Saturday, September 20, 2008

No News Is...Well...NO News...

Ah...I am so sorry, all two loyal CHEESE readers, for 'dissing' you here and not posting more regularly these past few weeks. The truth be known, I have just been so incredibly busy and not feeling well for 3 to 4 weeks...blogging has had to take a back seat as I try to maintain some sense of balance (funny analogy for a vertigo-stricken MS patient, eh?!?) in my life and not fall prey to various annoying-and-possibly-stress-induced MS symptoms. I became so weak at work yesterday, I thought I was going to have to pack my bag and return home to the confines of my it turned out, it was discovered by one of the ER nurses (at one of the hospitals I frequent for WORK) yesterday, that I was running a low grade fever (100.2) as the possible culprit for my pending demise. I did manage to work to the end of my shift, but not without frequent breaks and *cursing* under my breath!

I sent Dr She Who Will Not Be Named a series of emails regarding my health (or lack there of) status, but realize I am most likely the victim of my own stupidity and simply need to slow down my pace for the time being. Here's a narcissistic excerpt for your reading (sent after she advised me she was "worried" about me AND she is leaving the area for 10 days):

Something is "wrong" with me, but I don't think it is life-threatening...LOL I'm honestly not sure WHAT this is as I just generally feel *sick*...I get a headache sometimes w/ feeling dizzy, my speech has been effed up for two weeks now, but is more my thinking than actual enunciation. My leg started out feeling "restless-y" immediately following my Tysabri infusion then switched to feeling *heavy*, so I've just chalked THAT up to "something new". My sleep is horribly disturbed and my joints ache a lot in the night (which could be why my sleep sucks?!) as well as I am horribly fatigued AND needing naps during the day just to function, which I have never done before. I do NOT feel depressed and my emotional state is unchanged. I've seen AIDS patients with PML and I'm fairly certain that is NOT what is wrong (my vision is fine, no unusual clumsiness, no paralysis, etc.). And now this evening, I discover I am running a low grade fever. I don't "think" I have any kind of infectious process and, if I did, something should have shown up on my labs on 8/29/08. This has been gradually worsening for the past 3-4 weeks and, quite frankly, just seems like some weird *thing* that is shifting around inside me--nothing really worthy of complaint until today as it has started to affect my functioning at work.

I imagine this, too, shall pass...*things* ALWAYS do...eventually. I just got so suddenly weak today, I think it frightened me more than endangered me. And, I STILL haven't left work yet because I can't focus to get my paperwork done! Sigh...No worries...seriously. My fingers aren't broken and I know how to dial XX(*her minion at the office*) or 911 if I need to. :-)

I also resumed the *battle cry* with Club Med (remember the Tysabri infusion/billing debacle?!?) this week and, finally yesterday, had simply HAD ENOUGH. I decided it is/was time to offer *no more Mr. Nice Guy* (or as the case may be, no more *patient patient*) and fire my final warning shot overhead. The following email stirred a most accommodating phone call from Club Med's head of the Financial Department and I am tentatively scheduled to meet with them in person on Monday (names have been changed to avoid future lawsuit!):

Ms. Blahty Blah,

I am now addressing YOU regarding my month long inquiry of charges billed to my insurance company *rhymes with "Netna"* (on the advice of XXXXXXX at the the place I go for clinical care) and my ongoing dispute of charges with Club Med for services 5/14/08, 7/29/08, and 8/29/08. Your name is simply the NEXT in line of a series of names with whom I have had contact.

I received Tysabri infusions at the Club Med infusion center on the above mentioned dates. My insurance company has been billed a WILDLY and varied amount of charges for each of these three, identical services--no billing has remained consistent, yet the procedure has NOT varied at all. I have spoken to or emailed no less than EIGHT different individuals within the Club Med and Clinic systems, repeating the same litany of questions/concerns for OVER one month, and have yet to receive ANY reasonable answers to my questions, and at times, even no ACKNOWLEDGMENT of contact. I have left TWO separate voice mail messages for a Your Minion with a request to meet face to face to review an ITEMIZED billing/statement of charges (specifically concerning over $10,000.00 of charges hidden as "hospital incidentals" in billing), yet she does not return my phone calls or even acknowledge my concerns. This level of disregard is highly appalling and furthermore what would be deemed a disgrace in any business setting.

This lack of response and inability to work with me directly as a PATIENT of services within the Club Med care delivery system is affecting my health. I should NOT have to spend countless hours constructing emails and placing phone calls to a system that is "supposed" to be designed to promote my health, not systematically increase stress that directly affects my diagnosis and the VERY REASON I seek treatment within the Club Med Hospital system. I have given what I feel is a reasonable amount of time to Club Med to resolve what appear to be fraudulent insurance charges and questionable medical delivery practices and time to make amends to my insurance company, myself, and numerous other patients currently receiving Tysabri infusions at Club Med Hospital. I had faith the matter would and could be handled internally within your system and not require outside intervention. My patience with the matter is frankly exhausted and, as a consequence, my health is suffering.

Please be aware if I do not receive some sort of response from the Club Med Hospital system by Monday, September 22nd, at 5:00PM, THAT ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS I HAVE POSED IN WRITING REPEATEDLY (if you'd like a forward of the numerous emails sent and received regarding this issue, I will gladly send), I WILL be filing formal appeal to insurance company that rhymes with "Netna", contacting the "Netna" Insurance Fraud Line, contacting the County I work in Benefits liason, contacting the State Pharmacy Board, contacting a media source who has already voiced interest in investigating this matter for me, and contacting any regulatory agency that can be remotely connected to the matter.

I can be reached either by email or directly at my super secret bat phone number. Please be aware my phone line does have confidential voice mail and a message is welcome at this number. Because I work full-time (in order to PAY for the insurance that PAYS Club Med Hospital), I may not be able to respond to messages immediately. I do look forward to hearing from you directly regarding this matter and hope answers can and will be obtained.

Thank you,

The bitchy Tysabri patient who refuses to change medical care locations because if I did, you'd wash your hands of me and NEVER respond to these concerns!

So, as you can see, I've been a tad bit preoccupied and begging your forgiveness in my lack of blog reading and blog posting in the MS World of late! I'll keep you posted on the outcome of what I can only ASSUME will be yet another feeble attempt by Club Med to shut me up on Monday.

Peace Out...LOL...


Kimberly said...

One of the reasons I follow your blog is that you crack me up and I love your spirit! Keep it up!

Shauna said...

What Kimberly said goes for me....and I've seen other readers here, too, so I KNOW you have more than two of us.

Look after yourself.


Denver Refashionista said...

I too have been having many of the symptoms you mentioned. They seem too mild to skip work but too bad to focus or function well. I have noticed dizzinees, nausea, headaches, heavy limbs and a strange never thing. I'm frustrated because I'm not sure if this is just every day life now or if it's an exacerbation. Either way, I wake most days in dread.

Tricia said...

Go get 'em! Our insurance has never paid more than $3500 for this including the drug! When the drug was sent from the specialty pharmacy they paid around $200 for the infusion therapy.

It's ridiculous and you shouldn't let them get away with it, charges like that are why are insurance costs so much these days.

Oh and I read you through google reader so unless I click through to comment it may not look like I'm reading but I read every single post!

I'm a cheese addict!

Bubbie said...

I'd be worried about you, had I not read your latest battle cry to Club Med. LOL Can't wait to see how they respond now that they realize the wizard's curtain has been pulled away. Hang in there, but gawd...puleese...pace yourself. lol

pb said...

Is it the change of season or what? My legs are alternately killing me or simply hanging there useless.

I'm begging for a true frost to kill the pollen that is turning our air gold around here, too.

Between the change of season and the hyperactive immune system, maybe we should just pray for Winter.

Sara said...

glad to see even when you're not feeling your best, you can still make me laugh hysterically!

Miss Chris said...

I'm so tired of insurance companies trying to stick it to us. They make everything so hard (like having an incurable illness isn't hard enough...).