Monday, December 28, 2009

Absence and Sorrow

I've been somewhat absent from my blogs (and from as much of life as I can cancel) for several reasons. My dad has dementia and that has involved my own grief as well as his acute sense that his "mind is failing." Dad who is still driving a car (no thanks to the State of New Jersey for giving him back his license even after I informed them of his deteriorating condition) has been up to see us several times over the past few months.

Additionally the iron-deficient anemia (which I thought I had only had since August but the blood doc tells me I've had for three years) remained unmedicated for a month thanks to the shenanigans of the mail-order pharmacy in cahoots with my medical insurance plan. I could not tolerate over the counter iron. The medical insurance plan required a pre-authorization for the iron script. The mail-order company sent me back the script 28 days after they had received it. Insurance company refused to pay. Pre-auth was turned down I guess but I had not been informed directly by the insurance company. Price of prescription that was turned down: 39.99 for a thirty day supply. I need the iron pills and specifically I need the prescription iron due to things like a severe hiatal hernia and an irritated colon. So I shelled out the two twenties and practiced being glad that I had the money.

Meanwhile though, I suffered through several months of extreme heat sickness and tiredness. The t.b.i. gave me cognitive fatigue and some physical fatigue as well. The C-PAP machine stopped the feeling that I was sleep-walking through life, even though t.b.i. fatigue remains. The anemia finished me off for awhile. I am actually looking forward to visiting the gut doc in January. I feel so un-well that I am looking forward to the kind of testing that comes with visiting the gut doc.

Sometimes I think medical insurance companies run the numbers like a bettor would run the horse races. As long as the horse is winning (doesn't access the medical insurance benefits much) everything is gravy. When the horse begins stumbling a bit (needs medical attention for chronic conditions) the bettor begins to doubt his choices. When the stumbling horse falls down deal-- there is no longer any problem. Business is business. I understand that. But I also understand that human beings are not race horses and that somehow our lives should matter. My insurance company insisting that I should be able to tolerate taking over-the-counter iron for an anemia which I've had for three years flies in the face of a certain reality. So the company gets to save on my iron medicine by refusing to pay for it. A certain amount of denial on their part saves them money. But that same denial forces me, an adult on disability through no fault of my own, to spend extra money on a medical necessity. Thanks pal.

There is some inherent wrongness with insisting that a patient be able to take iron over the counter in spite of conditions that are counter-indicative to that. There is some inherent wrongness with the A.A.R.P. lobbying against any state motor vehicle agency requiring adults of a certain age to submit to driving retesting. And along with that consequently, many insurance companies failing to pay for driver evaluations conducted by a professional upon order of a physician. My dad's insurance-- a combination of Medicare and A.A.R.P. supplemental Medicare-- naturally refused to pay a dime toward his eval (one that he utterly failed I will add). That bill amounted to around 400 bucks.

So to say that I am a bit testy, irritable, and sluggish is accurate but doesn't really cover the whole truth. I've had all I can do to continue to be a participant in life rather than an observer on the sidelines. I am filled with grief. Dad knows he has dementia and he is aware that his brain is on strike. He continues to steadfastly refuse medications for all of his medical conditions as well as the brain scans that would make a definitive diagnosis possible. We do not even have a name for the monster that is beating on his brain. I love my dad and when he dies, I will miss him for the rest of my life. I hope he dies in his sleep peacefully before the real misery sets in. I feel like there should be more or better things to hope for but I haven't found those things yet.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

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