Friday, December 5, 2008

Forget cancer, f&(* insurance

Thanksgiving morning started out the same as usual, with Deanna calling me at 9:39, the second her Turkey Trot finished, to tell me that she had gotten yet another PR and that it was clearly due to how tiny she was and blah blah blah. I “accidentally” hung up on her when I was unwrapping another bonbon to stuff into my own gaping maw – oops.

Then Thanksgiving at my mom’s, which was a bit of a surreal experience. I guess I’m used to my friends and I making cancer jokes, about the prime bike rack position I should have at triathlons next year, about how I can save on electricity because of the glow from the radiation, etc. So being in the company of people (old friends of the family) who must know about the cancer thing but aren’t sure if they should bring it up – that’s just weird. I know all my mom’s friends know about it – hell, I think I have the entire church of someone from my mom’s Bunco group praying for me – so I’m sure these friends know but just don’t know what to say. I wind up being silent for most of dinner, because I just can’t relate to my idiot brother’s complaints and asinine comments and whatever. (NOTE: this is my idiot brother who moved into the family summer home in WI, not my great and cool brother in CA who works for Nickelodeon and is always trying to kill me when I go out there for a visit.)

Kona at least enjoyed himself, not questioning the pieces of turkey coming his way, like manna from heaven.

Then Tuesday was a drive to South Bend, IN, to pick up two Dobes that needed transporting back to IL. Poor pooches being abandoned, sweet as pie, same old story. The noteworthy thing about this trip was the sign I saw on the way out there. While I’m used to seeing local treasures such as Chubby’s, Mama’s Fried Chicken, and so on, this was the first time I’ve seen the following on a billboard for restaurants: Quaker Steak and Lube. I don’t even know what to say about that, except that I’ll probably not be eating there anytime soon.

Thursday I picked up another Dobe from Chicago Animal Control, and this poor guy was so emaciated it made me want to cry. He got the spare dog biscuits that I keep in my pocket, and he was sweet as can be. I’ve started wearing my Fuck Cancer hat this week, and the woman who works at CAC liked it, though she noted that it took guts to wear it. My response: “I’m a bitter, angry person with cancer – who’s going to dare say anything?”

Then this evening I decided to do the adult, responsible thing, i.e. open my mail. I know I shouldn’t have, but I bit the bullet and decided to go for it. What the hell, right? And promptly discovered that my radiation treatment cost.......$59,000. Really. And that apparently BCBS doesn’t feel like paying my bills anymore, because there was another one that said I shouldn’t pay (yet), but should contact my insurance provider to see why they’re not paying. And my favorite, the letter from BCBS that states that they’ve “made an adjustment” and due to that I need to pay them $5000. For what, it’s not clear, though the date on the claim is 8/29, i.e. the date of my surgeries. So which part of that they think was optional or unnecessary, I’m not sure. I would make the case I saved them money by having the 2 surgeries at once, with only one set of anesthesiologists and one use of an operating room. So fuck you insurance, BCBS, and I mean that profoundly. How dare you saddle me with this bullshit when I have been paying you on my own your super-high premiums for YEARS, without a single health problem? Fuck YOU. FUCK you.

So clearly the cancer isn’t going to kill me, but the stress will. Tomorrow I get to go to a Christmas party that some friends are having – the friends who have everything but never seem happy, and whose latest stress in their lives is, well, planning these parties. So I say this now as a warning, as God is my witness: the first person who complains to me tomorrow night how stressed he or she is because they “have so much shopping to do, and so many parties to go to!” – is going to be soundly bludgeoned with a frozen ham. Or a socket wrench, whatever’s handier.

What’s ironic is that some friends thought that I was depressed earlier this fall, what with the whole cancer and collarbone thing, basically because I was sleeping a lot (brain injury). As they say, “tired is the new depressed.” Or something. But I wasn’t – I was fine, rolling with the punches, doing my own thing. But now? Now I’m depressed. Cancer couldn’t break my spirit, but letters from insurance threatening me with collection agencies have. And yes, I have an out-of-pocket limit, which I met a long time ago, and all my doctors are within my “network.” So BCBS is apparently just trying to harass me to death. It might work yet.

I’m going to go cry now. Really.


tribabe said...

I think you need a "FUCK BCBS" hat now.

Missy said...

You're just having an extended 'moment'. You'll be okay; I promise.

D said...

I don't know how I missed this post before, but apparently I did.

You need to move to Canada. NOW. No more insurance companies for you!