Bitter Cold Break

I have been on a small hiatus from writing on the blog lately.  I have fussed about this before, but maybe it bears mentioning again.

 

My insurance policy I had last year decided they no longer would cover my Methotrexate in November. I was also still dealing with the broken foot which is, quite possibly, the most painful injury I have endured in my life. youknow19

 

I have also complained a great deal about the side effects of Methotrexate and I promise you now, I will NEVER do that again. You see, you don’t realize the extent that a medication is helping until you abruptly quit taking it and your disease kicks into high-gear. No, Methotrexate is certainly not a walk in the park, but MCTD and RA mixed with mending bones and the wonderful winter we’re having this year are far worse than a Methotrexate hang-over (for lack of a better word).

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In Alabama, where I live, it is extremely rare to see snow. We have no idea how to handle snow here and our entire state shuts down at the mention of it. So for it to have snowed twice in one year is kind of a big deal. Years ago, I would’ve loved it. It’s exciting to experience snow when you aren’t accustomed to it. But when your bones ache all over on good days and alarmingly alert you of unstable air outside on not-so-good days, they darn near give up on snow days.

 

Another problem which I still haven’t found a resolution to is cold feet. I have written about this before. I am so determined to find a good solution to this problem but I am starting to feel deFEETed. I know that isn’t how you spell that.

 

My feet will be cold for so long that they pure hurt. And then when I have finally found the perfect combination of cover, sock, heating pad, and position to warm them they quickly go from Jack Frost to Satan’s den. There is no in between.

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The morning of the last snow day we had I awoke thinking I may be running a fever. I thought this because I couldn’t get warm. I couldn’t get warm because our heater decided to take the day off. Not only was it not heating, it was blowing cold air. I think it took the better part of the week for my body to warm up from that problem. Luckily, my husband is friends with the local AC/Heater repair guy.

 

I couldn’t tell you the technical name for the thing-a-ma-do-hicky that is broken on our heater, but I can tell you that it works intermittently now and that if I want to fix this it’ll cost around $500.00. Considering the fact that in Alabama we typically need heat at night and air conditioning during the day and that it still works some of the time, I can not justify that expense right now. If it ain’t broke (completely), it doesn’t need fixin’ right?

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With all of this being said, I have had a lot more going on this winter which I will save for another post since they have been few and far between.

 

My son has the flu so I am off to spray some more Lysol. Ya’ll pray that we keep it from spreading to the rest of the family and pray that he gets well soon.  He says he’s never been this sick in his life and coming from him, that speaks volumes!

 

Health “Care” Don’t CARE

insurancelottoThis is going to be a rant and for those who don’t agree with my views here can just keep the little opinions to themselves. Unless you have a way to combat the situation I am in, don’t tell me I am wrong about the way I view insurance in this country and my states ability to figure the stuff out. I am not, nor will I ever be, a politician.

 

Here’s the thing. Obama “Care”, in theory, is okay I suppose. But it lacks all of the loopholes and what-ifs criteria or knowledge to keep it going or to have ever been rolled out in the first place. Sure, we all want free healthcare. Who doesn’t want free stuff? Here’s the thing. I don’t care how bad you are at Math, free doesn’t add up any kind of way when you are talking about healthcare. NONE!!  People need to understand that if there is something they are getting for free, it’s only free to them because somewhere someone is working their butts off to pay for it. That may be in the form of taxes, donations, or just anything else you can think of that one would use to fund programs which help sick people.  But it isn’t free.

 

So in my fine state of Alabama, the Republicans fought the whole Obamacare thing tooth and nail and they won. But still, its people lost.  We lose every day.  The Alabama Republican party said they won’t raise Medicaid to cover the ones living in poverty. No, in fact, they would like to take more away from Medicaid and Medicare. But they think that by us not expanding our Medicaid then we aren’t on the Obama”Care” bandwagon.

 

That would be fine and dandy you would think. But no, instead it is worse. Worse than worse. Worse than most other states in these United States of America. Let me tell you what the insurance company does.

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So Blue Cross says their rates are going to skyrocket because of Obama “care” and because of all of the preventative services that they are now going to have to cover free of charge. Not only will your rates go up, but so will your deductible and out of pocket costs.

 

Here is a breakdown of how this goes down and you tell me that it shouldn’t be illegal to do people this way and I will tell you what I think about you.

 

My BCBS Bronze level Family plan which is provided to me through my husband’s employer who pays an estimated $800/month for the premium doesn’t cover diddly squat. Nothing, I mean NOTHING, is free. Not even preventative. Last time I checked, colonoscopy’s were preventative procedures, but not anymore apparently.

 

I go to the doctor more than most people. I take more medications than most people. And if you have been keeping up with me, I am clumsier than most people as well. This makes for a fairly hefty dollar amount of bills for my needed health care.

 

It is now. At a minimum, I have been to some doctor somewhere at least once a month, usually far more than that. So imagine my surprise when I found out that I still owe nearly $12,000 of my deductible. We were told in the beginning that our deductible was $14,000 for the two of us. Now I am learning that it is more like $20,000. The break down on that is $14k for me and $6k for my husband.

So even with those high deductibles, I was under the impression that I should be nearing the end of that given my frequent flyer miles. Again, wrong. Wrong again! You see, the insurance companies have it rigged to where you will NEVER go anywhere near your deductible. They do this clever thing.

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Let me explain:  If you have ever looked at a statement from BCBS You will see where they tell the providers that they only approve for certain procedures to be billed out at x dollar amount rates. Then the rest is between you and your doctor. They can either bill you the difference or they can just change the charges to only bill for what the insurance company approves. But here is another catch, unless you have met your $20k deductible, you will be being billed no matter what. So now, not only is your health probably in the gutter but so is your credit.

And here’s another kicker, those discounted rates that you think are the only thing that saves BCBS a little face are really the devil in disguise. They have them discounted down so that you will NEVER reach that asinine deductible which would be when they actually start to pay a little bit of your health care. It really should be illegal.

 

Just this week I got a letter in the mail that they will no longer cover Methotrexate along with other medications I require. They don’t have a reason why it is just not going to be covered. So bam, there goes my little life. This methotrexate keeps me alive people. It keeps me from killing myself. Not in a suicidal way, but physically, That’s what autoimmune disease does. Methotrexate is supposed to be a medicine used to stop your body from thinking that your immune system should be battling it out with the rest of your body.

So I could go on and on and on and on about this because there is more. But it is bed time. And I have worked myself into another tizzy being mad about this. It is just such a hopeless feeling.  Your body is crapping out on you, you break a foot, you can’t afford to fix it, and NOBODY cares! Amazingly the word “care” is included in almost every phrase you can think of when it comes to health care today…  Ironically, NOBODY CARES!

 

July’s Abscence

warriorI haven’t been on here and written much on my blog. I have a lot of reasons why. The first reason is METHOTREXATE! This medication is the Devil and creates the atmosphere of Hell inside your body. I know that its intention is to suppress my immune system and keep it from fighting my body, but it is starting to feel like it kills whatever your immune system hasn’t already battled.

I’m hoping my body will eventually get used to the medication and the bad effects will somewhat diminish.  I start to recover and feel a little better around Friday. So for Friday and then Saturday morning I am back to normal, or my version of normal which still includes pain. Then Saturday I take these 4  Methotrexate pills and the battle begins again.

methcanOn top of the awful side effects of this Satan derived “treatment”, I have started working. I love my job. I am able to work around my schedule and it isn’t a hard job to learn or do. I feel like I should be working during any spare time that I have because I never know when I am going to be unable to interact with the world around me or go down for the count with this disease and side effects.

Another side effect of the disease and/or medications is my inability to sleep. I don’t quite understand it, but I can be so tired and want so badly to go to sleep, but when I lay down I CAN NOT get any sleep. I take Ambien, which is obvious if you have read any of my late night posts. But I ran out of them this week and I was also out of refills. I contacted my primary care physician Monday to inquire about a refill. I had an appointment with them Thursday.  They wouldn’t call the medication in until I was seen. I understand it is a controlled substance. But they have been prescribing this to me for nearly two years. By the time I got there on Thursday I was ill. I was mad at the world. I was mad because I was tired and I couldn’t sleep. breakdown

I started my conversation with the doctor by telling her that I was sorry, but I can’t think straight because I haven’t slept in 3 days. She assured me that she would be sending my Ambien in along with some other stuff she was going to try since my insurance wants $480 a month for Lyrica.  Again, I ended the conversation reiterating my need for my Ambien TODAY. She again, told me I would get it.

I had a late appointment. The pharmacy closes at 7:00 pm. I went to Walmart to get this promised medication and it had not been sent it. All of the other medication had. I called the doctors office again. I was told that the doctor had to sign off on it since it was a controlled medicine. The doctor I had seen was a practitioner. Well, 7:00 rolled around and still no sleeping medicine. At this point, I could spit fire and nails. I literally cried right there in Walmart.

I am not a crier. I just don’t cry in public usually. I am the type of person who will wait until everyone’s asleep and then lay in bed and cry.  I know I shouldn’t keep my feelings bundled up to myself, but I feel as if I appear weak if I cry in front of anyone. Don’t ask me why.

In addition to me not being able to get the Lyrica, my rheumatologist advised me to quit taking the muscle relaxers and Neurontin and didn’t give me any refills of them either. Nor would she refill my Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is fine, I can get that OTC. The other two, not so much.

So here I am, in pain, now sick from the Devil medicine, with absolutely NO pain medication, NO sleep medication, NOTHING! To say I had a come-apart would be an understatement. Mixed connective tissue disease and rheumatoid arthritis are enough for me to have to deal with. I am going through a lot with it. Is it too much to ask the doctors to DO THEIR JOB? It is so aggravating.

methotrexatepFinally, around 4:00 pm on Friday my Ambien was called in and I got some good sleep last night. My spirits are up a little more today. But today is a Methotrexate day so we’ll see how long that lasts.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer in my posts, but I felt a need to rant and vent about it.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thoughts on Methotrexate

I stated that in the end of May I went back to my rheumatologist. I forgot to mention the new game plan. Imagine that. My ADD butt forgetting to post an update.

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We came to the conclusion that the root cause of my rashes was the Plaquenil. She also said that many of my painful areas are trigger areas for fibromyalgia. So here’s what we did as far as meds go:

Stop taking Plaquenil immediately and give it three weeks to allow it to get out of my system. After that period I will start taking Methotrexate.

Stop taking Gabapentin and Flexaril and replace it with 75mg of Lyrica twice a day.

My three weeks will be up Monday. From what I have read, the Methotrexate doesn’t look like a whole lot of fun. I’m interested in hearing from any fellow spoonies who take it and see how it has helped you and what drawbacks you have. Lyrica didn’t have much if any, effect on me. (As usual, my Ambien is beginning to have one on me as I type)

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To make matters worse, I’ve apparently, unbeknownst to me, moved to the Amazon rain Forrest. It has been raining for nearly 4 months now. Rainy days get average people down, but they take away spoons from people like me. It’s been rough. I have already been complaining about the rain and then Cindy brews up and brings in more rain than I have seen in a long time, if not ever.

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Back to medicines, what do you do to get the cost of your medications which do not come in generic form down? I need advice so that I don’t have to take out a 2nd mortgage or anything next time I visit the pharmacy. I hope you all have a dry and great weekend.

 

Goodnight!