Friday, June 3, 2011

more f'ball

    Adele's whaling, "we could have had it allllll . . ." and I can't help but think we could have too if it weren't for this damned MS. Grrrrr! Just made it to the last day of football camp. Barely. Overslept. Lost keys. Struggled hoisting gimp leg in the truck. Once in – gimp locked in a spasm. "No time to get help, Angela!" says the loud ass Orth girl in my head. "Go! Go! Go!"

    I throw my right leg aside and go for it with my left. Yikes! Reverse goes ok but I don't back as far as I need to. Screw it. No time. We gently go forward over a bit of the front yard. Just a bit, Jason. Promise, Baby. Plenty of room between us and the light post – promise. Foot on brake. Shift to drive. Relatively smooth, maybe a bit too much for the small bit of road we have before the stop sign at Smith Rd. So where'd the brake go? Wham! A complete stop prolly five feet or so before the sign courtesy of my overzealous, underexperienced left leg.

    Anywhoooo, long overly exaggerated, super ultra edge of your seat dramatic story made short - Asa survived the heart attack he says I nearly gave him, we took a different route, and arrived unscathed (at least physically) at 7:58 as the other campers were marching out of the locker room. "Lousy Mom!" yelled the voice in my head as Asa instructed me to stop right where I was so he could get out. "Now, Mom, now!" he demanded, "I still gotta get my equipment!" Ask and ye shall receive my son! Wham! This truck has phenomenal brakes.

    Once stopped, I began undoing my seatbelt to open my door and let Abe outta the back. Cha, right Momma! Think again. Like Abe is gonna wait on my slow fumbling ass to operate both the seat belt and the door. Luckily, Asa, sensing his little bro's urgency, allowed for his exit too before slamming his door shut. Shew! That could've gone real bad. Thank you Lord for looking out for us!

    So as Asa has turned to alert the coaches that he has arrived, Abel says to me all meek and whiny, "Mom, they've already took attendance." Nearly in tears myself at this point, I somehow muster a reassuring smile and retort, "It's okay, Baby. They see you're here." And again, thankfully, he trots off to join the others in line as Asa climbs the truck bed to retrieve his pads and helmet. Once Asa catches up with Abe they kick things into higher gear passing some of the other campers destined for the dust bowl. Ahhh, the Spindler boys – here comes Thunder and Lightning - eager and excited to give it their all . . . Momma may be weak and hurtin' but she sure is proud!

    Next stop – handicapped parking. Same spot I had all week. Seat back, computer on and who's that sexy guy in the Durango checkin' me out? What's this? He's walking over here to me. My first thought was that I looked like Hell. Of all days, I hadn't even brushed my teeth this morning. Oh my goodness! Had I forgot to put on my shirt? What's a disheveled, crippled girl like myself supposed to do at this point? "Smile back at the sexy man," says the voice in my head. And I did. No harm in a little flirting . . .

    With my uber sexy husband, that is! I knew it was him the entire time, goobers! Anyways, he brought me breakfast and some cash so I could buy the boys some ice cream to celebrate their last day. I love him soooooo much. It's no secret I'm a very lucky girl in the husband department. Thanks for the Pepsi, the biscuit, and the cold hard cash Sexy Man! <3 <3 <3 And thank you, God, for Jason. Amen.

    So . . . where were we? Where, that is, besides the high school parking lot? Gettin' out of the hospital? Right. Full of 'Roids, muscle relaxers and pain killers (as needed) I was home and couch bound. When I wasn't sleeping I was stewing about Mr. Billboard. What to do? What to do? Hmmmm . . . if only I'd had more steroids. Lucky billboard bastards. Anyways the abridged version goes a little sumthin' like this:

    I call them again and again and aside from each time being reminded I am no longer a member, they have no recollection of anything plus no bills even to refuse to pay. Huh? All this back and forth and refusing AND it's finally discovered, wellll, ummm, they are now claiming they don't even have anything to pay let alone refuse to pay. So at this point it's Aprilish and the procedure was in early Decemburrrrrrr people! Hello?! McFly are you there? Fine, I say. This info sure coulda been useful the umpteen times I'd called before. I now focus my rage on Atlanta. Had they not billed the insurance afterall? So help them God if they had not. Matter of fact, help us all!

    So I call the hubs to get their number and he refuses saying he'd handle it himself. Well lah-te-dah. Something about not wanting to burn bridges and such. Hopeful for another procedure. Blah, blah, blah. Fine. "Handle it," I say, 'cept this time I ask him to have them send it all to me so I can drag my sorry ass to the locally based Welborn HMO headquarters and hand deliver the bill to Mr. Billboard personally. So many conversations on the phone with this dude, I felt I needed to see his greasy face. Anyways, I did say abridged version, right? Yeh, then on we go.

    Jason talks to Atl again and they assure him everything had been sent. They'd be happy to send everything again but feared re-sending may confuse things and those result in non-payment. Etc, etc. And guess what else? They themselves had taken awhile to send out the bill, so they suggested that Welborn may too be struggling with a backlog. Guess what persistent bitch calls Welborn back and suggests such nonsense? Ah, yeh – this bitch! And they deny, deny, deny that that'd be the case.             Grrrrr! They do say tho that if indeed my place of service had actually sent a bill I should call back about every two weeks or so to check on it. Ummmm, so daily is overkill then, heh? I just can't help but think they get a bill marked PAID they immediately file it in the round filing receptacle – you know what I mean?

    Fast forward another month to May. So much other stuff had been going on. Outta painkillers, coming off the 'Roid high, and the muscle relaxers now failing to relax anything – the MS was baaaaaack. Meanwhile, my great aunt passed away. The flood water was threatening my Momma. So much so my sister and her kiddos even came to stay awhile after they'd helped evacuate all my g'pa's horses. It was scary people. But back to my point → I was distracted and thus laid off the insurance for a bit.

    And the hubs, instead of focusing on terrorizing Mr. Billboard for $ he knew we'd never see back, he began focusing on our new insurance and how wonderfully willing and speedily they had just paid nearly $10,000ish for my recent hospital stay. Whooopeeee! That's how insurance is supposed to work boys and girls. And with that revelation fresh in mind he began thinking maybe, just maybe there could be a paid for round two in his wife's near future. A phone call or two later, my appt. for round two in Atlanta was scheduled for May 11. And even more good news – the 2011 price for the procedure is only $7500. Yippee do. I could care about savings as we'd thought the ins. Would be taking care of this one.

    But hold on up there a tic partner! My $10,000 procedure in Dec. plus my $200 consultation fee in Nov., ummmm, WHERE THE SAM HELL IS MY REFUND??? $10,200 - $7,500 = $2,700. Math never was my strong suit, but I'm feelin' a bit cheated. Had I know the savings I sure as hell woulda waited a couple of weeks – just sayin'. Common sense people. Hello, McFly? Geesh!

    Having said all this I actually convinced the husband to call back. Wellll, he wanted to confirm the appt. anyways. Whatever happ'n, I dunno (memory's an issue, remember?). Good thing he'd called though 'cause we discovered another new policy since Dec. was that ALL patients pay in advance and they were no longer billing insurances. WHAT??? The only silver lining at this point was that we hadn't packed our bags yet. Grrrrr!

    Then one unsuspecting day after this jewel of knowledge we get notification in the mail that our good 'ol Billboard friends had paid on our freaky deaky Atl claim. Jason studies it awhile looking perplexed. And then passes it to me. 2000 sum odd bucks, my friends. Huge money, I know. Very nice since it was deemed both experimental AND out of network, but still no where near what we'd spent. And are y'all sittin' down? Way, way, way far away from what they'd actually been billed. I know I just used this silly remark in my last entry, but I feel like the re-telling of this situation calls for it even more loudly than before. HOLY SHIT, BATMAN!

    Whatever do you mean, Angela? Well, I'm glad you asked. Atlanta had billed Welborn 20,000ish. Oh my! In my pee brain, instead of being pissed at Welborn for grossly underpaying, I was more upset with Atl for arrogantly overbilling. "Prolly common practice," says the hubs. All I can think about is Atl and their new fancy corporate billing department re-billing us for the unpaid balance now. Scary, heh? And all the hubs can think about is whether or not Atl has received the $ yet and whether or not they'd be willing to just put it as a credit for round 2. So my super hubs calls and is damn near laughed at.

    Note to readers: It is not so smart to laugh at a man on a mission – especially if he's 6'2" and 300 lbs. A refund on the change of price? Ha! A credit for what your ins. Paid? Ha, again. This girl here would not be getting LIBERATED this May. Or ever in Atlanta if this was the way things were being ran these days.

    "Don't let this get you down," the hubs so lovingly says. Ohhhh, I ain't down, Baby . . . I am good 'ol fashioned pissed. Don't go and let yourself get those two confused. "What next then?" asks a friend. Hmmmmm? What indeed, I wonder to myself. But whatever it is – everything happens for a reason. God's plan, I tell ya. God's plan and God's time my friends. And until I know what that is I will trusr in Him and keep on keepin' on . . . or at least tryin' my damnedest to.

    So any thoughts, ummmm, and or donations -hehehehehehe- you know where to find me. Thanks for readin'.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Long time . . .

Well here I sit with the truck running so I can be in the air. Hard on the truck? Prolly. Bad for the environment? Surely. Keeping Angela alive? Absolutely.

Why on Earth are you sitting alone in the truck, Angela? It's true – very few circumstances get me off my couch these days, let alone out of my 68 degree home. Summer has begun, my friends and my men are in FOOTBALL CAMP! Yeeeeehaw! I love me some football! Just seein' my big man in full gear gives me chills.

Enuff to give the truck a rest? Hmmmm, afraid not. Oh, look! There they go. Right past the truck today, then past the field, beyond the tennis courts and on to the dust bowl. They took a different route on Tuesday. Anyways, it's quite the trek. I so wish I could go with them. See. Hear. Feel the crack-a-lackin'.

What am I bitchin' about now? Trophy wife all comfy in our truck? Seat laid back a bit. Air blastin'. Radio playin'. Laptop fired up. Why complain, right? Welllll, this wouldn't be my blog if I weren't bitchin' 'bout somethin', right? Don't get me wrong – I am blessed to still have as good of vision as I have, BUT it is hard as Hell to see all these healthy parents parading around here. How dare they parade! Not parading? Be-bopping then. Call it what you like. Walking perhaps? Whatever. I'm jealous. Thou shall not covet . . . hmmmpfh.

I'm sooo not the 'jelly' type. Never have been. Never! Never had a reason to be jealous. Always had the best. OK, wellll, even if I didn't – always thought I did. Am I being punished for that attitude now? Yikes! So not in the philosophical mood at this point. Nevermind. Let's get back to where we left off, shall we? It's been awhile. The entire month of May, for example, bang, zoom – gone! Did I leave you in March or April?

Any whoooo, I was in the hospital. That I remember. A special thank you to all who visited. Thanks to my boys for the ice cream. Ryan and Angel for the coloring book and crayons. And last but not least a shout out to Melissa for visiting. It was awesome to talk to you. We were tight in the first grade and tho we'd grown apart over time it was as if we'd stayed close. I pray your Dad is doing well and that your girls are enjoying their summer. It's clear you rock at what you do. Deaconess is lucky to have you. Keep up the good work!

As a matter of fact I was pretty impressed with all the hospital crew I encountered this time around. I used to play basketball with one of the therapists I had this time. She said it sure was weird seeing me this way after having played ball with me in high school. Imagine how I feel, my dear. Standing before her I had the terrible urge to get down in the defensive position and await her to make a cut for the basket. Anyways, I digress.

Aside from my neuro practically refusing to see me – even once inside my room – shit got done this visit. No joke. And who do I owe this visit to? Dear 'ol Dr. Lee. Odd for me to speak well of him, I know, BUT after accusing me of using him he musta ran into the man who calls himself a neuro in the hall or something because he actually called me. Yes, besides my daily kisses on the forehead I got my very own personal call from Dr. Lee – moments before, by the way, I was about to call my Momma to bitch about him.

Anyways, he called and told me he was awfully sorry about my MS prognosis and that he would see to getting some stuff done for me while I was there. WHAT? There's stuff you can do for MS? Holy shit, Batman! I had no idea. Were you aware there are daily exercises you can do to combat spasticity in your legs? Well, I'll be darned. There are and since the hospital – I been doing 'em. And guess what? They help. Fewer spasms. Take that know it all neuro!

And guess what else? Braces for your feet to combat foot drop. Holy cow! Who knew? "How long have you known you've had MS?" asked my former teammate Lori. I answered 11 years. And she replied, "They've never talked to you about braces or assistive devices?" And guess what else I learned while there? There's medicine to combat the infamous MS hug. Huh?! Odds are that just may be what got me admitted in the first place. Oh, yeh. That reminds me. What came first the chicken or the egg? That's where we'd left off. Memory is an issue too. But we've covered that, right?

No? Humor me then, k? K. Back to which came first. What's it matter? Fry 'em both up and they are delicious. Damn. I'm makin' myself hungry just thinkin' about it. Breakfast or supper? Or both? Sunnyside up and extra crispy. Anyways, it was supposed to be an analogy to why I was in the hospital. Did I really have pneumonia or was it just the hug masquerading as pneumonia? Or even more educated and scientific – had the pain from the hug caused me to breathe weird and present as or actually even cause pneumonia? Again I say, either way . . . delicious! I was in the hospital getting' stuff done. Praise the Lord – progress.

Only trouble was – would progress continue once home? Welllll, depends on what one considers as progress. The exercises? Still helpful tho I'm not doing them as consistently nowadays, as I just don't have the energy the IV steroids must've given me. The muscle relaxer given to combat the hug? Still on 'em but they just don't have the magic they used to. Maybe I should take more. Note to self: Call Dr. Lee. For now tho the extra-strength back pain stuff my hubs got me is doing pretty decent. Just don't take 'em during the day and expect to stay awake.

The braces? Gave 'em a legit try but turned out using them caused more falls than not. But I did start the new "walking" drug for MS – Ampyra. And I'm trying real hard to get more comfortable using my walker/rollator. Huge. Clunky. People staring. People wondering, "What up with that loser?" and "How come her hair ain't blue?" Kinda pessimistic, heh? Soooo, maybe they're thinkin' . . . "She's a hottie! Way too sexy for that walker!" Ohhhh, great! Now I have Right Said Fred stuck in my head.

So on the mobility front . . . nothing worth writing about. Nothing nice anyways. So what up next then? What indeed? Atlanta round 2? A no go. Northern Indiana doc then. Denied. Mention of Bulgaria – laughed at. More on this and my struggles with Mr. Billboard Insurance Man later. I've typed 'til my fingers are tingling. Now excuse me whilst I dance off here to the music in my head. Ha! I guess the dancing'll have to be in my head to. Oh, well at least it's somewhere! "Everybody . . . FOOTLOOSE!"