And anger related to such confusion.
I am in year three (3) of my full time battle with COPD. While I don’t begin year 4 until October 1st, I am very aware of an increased level of irritability. While that worries me from a manners viewpoint, I do pretty well controlling my temper when I’m face to face with someone.
Some part of my mother’s training exists in the back of my brain, urging diplomacy and silence when I find myself confused and irritable.
I am not so able to recognize a loss of control within me, when dealing with folks on the phone. I go from zero to maddened in a snap, and I find it terrifying that my confusion leads to an immediate loss of control of my temper.
Having to deal with USAA, the insurance company from hell, to get my car repaired recently reminded me that I’m losing it in crazy way.
I began working with my own insurance company, and USAA back in November 2017, after being rear ended by their insured. We were on vacation with a friend in town, and then dealing with another Christmas break, so the first 2 months of delay in getting my car repaired were partially my fault, even though I had the initial estimate done and submitted to my own insurance carrier in early December.
The problem, as I see it, is in how the repair efforts proceeded, once my insurance company bowed out (because the repairs were less than my $500 deductible), and I had to deal with re-doing everything to jump through hoops via USAA’s coverage preferences.
First, they wanted me to change repair shops, and have the car re-evaluated.
Next, they wanted me to use non-OEM parts.
Then, they were arguing with me about scheduling the repair, arguing that they wouldn’t provide rental car coverage until the necessary parts were delivered to the repair shop for the most efficient timing of the repair vs. rental car needs.
And, finally, they had a whole bunch of rigamarole to tell me about not covering “gas, mileage, or insurance” on my repair vehicle, causing irritation and confusion over their officially-droned declarations.
I would start off fine in talking to these folks, dreading making the call, and putting off dealing with them as long as possible, while also trying to get them to hurry up and schedule / authorize / pay for the repair.
Every phone call had me hanging up in a fine old temper about something stupid and (I thought) nonsensical, they intoned seriously to me – the fine-point, rapid fire statement at the end of every call.
However, it didn’t reach a definable point until last week, when I was trying to arrange for scheduling the repair this week, and I ended up losing my temper with both the USAA Agent and the rental car agent.
I know COPD causes memory issues, something that’s especially scary to me due to the alzheimers / dementia already running through our family tree. But, to finally be able to define a situation where I can (sort of) step back and look at my own behavior to try and figure out the trigger mechanism for my temper, it seems like I am going backwards in evolution, to a time where I would just react against authority and melt down.
In this case, my trigger was the “legalese” warning I got at the end of both phone calls that set me off.
For staying with my own insurance company’s recommended repair shop, I had to listen to a bunch of nonsense warranty refusal claims about what risks I ran if I didn’t use USAA’s preferred shop. (Thinking about their dire warnings cost me about two (2) weeks of time, mulling over their admonitions, before I went ahead with what I wanted to do – stay with the original repair shop my insurance recommended).
For the recent rental, their legalese dire warnings about not paying for gas, mileage or insurance took me out of myself into an irrational world where I was certain I was being cheated by this cheap insurance company. It also took me about 3 days following arrangement of the rental to realize the I ALWAYS HAVE TO PAY THOSE EXPENSES MYSELF, ANYWAY.
You would think my brain would have kicked in immediately to remind me of my recent car rental in Las Vegas, and remind me that I always pay for “consumables” such as that. But, nope. Nada. Not a glimmer of rational thought on my end.
Losing my mind when my blood oxygen saturation level appears to be at 96-98% pretty steadily scares me.
I remember being a kid, butting my head against authority all the time, and being unable to understand and accept reasonable restrictions without a meltdown and major fight.
This similarity of confusion over nonsense that later proves to be irrelevant is really getting on my last nerve. As is my inability to think and move quickly, confident in the rightness of my decisions.
I tried to sign up for medical supplemental insurance at the end of April, and thought I’d done it correctly. Homework Hysteria goes into some of my thoughts following more than an hour spent on the phone, trying to understand why this sign up for medical coverage was such an issue.
However well the phone call went, I got paperwork to complete that makes me think I am unable to be approved due to my COPD condition, yet I have been unwilling to get back on the phone and talk to these people because the phone and my confusion with double-speak of the fine print have become such an issue.
So, rather than complete the paperwork, I paid another two (2) months ahead on my COBRA coverage, which Aetna is trying to roll back. Apparently, my brain thinks the devil I know and hate is better than taking on a new bureaucratic devil to know and hate.
The paperwork sits on my coffee table, and every day is a new chance to take on ‘the man’ and resolve the issue. But do I??? Nope. I have to sit and stew about it awhile longer, so it’s easier to part with $1,300 for May and June coverage than it is to try and take the bull by the horns and resolve the problem.
Confusion is the worst part (so far) about having COPD. I thought the choking and strangling was the worst, in terms of fighting to breathe, but can honestly say that losing my mind and control of my fate is right up there in its nightmare inducing powers for preparing to go on despite any challenges being faced.