Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Image is Everything - Part One

I will explain my prolonged absence from this blog as best to my abilities permit me to do so. So, after this post I had my surgery and it surprisingly went very well and I recovered fully within 4 weeks. No complications, and best of all, with a new battery, I felt like the Energizer bunny. For reasons external to my health, I had hit a serious wall of crushing depression about 6 weeks before the surgery, so with this new found energy, I was really looking forward to getting my life back on track. 

It was November, I was back into a hobby I'd all but abandoned for close to a decade, and to stave off the depression, I decided to focus on personal projects and my friends. I'd determined that the impending 2014 was going to be HELLA HELLA HELLA: I was maid of honor for two friends, a bridesmaid for my sister, and attending another wedding. Seriously, when it comes to a wedding, this is me:

I was also PSYCHED for camp and getting a very early start at volunteering - and just as I started Ye Olde Job Hunt again, I noticed a funny little lump just under my left tit. I ignored it for a couple of weeks, but finally showed it to TEAM RACHAEL! after describing it on the phone. I don't know why I wasn't terribly worried from the get-go, as I am usually the first to assume the worst. Regardless, I was floored when the team told me it was a hernia.
 A hernia?! A hernia?! How the the fuck can that even be? Hernias are for old men who drink and eat like a gout-ridden English king. Alas, it is never that cut and dry. My hernia was most likely caused by years of trauma to my abdominal wall via surgery. The pacemaker battery replacement was merely the straw that broke the camels back. 

What is worse, I would have to deal with the ornery surgeon who performed said pacemaker surgery (the more prolific the surgeon = the shittier their bedside manner) and we would have to find a time that worked for both of us. There was no way I was going to risk missing out on any of the weddings - and as both hernias and my own personal recovery times are equally unpredictable, the surgery kept getting pushed back.

Then, more disappointments:

I had to ditch the job hunt. No point in going to the trouble of employment just to have my ass get fired for being out for an unknown period of time.

I had to then ditch camp - something I am still pissed off about to this day. I should not have listened to TR! on that one. Goddamn I am still angry about that.

Long story short, my surgery did not take place until 11 months after it was initially diagnosed. 

And let me tell was pure hell.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I have no excuses

I have no real excuse for the lack of updates over the last two years. During my bilateral hernia surgery recovery, the pain was so intense that I could not find the spirit to rally my thoughts beyond "I am in pain and I am depressed." 
I have a few half-written posts that never got published simply because I find it too difficult to show that level of vulnerability. So I kept away instead. 

Also, as time has wears on, I grow closer not only to my team, but to people in this Spoonie world overall. So I become self-aware of the impact my words may have on other people. I don't want to alienate anyone, or risk divulging private information, either. I do my best to avoid naming names or referencing any event outside of my own experience. It is an ever growing challenge.

Many changes have occurred in just the last six months alone that I have had to completely recalibrate how and what I want my online presence to be. My big blog, formerly Glass of Win, is going to move from its current state as a self-hosted website to a smaller, quieter entity on a simple Wordpress. I no longer have the energy or a strong enough interest to update it as I once did. I will miss a lot of opportunities, but the rewards were always short-lived and ultimately not as fulfilling as where my energy is being currently directed.

This blog, for all intents and purposes, has always been the more personal outlet and the one, two year vacation notwithstanding, I come crawling back to at the end of the day. I have a private-private journal for the truly vulnerable emotions, but I know a handful of readers really do enjoy my visceral ramblings. So I am going to try this out again. 

Buckle up. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Insurance beating me down left and right

So this week I received a letter from Medicare stating I owe them $14.4k because they forked over the money to pay for my hospitalization after my partial hysterectomy surgery. Oh, they paid for the surgery - but the fact that I didn't just get up and walk away from it that night and had the audacity to stay 48 hours to make sure I was not, you know, bleeding internally WAS JUST OUTRAGEOUSLY GREEDY.

Never mind they already paid it and it's been two and a half fucking years; I have to back pay them. SO I now have to rally both my GYN and cardiology team to submit ample documentation to support the justification for that stay. 

I am too stressed out to make any witty jokes. I just want to live a fucking normal life where having a chronic illness that needs constant upkeep isn't a punishable offense. 


Upon further inspection, the bill is actually for the provider - not the beneficiary (i.e. ME). I just received a copy to keep me aware of what is going on. So, apparently, UCLA did not bother to submit the claim until Nov 18th - and by that time I'd had my surgery, was discharged 48 hours later and re-admitted with an infection. I don't know if that was some diabolical strategy on someone's part to make sure I had my surgery anyway, or just some really lazy jackass, but wow. Now, I'm not out of the woods quite yet  - I fully expect UCLA to be petty assholes and come after me for those charges, even though Medicare made it very clear that they deemed me unaware of the situation (which I was) and not at fault or responsible.

This could potentially get ugly.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Venting about my Pharmecuticals

Believe it or not, I've had a lot to talk about these last 6 or 7 months but just chose not to.
Something happened tonight, however, that is preventing me from a decent night's sleep and where two hours ago I was excited for what is one of the best events I'm fortunate enough to get invited to, I am now dreading the morning.

So, somewhere in the ballpark of 4-5 months ago, I had a huge argument with my pharmacy about what prescriptions I take precisely. I take two different doses of the same medicine each day: 160 mg in the AM, 120 mg in the PM. I can't even tell you how long my dose has been like this; somewhere between 12-15 years. So it's not like I'd forget something like it.

My pharmacy had enrolled me in "auto-refill" which was giving me an abundant number of pills - so much so that I eventually put a stop to it and weaned off the stockpile I had so none expired and went to waste, and then when I went to manually fill it in, they had a HUGE shit storm and instead of actually calling my goddamn cardiologist office to confirm the prescription, they just decided to ignore the issue for four fucking days until I came storming in demanding my fucking medicine. They kept insisting I don't even take those pills and I was like YOU ARE FUCKING INSANE I take these goddamn pills every single mother fucking night. I won't lie - I looked like a crazy woman because I was near tears and my tone could cut a bitch in half. Long story short, it was resolved and the prescription renewed and you bet your bottom dollar TEAM RACHAEL! reamed them the fuck out for not contacting them.

Then I started noticing something weird - so, as stated, I take 160 mg in the morning. Usually, I'm given 60 pills of 80 mg - i.e. I take two of these in the AM to equate to the full 160 dose. Still with me?

Well, shortly after the debacle, I began to receive 160 mg pills straight up. OK. No big deal, so long as I get it. Then, within the last cycle of refills, I received 80 mg again. All right. Whatever. The last pick-up, though, gave me with 160 and someone was telling me, "Oh. Sorry for the wait - we had to get it passed the insurance." The fuck--? 

Now, I should have said something, I'll admit because clearly someone is confusing my 160 vs. 120 again because...

When I go to refill (via telephone) my 120 mg tonight, the automated message tells me "your prescription is invalid."


The prescription clearly says on the label "refill 10 times until (blah blah date, 2014)"

I'm so livid I can't even see straight - I left a message on their machine but probably fucked up my phone number because I was THAT mad. I am that mad. So first thing in the morning, instead of doing my hair and make-up for this awesome event, I have to march down there and give them what for. Again.

I don't know who is fucking this up - there are a number of incompetent people in that pharmacy; brainless yahoos who don't know how to organize themselves or figure out the difference between 160 and 120 mg of the same goddamn pill. 

This is my third goddamn pharmacy in 10 years and I'm horrified by the complete ineptitude of these melon farmers. 

I really don't want to get TEAM RACHAEL! involved, but dollars to donuts my mom is probably not going to let me go down there in the morning because I'm so pissed off. The problem is it's me or her - and while I can be pretty scary, my mother is downright terrifying. Tiger Mom is the last team fighter you tag with Street Fighter turbo, you know what I mean? 

Anyway. I just had to rage this out so I can get some sleep. 


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Down the Rabbit Hole Again

Well it's that time again - Surgery Time! Oh, boy oh boy.

So this will be a quick update because I need to be in bed asleep in about oh two hours ago. I have to check in at 4:45am. A.M.

You guys. That is my bed time.

My surgery is scheduled at 7:30 and I am just ugh. Yeah. 

So I am winding down now.

I don't even know what the hell to write anymore, to be honest. 

I don't like surgery.

Not even a little bit.

It's a necessary part of my life, however, especially when it is maintenance shit. That part I am OK with. It's the fracking recovery time that just makes me want to punch everyone.

And after not one but two reschedules I just want to get this shit over with.

Stay tuned.