Saturday, February 3, 2018

A "tiny" insurance glitch, good days, great friends

A morning of "holding"

Yikes! I get a bill in the mail for around $2400 from a lab I never heard of in Austin, Texas for "service" performed on 12-20. Quick check of the calendar, that was the day my left breast and adjacent lymph node were mercilessly poked several times and some tiny worm-like pieces of me were sent to a lab for analysis. Aha!
Start with phone call to insurance to find out what they need, my bill from the lab came with a note that said: "insurer needs results paperwork." Cryptic...
My bones are tired of sitting
On hold for 38 minutes while I check email, read news, read a book on "fear" as per Zen philosophy, check Facebook...oh finally! Insurance does not need results, they need a bill from the surgeon who performed the biopsy before they can cover my lab results. Makes sense, I guess.
Quick phone call to my Breast Care Advocate, they don't handle billing.
Frantic search for the place that actually performed the biopsy along with surgeon's name, good thing I keep everything. Subsequent phone call to the surgery center, hold for 12 minutes, transferred to billing, hold for 21 minutes.
And then FINALLY, someone tells me that they just resubmitted the entire claim to my insurance after the initial rejection. I suppose I have no choice but to believe that.
Quick phone call to the lab that billed me directly, hold for--NO HOLD! Nice lady will put my account on hold while all the paper-pushers talk to each other and hopefully everything gets resolved.

Good days, bad days

Again, I have to be thankful for the many many good days, walking in the park, awesome weather and lack of major side-effects. I read so many stories of people that "kicked it" and so many stories of people that succumbed to this horrible destiny. Some much younger than I, some left with no hope after diagnosis.
Where else! My fav park in the sunshine
Again, I feel blessed and lucky and able to withstand the bad days when my energy is sapped, my mental will falters, and my strength is a mere shadow of its former self. Prior to being diagnosed, all I ever asked for was strength and energy and I moved mountains and withstood every storm. Those two things aren't there all the time now and I am mostly bewildered by the "new" me.

My new friends

So I already made some "treatment chair friends." You know, you have friends and Facebook friends, and art festival friends and now I have cancer friends.

I met one of them at the biopsy place. Back then, she sat and towed an oxygen-tank cart, struggled with a folder with papers and a water bottle. She dropped the bottle and, in reaching down to pick it up, she dropped her folder. I hesitated for a second because her medical records were now visible to all but I couldn't just watch and walked toward her and helped her pick everything up. I had a plastic bag that was given to me at the reception so I took my stuff out and placed all her papers and her bottle in there.
Funny thing, we didn't say a word, she took my help, I smiled. She held her hand up to show me it was trembling uncontrollably. I grabbed it and held it for a few minutes, until they called my name.
I saw her again about 3 weeks later at the cancer place, she looked so much better and I almost didn't recognize her. Again without saying a word, this time she approached me in the waiting room and gave me a hug and we both smiled.

My other friend...well, I will leave that story for next post because it is just too funny and precious and needs much more space. Let's just say that a Spanish dance was involved...

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