Thursday, September 22, 2011

The 'real' world of disability insurance!

Just when you think things are looking up something inevitably happens to make you realize that "Murphy's law' is always in effect.  Gilda Radner called her autobiography of her journey with ovarian cancer "It's Always Something" and I think that is true .....even in a life without cancer!

Today I received a phone call from my insurance company.   Now normally, that no longer makes me sweat and gives me hives as I have been dealing with them for 10 years and have finally past the point of thinking they are out to get me.   Well, it is amazing how quickly one reverts to old feelings!    The person on the other end was very nice, but also very new at least to me.  She informed me she was my new 'case  worker'., and my previous one was no longer with the company.     The questions they ask I am sure are form questions and used as a means of extracting the same information for each person.   I am also sure that the detached, if not sometimes totally bored, attitude they project is to keep them at an arms length as well as to seem professional.    BUT, is it really possible to ask a person such personal questions and not at least seem that you have some empathy and understanding.    This woman, as nice as she was, put me into an absolute state of frustration and made me feel that perhaps I shouldn't be just sitting at home.   I mean, she wanted to know why I felt I wasn't able to work, considering I seemed to have an active life as I went to a knitting group and a book club.  This she got out of me by asking me to give her an idea of how I spent my days....I guess I should have said lying in bed!   I tried to explain that a large part of my problem was 'fatique' which I think she heard as 'tired' and wanted to know if there were any other symptoms that I was experiencing besides this fatigue.?????    Then she mentioned that although I had tried to work in the past and hadn't been able to was I willing to try it which time I informed her that it had taken me years to feel psychologically o.k with the fact that I couldn't work, considering our society sees people's value based on their productivity.   At which point she says "and what was it that you did at work that made it so difficult for you".....oh I don't know the physical, emotional, mental, psychological part of dealing with the fact that I had an incurable cancer and might die!!!!....I didn't say all of that but it was what I was thinking.

She also asked if the next appointment with my doctor would include a scan.  I just had one in August and had told her that so it surprised me when she asked.   I very quietly but forcefully informed her that I didn't have a scan at each appt (which she knew at this point was every two months) because the scans themselves have the possibility of giving you cancer!!!!!   DUH   Also, we already know the cancer is there so it isn't necessary.   Well when are you starting treatment she wanted to which time I said when I am not feeling well.   She grabbed that line and said 'so at this time you are feeling fine, right?"   Yes I said except for the fact that I have extreme fatigue and my legs hurt from the neuropathy.   How bad do your legs hurt she said.....UGH  how I wanted to hang up...its like you are on a wall being hung by your toes and each time you answer another question they find away to tightened the screws......

Anyways, suffice it to say that I got off the phone feeling like crap.  I wondered if perhaps I should consider going back to work.....etc etc etc....then thought it is amazing how because I didn't die as scheduled people seem to think my life should just revert back to the good old days BC (remember before cancer).....I feel like just crawling into a hole and dying then maybe all these insurance  people will finally be happy that I am off the pay role. Makes you wonder if they get a bonus for each person they are able to get off disability!!!!!!   Oh what I would give to have my life back and not have to be so vulnerable to people on the end of the phone who will never know me except by name and policy number!!!!!

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