Friday, July 6, 2007

Therapy, DIY style

My insurance switched to an HMO this year. Which we didn't terribly mind because all our doctors were in the network anyway, and we got new benefits for the old price. Except, not the old price. We now have $250 deductible for EVERY hospital stay. Right, so if I ever get previa again, like I did with Monkey, I will be very tempted to not leave the hospital after the first bleed. THAT will surely save the insurance company some money, don't you think?

If that was all the inconvenience, I would be tempted to say we'll deal when we get there. But see, the therapist my rabbi recommended? Not in the network. The energy needed to interview in-network therapists to try to find one who is not a boob? Don't have. The nice infant loss study at a local university? Over, as in I finished all my sessions. So what happens next? Last Sunday, apparently. AKA, the explosion. And then, because although I may have me some fancy degrees, not a one of them is in anything resembling psych, then it takes me another day and a half to figure out what THAT was all about.

But see, I have friends in the computer. They, the friends, they are much smarter about this stuff. Or maybe they have just been there before. So they tell me things, and that starts wheels turning, and the squeak is heard for miles. And the neighbors wonder what's up with all the loud noises from my house lately, but are happy that at least this time there don't seem to be flames. Or the blast wave. So finally, there is Understanding. And an inescapable conclusion that I should do it more often. Not the explosion thing. But the figuring it out thing. Normally, one might find a shrink for that. But, see HMO, above (also see: blood-sucking leaches). But, HA! I have friends! in the computer! They be my therapist! Yes, they be. So here goes, my DIY therapy session, courtesy of the smart people on teh internets.

Dr. Fitc: So Julia, how have things been going lately?

Me: Not too good. I had a couple of angry days.

Dr. Fitc: Angry? That's new. You didn't seem to have any anger before.

Me: I didn't. I didn't even know what it was when it came. You know, I don't think anyone could've done anything to save A, so I never feel guilty, and I never feel angry either. Probably because I decided early on G-d had nothing to do with it. My mom, she was very angry and wanted to know why? I told her there is no why, and my sister said if she wanted to be mad at G-d, she could, because G-d can take it, and truly if G-d made life, G-d made death. I am not even sure how much G-d is in this business anymore, so I am leaving G-d out of it. Actually, I get upset when I hear people say anything about G-d and childbearing. Either give G-d all the credit and all the blame, or none of either. There is this joke about a guy who buys some bling, the kind that hangs pretty low, kinda south of the equator, if you know what I mean. Then he wears it to the nudist beach. Where his friend tells him to either remove the bling or put on the swim trunks. That's the way I feel about G-d and human events now. Either in or out. So I am cool with out. Just don't want to hear about praying or deserving.

Dr. Fitc: Were you angry at someone?

Me: No. Just mad. Randomly. Flaring up. Wanting to punch things. I actually slammed the bedroom door such that it twisted in the frame. I got it unstuck later, but for a second I thought I broke it. And I was on the outside at the time...

Dr. Fitc: That's normal, you know.

Me: So I've been told. Wish I figured it out when it came on, and not days later.

Dr. Fitc: It started when?

Me: Sunday. I had a nice time at the party, but was pretty tired the next morning. And there was all that work. I kept doing it-- pages and pages of data. Needed to concentrate, but kept thinking about the ovulation cues that haven't yet shown up. Some did, some didn't. And I was trying to figure out what is going on. And then my mom called with something I thought was a silly request and an inconvenient one. And somehow, I just blew up. JD, he tried to ask me if I was calming down, but I bit his head off too. He could've been nicer to me, though.

Dr. Fitc: And before Sunday you didn't get angry in a while?

Me: Anxious. I was anxious since Thursday or Friday. Oh, wait. I actually got mad at an insurance person on Friday. Raised my voice even. I saw that I was running low on my PCOS meds earlier in the week, but didn't want to go to the pharmacy to refill. I had a brief thought, which at the time made me sad, that since A died I have been to the pharmacy more than in any other time in my life that I can recall. I still take prenatals, and the stuff for PCOS. At first I had the prescription strength motrin. Then I had the two different heart medications. Last week-- antibiotics. Like I am 70. So I didn't want to go, and I let the pills run real low. Plus, I was waiting for the stupid override to let me get the number of pills I needed rather than the number determined by their very Orwellian Quality Care Dosage table. BTW, that table says that the Quality Care dosing for my medication is 68. What kind of sense does it make? It's not like it's two a day for a month. It's just 68. Oh, I know-- they must've figured out how to get those extra days that nobody knows about, all to yourself. The ones where you can sleep and read, and drink coffee, and then plug back into your real life all refreshed and relaxed. So their months are 34 days long. But they forgot to switch the calculation when they came back to our dimension. And also? They work on their extra days. Crazy.

So Friday morning there were no more pills, and I had to go. But I called the insurance first to make sure the override went through. Guess what? They first dropped my call, then claimed to never have received the fax with the request from my doctor. I don't like the office manager at my doctor's, so I thought she screwed up. Called her-- nope, she faxed it over, has a timestamp on her copy and everything. Back to the insurance people. Where she tells me that sometimes your fax can say that it went through, but if something else is printing on their end, the fax gets eaten. That's when I lost it and raised my voice. I told her they were like the biggest insurance company in the state and maybe the country, and I really wanted to know why is it that she is telling me they can't figure out fax machines. And that Orwell was proud of them for naming that particular bag of bureaucratic crap. For some reason she got very accommodating right then. Got my doctor's office to fax the thing to her personally, took it over to the beancounters, whatever. Called me at the end of the day to say the approval didn't come through yet, but she got her supervisor to approve taking the co-pay off for this time, so I could go get the 68 pills for free while they keep debating whether I should have another 25 with each refill. Smart, I know.

Dr. Fitc: How did that make you feel?

Me: Good. Productive, actually. Are you saying that's why I blew up on Sunday? It seemed to work before? But it only made things worse on Sunday.

Dr. Fitc: Well, it works better when the objects are inanimate.

Me: Do blog communities count as inanimate objects?

Dr. Fitc: Why?

Me: I got an email from one about a blog blast that upset me. I think I need to write in and spoil their fun little party. But I have to go by the book store first. To make sure it's not just the blast people who are clueless, but also the book.

Dr. Fitc: Well, the book is pretty inanimate. But remember about the people?

Me: Sure. I don't mean that I will pick a fight. Just that if I answer honestly, there may be some uncomfortable silences.

Dr, Fitc: Would it be honest? Is it something you think needs to be said?

Me: Yes and yes.

Dr. Fitc: Then you better go by a bookstore.

Me: Ok, then. Thanks. Bye.

That completes my first therapy session with the good doctor. I hear Dr. Fitc makes housecalls. Just sayin'.


missing_one said...

now I'm curious what book...

niobe said...

Me too. Curious about the book, I mean. And the blog blast (?)

Sara said...

Oh I'm not curious about the book. I'm done with pregnancy books, I tell you. Good job with the insurance company. I have the same issues with finding a therapist. That's part of why I love you all.

S. said...

I'm finding blog therapy to be a kind of necessary prelude and debriefing space to actual therapy.

Glad you're finding it helpful, too.

kate said...

I had exactly the same idiotic experience with therapists & my HMO. What the heck is up with that? Other than the whole mental health thing, the HMO had been perfectly fine for us, for years now.