try to start fresh.

Happy (late) birthday, Dad…ย  trying to get good enough where I can visit soon. Sorry… that’s all I can say. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Hands Off The Controls: Autopilot Has Been Engaged

I didn’t get to sleep until almost 6am this morning, and I had posted a somewhat moody blog entry about an hour before that… but I went ahead and deleted it when I woke up, deciding that I should wait until I had a little more sleep, time, and information under my belt before commenting on the stuff I was commenting on.

It was just really bad timing last night… first, forgetting to drag the trash buggy out to the road, so I ended up doing that around 3:00am. And of course since I was out there, I grabbed whatever was in the mailbox from the past couple of days. And the letter on top had to be from my WC attorneys, letting me know that my mandatory “independent” WC exam has been rescheduled. That was the appointment where I got up at dawn to drive to the NW side of Columbus, with my bum knee at the time, and they cancelled on me about five minutes away from their office. ๐Ÿคจ Yeah, so that’s now rescheduled near the end of the July.

It had actually slipped my mind, since my brain has been in a state of constant anxiousness regarding my lengthy but (hopefully) finalย thyroid cancer treatment beginning. So with that and other other crappy stuff on my mind, having had to deal with the kitten situation yesterday, and then just not being able to sleep because of all of it – seeing that envelope pushed me past sad, mad, frustrated, nervous, or whatever… eventually to just numb. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s happened before… I’ve simply “felt” to the point of no longer being able to feel. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• And I don’t know… with the way I’ve been, numb is probably better.

I’ll let my attorneys know that the appointment is just days before I’m due to begin the radiation part of my treatment, so we’ll see if WC still demands that I show up – or if they’ll decide to wait until it’s over and I’m at what they’d consider my “normal” physical self. The latter would give a more accurate representation of how my disability and meds affect me, but who knows what they really want.

The last handful of entries should give you a good idea of where I’m at and where things are heading. I don’t know how much time I’m going to be spending online in the near future, and there’s a good chance that I’m going to be even more difficult to reach than usual. I apologize that I’m probably going to come off as more inconsiderate than typical… but I can’t really do anything for anyone, I can’t see how my presence right now could possibly be a good thing… so I might end up in my bubble for a while. ๐Ÿ˜ If anything significant happens though, good or bad, I’ll make sure I at least make a small post – just to keep the people who still care in the loop. Try not to worry about me though. Whatever happens next is all out of our hands.

I’m The Right Wrong Person

Being a critter person is awesome, but man can it also be really rough at times. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Maven’s fine… in fact, she’s hogging my recliner right now, zonked out and oblivious to the activities of my day. Unfortunately though, one of my friends has a cat that had a litter of kittens… and well, sometimes everything doesn’t go like you want it to, like youย thinkย it will, or how you know that it should. ๐Ÿ˜ฅย I hate even thinking about it, let alone typing it out and making it feel even more real, but the sad fact is that two of them didn’t make it.

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She lives in an apartment complex, so she doesn’t have anywhere that she could bury them (which she obviously wanted to do) so I guess I was the first person that popped into her mind, when it came to somewhere that the two little ones could rest peacefully and undisturbed. ๐Ÿ˜žย She’s devastated about it… just like I would be if I was in her shoes… so despite the miserable heat and already feeling run down – I got dressed, went ahead and picked them up, and brought them back here with me.

It’s the least I could do… I mean, there’s no way to make someone feel better when something like that happens… so helping make it a little easier for them and sharing in their pain, those are about the only things a person can do. ๐Ÿฅบ The older I get though, the less I’m able to absorb this kind of sadness. The curse of being a critter person… you can’t just turn it off and on, and with each critter that you lose (or experience losing with someone else) you end up feeling it that much more each time it happens. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

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With the tone of this entry, I’m sure you’re looking at the pictures of the double rainbows and wondering what the hell they have to do with anything. ๐Ÿง Well, that’s what I got to see during the last ten minutes of the ride back home. I know that they’re “just rainbows” but in that moment it made me smile, thinking that maybe Mom, God, and all of the other “critter people” were up there recognizing this sad moment, giving me something so brilliant and peaceful to literally follow home, where the little guys will be staying. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜ข

Woozy & Wobbly

Got my few hours of sleep, spent another hour just trying to get up and get moving so I could head in town… but then I stepped outside, and I don’t know if it was the heat or lack of sleep or what, but I instantly felt woozy and a little dizzy. ๐Ÿคข So despite my aversion to making phone calls, I gritted my teefs and phoned up the doctor’s office rather than driving all the way in there, not feeling the greatest.

Left a message a while ago, letting them know that I needed to get the next scan scheduled, to also reschedule my followup appointment with them after that, and also that I’d need to know when / and for how long I’ll need to stop taking my thyroid meds – and if I’ll need to make the same temporary but drastic changes to my diet like I did last time. ๐Ÿ˜•

A few hours later… still no call back. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ And that actually makes me feelย better. I guess it makes me feel like my condition isn’t as “Shit, we need to hurry up… call him back right away.” as I sometimes think it is. ๐Ÿ˜ So yeah, just waiting for word either today or Monday, and of course once I get all the details I’ll be sharing most of them here. Hoping that I can make something good of the weekend in the mean time.

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…

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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.

Tired of This Shit

I’m not sure how this month’s appointment with the WC doctors is gonna go. ๐Ÿ˜• I think I’m actually seeing Dr Walter this time, when it was the new guy that I had the in-depth discussion with about the state of my treatment last month. Regardless, since the WC insurer is coming at me with the shenanigans again, the conversation will have to revolve around that rather than the stuff that I started bringing up last month.

I’ve got to be careful, because it almost feels like a “trap” that WC could use against me, but this month I have to start discussing possible alternatives for the meds that I’m taking right now. Because if they are somehow able to weasel out of paying for what I’m currently taking, the cost of two of those medications would simply be too much for me to continue taking them long term. ๐Ÿ™ That’s where the “trap” part comes in.

When I start discussing more affordable potential alternatives for the meds I’m currently taking, I want it to be clear with my doctors and in my records that I have no desire or intention to make any changes now… and that the research and discussion is really just to act as my parachute if I get pushed out of the plane. But I can see where my fear of being forced to pay for my own meds, which has made me research cheaper (but likely less effective) alternatives, means that I nowย know that there are cheaper alternatives, so they’ll probably think that they have the right to force me to change to them – despite my preference to keep taking the ones that I’ve been taking. ๐Ÿ˜ Heh… I know, that sounds a bit convoluted, but it basically make sense, no?

But until I’m able to discuss this with them, I know that I’m just taking barely-educated shots in the dark when it comes to what might or might not be suitable replacements. ๐ŸŽฏ๐Ÿ˜Žย I mean, even though I know that Lyrica has very specific actions – at its most basic level I know that it is considered an anti-seizure / anti-convulsant medication… so that’s where I start looking. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ“š And now I have four or five medications that I think could be good replacements… but for all I know, even though they’re anti-seizure, they may have totally different actions – and ones that aren’t even close to being applicable to my situation. ๐Ÿ˜’

So for now that’s all I can really do… look for “close” meds and make sure there are more positive side effects than negative. Then I’ll just hope that I’m actually on to something, and that information can be put in my back pocket until it is needed. Between now and then I just have to figure out how to condense all of this crap down into a tolerable three to four minutes. ๐Ÿ˜ณโฑ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ Gotta impress the importance of this on him, while also not rambling so much that my point gets lost in the noise. I’m better at that than you’d think, actually… it just doesn’t seem that way here because I know I can go on and on about something and it doesn’t matter, since hardly anyone reads this blog anyway. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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.)