My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Monday, November 21, 2011

i'm not gonna lie... i wanted to cry...

One leftover question from last week that I just saw yesterday...

why don't you blog on the weekends? you blog in the wee hours of the morning when you have you be at work but you generally don't blog much on the weekends when you have all day...

Blogging is more about me being able to put order to my thoughts and experiences than it is meant to entertain. If people read and enjoy that's a bonus. If people read, enjoy and offer encouragement or validate my thoughts or even feel like they know me through reading my blog, that's a great payoff for the effort. But, the basic premise is for me to be able to consistently track my efforts (or lack of effort) to lose weight... to be in control of my weight (hence, Tightening the Corset) and to be able to articulate what is happening to me.. It's part of my early morning routine... make the coffee, feed the kitties, check the news websites, play a game or two, blog, shower, etc. My weekends are much less ordered and organized. If I have something to share... pictures... a thought or concept... then I blog. Otherwise, I'm just chillin'.

Yesterday was the Monday from Hell. Capital H - Hell. It seemed like there was no end to the meanness and smarmy-ness (which I don't think is a word) and unkindness I had to face. My pain was off the charts. I can always tell when there's inflammation in my back because when it's at it's worst, I have a hard time going to the bathroom. I spent the day with a full bladder that I was unable to empty. Pain. So I had the back pain and the full bladder pain and developed a headache and it was one of those day that every phone call was someone with a complaint... I wanted. to. cry. I didn't cry. But I wanted to.

I had called back to the surgeon to see what the possibility was of rescheduling the surgery and that evil woman who schedules said that she would not even look at the calendar UNTIL I paid off my balance with Northeast Georgia medical - that's a combination of the hospital, my doctor's office, and various specialists, like the surgeon, who fall under the same umbrella - $518 (not bad considering how much I've paid them over the past year) and my "past due" balance with their practice (to which I said, "I've seen you once - was told I would be billed for my portion - haven't received a bill OR an explanation of benefits where you filed with my insurance - I saw you three weeks ago - how do I have a past due amount?) that amount is $47. (which means my insurance was billed $470 for ONE surgical consult)  AND she will have to have the portion for the surgeon up front, which, depending on when she schedules me, will either be $157 or $1570.

Welcome to the world of the working poor. I have insurance. It just has a high deductible. I work every day (as much as possible) but my income isn't enough to absorb these types of medical bills. And the snotty way that woman talked to me... no compassion.

Part of my job is to talk to people who are behind on their insurance premiums and help them get their payments in without having their policy cancel. I work very hard to show compassion to people. I understand what it's like to not have enough money to take care of your obligations. There are people who take it too far... one yesterday that had gotten three letters in the mail and had talked to people in our office twice where there was no room for interpretation about when their insurance would lapse...and then they were mad because it cancelled. I even asked, "what more could we have done?" At some point, personal responsibility kicks in. BUT AT NO POINT was I unkind. I even said, "this is easy to fix... here's what we need to do... "

The mean old scheduling woman could see where I had consistently made payments on my account... and at no point was I ever told, "you have to pay every dime you owe before we will treat you again"... nope. But she wanted me to make a payment of - get this - $2,135 before she would even look at the schedule to see when they could do my surgery. I told her I needed to talk to the manager of her practice. I can't possibly be the only patient they see who doesn't have the financial means to schedule a surgery that will require that I miss at least two weeks of work - who wouldn't also be able to afford a steep financial hit before the surgery. I said to the mean old scheduling woman, "so it's the intention of your practice that poor people should suffer?" She didn't have an answer. But she did say that she would check with her supervisor to see if they could offer me an alternative.

Hung up the phone with the mean old scheduling woman and had the previously mentioned phone call from a client who was mad at me because their insurance got cancelled... for not paying their premium. I. wanted. to. cry.

I walked to the mailbox ... not a long walk but on a day like yesterday when everything is painful... that short walk had me ready to... can you guess it?... cry.  For the first time ever since my back issues started, I asked to be relieved of a duty - being Kevin's backup for going out to check the mail. It takes less than a minute. It's not a big deal. Unless you have trouble walking. And I do. I felt humiliated. Kevin's out until next Tuesday.

Sometimes I feel like I just need to be more honest about how this back issue is changing my life so that people don't think I'm just a slacker... or unsociable... or unreliable... or all the things I imagine that people think I am because of the ways that my life has changed. However... the truth is... when I do attempt to explain... it's humiliating... which is why I push myself whenever I can...

That's my Whiny Tuesday post. Today, being the middle day of the work week, today is going to be better. I will not cry. I will not WANT to cry. I will go to work and do whatever is asked of me regardless of how it hurts. I will be nice to mean people. I may even convert a few. Tomorrow is going to be a joyful, happy, celebratory post. Just wait!


Michael said...

I just blogged. All over the place. I don't want to clean it up, which is why I don't blog. first blog since the summer and only my fourth one. Heather, you're a natural blogger. I want to be more like you. I don't know if I can live up to the "Purple Michael" you have so graciously painted me to be. but I love you for it. I love you for many reason, but that's one of them.


Anonymous said...

Oy. I am so sorry you're in anguish. I know the physical and the mental can exacerbate each other. Not fun.

Still, I would ask you to consider some of the rules I have for my interns and think about how they might help you.

One you do already and that's try to be cheerful. Beverly Sills once said "I do not have to be happy about everything, but I can be cheerful". I like the attitude.

Another idea is "Don't Front". For my employees that means don't fake knowing something or pretending who can do something when it isn't so. There is no shame in saying "I cannot do that" or "I do not know how to do that" We are all limited. Clearly, your co-workers must have an inkling of your daily fight.

Far better to be more comfortable and focused mentally. Than in anguish unable to concentrate. There is no shame in that. I had to learn to stop moving large heavy objects (Okay, Pianos) by myself.

Lastly, if there is a situation where you do feel you're letting yourself and your team down, I suggest the concept of 'I'll Make It Right'. Surely, at some point medical technology, hopefully kinder medical folks, and fate will result in progress. When you can, you'll make it right.

There was a woman who interned with me who has Fibromyalgia. Though she is no longer interning, when I am desperate and she's feeling okay, she comes and helps out to cover the days when we had to scramble because she was hurting. She has not been an intern for months, but she still wants to make it right and that makes her feel better, we feel better, and about her we speak well.

Do what you can do and stop before you break. I know it's really difficult, but people count on you and if you push it too far, that's when you'll find the most frustration.

You're in our thoughts. Happy Tebow (sp?) day!