My pain management doctor’s office had not been sending me invoices (address screw up) and allowing my outstanding balance to grow. Exponentially! Even though I see the doctor at least once a month and pay a $45 specialist copay, they never told that this balance existed. So, about a week and a half ago, I’m supposed to go in for a procedure, and I’m told on the phone I cannot until I pay my balance. Why they didn’t call before then, I don’t know. Anyway, having no clue what kind of number I was about to hear, I was like, “sure, no problem, how much?” They responded with $665!!! And even though at first they told me I had to pay half of it in order to schedule the procedure and receive medication refills, now today when I call them to pay, they say a new office policy has taken effect. I must now pay all of it, then I can schedule my procedures and a follow up visit and receive prescriptions. They also said from this point forward, every time one pays the copay, if there’s any outstanding balance from past visits that the insurance didn’t cover, one will have to pay that amount at that time. I thanked them for that last bit and said it was a fabulous idea and that every other doctor I’ve ever seen does that so that this does not happen. I admit, I’m sure I had a sarcastic tone. So, it’s there horrendous policy and poor attempts at addressing the issue and communication in general that allowed this balance to become what it is in the first place, and they’ve told me this is happening to many patients, yet they offer no payment plan to help these patients out, knowing when it’s all paid off, the new policy will be in effect. What sort of twisted fuckery is this?! Sorry, but that’s what it is. I don’t know many people who have a free $665 sitting around to slap down, but I need to see my doctor so badly for wrist and shoulder injections. We have our car set to be repaired on December 30th, and I don’t know which one I’m paying first.
My son put it to me quite simply. “Which is more important.” To which I told him that it depended on which point of view you take.
I’m furious. I’m livid. I’m honestly without words, which isn’t so swell for a blog writer, but hey, I’m calling a spade a spade.
Meanwhile, I’m having problems with my psychiatric meds. The psychiatrist told me I could increase the dosage on one med if I needed to – not gonna go into it because my wrist is hurting typing this, and I need to get moving – but the point is that I did. Now, when I’m calling requesting an earlier refill, the front desk rep is not understanding what I’m saying in trying to explain to her why it needs to be refilled early. She said even if the doctor does refill it, I have to pay an extra fee for refilling said med before seeing him again. Nope. Ain’t happening, honey. So, I gotta stay on that.
And then, for extra fun, we had to put some stop payments on some items in my mom’s checking account. I took care of it last Wednesday. She got paid Friday. Today, we woke up to $0 in her account!!!! Yes, since Friday, she’s had $1,500, now we wake to $0 because the items we placed the stop payments on (plus other auto pay bills) went through. And, we had deposited some of our money into her account as well because right now, all monies are being pooled together what with the holidays and car repair, etc. So, they will give us our money back, but it could take up to 10 business days as it must go through claims. WHAT????!!!!
Ridiculous. So, I’m making and selling Christmas decorations despite my wrist and shoulder pain. (Also, selling new and gently used clothes, books, etc, on online garage sales through FaceBook – whatever I can to make money to make ends meet until we get our money refunded.) My son was nice enough to pay for my mom’s copay for a doctor she saw today. We have a few groceries. Electric bill isn’t due for another week. We’ll make it. I’ll figure it out as I always do.
But really… should hard working people who pay their taxes and meet their responsibilities, people who are disabled, should it be this hard for them to receive care?
I just wanna smash something. So, I advised the cat to sleep elsewhere. LOL. Kidding. Gotta laugh or you’ll cry.
Time moves differently in heaven and hell. I’ve heard that in science fiction stories and have seen it on cable shows such as American Horror Story. I believe it and wholeheartedly agree.
When manic, my mind races so fast that I feel as though an hour is packed into a single minute. What is more dreadful, I find, is the perception of time during a depressive state. I have just come out of a depressed dip that only lasted a few days, but upon emerging back into the world, I thought I had been down for weeks.
Luckily, I saw my doctor last week and was given some advice to help my sleeping issues, which I truly believe caused a lot of the mess I experienced. That depression was coupled with an intense amount of anxiety, and the two together kept me down, asleep for the last few days, partly because my mental state knocked me down so badly that I became physically ill as well.
Surviving the bouts of depression and anxiety feels as though it takes years because of how intense those feelings are and time truly moves slower and faster all at the same time. I’m glad I’m getting better and hope it continues.
So, as we know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ve been thinking about stigma. How to eradicate it. The answer must be imparting knowledge; teaching.
The area where I’ve seen the most ignorance across the board, and have personally experienced, is to do with medication. I hear that psych meds are poison and unnecessary. I have heard the following.
Just go outside.
Just lighten up.
Get in shape.
Granted, all of that helps, but Bipolar Disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is a direct result from something wrong in your brain. If you have something wrong with an organ in your body, you treat it.
My own family has called me a pill-popper and told me I’m weak. Please. You do this for 20 years, and then talk to me about what is weakness and what is strength.
Invisible illnesses can sometimes be the most difficult to understand or grasp, I suppose. A person has an appendectomy and people bring them food for a week. A person goes through a depressive cycle and people might say stop moping, and they certainly don’t bring meals.
So, I will just wrap up by saying people with Bipolar, with mental illnesses, with invisible chronic illnesses, are incredibly strong and brave. We’re also empathetic because we know suffering. I assure you, if I could exercise my way right on out of this, if it was that easy, well…I wouldn’t even have a blog because I would be cured.
We are fighters.
We are creative.
We are dreamers.
We are helpers.
We are intelligent.
The emotional reactions – good and bad – that we have are multiplied by ten.
Through it all, we have careers, raise children, help others, and have the foresight to know to give our husbands our medications during a particularly bad week, so that we don’t swallow them all. That’s not weakness. That kind of strength requires a raw vulnerability. It’s not easy.
If you have someone in your life dealing with MI or any other invisible disease, just reach out and speak to them. Ask how they are, and tell them you want to understand more. I bet when they are able, they will help educate you.✌🙏🎗
What are some of the worst things you’ve heard or experienced that made you feel awful for having a chronic and/or mental illnesses? I’m interested to hear from people with diseases such as depression, anxiety, autism, bipolar and schizophrenia to name a few.
I mean, just check out this chart below. Certainly got my blood boiling.
I’ve experienced the misuse of terms.
“This weather is so Bipolar!”
“When she’s on her period, she’s mental.”
And don’t even get me going on people talking down to me about med use. People in my family even, for Pete’s sake.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Let’s try to educate ourselves and others, comfort and care for ourselves and each other, and try to chip away at the stigma of the ignorant. (Not stupid. Ignorant. Uneducated. Two different things.)
Creation is beautiful. From the moment you first have an idea of something you want to create, to seeing it all the way through to its completion, it is an extraordinary process.
Think on this for a bit. In one moment, there’s nothing there, and in the next moment, there is existence. Poof, an origin.
Creation can be cathartic. One moment you’re flustered with writer’s block, and finally the sentence that feels right is typed on the page. You’re on your way. In the middle of the night, you can go to the refrigerator for a water and glance at the craft table and think to yourself that the yellows and oranges should be the predominant colors on the wreath. An hour later, you notice you never made it back to your bedroom, and you never drank the water, but the gorgeous wreath is now complete and ready to be hung in the living room or sold at next month’s summer festival.
Whatever it is that is your jam – whether it be writing, making table centerpieces, cooking, singing, drawing, painting, photography, posting encouraging videos, fostering animals until they’re adopted – you are creating. Creating something of love and motivation and kindnesses to others. There was once nothing where there now resides something.
That something, along with the smile that graced your face while you constructed it, is a thing of beauty. Let’s face it, we need more smiling and beauty in the world. I’m not going to get all sappy and tell you to stop and smell the roses, except wait, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Please stop and smell the roses. Please stop and look at the things you do well and feel the pride you deserve. Please stop and look at the things in your life that you created and smile. Then, go do more of it.
Please reach out for help if you or a loved one need it. There is assistance if you have, or suspect, a Mental Illness, or if you’re a family member or friend who needs support and education. Often times, loved ones don’t think they should ask for help, or do not even know it’s offered.
What I’m about to say is a basic truth, even if it’s not always easy. I almost began this entry saying it can be difficult to write regarding certain issues if those issues include your family, because I want to honor their privacy as well. But here’s the bottom line.
You do you.
Take care of you. Prioritize yourself. Tell others when you need help. It is not selfish. It’s not a cliché; it’s the truth. If you are not taking care of yourself, you cannot help others.