Thursday, March 18, 2010

This is what happened today, this day in a bit of joycean stream of consciousness

I woke up and tended to my three children, made their breakfasts and sent the two boys off to school and fed my daughter her breakfast and put her in her room where she lay on her bed in a curled-up position, exhausted-seeming but not really, perhaps fatigued from a few days of seizures and looking so thin and tired that I tried not to worry because I know she'll perk up eventually and all will be well for a week or so before the next cycle or down-time begins. I changed the sheets on the boys' beds and threw them in the washer, checked on Sophie who was sleeping, still, on her bed quite peacefully. I spoke with a couple of friends on the telephone, declared my intention to go see a movie at 11:15, because Carmen the babysitter was going to come early, at 10:00 to take care of Sophie. And I was so looking forward to seeing The Ghostwriter but I decided like a fool to call the insurance company to check on the progress of getting Sophie's hormone medication/birth control covered and that was about 9:45 that I made the call and the clock ticked onward as I was put on hold and transferred and spoke my name and Sophie's name and her ID number and birthdate and our zip code and what I was calling for and there were some steely resolve and a few threats that I need you not to put me on hold but answer my question NOW and the question, quite simply and it was simply was this: Can you give me the address or fax number for where I should send the neurologist's letter of medical necessity but the question wasn't answered because it wasn't quite clear that what we were asking for was the dispensing of more than a month's supply of birth control because it isn't being used as birth control, you see she needs to take it continuously which means we need more than a month's supply and then I was transferred from the pharmacy guy back to the anthem blue cross lady, the third anthem blue cross lady that I had spoken to and did I mention that the clock was ticking toward eleven o'clock and the movie started at 11:15 and surely we would be wrapping it up soon but it wasn't happening and it's amazing that I didn't shout, I only cried a little but I think it did the trick because I finally got the o.k. and the fax number for the neurologist to send the letter of medical necessity and what it boiled down to was a rewriting of the prescription for a 21-day supply and I will have to go to the drug store and refill it every 21 days to ensure a continuous dose and that will cost a whole lot more, another $57 every 3 weeks, to be exact, instead of the $30 usual co-payment and that will be added on to the $150 per month that we currently pay for the non-FDA drug that we get from Canada and the $30 per month for the other drug that we get from here and if these medicines help and one already helps a bit and the other has great potential, the third being a wash but too difficult to wean if they help will it be worth these hours ticking by, it's 11:45, now, and $237 per month? What is the worth? I have missed my movie and Carmen has come and is about to leave with Sophie for the park and she has heard my raised voice through the door and when she says good-bye I burst into tears and she puts her arms around me and tells me to relax, now, and that Jesus will be with me and I almost wish it were so. I put away all my papers and wipe my face and go to Anthropologie and wander about in a daze, overcome by the fabulousness of all that stuff, the lampshades, especially, and the soaps and candles and the dishes and aprons and the shirts and I have a $50 gift card that I got for Christmas from one of my sisters but I just can't do it. I can't pick anything out and I realize that retail therapy isn't as strong as it used to be that I perhaps need something more, in fact, I need a visit to Dr. Jin, I need some Chinese herbs and needles and forty-five minutes on the table listening to Chinese restaurant music and remembering my friend Jackson, the Chinese waiter at the Chinese restaurant where I hosted during college, the man who got a perm in his straight, black hair and told me that my eyes were James Bond eyes but I couldn't do that now because I needed to pick up my boys from school, their laughing boisterous bodies careening into the car, papers thrust into my arms, and can we go to Yogurt land, please and I said, yes, yes, yes before dropping them off at home and heading to Trader Joe's and as I wandered the aisles I felt tearful again and thought to myself that perhaps I'm just depressed, on top of everything and I must look stricken and there's something about me looking stricken that I believe men like because every time I have cried or look like I've been crying despite the age and the weight and the immutable fact that I do not turn heads, anymore, when I am in such a state, men of a certain persuasion, the clerks, the grocers, the kindly burly ethnic sort always stare but in a kindly way and say hello and I feel the zing of attraction and I think how primitive we all are really.

Did I mention that the dog barked quite a bit while I was on the phone, waiting for an answer to my question and that when I went to the door and opened it, I saw a flower arrangement of roses and lilies all orange and white and yellow and it was particularly fancy in a long glass bowl with greens wrapped around the inside and the card sticking out on the plastic Triton stick said:

From your secret admirer?


  1. Oh sweetie. You are suffering from a lack of being able to take care of yourself and that is why you cried and that is why you are depressed and that is why retail therapy does not help.
    I hope you get to the Chinese doctor soon.
    I am sending love and wish it were flowers or more importantly, time.

  2. I am still new to your blog and already I feel like I wish I could give you a hug...because we all need arms wrapped around us, sincere hugs that encompass us where we feel we are dear and cared for...loved...sometimes when chaos is going on and whatever family member comes within range I will ask for that hug (since they may not be able to see the deer in headlight look in my eyes)..I will say I really need that may not solve all but it sure slows the breathing down...and hey if some more tears is okay.

    I hate how the Insurance people are screwing around with your daughter's needs...

  3. Next time, just go see the movie. The insurance company can wait for another day. Sending love.

  4. I really think this birth control nonsense is a plot from the religious right. One of my daughters--a sailor who is out for months at a time has had problems getting her birth control pills filled in quantity. We tried subverting the system once before she went off to England and the North Sea or somewhere and carted the prescription around to a bunch of different pharmacies, but they could see on the computer that she'd already gotten her month. I mean really. What was she going to do--sell it for a profit on the street?
    I think what worked was explaining her situation to her doctor who then wrote a prescription specifying that 6 months of pills were to be filled at one time--BUT yes, she had to pay for it. Insurance will only cover one month. Who is behind this?
    Please be kind to yourself. Movies & Chinese doctor. The insurance monster requires slaying, but you require a day off. Love to you & to your family.

  5. What can I write? I'm reading you, and thinking of you.

  6. incredible writing...

    I'm sorry, i should have said how sympathetic I am and outraged (what is this crap having to worry about birth control perscriptions???) but I got waylaid on how amazing that writing was.

    In France they're a lot less uptight about it all. Sometimes I go to the pharmacy and say "I forgot the perscription" and they just give it to me. that's the way ti should be. Its not like its bloody methadone for gods sake. and yet my husband needs eye drops for his condition, and its like he's asking for pure grade mercy if he wants advance doses. I just dont get it.

  7. take a hot bath tonight
    .... now you've got me thinking about why is it that the "clerks the grocers and the burly ethnic sort" have a particular kind of empathy that transcends having to explain anything at all

  8. I know that feeling, that crying exhausted wandering hopeless feeling. Wish I could fix it or at least give you a break somehow.

  9. Oh, Elizabeth. I am just getting caught up on all this after a busy freaking week--wish I could have weighed in sooner.

    The whole insurance thing just s*cks, absolutely. Insurance reform, if it passes, might be helpful in some ways, but, obviously, won't solve all our problems. After all the screaming and yelling and hysteria on the part of our ridiculous politicians, at least we'll have a start of some kind.

    You know that I am on your side all the way. I'm trying to think of practical advice about the insurance people from hell. You're on an individual payer plan, right? Look at your prescription benefits and see if you have a mail-order pharmacy benefit. Once you've used the local pharmacy a couple of times to see if this therapy helps, you could get the scrip switched to a mail-order pharmacy, if you have that benefit. With mail order, you can often order 3 months worth at once (the scrip has to be written for a 90-day supply or the equivalent in the BC doses). Often, you get the 90 day supply for the same co-pay as a single refill. And often the rates are cheaper than the walk-in pharm. We do it now, it's really easy. I only have a couple of scrips at the local pharm.

    And why doesn't this fancy neurologist write a scrip for a BC pill like Seasonal (I think that's the name), one of the BCs that runs continuously without you ever having your period? There are a couple on the market that fill with a 30 day supply, but are designed to skip the period altogether--treatment for lots of different medical conditions. Specialists never know what the other specialists know. Makes you just want to throw up your hands and scream.

  10. LOVED this. You are my favorite writer of all time.

  11. Oh my God! What a bitch of a day. I've had guests and not been able to read for a few days. Sorry I missed this until now.

    Stupidity will drive anyone to tears. That and having to climb a mountain for something that should be simple.



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