It gets better.
Sophie was scheduled for an ambulatory EEG this afternoon at 3:00. It's been on the books for about a month, but I haven't been thinking about it because I hate the whole process. The ambulatory part is a godsend -- no hospital! -- but there are all the leads, the stinking glue, Sophie's curly, curly hair, the clean-up, the smell and, of course, the significance. Sophie has always had an abysmal EEG -- the kind of EEG that is, frankly, pretty hopeless. She's probably had at least ten in the last nineteen years, most of them in-hospital. Every single one is wildly abnormal. I won't give you the jargon. She hasn't had one in three years, though, and we thought it was time, particularly given the dramatic reduction in her clinical seizures since we started giving her cannabis oil. Yesterday afternoon the lab called to say that the insurance company claimed Sophie wasn't a member, so I went into my clipped and efficient mode and got that ironed out (our id number was transcribed wrong). This morning, I got a call from the EEG lab with the news that they are Out-of-Network for HealthNet and that we would be subject to the 50/50 rule after the insurance company pays the usual and customary rate. How much is that?, I asked. The financial person told me that, historically, insurance companies have determined the cost to be around $120, so I would be reimbursed for 1/2 that or $60. How much is the EEG? I asked. She said, Around $1700 or so. There is no other ambulatory EEG facility in the area, and MediCal is not contracted with them either. My options at this point are to admit Sophie to the hospital for an overnight EEG (out of the question), pony up and pay (the usual choice that has strained our finances for nearly twenty years), or appeal to HealthNet and request that they pay the in-network rate (throw my head back and laugh maniacally). Reader, if you're still here, please scroll up to the video that I posted at the top and forward to :23 seconds, maybe one of my favorite scenes in the movie, when Benjamin tells his parents that he's getting married, and Mrs. Braddock throws her head back and screams the most fantastic laugh you'll ever see on film. I am Mrs. Braddock, and that's what I do in my mind whenever I have situations like this EEG one. I no longer feel stressed, to tell you the truth. What might have caused me to weep copious tears, to tear at my hair, literally, to feel the poison of anger and adrenaline coursing through my veins, has disappeared. Mrs. Braddock enters my mind, and I throw back my head and let out a screaming laugh. After nineteen years, I'm here to tell you that it gets better. That's how I do it.