Monday, August 18, 2008

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

I've never been shy about bitching about my health care insurance company -- Blue Shield of California. I was particularly ticked last year when I was in full flare-up mode with my neck and was turned down for an MRI. Damn, I was pissed. [Sorry, Mom, about using that damn word again. "Pissed," I mean. Oops, I did it again.]


In the end, the MRI was approved, my orthopedic doctor could confirm that, yeah, I've got a few degenerative cervical discs, and I could be treated. "Treated" being a relative term because, dude, it's degenerative and there's not a whole lot to do, conservatively speaking, except see if there's a drug cocktail that will work or slap on a cervical collar or wait until the flare up stands down. The not-so-conservative treatment includes, first, epidurals and, failing that being effective, surgery.


So, over the course of however long it's been since this whole DDD started, I've had progressively more frequent flare-ups. I'm now flared up more often than my nostrils flare at demon spawn. That's not fair to Youngest. Let's just say I seem to be flared up more often than I'm flared down. [If "flared down" ain't a saying, it should be.]


Most recently, it's involving excruciating pain in the neck, shoulder and elbow. A cortisone shot to the shoulder actually appears to have helped locally. Not after the first two days post-injection, when I wanted to go beat the shit out of the physician's assistant who gave me the shot 'cause, man, it hurt like hell. "Oh, didn't I tell you it would feel like I punched you?" "Um, no, that's something you left out."


The rest of it is still ouchy. But here's the point of my long, boring tale: Blue Shield approved my getting an updated MRI immediately. They didn't even have to think about it this time. They didn't even have to take eight days to turn it down. They didn't even then have to take another 15 days to approve it. This time, they approved it the same day my doctor requested it. The. Same. Day.


So, while I won't take back the nasty stuff I said about them last time -- hell, it was all true -- I will say that they done did me right this time 'round. Thank you, Blue Shield.

Rides to Heaven on a Gyroscope

A couple of months ago, I saw a client I hadn't seen for a number of months. Like more than a dozen people have in the recent past, she ...