Friday, December 04, 2015

A brutal day...

[Catching up.]

My counselor came by and confused me, confounded me, really.

Instead of sitting and making an office visit out of my living room, my counselor worked around the house for me, talking with me as she did.  For one, she put together the shower seat that had arrived.  Not being a tool person, she had some difficulty, which made me smile, even as I was weeping over what I was trying to speak.  I finally rescued her from the washers, set them properly, and let her finish.  She then carried it upstairs and put it in my antique cast iron freestanding tub.

My mother has been sending me things she things are needful for the Grand Family Visit.  My beloved UPS driver (who calls Amos "Cujo" because of his barking) has been mercifully bringing in the boxes and setting them on the deacon's bench.  My counselor opened all the boxes, put the items in the basement for me, and then cut down all the boxes and carted them to the recycling bin.

She also brought in firewood so that we could have a fire.
I adore fires.

For me, we did not talk the way I thought we would.  Or rather I was still weeping all over the place, talking all over the place, and rather fearful all over the place.  Shame still washed over me, drowning me.  However, she did repeat what she had emailed me: backsliding is understandable, even normal in my situation.

She tried to talk to me about the brain and why I now cannot talk about things that happened without reliving them, which makes for all sorts of upsettedness and feelings I want GONE.  I did not really understand (or follow) what she was saying, but I know she will repeat it.  She did say something about how, next week, we can start trying to build a frame or boarder or safe space in which that reliving can happen, where I can also know that leaving that space means leaving all those thoughts and feelings until later.

I really would like to leave the boat.
And that room.
And everything else that is coming to the surface.

It was a ... good end ... to a most particularly difficult day.

The worst part about dysautnomia, for me, is the pain from malfunctioning nerves.  I've tried to hem haw about the subject before, but the reason that I called the counseling center, to try with a new counselor again (non-profits tend to have quick turnover in staff, even counselors) was because there is this particular pain that I experience, a few times a month, that is so devastating I want to die.

There it is.
I want to die.

I see no way through the pain, no way through what that pain brings back to my mind ... or where it takes me.

Over the years, before the pain got so bad, I tried to get help for it.  I have seen four colorectal surgeons.  All said the same thing:  There is nothing to be done.  SIGH.  Whether the stool is pressing upon the scar tissue I have or just hitting a nerve in a very specific way, there is nothing to do.  No pills.  No surgery.  No physical therapy.  Nothing.

So much hurts more now.  Everything else I can ignore.  All the other exaggerated physiological responses Dysautonomia triggers I can ... eventually ... deal with.  But not this.  I called in desperation to ask for help with absolutely no hope that anyone could help me.

I still am not sure, but I find the counselor so very ... curious ... and I find hope sneaking in despite my general outlook on the issue.

Only this morning, the pain was so very bad, I was certain I could not get through it.  I very nearly did not.  Vomit covering my pajamas, sweating, and stuffed into the small space between the tub and the cabinets (the tightest space I could find in the bathroom), I just wanted to die.  Even after it eases, the pain lingers a too-long time.  I cleaned myself up and then crawled into bed to clutch Amos until it was all over.  Finally, I slept.

I woke.
I retrieved the mail.
I learned my Medicare insurance company is folding.

Open enrollment ends Monday.

I spent the entire day weeping and vomiting and trying to use to figure out what plans are available, trying to discern which of the 13 options would fit my medications and doctors best.  If I enrolled via the number given for the two plans I thought might work, I would need my original Medicare card.  I haven't needed it in three years.  I didn't know where it is.  I searched high and low for it, weeping and vomiting and wanting the sun to go supernova .... and thinking of other ways I could make everything STOP.

Searching through the plans revealed me two more financial blows.  The first is the 2015 cost for outpatient services. I thought it was the same as the hospital, but it is not.  Medicare classifies the pacemaker implantation as outpatient.  I knew that going in ... but I forgot about the difference in cost.  Instead of having a daily rate (co-pay), I will owe 20% of the entire bill.

The second blow was that two of my medications will jump from tier 1 drugs to tier 4.  Yes, tier 4!  In short, those cost of those two drugs will jump from $15 to $401 come January.  This change was the same on all 13 formularies.  Plus, there is another drug that is going from covered to not covered, so I will have four of them for which I will have to pay the cash rate.  SIGH.

When my counselor was here, my phone rang thrice.  I ignored all three calls, but she asked me, on the third call, if I wanted to take it.  Since I was huddled before the fireplace and she was over near the phone, I asked her who was calling.  It was the insurance agent I had remembered I used the first time round and had called around 1:00 PM.  It was nearly 9:00 PM (my counselor had evening appointments she had to take before coming to see me).  I missed the call and, feeling downtrodden and pessimistic, I was not going to call him back, but she encouraged me to hit redial.

I did.
He had already done the research.

The poor man had been working until 9:00 the past few days, since the news broke, trying to help those of his clients who were on Advantage Select.  He explained why it was THE PLAN for me (it was one of the two I thought might work) and so I asked him to start the application.  I asked him to mail me what to sign with a sticky note telling me where to sign because forms are increasingly difficult for me.  He said he would get the application out in the mail tomorrow (he's working the whole weekend) and he would highlight in yellow where I needed so sign so there would be no confusion.  Because I have already worked with him, I did not need to show him my original Medicare cards.

As much as I was (and still am) relieved, it was like the very fragile, post migraine period.  The great worry and fear over insurance ended, but the cessation of the trauma of all that suffering, its absence, was also difficult to process.

I had no hope this day for help.
I wish I had remembered him so that I could have had hope.
Scott Davis, merciful insurance agent.

A rollar-coaster, brutal day.  A day following day after day of pain and suffering (pacemaker recovery) and confusion and adjusting and loss and fear and shame ... much, much, much shame.

I really don't understand my counselor, why she came, why she wasn't ... clinical ... during her visit ... the way pastors have been when they visited.  But I do so appreciate the fire.  Its ... stillness.  I appreciate the visual rest she gave me by clearing off the deacon's bench.  And I appreciate the labor she saved me in putting together the shower seat and taking care of all the cardboard boxes.  I appreciate, I guess, that I was a person with needs, not merely a problem, whilst she was here.

There remains no answer for how to get through that particular pain that I can feel.
No real answer for the blunt truth that I am weary of battling and have no rest.
No answer as to how to survive when it happens next time.

No comments: