Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Was a VERY Good Girl!

Posted by Picasa So I splurged.

Hey, COME on! It was only $4 at Sam's.

YUM!

This week I:
-Got taught how to do my diabetes testing by a home health nurse
-Got put on a waiting list for *Household Help* by the Home Bound program here in Broward County
-Picked up the Scooter War, making a new ally, and will send in a written complaint and written grievance on Monday
-Set up a social worker visit through my insurance company, to talk about how to get better care, get around, so forth
-Did 2 Doctor Days even when I couldn't
-Did shopping plus rx pickup today.

And a nice crab leg too, of course. Legs are good. Been thinking about that.

The household help would be about 2 hours per week of light housekeeping: vacuum my (masonry) floors, mop them, dust, and change the filters in my HEPA machines and A/C. This will be a huge improvement in my life. I use so much of my limited energy on cleaning my floors that I have no energy or *feet* for other pursuits. Better ones, important ones, fun ones.

No hypersensitive person should do their own cleaning, dusting, and filter changes. It exposes us to a huge influx of allergens. Yet we absolutely must have the cleanest environment possible in order to function.

Hurricane Wilma killed my house scooter last year. I need it replaced. I also need to transport it. I need a way to get to the doctor's office and pharmacy without fainting.

Obviously, getting a WORKING effing scooter of my OWN again means I could stay off my feet. In turn, that means not only much less pain, but a greatly reduced risk of another infection.

Gary at the insurance company, who stayed on the phone with me for about 3 hours Friday, actually UNDERSTOOD that the lack of the WORKING effing scooter was a direct cause of this most recent leg infection.

FINALLY.

And, as so many of you have pointed out, I do need help getting around and getting certain things tended to. Time to face those facts.

The same visiting-nurse company that did the diabetes test instructions also does social worker visits. I have no idea what all this entails. Such things are new to me. But certainly, a social worker type sounds like a good place to start. Someone like that surely can at least tell me where else to turn.

And I spent some time on the phone researching whatever government-run help is out there, too. Thus the *household help* thing. If I could pay money, they'd come out right away. So much for thinking government assistance is free. The waiting list is only for Those Elderly Or Disabled Who Can't Afford It.

First, they're sending someone out to talk to me. I'm curious to know just how long that waiting list is.

And all these people must be told I'm contagious. Since the visiting-nurse company failed to tell that to the actual nurse who came - despite my repeated adamant requests - I'll be sure to tell them myself next time. On the phone before they come, I mean, as opposed to the minute they walk in the door. Poor guy. When he understood what I meant he went green.

Someone who's either too afraid, or doesn't really get it, is of no use to me. I'm talking informed consent here: if you don't understand and accept the risk of getting infected by me, AND how to prevent it, I don't want you around. It's nothing to do with you: I don't need the guilt.

Next week? See if I can arm-twist the insurance company to send someone out again to teach me to use my CPAP machine. I have one of the worst cases of sleep apnea my highly regarded specialist has ever seen. The machine has been sitting in a drawer, unused, for over a year. But that's another story.

8 comments:

Livey said...

k email me your phone number. I have a lot of things to tell you regarding what to ask who and stuff like that. I don't want to type it all out either.

Cindi said...

k, I use a CPAP machine since I also have sleep apnea. When you first got your machine, I am wondering why didn't a rep show you how to use it?

I had to have a sleep study done where I had to spend the night at the hospital for it (not the hospital where I work) and the sleep study was ordered by my late doctor. After it was determined that I did indeed have the apnea and they figured out what ramp number my machine should be set at, (I think mine is set at 15 or 16 which they programmed it before they brought it to me and I can't change it without a doctor's auth.) they had me pick out which provider of the CPAP I wanted to use (I chose a company called Lincare)and then a Lincare rep brought me my new machine and showed me how to use it. Lincare calls me about every 2 months to ask if I need new filters, new hose or a new mask but I can also call them for the same. I have been so happy with the service from Lincare. I just looked at their website lincare.com and they have services all over including Florida. If go to sleep and not use it, I will wake up with a raging headache.

k said...

Cindi - Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

They did show me, but there were problems - I'll post it, it's a long story.

A huge issue is this: My insurance company has only ONE provider for all medical equipment. That company is the same one as the Sccoter War provider.

We aren't ALLOWED an alternative provider! To even ASK entails this huge ridiculous review process, which I'm now going through. And since Central Medical Equipment Rentals is totally incompetent, I'm screwed.

Now, finally, I have an alternative provider to tell them, at least. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And: It's November and open season. It's obviously time to change insurance companies. I cannot take BCBS Health Options any more.

Problem is, I hear the others aren't much better.

Mickysolo said...

Thank you for your replies. After reading a few more of your posts I realized we had much in common. I'm a diabetic on an insulin pump. I usually test four to seven times a day. If you're on insulin, and your insurance company will pay for it, consider a pump. I love the convenience and the control.

I've used a CPAP for four years now. Let me know if you're having trouble with it. When I don't wear mine I don't sleep very well and my snoring sometimes wakes my wife.

As for my leg, tomorrow,Monday morning is Make or brake. If my doctor is unhappy with my improvement, he's sending me for IV antibiotics, outpatient I hope.

If I'm at a large store like Sam's and I can't get a scooter, I don't go in.

Cindi said...

I have only good things to say about Lincare. My co-worker/friend found out she had apnea a few weeks after my diagnosis (she went to the same hosp. for her sleep study)but she had no idea which provider to choose from when presented with the list of providers in our area.
She just randomly picked out a provider and unfortunately she has had the worst service. They never provided her with a contact number for replacement hoses, masks etc. Then her machine broke down too. She had to travel 40 miles away (where the provider is)to give them her machine and they gave her a "loaner" and she is still waiting to get her fixed machine. If that had happened to me, Lincare would have come to my house instead of making me come to them.
She has to go through so many hoops to try to get replacement hoses, masks etc. that she gave up. One night she mentioned that she had duct taped her hose because of a hole. She admits she is a rough sleeper and the reason her machine broke to begin with was because she pulled it off the nearby bedside table while fast asleep and wildly moving around. Anyway, because of her troubles contacting them, I have given her two of my "old" (but in perfect shape)masks w/the velcro straps and a extra 6 ft. hose I had. Her provider never calls her to see if she needs anything and they never call just to see how she is doing with it or have any questions which Lincare does with me. We both have had our CPAPS since Feb. 2005. She has a different type machine than mine and mine is called a ResMed S7 Lightweight. The rep told me it was their newest model and it has a handy carrying case for traveling.

I was thinking maybe you could contact Lincare (assuming you checked out their website, did you find one in your area?)before you switch insurance companies and find out which insurance companies they work with?

It bothers me to think that you have such a bad case of sleep apnea and your CPAP machine isn't being utilized. Sleep apnea is a serious condition which I know you are aware of so pray that you will get the help you need as soon as possible. Shame on whomever for not answering your pleas for help re. this!
By the way, my insurance through my work is Blue Cross Blue Shield.
They bill it through the Chicago office at BC.

k said...

Michael, I finally put up a detailed post about the infection stuff. I've been meaning to for some time, and after reading about your current situation I wanted to do it today. I hope it helps, and I also hope you have time to read it before your *make or brake* appointment tomorrow.

I'm Type 2, and have a mild case that they think resulted from long-term steroid and antibiotic use. So, no insulin. My tests are usually good now, just from diet. So I'm holding pretty steady on the diabetes for now.

Cindi, that is great info. I will certainly call Lincare first, before I change. This is one area I really fell down on the job, and I know it. It was just too depressing trying to deal with that horrible supplier.

BCBS has a lot of different plans, and each office also seems so different. I've had superb service in the past from them, and Health Options was wonderful when they started.

But, now they want us BCBS HO *Medicare and More* people out of their hair. They've gone so far as to say so in writing in a letter to us. I guess this plan, which was an early test program for a Medicare HMO, just isn't profitable enough for them any more. They really hate us, and it shows.

I did my sleep study in March 2005. that is a weird coincidence!

Baby steps. I do take it quite seriously. I talked to Gary about the CPAP issue on Friday, and he suggested we finish the scooter war first. That makes sense to me - I don't want to jeopardize the appeal that's already in process.

And who knows - by then maybe I'll have a GOOD insurance co. anyway. And can use Lincare.

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