Tag Archive: complaints


Rabbit holeHelp! I have fallen down the rabbit hole. My husband is self-employed and has insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  We actually enrolled him during the initial roll out. There were no problems.  Signing up was quick and painless.  This year I received a letter, in my name, that we needed to resubmit his application through the government Marketplace. We wanted to carry the same policy.  Yikes! The only time I have ever encountered customer service this poor was dealing with disability insurance companies when filing a claim. Those of you following my blog know what that was like.

First I tried to renew through the website at 8:00 a.m. Everything went fine till the financial portion.  Because my husband is self-employed as a sole proprietor, he does not get a monthly paycheck.  The first question was asking the monthly income.  We base our income on the profit for the year before so I divided it int0 12 months. The same way I did it the year before. After completing this it said I had to send in a W2, pay stub, business ledger, or 2014 tax return. He is self-employed so he doesn’t get a W2 or a pay stub! I ought to copy our business ledger and send it to them, but I don’t want to kill that many trees or pay that much postage.  Obviously we don’t have a 2014 tax return. I gave up and decided to call the number provided.

It was now 8:45 a.m.  After a 10 minute hold time a very courteous young lady answered the call. She took all my information then told me she couldn’t discuss my husband’s insurance with me.   I reminded her that I received a letter to me for my husband’s insurance.  She absolutely would not, could not speak with me without my husband with me.  Thank you very much for the help. It was now 9:15 a.m.

Now for the biggest fiasco yet! At 9:30 I decided to try to call one more time and get another representative a try.  This time there was a 15 minute wait time. The call was answered by a young man that confidently responded that he could certainly help me with the task.  Everything went well till we got into the financial portion.  Once again he asked for the monshooting-starthly income and I explained the self-employment issue.  I stated our income hadn’t changed.  Finally after 2 hours going back and forth, we get his insurance set up for $325 a month.  But I still have to send in nonexistent paper work! Plus there is another number I have to call to get it started.  Wonder how long that will take? It  was now 11:35 a.m.

But it gets even better.  The same day I received a letter in the mail from my insurance company stating that if we didn’t renew it would automatically renew for $183 a month! If you saw a shooting star that night it was just the top of my head exploding!

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Brain Fog

out of orderIt has been over a year since I have went shopping on my own. It has been over a year since I drove myself to the doctor. It has been nearly a year since I went by myself to visit a friend. It has been almost a year since I have done anything unplanned. It has been over a year since I had to think!

Everything seems slowed down, almost like swimming in hard set jelly. I hear people tell me things and react as one should react. Later though I can’t remember them telling me and I have to ask again. I never remember people’s names, but then I never did in the past either. I have a degree in math, taught high school math, and did graduate work in computer science, but I find myself stumped when trying to figure out the difference between two prices. I used to always be elected to keep score during game night. Now I am accused of cheating because I add wrong!

I truly do not believe it is due to any physical calamity, although God has given me a few. I think this “brain fog” is just laziness. I have set and hibernated for the past year.  Am I better physically? Maybe in some ways.  Mentally?  Definitely not. Because of my physical limitations, I have allowed my brain to atrophy. I have not been challenged with true problem solving. I let my physical dependencies morph into emotional dependencies. My brain became a couch potato.

So I need to get off my rear and motivate. I am not sure how to go about it. I know exercise is in order in some format. Balance and fatiguing the muscles are issues. I need to find some way to volunteer for something even though I can’t get anywhere or predict if I will even be able to volunteer on any given day. Crossword puzzles and smartphone games are gwoman holding shopping bagsreat, but lack that charge you get from social interaction.

Recently I did go on a shopping trip with two other friends. I was out of the loop when they began talking jobs, shopping, or anything outside our little group. I quickly tired and began walking slower. How do people do this?

How do you become a healthy shut-in? I do not live near a metropolitan area. My husband would not move to the city. There is no public transportation. My husband works long hours and has to rearrange employees to take me places. I want to get healthier and continue to grow stronger. I want to grow sharper mentally and to continue to live independently. Any suggestions?

Riding the Tiger

Life is like riding a tiger.  It will try to throw you, scar you, bite you and chew you up.  We have been with out my income for 8 months now.  I haven’t driven at all in months and spend most of my time sick.   My husband recently reminded me that we have been thrust into drastic changes before.

In 1994, we sold a rental property and my husband’s business property to the state for a highway.  The state paid residential prices for highway frontage.  My husband could not rebuild with the price they paid.  He was without a job. A male Sumatran tiger  I had just finished college and did not have a job.  Then a real-estate agent knocked on our door.  He had a couple that were interested in our home that wasn’t on the market.  Next thing we know we had sold our home and had no place to live.

I found a teaching position and went to work. My husband took a much needed vacation, raised our two sons who were teenagers, cooked, cleaned and fished a lot.  We built a new house with a pool.

Two years later I lost my job.  I found another, better position with much better pay.  My husband was able to rebuild his store. We not only came out on top but better for it.

We call this “riding the tiger.”  If you can image yourself sitting on a tiger, it becomes clear.  The only thing you could do if you found yourself on a tiger is hold on for dear life.  Unexpected things happen.  Just as being on top of a tiger is unimaginable, so can some of our experiences in life.

The tiger will not allow us to have any control.  I am a control freak and this is probably the hardest thing for me.  The more you struggle to get back in control, the more it bucks and twists.  By struggling for control, you allow the tiger more control.  If you hold on and relax the tiger will slow down eventually.

If you try to give up and jump off, the tiger will attack.  Once you are on the ground, it mauls and tears you apart.  Life can get to the point where you want to give up, but where does that get you?  If you give up and lose hope, you can’t survive till a better day.   Life can be painful and leaves scars.

I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t the tiger that determines how the ride will end.   Each of us determine our own outcome.  We control our attitudes and actions during crisis.  When things get tough, we have to climb on and “ride the tiger.”

I trust in God that he will see me through, but we don’t know God’s will for us.   The tiger may be part of the plan.  Sometimes, we just need to ride the tiger.

Disability Dizzy

I bit the bullet and filed disability.  Boy, it is either the biggest mistake I have ever made or the best decision I ever made.  (Although actually I had no choice in the matter.)  The doctor had talked with me about disability.  Being the sensible and “level-headed” person I am, I said no I was better and could handle it.  As my husband would say, “I’m tough.” Well I tried for two months after the profusion to go to work and lead a normal life. At first it did seem somewhat better.  Soon the constant ringing in my ears made me put in earphones just to try to dampen sound.  I kept crackers and a coke beside me in my car if I became sick.  When I got home from work, I was exhausted and drained.

I elected to take short-term disability insurance.  The last company I worked for had disability sick leave. It was much easier to use and I often used it when I needed to rest and recover.  I assumed this worked the same way. I called the doctor who said that basically all that could be medically done had been done and I needed to file for disability. I made an appointment with the doctor but couldn’t get in for three weeks since it was not an emergency.  I filed the Family Medical Leave Act, which was approved with no problem.  The doctor signed and wrote a statement on both the FMLA forms and insurance forms the day after I filed.

The insurance claim manager had a problem with it as soon as she got it because she said I did not see the doctor the first day I stayed out of work. I had been sick two weekends in a row with nausea and ear aches.  Not to mention feeling like everything is leaning and moving.  When I could not go to work the second Monday I knew the time had come to file.  I didn’t go to the doctor because it wasn’t necessary.  We all knew it was the Meniere’s.

They requested the latest doctor’s notes and it was the week I was “level-headed”.  The notes say I had improved with only occasional dizziness.  Never again will I try to put on a good front!!  From now on I will tell it like it is.

Anyway, the insurance company turned me down. Said there was no proof I was sick on my last day of work.  Now the doctor will not release me to go back to work and the company I work for will not let me go back to work without it. Pardon me, but basically I am screwed.

Now there is an appeal process and of course, I had to get a lawyer.  Meanwhile I have to pay my bills. Thankfully, I had saved enough money for a few months.  Politicians like to say private insurance is better than social security.  I bet they don’t have the same company I have!

And It Just Gets Better

My cat at work

At least my cat helps out!

This week I had my regular check with the Ear Nose and Throat doctor for my Meniere’s which is secondary to the Sarcoidosis. In other words, it is a gift from my good friend Sarcoids. I though it was under control and expected some positive news from this visit so I went in with a big smile on my face. Leaving I felt like crying.

The first thing I had to do was a hearing check. This was expected as they generally do this once a year. Meniere’s can cause hearing loss if it isn’t controlled. This time I had to do some testing that I don’t usually have. Still I wasn’t alarmed.

Then the doctor came in and sat down. If a doctor ever sits down, you can bet you aren’t going to hear anything good. I have lost all the lower range of hearing in my left ear. The Meniere’s is now full blown in the left ear.

He has doubled my medication and if that doesn’t work, he wants to do the steroid infusions into the left inner ear. While this isn’t a horrible procedure, it does involve making a tiny hole in the eardrum. Not something I am eager to do.

On top of this, I realized I had not had my lab work in six months. This is normally done every 3 months. The medication I am on can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, heart, and thyroid. The disease can cause a build up of calcium in the blood while sucking it from your bones. It also can cause anemia and an elevation of white blood cells so it is very important to have this blood work on a regular basis.

Guess you could just call me Lucky, like the three-legged, blind dog!

You Know You

I recently started having headaches that were becoming more frequent and lasting longer than my usual migraines. One night I was relaxing watching TV, playing solitaire on my laptop, and talking on the phone.  (You know women can’t relax if we aren’t multi-tasking.) I noticed some blurriness so I got off the telephone. Pretty soon, I was just listening to the TV since I could no longer see it.  I became alarmed when I had to shut down the laptop because I could no longer see well enough to tell the numbers or suits of the cards.  About all I could see were colors.

At Kennedy Space Center

I know when I have just done too much and need to relax.

I have had migraines since age 15 and have always had some visual signs before the headache started.  This is very typical of a classic migraine.  These headaches were different.  It wasn’t just having to squint to see or blink to refocus.  I just could not see.  It was as if the my glasses had suddenly become clear fake glasses.   I can’t say that it was double vision because I could not see enough to tell if the image was double.  I could feel my left eye pull and droop.  My husband came in and saw it.  He thought I was just very tired.  I didn’t say anything.  I really was so out of it, I wasn’t thinking.  I fell asleep on the couch at 8:00pm and he sent me to bed.

My eyesight very slowly came back over the next week, but my left eye still seemed to twitch and jump.  It felt like I was only looking out of my right eye. And I was still having more frequent headaches.  I knew this wasn’t normal for me so I called my eye doctor.  After a thorough exam, he said he couldn’t see anything in my eyes to explain it.  No sarcoid granulomas or inflammation.  However, my vision had decreased considerably in the left eye and I wasn’t using it for some reason.  So, he wrote me out a prescription for new lenses which just happened to have to be custom-made.

At my next regularly scheduled neurologist appointment, I explained what I had been experiencing.  I had just had an MRI of the brain last year but another one was required.  Two days before vacation we got the news.  I had another lesion in my brain.  The doctor gently explained that this lesion was close to the brain stem but that no sarcoid inflammation was seen.  With no inflammation apparent, he thinks the probable cause is “small stroke activity.” (His words.)

What does this mean?  I have no idea.  More to come on the neurologist recommendations.  If I had not been aware of what was normal for me with migraines and what was unusual, an MRI would not have been scheduled.  I am certainly seen by numerous doctors, but they can only know what I tell them.  Please, be aware of your body and be sure to tell your doctor of any changes that are not normal for you.

I am not the disease!

I am not sarcoidosis! The disease does not define me.  I am a christian. I have a sense of humor.  I want to be needed and to contribute to society.  Yet, sometimes, I feel like others see only the illness.

Where Was I

As often happens, I have gotten off track once again.  I have been told that I am flighty, scatter-brained, willy-nilly, and other less flattering adjectives.  Maybe I have Attention Deficit Disorder and was never diagnosed.  Who knows and frankly, who cares.  This blog seems to be a perfect example. Life just has so much to offer and I am interested in it all!  Think of all the things that are out there that we will never experience.

I have been feeling much better and have had greatly increased mobility.  I am on medication that is doing a TKO on my immune system, but the test results have leveled at mildly above normal.  I am gradually becoming accustomed to the medication which is great.  I still get over tired easily and the nerves in my legs curse me for days. The biggest disappointment is the lack of normalcy.  I want that back!

How do I know what is just old age and what is this disease. Somewhere, somehow, I have aged and didn’t know it.  I look around at my friends and think, “Goodness they are getting older.”  I looked in the mirror the other day and, God help me, it was a haunted mirror.  There was a middle-aged woman returning my stare and she looked as horrified as I did!  I must have looked really scary.

Thank goodness I am getting older, but wouldn’t it be nice to have the energy of a three-year old when you are over 50.  I would be accomplishing so much.  My house would be cleaner, my car would get serviced more often, and everyone would be happy.  Right!!

No thanks.  I am glad to be getting older and glad to be able to complain.  If you haven’t got anything to complain about, that probably is not a good thing.