A belated round up, of sorts

One of my Facebook posts today. It sums up my week, so far.

For the last three days I’ve been battling an allergy attack. At least, I think that’s what it is. My sneezing really started around Halloween and dramatically increased over the next few days. Then my throat started to feel like it was cracking. I was coughing, but not as much as you’d expect.

The night I posted those sky photos-I don’t even remember what day that was-Monday? I will have to look-Vickie and I went to Walmart to pick up our other roommate from work. The thing I wanted most to buy was a bag of vitamin C drops. That’s what my throat needed. I’m glad I got some-the last bag, and it was the Equate brand. I think the dearth of cough drops, and the like, is mostly due to those cargo ships floating out in the Pacific off the coast of LA. There were so many bare shelves in the store, it looked like early pandemic days.

For three days I’ve felt horrible. I had chills and then hot spells. I can’t really call them fevers; they were not that bad. Mostly they were annoying; I was constantly pushing up and lowering the thermostat on the air conditioner and putting on and removing my sweatshirt.

I’ve had a pounding sinus headache and have been taking decongestants and using my Neti pot. I’m feeling much better today. It’s been confusing because l didn’t have any colorful gunk coming out of my nose, but the right neck gland puffed up then decreased multiple times a day. The week before I did have the colorful gunk and my glands didn’t swell. WTF? That only lasted a few days. I think it was an infection I successfully fought off.

I think I’m turning the corner with latest health pain in the ass. I was just thinking about how this latest issue just sums up this year

I am worn out by this year’s events, most of them medical. Then there was my happy little auto accident in August, the aftermath of which is still dragging on.

There might be a lawsuit settlement coming, but not until I complete my therapy and the remainder of medical bills negotiated and paid.

This is where it gets sticky. Initially I had 18 sessions over six weeks prescribed on August 13th. That was exactly a week after the accident. At that point, my orthopedist, Dr. Hawkes, wanted me to stay off work for about ten weeks. He gave me a list of physical therapy agencies to contact.

Because I had no car (totaled in the accident), I had to get home therapy. I went through that list and played phone tag-only to learn that particular agency did not offer home care. I ended up going through my health insurance company, Florida Blue.

I was given the number to a company called Care Centrix. A few days later someone from an agency called Advantage Care called and said they were assigning me to a therapist.

Two weeks elapsed before I heard anything. I was kept busy dealing with the female portion of my health issues, such as preparing to have pre-cancerous cells cut off my vulva.

When I finally got the chance, I called Advantage Care to find out if my therapist had been abducted by aliens or deported for being a different flavor of alien, the woman I spoke with said, “Well, you’ve been assigned to a therapist. No one has called to to set up a home visit?” “Nope.” I think it took less than a week until I got my therapy going.

On session number 14, I was informed that was the last one. “Wait, Florida Blue said I have thirty-five sessions a year. I haven’t reached the first eighteen and since my follow up I’ve been prescribed at least twelve more over four weeks.”

That resulted in another week or so of ironing out red tape. I got re-evaluated to receive occupational therapy, because occupational, rather than physical, deals with upper body parts-the accident broke my right shoulder and tore my rotator cuff. Kristin, my orthopedic ARNP, rolled her eyes when I told her that’s what the latest physical therapist told me. “Yeah, that pretty much was my reaction too. I’d never heard such a distinction. I was told it was more that occupational therapists worked with daily kind of movements, like brushing your hair or teeth, or putting on your shoes. I never heard the upper versus lower body dichotomy before.” She agreed it was too much of a generalization. Then again, I got the vibe that this particular physical therapist thought very highly of herself.

This time around I had three sessions and I’ve been told there is another insurance issue. Thus, I’ve received zero sessions this week. I probably could have straightened it out myself over the last three days, but thank you crappy allergy attack that sucked out my energy. Just typing this is tapping into my energy resource a bit more than I wanted it to.

To sum up: I’m still one session shy of the batch of therapy sessions ordered on August 13th. This is complete bullshit. I seem to be on the mend allergy-wise so, I’m calling tomorrow to find out what the hell is happening.

I’m learning a whole lot about how screwed up our healthcare system is. Thanks to a FB friend, I learned that companies such as, Care Centrix, are TPA’s, or third party administrators.

TPA’s kind of function as traffic cops, or crime bosses. They are hired by the insurance companies to give the stamp of approval to, or deny, certain medical services and/or devices. So, Florida Blue hired this healthcare mafia to find a suitable local physical therapy agency to send a therapist to my home. I know the interruptions are not directly due to Florida Blue. But that’s the point; when there’s a problem they can say, “Well, you’ll have to take that up with Care Centrix.” So, they end up not looking like the bad guys. Yes, the conservatives think this is a good way to farm out medical care. There is, afterall, another layer of business that, in their minds, equals more jobs. And, isn’t that the important thing?

They are the same people who would bitch about liberals creating, “another layer of government.” Go fucking figure. I’ll trust the honesty level of government any day over the honesty of big business. Yes, I’m familiar with the Pentagon Papers (had to read them for Mass Com Law) , and Watergate. I’m also familiar with Three Mile Island, and the slew of business scandals.

I’m just so frustrated. My life was supposed to get better and NORMAL after my total knee replacement in December 2019. Thank you, COVID. For awhile it looked like things would be ok. My knee was doing great. I just had to be patient and wait out the Coronavirus pandemic. Then in August of 2020, I got a positive Cologuard test result. Then I had an insurance cancellation emergency which gave me a suicide scare which got me my insurance back (Florida Blue didn’t want to be sued by my survivors, I’m sure). All this bled into the health issues of this year.

I’m so over it. I’m grateful it’s not worse, I really am. I know I’m lucky, but I’ve been chomping at the bit for almost two years to get my life back: my exercise routines and feeling joy and happiness again.

This week also included an offer to move back to Oregon. That’s something I have been thinking about for several years, but the ride is leaving next month and there is no way I could possibly do it so soon. Besides, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to win the lottery to move that far. Hell, I think I need that to happen to even move locally. I’m in mid-stream with my health issues right now. It just doesn’t feel right, and yet I feel such a stirring because I so need to get on the road and see the country again. My spirit is in motion inside me and I want life improvement so badly.

On a humorous note: I successfully got through to my primary care physician to get her to order a new CPAP machine for my sleep apnea. I get my machine from a supplier called Apria Healthcare. But, she had to fax the order to Care Centrix.

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