Declined. Again.

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Obviously, I’m frustrated.

First, because I have to spend HOURS on the phone trying to figure this drama out.  Second, because after spending all that time on the phone, the answer remains, “No.”

Under Obamacare, I was able to get medical coverage for the first time since 1992 that I could actually use.  2013, I had skin cancer in my shin, and they covered the cost of that surgery for $8,xxx and my out of pocket payment was $860.  $860 for surgery that saved my leg, if not my life.  Life changing.

I worked a Corporate job with excellent benefits from 1979 thru 2015, however, the coverage I paid for was not always usable by me due to my birth defects.  Rather than play the denial game, I simply lived beneath my means, and paid out of pocket for anything I needed.

I don’t drive a Cadillac or fancy sports car, so I don’t need a fancy medical plan.  However, the simple existence of my birth defects becoming public knowledge in 1992 when my medical records went digital meant that I routinely was denied medical care, and “No.” became the standard response for actually using the insurance that I paid for with each job.

With my departure from Corporate America in 2015, the battle for medical coverage reached new heights as I fought for coverage under COBRA for $644 per month.  And, as Aetna, my new insurer under my employer, decided that “No.” was now its favorite word.

In June 2016, I was finally approved for long term disability (LTD), and a 2-year waiting period to qualify for Medicare was also started.  Seriously.  I’m disabled, but there is zero insurance coverage?  Mind-blowing.

So, I paid my COBRA through December 31, 2017, with the knowledge that the benefits would be exhausted as of February 2018.  I tried to select a policy to cover me for my medical needs, but was told that I could not choose it until I was approved for Medicare, which happened mid-year, AFTER the open enrollment period.

There was no counseling for Medicare coverage, and I had to wing it on my own.  I contacted AARP who sent me to United Health Care (UHC), and they promised to cover me for a Medicare Supplement plan for about $150 a month.  I gave verbal approval to complete the forms they would send me, and they took $150 out of my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) check each month, before I saw a penny.

However, no forms were signed.  Why?  Because, when I got to the question, “If you have COPD, please see question 7.”.  In its pre-qualification forms, UHC then informed me that I did not qualify for a Medicare Supplement as I was under 65 and had COPD.

Did you know that there are two (2) sets of rules for folks to qualify for Medicare?  No?  Well, let me tell you.  The protections that apply for workers who retire at age 65 or above are very different than the guidelines (not protections, but “guidelines”) which apply to disabled people under 65 or their specific age of authorized retirement.

Working since I was 13, I have paid into Social Security EVERY year for 42 years (excluding the year that my employer absconded with my tax and SS payments in 1975).

SSDI Earnings Record life long

It makes me crazy to have paid into my benefits for all these years, dealt with the denial of coverage for many of those years, finally gotten the necessary coverage my payments should have yielded under Obamacare, only to go back to this whack-a-mole game of trying to obtain the disappearing benefits – even when one is required to pay yet again for necessary coverage !

As you can see from my crazy paycheck history, my income changed all the time based on health, what type of job I was working, family issues for changing jobs and relocating, etc., etc., etc.  But every single year – regardless of what was going on it my life – I paid into the program(s) meant to help me if I became disabled or achieved retirement age.

So, it’s maddening to be declared unable to work, and then find out that in addition to the changes that were made to Social Security and Medicare over the years, there was an additional change that prevents someone who is not indigent and not yet of retirement age, to qualify for the necessary medical coverage they need when disabled.

Medigap insurers

Having worked my way through their websites (useless !  one cannot enroll on a website – WTF !?!???) I am at my whits end.

I can see a great policy – if only I were allowed to exercise the right to buy into this supplemental insurance !

Medigap F

Starting with the thought that my premium might be between $21 and $74 each month, imagine my surprise to chase this ever-evading insurance company ball all the way to the point where my costs would be $455.99 per month – if only I didn’t actually NEED my insurance due to my pre-existing condition, COPD.  So, having wasted time attending seminars, combing the website, consulting the professionals, and having spent three (3) hours on hold this morning, going through the phone tree with various companies, I once again confirmed – there will be NO INSURANCE COVERAGE for me due to my pre-existing condition.

It doesn’t matter that I never smoked.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve not been hospitalized since childhood.

It doesn’t matter that I’m not on oxygen.

It just matters that I have a lung disease which MIGHT cost them some money, so I get zero insurance coverage except for what remains of the original Medicare coverage which has been cannibalized within my lifetime to deprive me of benefits originally paid for when I first signed up for coverage in 1974, when I was a child of 13, starting my first job and trying to survive while my parents marriage imploded.

So, with all this under my belt, I’m going away to get my monthly haircut.  I’m out of energy and any semblance of patience for today, so I will be at this keyboard again tomorrow trying to find an insurance company to throw my money at in the hope that any worst-case medical expenses not covered by original Medicare will be picked up by them.  Medicare Allies says they can help.  Let’s hope they are being truthful in my case:

Medicare Allies 2019

Medicare open enrollment is frustrating.

So needlessly exhausting.

We need socialized medicine that doesn’t deny one coverage due to birth defects.  If we are going to insist on keeping these children alive by repairing their birth defects, then we need to have a medical insurance program that ensures that they maintain quality of life without being driven into poverty through covering their medical needs – if they are able to work, or were fortunate enough to be able to work and buy their way into benefits at some point during their lifetime.

Actions have consequences.  If we are going to insist on life at all costs, then we also need to insist on QUALITY of life by allowing those people who have birth defects to protect their assets against raiding.  The stress from trying to juggle all the bills involved in remaining healthy is exhausting, and no one is well enough, in my humble opinion, to want to sign up for this medical denial of coverage dance once a year during open enrollment, or every time they have to use the actual benefits they’ve paid for.

 

 

 

Elder Abuse

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Today, I was supposed to go help my friend, F, reorganize her single large closet in her assisted living apartment.

We were going to sort through all the clothes she moved from her home, weeding out the ones she no longer wears or needs, and organizing her travel photo albums so that they would be on bookcases at floor level, instead of higher up on shelves in the closet where she can’t access their contents.

We were going to move the chest taking up space in her bedroom, blocking easy access to the closet, and we were going to find a way to store her granny cart and her vacuum so that they weren’t taking up valuable floor space outside her closet.

Instead, I’m going to be dealing with a panic attack over finances and trying to calm her down.

P, the controlling friend that has made all the decisions regarding F’s finances, is harping on the fact that F is spending “too much”, all while knowing she just sold her fully paid for home for $789k, and that the place F has chosen to live should run her about $70k to $80k per year.

Instead of treating F like an impaired but reasonable adult, P is refusing to answer F’s questions (regardless of how many times the questions are repeated), leaving F to play a tit-for-tat game of hiding her money (and pulling out a lot of cash so that she feels she has control of her money, since she’s no longer seeing monthly statements).

F’s determination to wrest control from the largely silent Canadian relatives who have all her money and power of attorney (now that she’s been declared in need of guardianship / conservatorship) is a drama that didn’t need to be.

But, I blame P as the instigator.

P is a control freak, in my humble opinion, and her unwillingness to answer F’s reasonable questions has lead directly to this crisis.

(Calling me last night about 8:30pm to cancel our get together today, and then calling me at 6:02am in a panic to discuss things, shows what stress F is being put under by receiving mixed messages and different answers from everyone in her life).

So, I’ll go see F later today as originally agreed.  We’ll work out a strategy for her to stay calm and – possibly? – get some answers.  And, I’ll give her some suggestions about how to stay calm and create a workable budget for weekly cash so that she has a negotiation strategy for dealing with the drama that I otherwise consider elder abuse.

Please, if you have an elderly friend whose elevator no longer goes consistently to the top floor…  just be kind.  Be patient.  Answer all their questions even if they’ve asked them 1,000 times.  Don’t bully them.  Don’t boss them.  Try to listen and be supportive without badmouthing anyone else trying to help them.  Just care enough to show up.

We’re all going to be in a vulnerable point at some stage of our life due to age, infirmity or financial vulnerability.  Just be patient.  Try your best to be kind and not make the situation worse.

 

 

Burning Bridges

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Medicare as a whole is supposed to be something I paid into during my 42 years of working.

First, they whittled back the benefits to “parts”, then then began limiting what “parts” Medicare would cover.  Currently, Medicare only covers Parts A (hospital) and B (medical services and supplies deemed medically necessary to treat a health condition) insurance.

Because they next spent time limiting what Medicare would cover (only 80% of any approved bill), and how long it would cover you (limiting your days of treatment, regardless of what your medical practitioner says), one then needed to figure out a whole alphabet soup of coverage for things that they won’t cover.

They scare you to death that you’re not going to get your necessary medical care if you don’t have a medi-gap or some sort of secondary to medicare “supplemental” policy.

C – covers at least the same health care services as Original Medicare, but they may also pay for services that are not covered by original medicare such as vision and dental care.  These are called “Medicare Advantage” plans – but, nowhere in the coverage do they inform you that if you have an “Advantage” plan you give up access to your original medicare coverages, AND that the new policy “manages” your care and can say “no” to provision of services even though the Original Medicare allowed full access to the coverage.  Maddening.

D – Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit which is an optional benefit to help you pay for self-administered prescription drugs.  But, fine print! – the cost of most drugs are already supposed to be covered by Original Medicare part B.  Confused yet?

E – To quote the government, “There is no official part E of Medicare, but there is an additional piece that deserves consideration.  The missing link is called Medi-gap insurance or may be referred to as a Medicare Supplement.  This type of insurance is used to provide coverage for some of the things that Original Medicare doesn’t cover such as:  coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles.”  (A pretty good support blanket for a part of Medicare that doesn’t really exist).

F – A Medi-gap plan, or Medicare Supplement, pays after Medicare to help cover your deductibles, copays and coinsurance that you would otherwise be responsible for.  When you add a Medicare Supplement Plan F or E to your Original Medicare benefits, your coverage will be quite comprehensive.  Wait… wasn’t that supposed to be E?  Why do we need an E and an F?

Clear as mud, right?

G – Medicare Supplement (Medi-gap) Plan G may help cover the full cost of out-of-pocket Medicare expenses such as co-payments, coinsurance, and excess charges.

Wait…  I thought E and F took care of all of that.  Are you telling me that F only covers parts of the otherwise not covered expenses?  Seriously?  Why doesn’t F say that clearly?  Why do I need E or F or G or all ????

H – Medicare Supplement Plan H is a lot like plan C.  It covers the basic benefits that include hospital co-insurance, generally the 20%  of outpatient expenses, 365 additional days of hospitalization coverage, and additional blood coverage, but it will NOT cover Medicare Part B deductible.  WTF ?

I – there is no “I” plan or part.

J – it’s a special plan for certain states only to ensure that the excess when you see a provider that does not accept Medicare is paid, after you have been billed $155 of Medicare-approved amounts for covered services.

K – Medi-gap Plan K offers partial coverage for a variety of Original Medicare costs that you’d normally have to pay out of pocket.  This plan covers 50% of the cost for Medicare Part B copayments or coinsurance.  (Thus, reducing your out of pocket from 20% down to 10%.  Got it?).

L – includes a percentage of Medicare Part B expenses as listed, plus supplements Medicare Part A for hospice coinsurance or copayment (generally 20% of the otherwise not covered amounts).

M – generally is a middle of the road medi-gap policy for covering some of the costs that Medicare A and B don’t cover to help you with your out of pocket costs.  But… it’s very unclear as to what percentage of the 20% of uncovered costs or services it will cover.  Surprised?

N – Medicare Supplement Insurance plan which covers 100% of the Medicare Part B coinsurance costs, with the exception being that it requires a $20 co-payment for office visits and $50 for emergency room visits.

************

So, knowing how confusing all this is, and now being informed that my primary care breathing Doc is UNABLE to see me because it’s now ILLEGAL for him to do so when Medicare is my main insurance, I tried to get help from various medicare insurance policies for most of this month to change my supplemental policy (now that I am informed that EVERYONE can change their policy in the first 3 months of any calendar year if they are unhappy with their coverage).

Lots of phone tag, but no real progress.

So, today I bit the bullet and cancelled the Supplement outright knowing that I will be responsible for my medications and 20% of uncovered services.

Yes, I was burning bridges.  But, at a certain point I have zero willingness to figure this mess out.  It’s needlessly confusing, and it’s easier to figure out what drugs I will or will not take based on my out of pocket expenses than it is to figure out how to sign up for the appropriate coverage that won’t limit my choices and won’t make me feel like I’m trying to figure out something as complicated as my taxes (which we already know I procrastinate for completing) every time I have to deal with the coverage allowances.

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So, it may be foolish, but the problem is solved for today.

Frailty

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I have a real hard time dealing with homelessness.  But, it’s hardest to deal with when:

– It’s a woman

– It’s raining

– The homeless person tries to connect with me to beg for money

In tonight’s encounter, I’m running around doing errands, spending money I don’t really have, but getting done what I must.  I’m also trying to get ready for a comedy show on Sunday night, so I’m trying to get spending money from the bank, gas up my car, and do all the other things that one does to prepare for a fun event with a friend.

So, it’s been pouring off and on all day, and I need to fill the tank.  Thinking about the route I’m traveling and the cheapest place to get gas without back tracking between where I was at and home, I decide to hit a local gas station that’s looking a bit seedy.

I do a run around all the pumps, and there’s some boards up by the garage doors, but the shop door is open.  All the pumps ONLY sell 87 regular gas, which is fine by me, but still weird.

So, I do the run around the pumps and end up parking farther away from the storefront than I would normally choose, but it looked safe.  Foolish me.

As I’m pumping the gas a seemingly homeless woman comes up to me and starts to beg.  I give her the hairy eye ball and gruffly tell her, “Not while I’m handling money!” in a firm voice.

As so many of the mentally frail do, she steps back immediately, hurt, and walks away upset because she feels I yelled at her.  She stops and says to me, “It’s ok to talk to you on the street!  I didn’t do anything wrong!” as she continues to walk away, agitated and upset.

Now, I don’t know this woman from Adam.  She’s not one of the regulars that I can recognize on sight.  But, she’s upset and I feel like I’ve kicked a kitten.

So, I proceed to fill my gas tank while keeping an eagle eye out.  She keeps an eye on me, and approaches a man coming out of the storefront, and he shoos her away, too.

The weather is miserable.  She’s mostly clean.  But, she’s in sandals and it’s wet and raw out.  She’s got a blanket over her shoulders, a hat on her head, and she’s layered up with these ridiculous bare feet in sandals.  Sad.

So, now I’m kicking myself for being so paranoid that I scared a sad homeless woman.  She could be me.  She could be my friend, C, who is now in the board and care home up in the Inland Empire area near the boonies…  I’m feeling like shit, when I was just protecting myself.  But, I need to make amends.

So, the car is full at 36 dollars, and I pull a $10 bill out of my wallet, heading toward the homeless woman who is now pacing and watching me approach.  Clearly, she’s in fear as to why I’m heading toward her after yelling at her.

“Look”, I say.  “You should NEVER come near anyone, but especially a woman, when we are filling up our cars and trapped at the pumps.  You scared me, and I worry about being mugged.  Now that I’m done filling my car, what did you want to ask me?”

Like a bird, she looked at me sideways, trying to smooth her ruffled feathers.  “I really just wanted to know if you could spare anything” she says, over the cigarette in her mouth.  “I’m sorry I scared you.”

“I’m sorry I upset you, too.” I replied.  “I appreciate your backing off when I asked you to leave me be, and I’m happy to share what I have with you in the hopes that it will help you in some small way.”

She smiles like a little kid at Christmas and takes the money.  “Can I give you a hug?” she asks, tentatively.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I need my space and hate to be touched, but this was not about me.  This was about letting this woman know that I saw her and saw her humanity in a very difficult situation, so we hugged.

Not to miss an opportunity, she then asks if she can use my phone to call a friend for a ride.  I had to smile and let her know that I don’t carry a phone.  I’m not sure she believed me, but that’s ok.  I wasn’t going to be able to resolve her difficulties, but we’d come to terms so that I wasn’t adding to her burden for that small moment of time.

Frailty.  It comes to us all, and I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head on this Wintery, wet, night.  I still have $10 for my share of the concert parking tomorrow night, and life goes on.  Compromise and sharing a tiny bit of what I have allows me to look at myself in the mirror, even if the money goes for cigarettes and alcohol.  With any luck, it will go toward a nice meal and a dry place to sleep tonight, if she can find enough folks to pitch in.

Der Orange Doofus, however, is determined to divert money from our already weakened safety net, and it hurts me that people like this woman don’t have better resources than what she can beg on a rainy evening.  There but for the luck of the draw go I.

Stubborn

When you google stubborn, I’m surprised my face isn’t the first thing which shows up.

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I have a strong Irish temper, with shades of Scots, French and Brits to add ice to my ire.

Dealing with an inability to do anything very physical has always been a sore spot, and that frustration has grown as my wellness has declined.

This week, I’ve been busy trying to pass for normal and keep up.  Despite pain and numbness in my arm and shoulder, I was busy making product and trying to figure out how to pay for my portion of our new shops, and running on very little sleep.

I had zero patience, was in the middle of getting a crown put in ($ ca-ching!), and had just sorted dirty laundry to get caught up on household chores now that our recent holiday shows were done.

So, of course, the washing machine floods the laundry room and won’t drain.  No, I do not have time to deal with that !

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How much could a service call run?

How much could a new washer run?

All questions that I didn’t want to answer, so I spent way too much time in bed, avoiding the issue and being chilled to the bone…

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or, napping on the couch… when I could get Herself to allow me to be on it.  (Heaven forbid I should nap on my own couch without “sharing”)…

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But, I tell you all that to tell you this.  I won !  I won !  I won !

YouTube rocks for dealing with my anxiety about how to figure out how to get the front panel off and diagnose the problem…

 

So, a few more YouTube videos.  A few more naps.  I bought some quarters, “just in case” I couldn’t figure out the solution and implement the repair.  And I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Tonight, after yet another Gingerbread Holiday Baking Championship viewing, and a nap, I was ready.

10:35pm, all Her stuff was swept out from under the laundry equipment (yes, the failure was all Katie’s fault.  She plays hockey with door stops, pens, bottle caps and catnip winebottles, all of which ended up out of reach, under the washing machine).

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I’m working on my second load of laundry (yes!), and while I’m now ready for yet another nap, I’m thrilled to report that I defeated the dreaded service call trap, and was able to repair it myself without any injuries or extra expense.

Merry Christmas to me and my stubbornness.

Plus, I’ll have clean clothes to wear tomorrow, when I go to get my crown installed.

Wish me luck that my dental plan paid more than expected, or at least what they should, so that I’ll either get money back, or at least not owe any more.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night !

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Boundaries

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I have a big mouth.

I think it goes without saying that I will call a spade a spade.

Yes, I will try and be diplomatic.  Yes, I will keep my opinions to myself (it *is* possible, I have tried to do it upon occasion).  But.  There comes a time when one steps over the boundaries to do a sanity check with a friend struggling to keep it together.

My childhood friend, D, doesn’t deal well with Death.  In her case, Death is always with a capital “D” because aging and end of life issues have become a boogey man in her life.

I try and talk to D a couple of times a year.  I’d talk to her more often, however, it’s hard to get her on the phone with any regularity, so I’ll often leave voicemails or send emails and hear back weeks or months later.

D has been engaged to a guy since 1998.  Very drama filled, but let’s just say that I thought it was a waste of time, and the intervening 20 years haven’t changed my mind.

The “brilliant” and “misunderstood” man hasn’t held a regular job in the intervening twenty (20) years.  He’s been a perpetual student.  He’s got a top government clearance, and yet worries about his ideas being stolen (one of his many reasons for why jobs don’t work out).  Crazy?  Probably.  Let’s just say that he’s not my cup of tea, but it’s not my business because I’m not the one sleeping with him.

So, fast forward to this past weekend.

I get a call that my friend is cooling her heels at the hospital, waiting for the emergency room staff to tell her if her boyfriend is going to live or die.  And, if he doesn’t die, what it’s going to take to help him live.

S, the boyfriend / fiancee, has had worsening health for the last twenty (20) years, and D has picked up more and more of the bills involved in his life, while not having the rights and privileges of a wife when the s*it hits the fan.

D spends most of her time at his house, helping to cover those bills and assisting in caring for his highly functional but mentally handicapped brother.  D even footed the bill for a “Rainman” like lawsuit between S and his brother, T, over who was the best caregiver for the younger brother.

So, you can guess that I’m not a fan of S.  I’m not a fan of one person sucking the other dry, and certainly not when it expands into other expenses that S should be fielding if he were truly the person he thinks he is in life.

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So, almost 2 weeks have passed.  S is home.

D is spending time at his bedside, sitting vigil, as S continues to not care for himself properly, and the medicines for heart failure can only do so much.

I got a call last night, very late, as D had returned to her own apartment and set off the fire alarms, and was waiting for the appropriate techs to show up to repair the heat sensing equipment as she’d bashed the wrong item trying to get the system to be silent after she’d burned some toast.  (Yes, read that again.  D goes from one drama to another, and there’s never any one thing that anyone can identify that she should have done differently, but there’s always something that puts any problem right up and over the top).

So, we’re talking, and I open my big mouth.

I think I’ve said before that I dated a wonderful man with COPD that I met on a dating website.  Dale has since passed on, but I think of him often because it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – telling him that he could no longer be in my life because I couldn’t support the way he was handling his end of life issues and failing to take proper care of himself.

Yes, I’m opinionated.  That’s why this blog is titled, “Boundaries”.  I know I need to work on mine, as I suck at keeping my mouth shut.

Anyway…

D’s trying to stay awake until the repair tech gets there, and she begins to tell me that she’s given S an ultimatum about taking better care of himself, or she’s out of there.  I cheered.

Yes, it was bad form, but I was thrilled that she was finally looking out for number 1 in their relationship vs. continuing to be ok with having her life swallowed whole for his madness and choices.

Anyway, I recounted my story, plus the Valerie Bertinelli story where she tells Eddie Vanhalen that she wants a divorce as she cannot love him while he smokes himself to death, despite knowing that he’s had multiple run ins with oral cancer.  As Valerie and I both explain it, loving someone is a choice.  And, the love you have for another can be killed by the choices that they make over which we have no control or influence.

In Valerie’s case, she wasn’t going to enable Eddie to ignore her real concerns about his lifestyle choices.  She divorced Eddie and moved on while he was still alive, so that she could get used to being without him in her life while he was still available and refusing to compromise in a way that she needed in order for her love to be healthy for BOTH of them.

In my case, when Dale was unable to leave the hospital after and end of life COPD flare up because he lived off the grid and had no one at home to care for him, I agreed to help him get out of the hospital.  I had some strong requirements that Dale promised to do, and when he failed to do what I needed, I kicked him to the curb.

It wan’t that I didn’t love Dale.  It was that I was exhausted taking care of him in the six (6) weeks he lived in my home, and I was resentful of his deceitfulness and dependency, even though he’d assured me that he would get an apartment on the grid, he would arrange for the necessary home care, etc., etc., etc.

Dale made his situation worse, prior to his last exacerbation, by living off the grid and being unable or unwilling to turn on the generator when the solar power failed (it was Winter, and if we don’t get enough sunny weather, solar does need to be supplemented).   Dale ended up in the hospital with pneumonia because he failed the basic test for taking care of himself; he put saving money ahead of realizing and accepting that he no longer had the necessary strength to live off the grid and run the generator when the weather demanded it.

Maybe Dale wanted to die and was found before that ending occurred.  Whatever it was, once he moved in with me and was supposed to be recovering and getting back on his feet, I found him enjoying having the “little woman” taking care of him, and any effort he might have made to move into his own place conveniently fell by the wayside.

Instead of being honest about what he needed in life:

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he moved in with me and began to suck the life out of me.  Me, who is very determined to NOT be a burden to others, and who was clear that I would NOT be at his side at the end as I no longer had the stamina to be a caregiver.

I did that happily with my Mom, but my Mom also made everything very easy for me.  She thought about what her caregivers might need, and I had four (4) other people helping me care for her (my Big Brother and his wife, and my Baby Sis and her husband).

So, to go back to the point of this story… I blew through the boundaries last night in talking to D about her situation with S.  D has never been able to handle illness or end of life discussions, so I knew that taking care of him would be the thing that might end their relationship.

Since S won’t deal with what’s important to the both of them in preparing for his end of life (which is never known in advance, but which will come to us all in time), I figured that the drama would start again if she wasn’t able to draw a boundary line and keep it as S ignored the recommendations of his doctors and his physical therapists and nutritionists.

Hopefully, D will remain friends with me regardless of what she chooses to do about her life and where it overlaps that of S and his younger brother.  I am glad, though, that I spoke up so that she is not alone in knowing that her thoughts, whatever she chooses to do, are all perfectly acceptable.

We’re all going to die, someday.  But, embracing someone else’s slow demise does not have to figure in anyone’s life unless they choose to do so, and can handle the heart rending emotions involved in being a caregiver.

It’s not noble.

It’s not romatic.

It’s absolutely NOT pretty.

Being at someone’s side as they slowly decline is one of the toughest things that anyone can do for another person, and society should NEVER force someone into a role that they cannot handle.

Sunday Reading

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Still struggling with fury, having finally completed re-typing of my health audit form data, and submission of my text to the lawyer well after midnight last evening.

I hate trying to be smart and having to live my life by committee and consensus, when all I really want to do is tell everyone involved in my LTD claim – both for me and against me – to go f*ck themselves.

🎶 F*ck you, F*CK you, f*ck  YOUUUUUUUU… 🎶

was a theme song sung long ago by my 2 year old nephew, and in times of stress I take comfort in its rhythmic beat.

When one is trying to be smart, though, one learns to fight their baser impulses privately, strangle their words and deeds, and suck up their frustration for the greater good – getting what you paid for in this case – so that you can survive financially as life slowly leaves your body due to chronic illnesses…

In a nod to Maya Angelou, today’s ode to all the people I hate in the insurance profession, and an apology to my lawyer because getting out of my own way is my toughest challenge on any given day.

Backing down and accepting their advice won’t kill me, even if it feels like they are holding the rope on my noose…

“Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries…

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise…”