|Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream|
I imagine that I look like this, often
One of the superlative benefits of having a child with a disability, particularly a seizure disorder, is that I've found and become friends with some of the funniest people on the planet. I don't think of myself as funny, but I do acknowledge a superlative sense of humor, particularly a dark one. I got two pieces of mail yesterday -- one in my inbox and the other by snail. The online mail was a cheery notice from the manufacturer of Onfi, or clobazam, the drug that warranted my 4,325,792 posts titled Drug Mule over the last couple of years. In a nutshell, it cost me just under $500 for a one-month supply with private insurance and $61 for a one month supply when I traveled to Canada or had a friend bring it to me. We currently get a one-month supply from a local CVS for $0 thanks to a grant we received from a beautiful non-profit organization that helps those having difficulty paying for expensive drugs. The fact that the beautiful non-profit receives large contributions from the manufacturer of Onfi who then, I imagine writes those donations off, is beside the point. I'm just saying, as they say.
I got this notice from the manufacturer of Onfi that the company is now making scored tablets and a suspension of the drug. Here's a copy of the photo at the top of the email:
That's followed by a photo of the new scored tablet, but I can't copy it for some reason. Then comes some information about the drug itself:
|ONFI (clobazam) CIV is a prescription medicine used along with other medicines to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in people 2 years of age or older.|
|Important Safety Information|
|For more information, please see the accompanying full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.|
When I opened the email, I was in a mood -- one of those moods -- and it just struck me as funny -- an insane, bitter kind of funny -- that the mother and her child looked so damn happy about these new scored tablets. I immediately thought of my friend Erika whose daughter has recently been put on Onfi (and who also had some trouble getting it covered), so I forwarded it to her immediately not because it was useful information that might be of benefit to her, but because I knew she'd immediately think it was funny -- an insane, bitter kind of funny -- just like me. I wrote
Good news! I got this in my email inbox this morning, and it really brightened my day, especially the photo of the child playing with his or her mom! There's nothing like a scored Onfi tablet to make family life easier!
Thank you, Onfi! And you have to be a Debbie Downer to care about those side-effects when you can so easily break these tablets in half!
God, I love my friends. (And I know some of you reading think I'm terribly uncharitable and that I should be grateful for something here, but now's not the time and I'd rather stick an ice-pick through my eyeballs than be grateful to a pharmaceutical company).
The snail mail was a tidy envelope sent by the Department of Social Services and concerns our recent application for Social Security Benefits for Sophie. As you might remember, this process went a whole lot smoother than I had imagined, and I guess I sort of thought that the whole thing was complete (Sophie is getting a check each month), but evidently, there is still some necessary information that the government needs in its determination. Here is what the letter says:
Your claim for disability benefits under the Social Security Act has been reviewed and more information is needed about your condition. Therefore, it is necessary that you be examined, at NO COST TO YOU, by:
(they list the address of a medical clinic here)
An appointment has been scheduled for you on 09/09/2013 at 11:00 AM for a NEUROLOGICAL exam. Our agency will pay only for the authorized examination or test and for certain related travel expenses.
First of all, I did not put the word NEUROLOGICAL in bold type. They did. I found that hysterical because I'm weird like that.
I am of course wondering why we have to go through this NEUROLOGICAL exam since we already appeared in person and the woman who did our intake confided in me that Sophie would certainly qualify even if I hadn't brought her in person because of the extent of her medical records. I am of course wondering whether some people might go so far as to fake a disability as serious as Sophie's in order to get that million dollars a month from the government (and then roll the wheelchair down the ramp and jump into their Cadillac before roaring off). I even wondered whether this NEUROLOGICAL exam is being ordered so that someone somewhere has a job to do.
I guess on the ninth of September, I'll be keeping Sophie home from school to get her NEUROLOGICAL exam so that the government doctors can confirm that she is, indeed, disabled.
Reader, what are you laughing insanely and bitterly at today?