Red Tape

posted by Momo Fali on February 18, 2009

It has been a stressful week here at the Casa de Fali. My husband has been working 16 hour days, and both of us are playing a large part in the organization and execution of a charity event which stretches through this upcoming weekend. On top of that our kids are being shipped off, to two different locations on Friday and Saturday too. That alone takes a whole lot of planning. If they aren’t on my list, I’ll likely forget to pack one of them.

But the reason I am exceptionally on edge right now is because of a nightmare of epic proportions. A bad dream full of red-tape, labeled with words like “effective dates”, “claim forms”, and “benefits”. And let me tell you, they don’t put that little skull and crossbones on Rx bottles for nothing.

Now I am not one to complain too much about health insurance. I had two premature babies, and have a son who has had nine surgeries and lots of hospitalizations. My daughter’s bill from her stint in the NICU was $135,000. Not one to be outdone…my son’s combination of services has put him well over that figure.

We will never put into health insurance what we have taken out.

That may not give me any right to complain, but it also puts me in a position where I know a lot of the ins and outs of the industry. And it is one messed up industry.

February has put our family in a sort of insurance limbo, and we are not a group of people who can afford to be in that situation. We have been somewhere between COBRA benefits through my husband’s former employer and having an exception made to our effective date with his new one.

While all this has been up in the air we have continued to need prescriptions. My son desperately needs his reflux medication, he and I both take something for asthma, and my daughter came down with strep throat. In the past two weeks, we have paid our pharmacy nearly $700.00, fully expecting to be reimbursed.

We were, in the sense that yesterday nearly half of that was applied to the deductible on our new plan. But the reflux medicine my son desperately needs? The one that he has to have in order to not throw up every day? The one that costs $388.00 a month? It’s not covered at all.

Not only are we out that money, but now we get to go playing around with G.I. medications until we find something that works comparably well. The cocktail he’s on now took over a year, and a LOT of screaming (by both of us) to come up with…and now we throw that recipe right out the window and start over.

That is why our system is flawed. This kid is six years old and doesn’t deserve to be in pain, or vomit every day when there is something out there that will stop it from happening. His parents shouldn’t have to go bankrupt to provide it for him either.

So if you don’t know where to find me, just look for the mom banging her head against the wall. Though I won’t bang it hard enough that I’ll need to use my health insurance. You can be sure of that.

Drama King

posted by Momo Fali on February 16, 2009

We were sitting in a restaurant last night enjoying a family dinner, when my six year old son heard a song he liked. As he often does (especially at church when the choir is singing), he cocked his head back, opened his mouth and began to lip sync. Though it doesn’t look as much like lip syncing, as it does an open-mouthed howl minus the sound.

I turned to him and rhetorically asked, “You sure do like to be dramatic, don’t you?”

He then gave his eyes a big roll, threw up his hands and sighed deeply before asking, “What’s dramatic mean?”

Grace

posted by Momo Fali on February 13, 2009

I don’t personally know the majority of people who read this blog. I don’t know where you live or your real names. So it goes without saying that I don’t know your religious beliefs. With the exception of a few of you, who I know can’t eat bacon.

I don’t know your beliefs and I don’t really care. I tend not to judge people because I feel that in the end, the judging will be done by someone slightly more powerful than Momo Fali. I think all human beings are flawed, including me, and that’s why I never write about religion. Except for today.

Something happened yesterday that I can’t really describe in any other way than to say I was slapped in the face and then kicked in the shins by God Himself.

I have a reader, named Alison, who hasn’t been around here much lately. It may be that she’s tired of my writing, but a more likely reason is that she just had her colon removed because of Crohn’s Disease. Oh, and she has Lupus too.

So the slap came in the form of a comment from Alison on my post in which I was complaining about my ongoing sinus infection.

A month ago, when Alison was desperately in need of medicine and was dealing with insurance atrocities, she asked her readers to pray (not for her) but for the woman at the pharmaceutical company because she might be “stymied and frustrated” in her job. Yeah, she’s that nice.

The kick in the shins came when I found a brown, tattered, piece of paper laying on my living room floor. I picked it up to find an old Dr. Abby article I cut out over a decade ago. It’s been on the side of my refrigerator ever since…exactly right where I never see it. But there it was on the floor of a different room where I needed to pick it up and look at it. How it got there, I will never know.

Things to be Thankful For

-Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means you have enough to eat.
-Be thankful for the mess you clean up after a party because it means you have been surrounded by friends.
-Be thankful for the taxes you pay because it means you’re employed.
-Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing because it means you have a home.
-Be thankful for your heating bill because it means you are warm.
-Be thankful for the laundry because it means you have clothes to wear.
-Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot because it means you can walk.
-Be thankful for the lady who sings off-key behind you in church because it means you can hear.
-Be thankful when people complain about the government because it means we have freedom of speech.
-Be thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means you’re alive.

Me? I’m thankful that I can still recognize grace when I see it.

Sicko

posted by Momo Fali on February 11, 2009

Somewhere around mid-December my husband brought home a nasty cold. After two days of sniffling and sneezing he was better. For my son, and for me, this cold turned into a sinus infection and we both have been through three rounds of antibiotics to get rid of it. My boy is finally better, but the last two days have left me feeling even worse.

I am typing this with a raging headache, which is a frequent occurrence. I have to use an inhaler before I exercise thanks to my asthma and I take medication and use two different nose-sprays and a rinse for my sinus problems. I am sick. A lot.

I am also a klutz. I have broken the same ankle three times. That stuff they say about the bone getting stronger after it breaks? Not true. I have suffered two concussions and now keep prescriptions in my cabinet for dizziness and nausea.

My ailments over the years have ranged from adhesions from my two c-sections (ow), to pleurisy (more ow), to meningitis (mostest ow). I had meningitis, I can say mostest if I want to.

I once played a board game with two of my sisters where they had to guess the answer I would give to certain questions. One of the questions was, “How many days a year are you sick?” One sister answered 300 and the other one wrote down 350. They were both wrong. My answer was 365.

At the beginning of 2009, my husband said he was going to start a journal to keep track of all my illnesses. Last night, I called him at work and said, “Go ahead and put down that today, on top of my lingering sinus infection, I had dizziness and a sore throat”.

He replied, “I stopped keeping track. I figure it’s easier to write down the days you are well.” That’s how often I am sick. I didn’t even make it a month-and-a-half before he gave up.

My poor health probably just boils down to stress and insomnia, but you know what boys and girls? It’s getting old. I am sick of being sick.

I wish they could give me a pill for that.