Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Whiling away the hours...of the lupus waiting game.

Can you hear that? It's the sound of the Gorman household breathing a big sigh of relief. As of Feb 1st, three out of the four us had their health insurance restored. Thank goodness! (Johnny and the girls were the three affected…but it was a long, hand-wringing, 31 days for mom!!)

The girls have been under Johnny's insurance plan since they were born, while I’ve been on a separate, richer, more costly plan. But with the changes in healthcare, Johnny and the girls had to switch insurance plans, as did a lot of you, I’m sure.

Thus, the first week in December, Johnny and I met with our insurance broker, who laid out our options for new coverage. We ran the numbers, and it made sense for us to combine plans. It wasn’t much savings, mind you – Johnny and the girls’ insurance went way up, while mine went down, but logistically, it would be better if we were all on the same plan. We submitted our application and payment within the first week that apps were allowed. A few weeks later (i.e. the last week of the year), Johnny followed up to check on our new coverage, only to learn that our application wasn’t processed until three days after the deadline. Not sure how that happened, but the outcome was the same: As of Jan 1, we would be without insurance.

Johnny took control, which required many hours on the phone with the insurance company, and was able to keep my coverage in place for another month. But he and the girls were without an option. They would have to wait until Feb. 1st for their insurance to kick in. (After a few days, the insurance company did offer to retroactively put their coverage into place, but we would have had to pay for both my coverage ($1000+) in addition to the new coverage (which is $1200+), so we just couldn’t swing it. So that left us with 25 days and counting without insurance.  

Now, the fact that I had coverage was nice. Johnny made sure that happened. But knowing that the girls and Johnny were without coverage wasn’t pleasant. For the girls, specifically, I had an epi-pen and nasal spray to refill, an ENT appointment to schedule, and had to witness a bout of croup, several lingering coughs, and colds during the month. None of which resulted in a run to the doc, and I hope we would have been able to do whatever was required. Of course, having the funds readily available to do whatever was needed would have been another issue.  

But that’s behind us now. I’m just thrilled that the coverage has kicked in. I hated that waiting period!

The month-long ordeal reminds me of how much anxiety the medical waiting game can really cause. For me, the three situations that cause me the most angst are as follows:

1)     Awaiting test results: Last year, about this time, I was awaiting the results of a lymph node biopsy, and it wasn't fun. The samples had been taken. They were what they were. I just had to sit back and wait. Yuck! 

2)     Awaiting a call back from the doctor: This is usually a shorter time-period, but it can still feel like FOREVER since you left a message with the nurse to pass along to the doctor. I always feel like I’m putting my life’s schedule on hold until I hear if I need an emergency appointment, if I need to up my medication, or if I should just carry on as normal.  Those if’s are the worst!

3)     Knowing your test results, but having to wait for a follow up appointment to know what the plan of attack is: I suppose the wait can conceivably give you time to adjust to the news, or allow you to evaluate the treatments that had likely been discussed previously. But usually, I’m just anxious to get the ball rolling. And the extra wait time gives me way too much opportunity to run the dreaded Google searches that I always warn others NOT to engage in!


On Friday, I’ll tell you a few strategies I’ve come up with for biding my time. But for now, I guess you’ll just have to, ahem...well...wait! (That really isn’t that funny, is it?) 

2 comments:

upnorthsal said...

Oh, Sara! So glad I found your blog. Very needed in this time of, well, you know....
(Didn't you know that Lupus gives us psychic powers?)
Anyway- I enjoy reading your blog and am discovering some things I have not tried. I think I will re-read the book "Everything I know I Learned from Kindergarten!Naps are good things.

Sara Gorman said...

Naps do indeed rock! Thanks for stopping by. I'll look forward to hearing from you again!