Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Absurdity As Vice



I felt paralyzed momentarily this morning, worried that I don't express gratitude often enough, am mean-spirited and perseverate on the same things, over and over.

Anyhoo.*

I got the above letter in the mail from our new insurance company, Assurant, and what is a blog good for if not to demonstrate absurdity as I see it? The fact that I see absurdity in nearly everything and that some people might object or try to analyze that impulse as being self-protective or indicative of some kind of personality disorder weighs on me every now and then like this morning. I'm not a big drinker, drug user or even Advil-taker. I only flee from my problems in food occasionally and when I exercise, it's not fanatically. I don't have a coping vice except, perhaps, this dogged sense of absurdity in literally everything, and I'm grateful for that, alright?

According to the letter, Sophie's drug Onfi will now be rationed. What that means is that the drug is so damn expensive, the insurance company needs a really, really good reason to continue paying partially for it (and I emphasize partially because we pay a hefty premium and copayment for this drug every single month and have done so for over seven years). If you haven't been reading here for years, I can fill you in that I've paid anywhere between $150 cash for this drug when it wasn't FDA-approved, $500 when it was FDA-approved and marketed in the United States, $60 when I got it from Canada using friends as Drug Mules, $0 when a non-profit, underwritten by the company that made it "helped" me to pay for it, and now $90 with Assurant.** What this also means is that this drug is highly addictive and there might, apparently, be patients who abuse it or, rather, physicians who over-prescribe it to people who have insomnia or anxiety issues or whatever the hell else demands the power of a benzodiazepine. What this also means is that the pharmaceutical company that makes it probably aggressively marketed it and created, in effect, a need for it.  It appears that I'll be making The Rounds of Telephone Calls in July to ensure that Sophie's supply of Onfi is steady.**

There's no point, really, in complaining about this shit, is there? What I'll do instead is observe the absurdity of it.








*For those of you not in the know, the word anyhoo both bugs the hell out of me in its cheerfulness and fits my absurdist sensibility perfectly. That's why I use it.

** The Drug Mule posts are some of my favorites as far as absurdity goes. Look them up on my search bar somewhere over there to the right.

** We are currently weaning Sophie from that f*%king drug Onfi, expect to be finished with the wean at some point in the future, and if all goes well might never have to beg and grovel for it again.

30 comments:

  1. Just in case I haven't said so before, I am tremendously grateful for your ability to witness, endure, and share the absurdities you see and live. It makes me feel not quite so alone in my own recognition of the ridiculous things that occur in my own life - especially when there are those around me that simply shrug their shoulders and go on without noting them. As for the Onfi, I hope the wean continues steadily and without major fanfare and one day Sophie can be free of it. Don't get me started on insurance companies.

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    1. Thanks, kario -- and I LOVE when you get started --

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  2. I'll have to be on the lookout for the same letter from our insurance company. I haven't heard any news of it yet. I hope the wean continues to be successful and she's off of it soon!

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    1. Deana -- I'm hoping you'll be spared.

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  3. I have so many rants in my head that must be written--- soon! I loathe the insurance companies and big Pharma in no particular order--- closely followed by an inefficient, excessively expensive health care system. No.... Maybe educational system should precede health care. I'm sorry you're having to beg for that despicable drug and hope that Sophie's days on it come to an end soon. Meantime , I will continue to enjoy your commentaries about the absurdities of it all.

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    1. Mary Lou -- And I'll continue to enjoy your commentaries as well. Thank you!

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  4. Being witnesses for each other may be one of our most significant assignments. Otherwise, we might think we imagined it all. xo

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    1. Exactly, Marylinn. There's always this bizarre Alice in Wonderland quality to life's unfolding when it comes to insurance companies.

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  5. I just read this out loud to my work partners (I'm on a break).
    INSANITY. No other words come close.

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  6. Well just fuck. Dealing with the same thing here for my meds. The same exact shit. Big Pharma not my shrink wants to switch me up and off and on. They're calling the shots! Terrifying. xo

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    1. Radish King -- We truly live in an oligarchy.

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  7. May the weaning continue. And maybe light that candle.

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    1. Denise Emanuel Clemen -- A candle in lieu of dynamite?

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  8. This is criminal. Sophie has to wean for a reason, cutting her off is just dangerous. Your sense of the absurd is getting quite the workout with these people. I used to take a brand named expensive drug. My insurance was always giving me grief about quantities - they were concerned. As soon as it went generic, pfft; no worries. How did we get to this place?

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    1. Allison -- I think the answer to your question is quite simple: bottom line profits. Money.

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  9. I hold my breath over Sophie's weaning. I cross my fingers and squeeze my eyes shut and pray that the end is in sight. Oh Elizabeth. Absurdity doesn't begin to cover it.

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    1. 37paddington -- No, it doesn't. But it makes it all bearable.

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  10. I love your sense of humor. I often take a walk on the dark side. My coping mechanism? Swearing. Those fucking assholes:)

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  11. WTF. We here in maternity care land are being denied payment for initial prenatal visits because....wait for it....the insurance companies think, for some reason, that an MD should be doing the first PN, even though we (ie. midwives) have been doing all prenatal visits for effing YEARS. They're already refusing to pay for infant care past two weeks because it's not explicit in our law. I mean, who wi the person who sits around in the basement of the insurance company thinking of ways to keep more of the premium money and give us less. Even though we save those fuckers thousands of dollars keeping mommas and babies out of the hospital every year. Don't get me started.

    Thanks for witnessing the absurdity of our broken, very broken health care system.

    Yours,

    Beth the midwife

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    1. beth coyote -- I can't even imagine the bullshit that goes down in the midwifery world. I'm glad you're still at it, though.

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  12. If your sense of absurdity - which I greatly appreciate - is what it takes for you to cope, more power to you. I can't wait until Sophie is off this drug and the insurance company can go f itself.

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  13. That IS absurd -- and for the record I greatly appreciate your sense of absurdity in all things.

    Will Sophie be weaned by July? I know it's a long process, so that's probably too much to hope for, isn't it?

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    1. No, she won't be weaned for a good long while. It's been a year since we began, and we're only 55% down. It's a horrible process.

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  14. Don't get me started, either. Anyhoo.

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  15. What a crap position Onfi puts you in. It wasn't even FDA approved so you had to jump through hoops to get it, when it was the price was way up there, the benzo component in it is the drug you are so against, yet had to fight to get, and are now weaning Sophie from it. Good news in all of this is you are weaning her off of it, and you won't be using it again, unless..it's the least of the evils which is why she probably got on it to begin with.

    I'm sorry that you will be on the phone and having to scrape to get what you need with this. What's frightening is that there are many out there who are not as intrepid as you are, don't have the resources and they could need certain drugs and not get them. So it is with our medical system.

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