I use a BiPap machine nightly. It’s a one-up of a CPAP, because my lovely, full-of-fairies-brain has stopped telling my lungs when to breath. So I stop a lot! The BiPAP takes care of that at night, and since I actually forget to do it during the day, I’m on oxygen 24/7. Anyway, I recently changed insurances, and the new insurance requires all new studies and scripts to continue with my breather-helpers, as I call my equipment. The company that provides this equipment sent me a letter saying I have 30 days to get all new approvals, as the insurance won’t pay. Oh, wait, they already aren’t paying. No one told me till now I need all this crap.
So, I call the equipment company, which I will henceforth refer to as EC. So clever… Anyway, I talk to this nice lady, she tells me I need to see the doctor face-to-face (?–I guess so he can see I can’t breathe), I ask if Doc and I could do a video call instead, and she says the words that make my blood run cold, “I’ll have to check on that, I’ll call you right back.” I reluctantly disconnect the call–I mean, I’d just gone through computer hell, pressing button after button to actually get to a real human. So, I go back to editing my manuscript. A few minutes later, the phone rings. I’m surprised–it’s her! Yes, a video call will work! Happily, I get off the phone, and then I think, how sad that I’m surprised she called back so quickly. But, I have another call to make–the doctor’s office to make a video appointment for everything I need.
As I begin the call, clouds roll over the house and the room darkens. In the distance, dogs howl. A cold wind dances across my back. What the hell– I complete the call, go through all the numbers to get to a person. get put on Everlasting Hold, then I get Her. I explain what’s going on, that I got a letter from EC that says new insurance requires new everything, including the fact that if I don’t do an in-house sleep study within 30 days of seeing the doctor, insurance won’t pay, blah, blah, blah. Will I be able to get an in-house study that quickly? It’s a trick question, people. Of course I can’t get it that quickly, I already know that.
Her: “You can’t make an appointment for a Sleep Study without a doctor’s order. You can’t get an Order until you see the doctor.” It’s just the way she says it, like I’m utterly stupid… Anyway— Me: “I have to get in within 30 days after I see the doctor, or the insurance won’t pay. What happens if I can’t get a Study in time?” Her: “Wellll, I can’t really answer that. I mean, that’s a different part of the Sleep Center. But they have cancellations all the time.” Me: Ok. Last week, I made an appointment for Feb. 3 to see the doc face-to-face, knowing I’d need to do this. I want to change it to a video appointment.” Her: Ok, I can do that.” click-click-click “The soonest I have is Feb. 9.” Wonderful. Insurance won’t pay until then, and this equipment isn’t cheap. But, whatever. So, we go through all the back and forth, and then suddenly–
The black clouds roil. The coldness in my office engulfs me. She can’t hear me. Her: “Hello? Hello? I can’t hear you, so I’m not going to change your in-house appointment to a video one. You will need to call back to change your appointment.” Click.
My temper is rising. The dogs are laughing. Black clouds are now in my office. I stare at my phone. Is she going to call me back? She just verified my phone number twice! No, of course not. I call back to the office, go through all the numbers to get to the person, got put on Everlasting Hold. All over again. As I sit there, again staring at the phone, I have an epiphany! How could I have forgotten–I can do this through MyChart, a wonderful app that keeps me from having to deal with human beings, the main cause of my anxiety. So it takes me about two minutes to make a video appt–on Jan 26!!!–with my doc. I start to cancel the Feb. 3 appt I made, then decide not to. Who knows?
Whew–that was quite a morning and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I was nearly driven to tears by the entire situation, set off by that second phone call. It would have been so simple for her to call me back so we could continue on. But she didn’t. And what’s more, I knew she wouldn’t. She wasn’t that kind of any employee–helpful. She was condescending, not quite rude, and talked to me as if I was sitting here playing with my building blocks and coloring. Ok, I like to color, but that’s not the point. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy, and I daresay most of us are like that.
Sigh. Brave New World, my ass.