Monday, February 20, 2012

Searching For Silver

I'm finally back - I've spent the past four days disconnected from the world thanks to the wi-fi not working at my new home.  But that's just one of the things that drives me crazy about being here.

I could justifiably shoot someone at my insurance company if I could figure out who at that damned corporation is responsible for making decisions about my care.  First they yank me out of in-patient rehab where I got 3 hours of quality therapy a day and had all the equipment I need for my daily care because I wasn't meeting their formulaic progress requirements, which failed to take into account the many gains I had made in strength and mobility.  Then they stick me in this nursing facility where there doesn't even exist a bed long enough to accommodate my height, the patient/caregiver ratio is so bad it can take an hour to get a response to patient calls for help, the internet didn't work for four days, the majority of the food is so disgusting even the staff comment on how inedible it is, and my freaking insurance company has only approved me for ONE HOUR of therapy a day.  Oh, and that's split between occupational and physical therapies, so they each only get thirty minutes.  Are you freaking kidding me?!?!  If I couldn't make enough progress to please them in three hours a day, what the hell do they think I'm going to get accomplished in half an hour???  I'll tell you what they think I'm going to accomplish: I'm going to learn how to live like a paraplegic and get sent home after my allotted thirty days are up, and then my wonderful insurance company will just have a few short months to wait until they can be rid of me completely when my COBRA runs out.  They clearly have no interest in seeing me stand or walk again, only in trimming their costs to provide my care.

Well, they had better get ready for a fight.  I don't know if I have to get a lawyer, make angry phone calls, write to my state insurance commissioner, or take out a blistering editorial ad in the paper, but whatever it takes, I'm gonna do it.  I've already impressed the therapist here into asking the insurance for more daily time allotments. If they don't grant her request, they better be ready to hear from me.  Loudly.  I'm too damn young to write off my chances of ever standing or walking again, and I will NOT be shoved headfirst through the cracks in the system and forgotten about.

So where's the silver lining?  Pretty slim pickings, but it wouldn't be me if I didn't find something good in it.  It's closer to home and hubby's work, the parking is free, and it's easy to find.  My ground floor room has a window from which I can see trees, although the window sadly does not open.  The people are just as nice as at the hospital, and seem very competent with the special equipment needed to take care of me.  There are aviaries and aquariums full of cute birds and colorful fish.  Radiation hasn't ruined my esophagus yet, and (fingers crossed) the inside of my left ear might have finally stopped bleeding, mostly.  (Long story that, boils down to a theory that I scratched the inside of my ear in my sleep and my anti-coagulant medications have kept it bleeding for almost a week.)  There are only eight radiation treatments left, and then I'll have a break for a couple weeks while they wait for the swelling it causes to dissipate before follow-up imaging is done, so it'll be a while yet before I need to start worrying about a panic-inducing MRI session.  I enjoy the occasional visits of friends, and now that the internet's working I can finally stay in touch this way as well.  So there's a few glimmers of light here and there.


  1. I forgot to mention...when I left to go get my cell phone out of the car, one of the nurses was taking back 4 or 5 large Pizza Hut pizzas back in the staff area.

    Kinda sad when the food is so bad the staff won't eat it...

  2. Wow! Rough waters, but it sounds like you're prepared and ready. I sort of feel sorry for your insurance company. Ok, I don't really. They deserve your wrath. Fight on warrior lady :)

  3. Ugh! You fight 'em, Dale! Those greedy bastards! Making a profit off of someone's health. Let me know what I can do to help you fight. Keep writing, that's for sure!

  4. Can they do open MRIs on you instead of the closed ones? And would it make a difference for you?
    Your determination and your willingness to work so hard will give you a victory! Love, Rainy

    1. The hospital I was at didn't have open MRI, but they do at one or more of their satellite locations so that might be an option now. The image quality is not as good though, so they may still choose the enclosed kind to get better pictures.

  5. Sending you thoughts of strength and solidarity!


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