Thursday, June 11, 2009

If you don't have insurance, just don't get sick. Simple.

I'm so sick of this crap. I've been dealing with it (like a LOT of other American's) for years now. A diagnosis of MS that keeps me from being able to get health insurance, thus effectively cutting me off at the knees when it comes to health care.

I just got a call from the imaging center saying that the idea of billing Novartis for the ultrasound I need of my left ovary is "too third party" for them. I can't have it done.

Great. There is a machine in that building and a person who gets paid by the hour to operate it, that is just so close I can smell that stupid gel they smear you with, BUT I can't get it done so I get to just GUESS if I have an ovary-bomb waiting to kill me.

Or, I can pay thru the nose. Money I don't have that I am trying to scrape up to keep from losing my home (a whole different ball of stressful worry wax).

Funny that Novartis' check was good for them last year when they did the first ultrasound that discovered the cyst. You get one new person in the mix and they have no problem telling you NO.

How can one human being sit there and not break down into tears having to tell another that a possibly life-saving procedure that could change the whole direction of the remainder of the other person's life is going to be denied them because they don't have enough pictures of dead presidents hanging around???

This is freaking absurd and God is looking down on us ready to throw up because it makes him so sick to see what we have become as a society. Maybe he should. Maybe it should be a big plague of puke raining down on us all, clogging all the precious machines that only the wealthy are privileged enough to be treated with. Clogging everything and sickening everyone. What would the insurance gods do then?? Go hide under a big red umbrella? I think not.

And they would be running around screaming in fear as the puke slowly killed them. And the rest, like me, would be calmly standing by welcoming them to our world.

there. I feel better.

Maybe I can get someone to loan me the money.

And then I better just pray it turns out to be nothing because if just DIAGNOSING ovarian cancer can be so elusively hard for the uninsured to accomplish, treating it will take an act of... well, God.

On a scale from 1 to 10, or, the EDSS

Today was visit number 17. It was to be a short checkup (after the long, gas-guzzling drive there)to include blood draw, vitals, and the Expanded Disability Status Scale test.

This test, as I've blogged about before is performed by a neurologist and it's the neurological equivalent of the 20 Questions game, but instead of "Is it bigger than a bread box?" you get questions like "Do you have hesitancy/urgency when urinating?". I always want to ask them something equally embarrassing in return and see how they like it...

"Do you have to sit like a girly-man when you pee?"

Anyhow, today's test was performed by a doctor whom I have seen before for the same test. He recalled my answer the last time he asked the standard question "Do you experience any sexual dysfunction?" and my reply was "Does not having any sex count as a dysfunction? No? Then I don't know if I'm sexually dysfunctional."

He had a good laugh over that (again) today, with the young guy accompanying him (remember it's a teaching hospital and I was the live specimen today).

The test went as it usually does, with notes being made that my left side was more outta wack (that's a medical term) than my right, which seemed in perfect wack.

At the end of the test I got 3 pleasant surprises.

1) When I asked what, theoretically, would happen if I couldn't finish the 500 meter walk, the doctor replied "What? Are you tired today and don't feel like it? Because it won't count toward your score if you don't want to walk."

So naturally, being of sound mind, I stated that I didn't feel like it. Thinking back now, that could have been a test of my mental acuity in that nobody in their RIGHT MIND would choose walking a long-ass hall 25 times over opting to take a pass. Therefore, I am in my right mind today. whew!

And the other pleasant surprises, you ask?

2) I got to listen to the neuro who performed the test explain to his student how to grade an EDSS test.... and I HEARD MY SCORE!! I have never before had an EDSS test and known what the results were because of all the hush-hush "we can't let #8 know anything about her trial stuff" kinda treatment.

I scored a 1.5. on a test where 0 is perfect and 10 is dead. The only thing they ever told me before was that I was closer to 0 than 10. Well, duh. I could have figured that out on my own.

and last but not least, the most pleasant of all surprises....

3) My extension phase is NOT one year as I could have SWORN I was told to begin with... it's 2 years! YIPPEE!! Guaranteed drugs for at least another year and 3 months. Whew. A Fingohead's worst nightmare -- to be denied her FTY720 -- avoided for another 365 days, or 12 months or 52 weeks but who's counting?

The rest of the visit was just getting my new pills and trying to work out the details of Novartis being cajoled into paying for my recent GYN visit due to an HSV outbreak and the need to be seen as my trial coordinator insisted. Seems if they insist, they should pay, right??

Well, the GYN visit collapsed from being about HSV into a scathing lectured (once the doc reviewed the notes from my last visit) about how I never got a follow up ultrasound regarding that cyst on my ovary.

He launched into a tirade about how there are no perfect tests for ovarian cancer and that I needed to stay on top of this. When he said "three months" it did not mean "or in a year, whichever you prefer".

So now here I am waiting to see if the drug company will pay for a follow up ultrasound of my ovary, which, if I self-paid would cost me $231 (might as well add a string of "0's" after that for either way I can't afford it).

I don't have the desire or mental strength to spend time worrying about the possibility that I have ovarian cancer. I just can muster the horror. Does that mean I'm slacking as a hypochondriac? No, whew, I was worried there for a minute, but any hypochondriac that can actually worry that they are somehow not performing correctly as said hypochondriac, well, they have nothing to worry about. How ironic.

I'll try to blog more when I have something profound to say. I've been waiting for profound thoughts and that's why it's been so quiet here. Maybe I should just stick to posting profound thoughts on Twitter since it is less strain on the brain to come up with profoundness in 140 characters or less.

Hope ya'll are staying relapse free or able to fake your way through. It's too beautiful out today... as my father would say "I think I'll leave it out."