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14 October 2010 @ 09:19 pm
Brains, Wild Boys, and Teeth  
*crawls out from under her rock*

I know I've been missing in action for quite some time now, and while I do have some legitimate excuses, I feel very badly about neglecting my friends. Sometimes RL gets its teeth into you and it's like trying to pry open a bear trap! I've been keeping up with everyone in silent running mode, for the most part. Things have been odd, here on the homefront.

First, there's my health, and all the nasty associated expenses. Towards the end of September, I experienced a migraine quite different from any I've ever had before. (I've had them on and off since I turned twenty, so that's saying something!) It was painful, as usual, but it was accompanied by a tingling in the extremities on my right side. Fingers, toes, the muscle in my thigh... then it spread to my tongue and nose, but only the *right* side. It was like someone had chalked a line directly dividing my body. I called the doctor when I got home from work, and she told me to go to Urgent Care, where they gave me the general physical test for a stroke. Mostly like a drunk test, but with more emphasis on gripping, and on my sense of smell. (All my migraines are proceeded by the smell of oranges-- my 'aura') The doctor at Urgent Care said he didn't think I was having a stroke, but that it was entirely possible that I might be, as migraines at a certain pain level can cause them. He didn't want to give me any of the usual shots, as the strong medication would make it difficult to determine whether or not my usual symptoms had gotten worse. He advised me to head down to Arrowhead Medical, the closest actual hospital in our rural area, for a CAT scan. He said this was the only way to tell if I was having a stroke or a "complex migraine". Little Cousin drove me and, though the doctor swore he'd fax ahead, I ended up there with no recommendation and a hastily scrawled paper from Urgent Care. The girl checking me in handed me a paper to sign, one that would make me legally responsible for a $1200 CAT scan bill, should my insurance refuse to pony up. Now, Nameless Co used to offer pretty good insurance but, as I'm sure others can attest, the economy has stripped everything down. I couldn't sign the paper-- the upstairs toilet is still in the hallway, half fixed, because we didn't have the money to get it fixed after rot in the baseboard was cleared up! Long story short, I left Arrowhead without allowing myself to be admitted. The nurse was extremely flustered, and I felt badly, but I was very irritated when she tried to tell me I couldn't leave. She said it would imply that they were refusing me medical care-- I assured her I was the one refusing it, because I don't do things I know I can't pay for.

The symptoms went on for three days. Finally, my Primary Care Physician got the paperwork and redtape completed that would assure me that the CAT scan would be covered by my insurance. So, I went and laid down in a little tube for twenty minutes, and thanked God that the scan was ordered without dye, because needles and IVs turn me into a fainting Victorian maiden. (It's really very sad. ^^)

A week ago, I got a bill from my insurance.

I'm sure you all know how this story ends-- I was a fool to think otherwise. Despite my doctor's assurances that it would be covered under 'medical necessity', and the fact I called the company myself to check, I received a letter in the mail informing me that my insurance was graciously condescending to pay $378 for the procedure. Leaving me with a bill for $591. When I called the company back, the girl explained to me that they always assume full coverage because it's impossible to tell how much they'll cover until the test is done. Which is, of course, a poorly disguised but perfectly legitimate trap. *bangs head* I'm on a payment plan, which only saves me from having to come up with the money right away. Guess who gets to work lots of nasty overtime this Christmas?

On the bright side, the CAT scan came back negative (which, of course, makes me feel like a wasteful worrywart). My doctor thinks it was in fact a complex migraine. She's changed some of my medication, which is always a fun little merry-go-round. I'm glad I wasn't having a stroke, but these new migraines are unpleasant and worrisome. I've had two more since the original, and they absolutely destroy me for at least twenty four hours each time. I'm grateful to GFTW (God Fate Time Whatever) that nothing serious happened, but I'm still frustrated. I should really count my blessings, though. *is stern with herself*

On top of that, LC leaves on the 25th for Boot Camp. My feelings about this are so complicated (and, alarmingly, bordering on the edge of motherly distress) I can't even begin to sort them out. His behavior when he first moved in with us was dreadful... really, it was. But there was the time before that, growing up, when he really was like a second little brother to me. Sam thinks that LC felt adrift in life and that joining the Army makes him feel like he has purpose, which has in turn improved his behavior at home. He even brought the gun back out of the woods and turned it over to my brother. What actually prompted that, I'll never know. There's no denying that he has been easier to live with, and that he's made more of an effort to be part of our hodgepodge family... probably because he does know he'll miss us when he's gone. We're having a party for him on Saturday, so all the relatives can come and say goodbye. X_X;;;

All along, I thought I was dealing with this, acknowledging the date in my mind and talking with him about his plans. (Oddly enough, he's made it a habit over the past few months to sit down and talk with me, often at odd hours. Go figure.) His mother is in complete denial.
... the closer the date gets, I wonder if I am more in denial than I'm ready to admit. Then, of course, I try to remind myself how crazy he was making us all last May, and how wildly he was behaving himself.

Really and truly I've missed talking to everyone. *hugs* I feel dreadful about having been away so long, but every time I sat down to type I seemed to lock up, or there wasn't enough time, or something. RL's a bitch.

I did break down and buy Season Two of Torchwood-- I hate to give RTD money after COE, but it was on sale at Borders for 40% off, so I figure he's not getting much. ^_~ I've been pecking away at "In Amnion", and hope to have a new chapter up by Halloween. I was watching a documentary on vampire mythology the other day (made in the 90's and hosted by Will Riker, of Star Trek: TNG-- I kept giggling inappropriately)... I really enjoyed it, but it got me thinking about the pop-culture changes that sterilize the myth. *shudders* God, sometimes it's like Disney with Grimm's Fairytales. Pop "bubble-gum" is all well and good (and entertaining! ^_^), but sometimes I just want sharp canines, you know?
Give me some blood, some spraying arteries, some flesh and bone violence of human emotion-- affection, hatred, devotion.

... I think I'm a bit weird, really.
It's a wonder that CAT scan didn't show up as one great bit toddler's scribble. ^_~

*hugs again*
Meredith
 
 
Emotional Temperature: restlessrestless
The Band Plays:: "Sadawi"-- by the Accentus Ensemble
 
 
 
gamesiplay: What the fuck?gamesiplay on October 15th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Oh, god, Meredith, how awful. Has the new medication done anything at all yet?

I am very, very glad you didn't have a stroke, but so sorry that the healthcare system screwed you over (as it is wont to do). That's horrible.

I've missed seeing you around LJ-land. I feel like I haven't really talked to you in a while, and that's no good. *hugs*
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: friendsgarnettrees on October 18th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
*hugs* I've missed seeing you around, too. I feel bad I haven't kept up as much as I should-- you're still one of the people I most adore talking to, you know.

Has the new medication done anything at all yet?
It's made me shockingly more susceptable to bruising? *vague hand motions* Seriously, I just banged my leg into one of our short file cabinets at work, and now it looks like I have a hickey ala The Giant Spider Invasion. X_X;;;

I am convinced that healthcare of all shapes, kinds and sizes exists primarily to screw one over. I so look forward to when the government takes over and makes it even more complicated. I'll probably need to fill out forms to bleed *eye roll*

*hugs again*
-Meredith
Amberminttown1 on October 15th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
<3 I have little else to say. I hope you're feeling better soon.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: lotusgarnettrees on October 18th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
Hearts from you are awesome enough. *<3's back* You're so sweet to me!
-Meredith
hab318princesshab318princess on October 15th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
here's hoping the new meds help... !
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ohiknowgarnettrees on October 18th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
Thank you, darling! I have my fingers crossed, too!
-Meredith