Posts Tagged ‘Health Care’

My wife had to have surgery on her mouth to fix two impacted wisdom teeth. Her teeth were not going straight up they were growing sideways pushing at her molars. The dentist told her she had to get this surgery done otherwise she would have severe problems down the line. We have duel dental insurance and at that time health insurance. Between these three the procedure was extremely cheap. The place she had the procedure royally botched the operation and caused a whole new set of problems. She was sent to another dentist, when he saw how badly his colleague screwed up he offered to have all visits with him for free. It was because of this shitty dentistry my wife had to go have a serious surgery because the infection was eating away at her jawbone. After the surgery she had to take hardcore antibiotics through an in-home IV. The whole thing was a complete nightmare, but we did not realize there were other issues to come about. This time it was not her mouth it was the insurance companies screwing up.

When my wife received the first bill she noticed the insurance company did not cover everything they were supposed to. When she called the insurance company she had to jump through all these hoops, talk to many different representatives, and really press the issue until she found out the insurance company miscoded many of the services to the tune of over one thousand dollars. The representative she spoke to said she would make notes in her account and said she would fix it. We also received bills from the dentist’s office after he said all services would be covered. My wife continued to fight this as well. We had to go to some out of network providers specifically for the in home IV antibiotics. We received a referral and before my wife accepted she contacted the insurance company to ensure it would be covered and they gave the okay. Sure enough it was coded as no approval out of network.

She has been dealing with this for months. Every time she calls she has to jump through the same hoops as the time before; only to hear “oh yea we miscoded. We will fix right away.” My wife has been in pain for over two years and she still has nerve damage in her mouth. On top of this she still has to deal with the insurance company which has now sent us to a heavy duty collection company. This has gotten so frustrating for her it will bring her to tears. I wish I had better knowledge of how this all works so I can call and help.

I wonder how many people have to deal with “miscoding?” I wonder how many people just pay their bill unaware they are getting screwed. In the film “Sicko” by Michael Moore it addresses how insurance company employees are trained to miscode varies procedures which would normally be covered. It is no secret insurance companies are crooked. They try to find anyway to get out of covering our healthcare needs. This is no secret yet nothing really gets done to hold these bastards accountable for their crimes against the people. We all pay high premiums month in and month out. For many of us we also have such high deductibles to pay before coverage even sets in.

During the healthcare debate there were a lot of lies, rhetoric and fear mongering going on to try and turn the people against Obama. Some of these same people were the ones who voted for him because of his healthcare reform. I remember seeing rallies were people were freaking out and shouting at people for this reform. I remember people spitting on a sick man holding a sign saying he was dying and has no coverage. I am sure these protesters were either well to do and had cheap coverage, or they were ignorant and had no idea what Obama was actually trying to do. Either way the healthcare bill as it stands sounds like it will do very little to stop insurance companies from bending us over and giving us the high hard one. I am amazed with how crooked people know they are and how much these insurance companies are screwing us; we have yet to rally together and demand change. This is further proof how we are indoctrinated into a frame of mind allowing us to be taken advantage of and just accept it and go about our days. I think we not only owe it to ourselves, but also our children the chance to live in a just and fair society. Don’t you?

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I am by far an intelligent person. I accept there are many things I know very little about. I do know this much though; I never take anything at face value. There are so many things to consider when reflecting on the world around us. Very few people take the time to say “hey wait a minute this just doesn’t seem right.” It is because of this lack of mindset many things are allowed to continue to flow as the status quo. The one area I sit and think hard about is politics. I try not to follow 24 hour news stations because I don’t want my opinion to be corrupted. I am amazed how things continue to go in a shitty direction without more outcries from the American people demanding change. Our elected officials would actually work for the people if they knew we could throw their asses out of office. They would be forced to make decisions focused on the progression of our great nation not on the progression of their bank accounts.

I understand and I am fully aware we have the power to elect our politicians. I also understand we have the choice to not vote for them the next time around if they turn out to be complete douches. What bothers me is the time in-between. It is no secret politicians lie during their campaigns. They say what they know the people want to hear. They will tap into our media outlets and use fear mongering techniques to try and sway public opinion. Once they are in office their promises seem to go out the door, because they know their jobs are safe another two or four years. There are politicians who really want reform, but are not honest enough on their probability of following through because of stonewalling.  

I would like to use healthcare as an example of this problem. When Obama was running for presidency the healthcare reform bill he was presenting was in my opinion a perfect fit for our nation. It is a sad state of affairs that we allow the American people to be screwed. Everyone should have affordable and reliable health coverage. This reform bill is a huge reason Obama and other democrats were elected into office. During and after the campaign there were smear campaigns trying to paint this bill in a horrible light. Many paid for by insurance companies and backed by Republicans. Because of these lies and the resistant’s of Congress and the Senate the bill was transformed into a watered down attempt at reform. It is great that reform was passed, but this is a far cry from what was originally proposed.  

These lies and smear campaigns rapidly changed public opinion. The officials who voted against and backed these campaigns should immediately be exposed and removed from office. The only thing which should allow them to stay in office is if their constituents really did not want reform without the swaying of lies. I am hard pressed to believe entire states would be against such a positive advancement of society. If this is truly the case then I have little faith in our future as a nation. These politicians should be exposed not only for the way they vote, but also for their roll in the defecation of this bill and many others our President is trying to pass.

I would also like to use the example of the bank bailout. Many of the same people who were against healthcare reform were the same people for the bank bailout. The American people as a whole were not behind this. They knew we were mortgaging our future generation’s financial progress by such a thing, yet our politicians allowed this to happen. Why? Because they were able to cash in today, and the dept does not directly affect them. Everyone involved in this should be removed from their positions of power immediately; including our president (I think he voted for.) These bastards got rich off this fiasco, and as demonstrated the banks used these funds to pay out huge bonuses and pay for retreats. Our politicians if they worked for us should stand in and demand repayment to the American people.

If our elected officials knew they would be held accountable for their actions and promises we would see greater progress. The American people should have the power to evict our leaders who are making selfish decisions. This should not have to wait two or four years so things can deteriorate further, these things should be done immediately to keep America moving forward.

Over the past year I have been having some neurological problems. I went to go see my primary physician and he recommended I take an MRI to ensure there were no tumors in my brain. When the test came back as normal the issue was dropped. A few months past by and I was still having some issues. I request my primary refer me to a neurologist. I went in and he did a minor checkup and set me up to have an EEG. This test also came up with no issues. My neurologist referred me to a neuropsychologist who was going to give me various mental and mind tests over a seven hour period. My appointment was Tuesday of last week, and I will be getting the results at 2:00pm today.

I have been suffering from confusion, disorientation, brain reboot, and memory issues. There are times I will become confused and not really know what is going on. This flicks on like a switch; just all of a sudden I have no idea what is going on around me. I have to step back and really strain my mind to figure out where I am and what I am supposed to be doing. Random shit will just pop into my head which lead me to confusion. There was a day when I left my office to go do some mindless task and immediately after my door shut I was overcome with the thought of baseball cards. I no longer remembered what my initial task was all I could do was figure out what it was I needed to do with baseball cards. This single thought consumed me the rest of the day as I tried to piece together this mystery.

If I get in a situation where there is visual and auditable stimulation my mind reboots and I become faint and disorientated. This may last fifteen minutes to an hour. It is very hard to function once I reboot, the worse the stimulation the worse the symptoms. Just the other night I had an episode in my garage. It was dark out and I was relaxing; the only light was from the garage. My wife came out and started to talk to me, and then the kids kept coming in and out of the garage. The mixture of bright lights and commotion caused my brain to shut down; I felt faint and disorientated. I had to close my eyes and wait until my brain rebooted.

I think the symptom which causes the greatest distress on my life is my memory. You can tell me something and in the span of five minutes I have forgotten it. If I am involved in a long winded conversation I am unable to follow along because my mind forgets bits and pieces of the conversation. I then have to try to reconstruct what I just heard and it never translates the way it was meant to be, on top of this I am supposed to wear a hearing aide so not only do I not remember what was said I also cant make out certain words. I have had days where I needed to write the day of the week on my hand or posted to my computer because I kept forgetting what day it was. To me this is the worse one because I love to learn about new things and my brain is not absorbing the information. I need to either hear or read multiple times before it sticks in my head. This issue also causes issues in my relationships because I cannot follow along with things.

I thoroughly enjoyed the testing process. It is amazing how a battery of tests can tell so much about a person. I had to do these memory tests where she would read a story, and then ask me questions about how much I followed and remembered the story. There was this test where they gave me mazes and I had to do them without running into any dead ends. If I did she would take the piece of paper away from me and I had to start over. They gave me the MMPI, spelling, math, building things with blocks, remembering shapes, and about ten other tests. The shitty thing is they would not tell me how I was doing, which has caused severe anxiety. I honestly feel like I mastered every single one of them, but I am unsure creating an unknown which I hate. I feel relieved they didn’t find anything in the MRI, or EEG; so at least know nothing major is wrong with me.

I am having a really bad day filled with anxiety, because I am nervous what they may find wrong with how my brain functions or processes information. I am worried they are going to find out I have brain damage. I do know if these tests come back normal then the only other option would be I am having side affects from my Neurontin. I am so physically and mentally addicted to this shit, I am scared what it is going to feel like to DETOX off this shit. It is not only the withdraw process I am worried about it is the intense anxiety I am going to have. Throughout the years the only anxiety meds which worked for me were Benzo’s. I have to stay as far away from that shit as I can. It was nice to find a medicine which worked without getting me high.

I discovered this weekend my mental illness may have been misdiagnosed. I may suffer from an autism spectrum disorder called asperger syndrome. My wife has been saying for years she thinks I may suffer from such an issue. I scored 197/200 on the test.

Since I was diagnosed with a mental illness back in 1993; the doctors have changed my official diagnosis time and time again. I have been told by every med doctor and therapist that I have the most complex mental illness they have ever encountered. I remember one therapist I had years ago, was so intrigued by me; when I ran out of insurance he offered to see me for free. I have been frustrated with the lack of relief from the symptoms for many years. I have been fortunate enough to have been prescribed almost every single medication to treat any and all diagnoses. If I can draw anything from this experience; I can say I have an extensive knowledge of mental disorders and treatments.

When my wife brought this up to me a few years ago; I did not pay it too much attention. When I think of autism I think of Rain Man. I know for certain I do not behave in such a way so I figured she was confused. Yesterday she read some information to me on this particular form of autism. I was shocked to find out I fit the symptoms in every single form. We decided I should take a test to see what I would score, and review the feedback. I scored extremely high. I will be scheduling an appointment with my doctors for follow-up tests.

I felt a little douchey after I saw my score, but after some thought, I think I prefer this diagnosis over my current one. I know the stigma which comes along with my current diagnosis is very bad. I once got “laid off” the very next day I commented to my co-workers I did not appreciate their rude comments over mental illness because I suffer from it. When people find out my diagnosis I can see them look at me differently. I would think with aspergers, I would not get the same reaction.

You never know they have been wrong before.

Sunday March 21st 2010, was the third meeting of the founding board members of the foundation. The meeting went very well, but still many things need to be figured out. The main thing we accomplished was fine tuning the Pepsi Refresh Grant. We need to add pictures and video, which is our final hurdle.

This grant is our seed money, and is very important in jump starting the foundation. We need to make sure we are putting a good product out there, and market the best we can, with the resources we have. This grant is our source of life.

I received an e-mail from one of the founding board members Rebekah Elling, and she was able to get some of our local ABC news anchors on board, to assist us with the video. This is fantastic news, what amazed me the most is how quickly they responded. I feel this is a positive, because it shows our cause is a good one.

I am attempting to secure our local sports teams in Minnesota; to see if they would be willing to endorse us, or allow us to do a video of team members endorsing our cause. The waiting list to have your application reviewed is six-eight weeks, which means it will not be ready in time for our April submission. I feel if we are able to secure some more public interviews i.e. newspapers, or radio stations we could increase our exposure. Since we are starting out in Minnesota with plans to grow to other states; I would imagine most votes would come from our state.

There are other issues which need to be addressed. I think if each member came up with their own agenda then we could combine into one for our next meeting we should be able to address all issues. I am truly grateful for the founding members of the board. I have stated before my gratitude, but I can never say it enough the group of people we have assembled is a rock star group of people.

As we grow we need to recruit an attorney and media specialist to join our board. Rebekah’s father is interested in joining the board; I think he would be a fantastic addition to the board. His skills in the art of building websites is invaluable.

If you have any questions regarding the foundation; you can reach me at thephilosophyofme@yahoo.com

On Saturday March 6th the founding board members of The Bucket List Foundation met at my house. It is so exciting to be apart of something that can improve so many peoples lives. I had an idea posted in on this blog, and soon after the foundation has become a reality, it truly is amazing. In my mind I thought this would take two months to get going, I was wrong. This could take a good year before we are up and running. If we get that grant, it would happen sooner.

We were supposed to submit our application to Pepsi in March, so we can obtain our grant. We were not ready, so we are going to shoot for April. We are trying to recruit some local celebrity or sports figure to do a small video for us. We are going to use the video for our application, and post it on You Tube. The board members were given access to the grant application, and we are all going to answer the question, then on our next meeting we will combine ideas.

Bekah came up with a great mission statement, which sums up our foundation very well. I really think we assembled a passionate dedicated group. Due to the amount of legal work involved we need to recruit an attorney to join the board. I also think we may need to add a sales professional, so we can attempt to sign corporate sponsors.

After the meeting Heide, my wife and I were brainstorming, and we thought of starting our own group home. This would be no normal group home we would do it Bucket List style. The residents would have 1-1 dedicated attention, rooms designed and arranged to their liking, and of course they would have a chance to fulfil their bucket lists. I am not sure how all of that would work out, we will discuss at our next meeting.

If you want to know more about the foundation you can reach me at thephilosophyofme@yahoo.com

Sorry if this post is choppy, I just had a root canal, and I am still a little fuzzy from the gas.