Wednesday, November 26, 2014

ACA in Action

My parent is in the throes of a prolonged severe asthma episode. While they've had asthma for a while, this is their first bad flare. They don't have the arsenal that I do. No nebulizer. Hardly any meds and what little has been prescribed, the insurance company refuses to cover.

They finally got into a pulmonologist today who confirmed it's bad. My parent needs a nebulizer, but with the Tday holiday, has no way of getting one any time soon. The prescription has to go to the PCP and the insurance has to review it, a process, which for medications, has taken two weeks previously. (And they said no.)

The doctor is already concerned that my parent will need to be hospitalized.The inability to obtain the prescribed medication and medical equipment in a timely fashion makes it seem like a done deal.

I told my parent that they do not want to end up in the hospital if they can avoid it. I'm going to overnight my nebulizer on Friday (we already missed the last UPS truck today) as I'm pretty sure I'll be faster than the insurance company.  (I don't need it unless I'm in the middle of a flare, which I'm not.)

Meanwhile, I've urged my parent to put the word out and see if anyone can loan them a nebulizer for a few days. They need round the clock treatments if they're going to have a shot at avoiding more medical care. And steroids. And antibiotics. And everything else.

"Sit and do nothing," I advised. "You've got a four day weekend to rest and see if you can get ahead of this. If you feel worse, go straight to the ER."

"That's what the doctor told me."

"Good. Listen to them."

I was happy when the ACA passed. I recognized it was an imperfect bill, but I hoped it would lead to something better. However, right now, in practice, it is extremely flawed and serves profit before patients.

I realize some of the problem is the holiday and just bad timing, but my parent and I already know from previous experience that this particular ACA health plan denies claims as a general rule and their approval process is so convoluted and bloated, patients either give up or pay out-of-pocket (as my parent has done).  It feels like The Rainmaker by John Grisham. 'If we just say no long enough we're only out the ten bucks an hour we pay to the admins!'

The ACA serves as a money funnel to insurance companies, but not much of it is coming back to the patients.



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Longest Blog Post


I think I'm finally over the chaos wreaked by the food poisoning. It really aggravated the SOD for a while and I had some significant pancreatic type pain. Fortunately, the worst of the pain is always fleeting, something for which I am very grateful, but it is alarming nonetheless.

I also made things worse by eating gluten. Sometimes wheat hits me extra hard. I suspect ingesting it so soon after the food poisioning caught my system at an unusually weak moment. So that made me sick. Instant GI symptoms with a side of asthma. Fun.

I'm usually very good about avoiding wheat, but it sneaks into my food. Usually it's not a huge issue and I head off as much of the reaction as I can with Alpha Lipoic Acid, but every once in a while, gluten hits me like an apocalypse.

Anyway, my system was still in an uproar the day of a wedding we'd been invited to. If you've read any of my previous posts, you may recall I'd bought my daughter a fancy dress for the occasion. This wedding was a highly anticipated family event, but I was so sick that day, I wasn't sure I would make the reception. I barely made it home from the ceremony in one piece. My body purged every calorie I'd ever eaten in the history of food and then I passed out on the couch, utterly exhausted.

Fortunately, things improved by evening. I made it to the reception and was even able to eat for the first time that day. From there, we progressed right into dancing. Can I just say, how awesome it was to boogie without feeling all the energy drain from my body? Especially after feeling so awful most of the day! I did a solid hour straight and I wasn't tired. I had all the energy I needed. As in, there was no deficit. I love it when adrenal glands work!

The kiddo looked adorable in her dress and she boogied down with us like a pro. Several relatives came into town for the wedding and we just had a really fabulous time. Given how the day started though, I didn't think it would end so well! I'm glad I pushed through and didn't give up.

Off topic updates...

The kiddo.

Is fabulous. She's just going through an awesome phase right now. I'm so impressed with her. This kid practices her piano without complaining. She does her homework of her own free will and is generally a delight.

She's a whiz at math. The school told me she's ready to start third grade math. For reading, she's aced all their assessments so they need to administer more to figure out her  reading level.

We do still deal with some perfectionist melt downs. She did her math homework perfectly one night and then freaked about it afterwards, clearly anxious about the new concept. I ended up doing some extra exercises with her to reassure her that she knew what she was doing. How odd is that? She's got the math down, but her perfectionist streak doesn't let her see that. Gotta love perfectionism.

The teacher asked us to come up with a goal for her learning plan and I drew a blank. I can't think of anything more I would want her to do. She's doing so great, I don't want to mess it up with any extraneous expectations. (I wouldn't focus on the perfectionism because that's really a maturity and life experience issue. And we work on coping techniques all the time already. There's really nothing to add on the P front.)  

Writing.

Eh. Who knows? Every day is different. I'm scrambling, trying to figure out how I'll make any money this month. Plus, trying to get new work done. Writing is going so sloooooooooowly. OMG. Come on stories! Why can't you spill like water?

I was invited to another secret author group. *eyeroll* At least this one is better than the last one, full of powerhouse authors (i.e. names you probably know if you read a lot) who talk a good amount of shop.

The thing that struck me was how many people I knew in the new group who never thought to reach back and bring me up with them. These are people who've I helped and materially impacted their book sales for the better. As in, half their sales strategies are innovations I came up with.

I don't get it because my first thought when I get into a group like that is 'who can I include?'  Apparently, I am strange. And also chopped liver.

It's not just my network either. I see the same dynamic in other members of this group. I've been around long enough that I know some of the buddies and super friends and reciprocal networks pretty well. It's interesting who is in the new secret group and who wasn't invited.

Well, like I have said before, there are a lot of narcissists who are authors. Eh, screw 'em. I can't even say I'm surprised anymore.

I'm working on a new marketing concept and I'm excited because I think I finally have a list of authors I want to work with who I'm pretty sure aren't jerks. Crossing fingers it goes well.