March 24, 2015
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” This will be my call, if I don’t start fighting for my rights (and my dignity) tomorrow.
Dealing with this rheumatoid disease has given me a whole new way of waking up, taking my medications, dealing with nearly non-stop nausea and the unpleasant moments of dry heaving and vomiting. Add to this mix, my graceful kicking of our dog’s pet steps two weeks ago, which has led me to a torn apart Achilles tendon and surgery scheduled for this Thursday. Now, I have arthritis in both shoulders, knees and ankles. But the rheumatoid arthritis is in both elbows and it feels like someone has taken a mallet to the elbow and pulverized them. The pain doesn’t go away. It’s hard to hold a wash cloth, let alone push around a shopping cart.
After setting the date last Friday, for my upcoming surgery to repair the destroyed tendons, my doctor faxed over a prescription for a 4 wheel walker with a seat to the Durable Medical Equipment company that is on our insurance list. To my surprise (which in all actuality really shouldn’t be a surprise), I learned how ridiculous the insurance industry can be. How completely ridiculous and uncompassionate, at that.
Being that I go in, in two days for my ankle and calf to be sliced and diced and reattached, I am going to be in a world of hurt. And pain. I can’t bear any weight at all on the leg for six long weeks, and I am going to need to be accomodated. In addition to this whole mess, I will still need to be having blood drawn every few weeks (to see what the Methotrexate has been doing to my body) and getting those lab results at my rheumy’s office.
So today, after not hearing from the medical supply company, I phoned them to ask “WTH people, doesn’t anyone do their job anymore? What is the status of my equipment -and will it be out here before THURSDAY, for Pete’s sake.” I was told that the copay would be $12.00. Normally. But you’ll have to pay $62.75. The reason? Because of the upgrades. (Say what?) Apparently, having hand brakes and a seat is considered a ‘luxury’, and the insurance charges more. C’mon, give me a break! I explained to the customer service rep that I can not have weight on my foot and leg and I need the seat to set my buns down on, not to mention needing brakes for a 4 wheeled device, that, undoubtedly, I would be rolling out of control. I will be on Oxycontin, Norco and Lord knows what else. I also asked about the wheelchair that I had asked my doctor about, for making it easy for all the upcoming doctor visits. The woman at the medical supply place said she had no orders from my doctor and even if she did have something, it’s highly unlikely the insurance would cover TWO items. (Another “WTH” moment.) She told me she would need the ‘chart notes’ as to why I would need the chair. (What is this woman thinking? That maybe I truly feel I need a wheelchair because I am sick of hauling my tired old ass around town anymore?) I explained about my elbows beinf affected by RA, and how the walker is going to be tricky for me as it is, but she couldn’t have cared less. My walker will be delivered tomorrow at least. But I am NOT giving up on the chair. WE pay $500. a month for insurance, my deductible was met as soon as the new year rolled on in, and it’s not like I am asking for an Escalade! When I see my rheumatologist tomorrow afternoon (yes, another doctor appointment that I have had to cram in before surgery), I am going to ask HER to send in an order for a flippin’ wheelchair! With the ‘chart notes.’ If that doesn’t fly, I’ll look online for one.
The way the world of health benefits, insurance and all is being handled, not to mention the lack of any common sense when dealing with health care related providers of services, is a sad and pathetic state of affairs.
It’s still a bit mind boggling over the fact that I will go home after this surgical procedure, sometime Thursday night. The bottom line is money, money, money. I have fears over many things pertaining to the surgery and one BIGGIE is my risk of infection and want to make sure I am stable enough to go home. With the Methotrexate having taken away my immune system, I am truly frightened that infection could set in and I won’t be able to fight it off. This is extremely serious and an actual fact.
I just want to know where common sense and decency of the world has gone.