APAD Day 38 $1.72 to pee

Have you ever heard of a foley catheter? It is an indwelling catheter that is a attached to an external urine collection bag. If you have ever been hospitalized and needed a catheter this is the kind they used. Not fun right? RIGHT! Fortunately, they also make one time use catheters. They are individually packaged. When you need to urinate, you insert the single use catheter while sitting on the toilet. Your bladder is emptied, then you remove it and discard it. YAY!!!!…. or not.

Single use catheters are expensive! $1.72 each to be exact. So if I have to pee 10 times a day that’s $17.20 a day to pee or $516.00 a month. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!?!?!

The reason this comes up is because I have Medicare and they have decided that I am allowed to pee free of charge 6x a day but no more. If I have to pee more, I’m gonna have to pay for it. $206.40 a month to be exact. Yeah that’s not going to happen. I do have other choices though

  1. Reuse the single use catheters ( Mind you the box they come in, the patient information, and just about every website that sells catheters STRONGLY insists that they are not to be reused.) Medicare even has a commercial on tv that a person should be able to use a new catheter each and every time they urinate. (Then why the hell won’t you pay for it?!?!!?)
  2. I can use a foley catheter (walk around with a bag of pee strapped to my leg everyday) for a couple weeks a month when I run out.
  3. Try to spread awareness of this issue, hoping it will make a change.
  4. Try to enlist others to spread awareness as well.

I’ve chosen to do all four of the choices that I feel I have. I am also going to attempt to contact Cure Medical to see if they have any patient assistance programs. https://curemedical.com/contact-us/

If you are able, please share this story or blog, tell someone the story, something. It would mean a great deal to me if you would.

Do you have any other thoughts on how to work around this problem?

A Post a day APAD Day 12 Can you help me?

“Can you help me”?

Don’t Answer that! It’s a trick question! At least for me it is. When someone, hell anyone, asks “Can you help me?” In all of two seconds I respond, “sure” or “probably”. What they don’t ask and I don’t ask myself is, “Do I want to?”. I really need to learn to start saying, “No”.

I absolutely HATE asking for help. It’s probably more that I hate NEEDING help, but either way I hate it. So when someone asks me for help, I automatically feel that it must have taken them alot to ask me and I pretty much automatically respond “Yes”.

Just say no

Grace just say no.

Grace just say no.

Do you think it will help?

A Post a Day APAD Day 8- thrown under the bus

Thrown Under the Bus

Before you try to throw me under the bus, make sure you know who’s driving it. I have been thrown under the bus so many times, I have permanent tire tracks on my head, I’m sure of it.

Last year was a pretty rough year for me in many ways. At one point when I needed help I reached out to someone I normally would not have. I HATE asking for help, absolutely hate it. But there it is I did. As a result, when the person that helped me reached out to me asking for help, I felt obligated to help when normally I would not have gotten involved.

I got involved.

So I got involved. I took care of shit that H, should have handled on her own. A couple weeks later I get a call from T, her boyfriend, asking why I got involved. I responded, because “H asked me to”. She did?!?!? YES. I’m not surprised that H didn’t tell T. I am surprised and a little hurt that she tried to pin it all on me though. I guess oh well, my “debt” is paid. I didn’t do anything wrong, illegal, or unethical, I just got involved in something I normally wouldn’t and while I “fixed” the problem, trying to throw me under the bus created 100 new problems for them.

I know this post may seem a little cheesy, but I wanted to ” get it out of my head”, but I don’t need to throw someone under the bus to do it. I don’t need to air someone else dirty laundry, but I do need a reminder to continue to mind my own business. This is that reminder.

Waiting to hear the words, “I’m sorry”

To be honest, I don’t even NEED to hear the words, “I’m sorry”, what I need is for people to stop blaming someone or something else for EVERYTHING!!!

Before I begin “todays story”, let me state that I am currently kind of angry and very disappointed. Even though TECHNICALLY I didn’t do anything wrong, I am still owning some blame for something that never should have happened. I’m not being a dick about it, but I am also not accepting, “well you have to understand”. I don’t have to understand. You fucked up. You should apologize. Seems pretty simple.

Several weeks ago, my mom (who has dementia) was told that she needed to have cataract surgery. Because this is something I have been dealing with for some time now, I have become quite good at taking charge of and handling affairs that she can no longer manage. In this instance, I made the appointment for her surgery. I went over all of her medical information (including the fact that she is extremely anxious and suffers from dementia) with the nurse and pre op people. I made sure everything was prepaid. I made sure they had a copy of her power of attorney. I made sure that her prescriptions were filled and my father would oversee their use. I reiterated numerous times that they would need to allow my father to stay with her until she went to the operating room. I was assured that there would not be a problem with this….. Until there was.

A week before surgery, while I was in Colorado. I received a call saying that because of an outbreak of Covid at the surgery center, they would be shutting down for two weeks. “Okay, no problem”, I said. Who was I going to be mad at? Shit happens right? Two weeks go by, and I have to go through all of the preop information again. Also not a problem. I remind them that my father will need to stay with my mom up until the last possible moment. “That won’t be a problem”, we have it notated in her chart. After hanging up with the surgery center, I sat down with both my parents to go over the new information. I reminded them that because of Covid, they might say that my father couldn’t come in. He would just need to tell them to review her chart because they were making an exception for them.

My Mom’s surgery was scheduled for 8 am yesterday. At 10:34, I got a tearful call from my mother yelling, “they wouldn’t let dad go in with me!!! They messed up the surgery!! It hurt so bad I was screaming so they had to stop!”…etc etc etc

Good thing there wouldn’t be a problem huh?

After “talking my parents down”, I called the surgery center and politely asked to speak to “whoever was in charge of listening to complaints”. I briefly explained that my mother had a bad experience and I wanted to talk to someone who could give me more information. I was transferred to the “Director of blah blah blah’s voicemail”. My message was worded something like this… “Hello I’m Grace, my mother (her name) had surgery at 8 am this morning. I just received a very panicked phone call from my mother stating that something had gone wrong during surgery and they wouldn’t let my father in or explain anything to him even though I was assured this would not be an issue. Can you please review any case notes you have and call me back?”

To her credit “director girl” did call me back that afternoon. BUT the first words out of her mouth were, “I can only discuss limited and general information with you because of the HIPAA laws”. I responded, “I am not calling to yell and scream. I am calling because my mother is very upset and I would like to know if you can provide any insight into what happened there today so I know how to proceed.”

As I waited for her response, I thought to myself “Don’t say hippa, don’t say hippa”…. Guess What …..she said HIPPA. (SMDH)

In case you aren’t aware of what Hippa laws are, here is a brief definition : The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.

DEEP BREATH

I interrupted her spiel to say,

“I need you to listen to me”. shut the fuck up and stop hiding behind hippa

“I have medical power of attorney over my mother that overrides Hippa” which you would know if you actually read the case notes before calling me In fact, not one person in your office has ever spoken with my mother about her surgery, all communication has been through me. The reason for this is because she has Dementia. Because she has dementia she needed to have my father with her to assure her that what was happening was ok. If you read your fucking notes you would see that! I was assured numerous times before her surgery that this would NOT BE AN ISSUE! More importantly though, I need to know if something went wrong during surgery.

She responded, “I’m going to have to check her records to find the power of attorney, will you hold?”

“Sure not a problem” you fucking moron

When she came back to the call she said, “Ok I found the power of attorney and I see the notes that your father needed to accompany your mother”.

OK and someone fucked up right?!?!?

Can you tell me if something went wrong during the surgery? Why was she in pain?

A whole bunch of big scientificy words came out of her mouth. (to be fair, I guess I did ask for that.) But what I also heard were more excuses….

“NORMALLY this portion is not painful” “Yes she was quite upset” “She had to be sedated, but then everything was fine.” “Because of covid, we don’t let patients bring anyone in with them unless it’s medically necessary” “Your father didn’t argue”

FINE?!?!?!? You not only sedated my mother without her consent, but you didn’t tell my father that she had to be sedated?!?! something he might want to fucking know since he would be taking care of her!!!!!!!!

“So what you’re saying is the surgery was a success and there were no complications?”, I asked.

YES. Someone from post op will be calling her tomorrow to discuss that.

Wow! Just wow!

My thoughts……

Good luck with that you fucking idiot. I already told you all of the information you have for her is mine. When you call her, you will get me. You guys fucked up on so many levels, and now you want to blame covid and tell me everything was a success?!?!? What are you going to do to make sure this never happens again. Why haven’t you apologized?!?!

What came out of my mouth

I understand that Covid has made things very difficult for everyone. I would not want the stress of your job for anything. Although it may not make sense to you, when they call to talk to my mother tomorrow, I am going to need them to apologize to her for not allowing my father to be with her. They will also need to reassure her that she will recover completely from the surgery. Now because you only have my phone number and I want to make sure this happens, I also need to know when to expect this phone call so that I am with my mom when it comes in. Can you give me an approximate time?

I am aware that an apology won’t undo what happened, but neither will excuses. I thought I had done everything that was necessary to make this as smooth as possible. Apparently, I should have gone with her. That’s on me. I will know better for next time. I apologized to my mom for not being there, and have tried to assure her that everything will be ok.

The surgery center is supposed to call at 10:15 central time today.

Isn’t it Ironic?….smh

Have you ever heard of the Link or EBT card or food stamps? Usually people receiving government benefits such as these have some kind of disadvantage that prevents them from earning enough money to live on. Examples might include a mental or physical disability. Lack of childcare etc. So why are the benefits so hard to use?

I’m not sure if I ever stated that I was on Social Security Disability before. (very limited income) This year with the increase in my medical expenses, I have qualified to not only receive financial assistance to help with those bills, but also have qualified for the link card.

Last weekend, I tried to complete an online order at Sam’s club as I have frequently done in the past. Pre-covid, the system was called Click and pull. The process was usually fairly easy and straightforward. You selected the items you wanted by placing them in your cart, and when finished you would select the date and time you would be picking up your items. When you arrived at the store, you would go to a special “click and pull” desk with your list, or confirmation code and your payment. Someone would then bring all of the items to the front of the store for you, and even help load your car. Win win right?

Why not THIS time?

I went online, selected my items and was directed to a new area called, “curbside pickup”. Okay. no biggie right? Well apparently it is a big deal. You must pay for your order before the club will pull it. OK, I get that, but WHY DON’T they take link online?!?!?!? If I need to use the link card I have to shop for myself, which kind of defeats the advantage of online shopping doesn’t it?

I even called the store to explain my problem and asked if I could pay for my groceries with my credit card, but switch the payment types at customer service when I picked up the food…… NOPE! As a side note, a good portion of the items I tried to purchase where eligible for FREE SHIPPING, but you also can not use the link card for shipped items?!?!?

Everywhere in the US is still encouraging social distancing. People that are immuno-compromised are supposed to avoid others even more. So WHY do I have to go in the store?

Am I the only one who sees the irony of this?

I feel like the system is designed “to keep a man down” more than to help them.