I find myself unaccountably unable to write the “end-of-the-year summation post” I was planning. It bores me to tears. Yes, lots has happened this year. A lot of it was huge. But if it was that huge, I probably already wrote about it and I just don’t feel like doing it again.
I haven’t written about paying off my debts. I made the final payment this past weekend and am now officially debt-free. It’s been a long, grueling process and honestly, I don’t think I could be happier or more relieved. It’s a huge thing for me, but strangely, it’s not even something I feel like exploring. I’m just sort of…blase.
I got a call on Christmas Eve from the specialty pharmacy which is handling my Enbrel prescription. The insurance company isn’t paying for it. It’s an interesting way they do it – they don’t actually deny it, because that might leave open the possibility of appeal. No, they just tell you what your part of the bill is – and it’s the whole thing. So it’s covered, but the copay is 100%. Does that seem like utter bullshit to anyone but me? Just curious.
But while my insurance company is completely putrid, I am impressed with the pharmacy. I don’t normally like mail-order pharmacies or the necessity of using them – and that’s putting it mildly; the truth is I want to chew someone’s face off at the notion that I can be barred from using my local pharmacy by an insurance company mandate – but the case manager has called me twice to update me on the status of the order, even though nothing has actually changed because the insurance rep won’t call her back. She’s been solicitous and has given me information on copay-assistance programs that might be able to help me, and is exploring some different alternative-dosage options that might manage to get coverage. She’s been friendly and has not hesitated to at least try to answer my questions and at no time during my low-key rant about the insurance company’s abuse of power did she become defensive or upset. In short, she was very professional and nice and I liked her. Even if we never manage to get the medication covered, I feel that she’s done a great job, and that surprises me. It’s not something I’ve encountered a lot of in my dealing with insurance issues.
I did experience a minor meltdown after that call. Although I knew there was a good chance it wouldn’t be covered, I did think that the reason would be that they wanted me to try methotrexate first. But they didn’t even give a reason, which leaves little hope that after a trial of methotrexate they might go ahead and cover the Enbrel. The thing is, I’ve had life-changing results from the Enbrel, and going back to what I was experiencing without it is harder than I expected. The doctor was right. There might not be any physical harm from using it briefly and then stopping, but the psychological effects were profound.
DH was a rock star through it all, though. Over our seventeen years together, I know that I’ve changed and grown a lot, but somehow it always still surprises me and takes my breath away when I realize how much he has grown and deepened as a person. His love and support and encouragement – and through it all, his solid faith that I am a stronger, wiser, better person than I used to be and can get through this – are proving to be a huge anchor and life preserver for me. Most of all, it soothes and strengthens me that he never diminishes the difficulty of the situation – but firmly believes and expresses that it’s not something that can beat me, if I choose not to let it.
It’s not in the good times – the easy, fun times when everything is beautiful and going well – that you learn the power and strength and value of a person, or of a love. It’s when everything goes south and the whole world seems to be drowning in despair that things really have a chance to shine. I’m a very lucky woman and times like this serve as a reminder of that fact.
So I’m still a little depressed and angry about it, but I’m reminded that I’m not that person anymore – the person who would have wallowed in that and used it as an excuse to be listless and hopeless and self-destructive. Instead, I’m renewing my resolve to be as healthy as possible and start the new year off the right way. I’ve gone back to my strict meal-planning – planning all five daily meals in advance for the entire month, with the balance of foods that I know keep me at optimum health and will help me take off some weight. I’m restarting my workouts (which I have, I am sad to admit, entirely abandoned) slowly, with the WiiFit Plus that I got for Christmas. It’s fun, it’s simple, and I can start slowly and work my way up to harder things until I can determine what my new limits are. I’m being accountable. I’m steeling myself and re-focusing my energy into being the strong, healthy person I know I can be, no matter what my diagnosis is. It does not have to define me, and I will not let it.
I’m also making a promise to myself to ration my energy and time wisely. I’m not being terribly structured with that, because I know that once the house is on the market things will get unpredictable very quickly, but let’s just say there will be a significant decrease in the number of Facebook games I’ll be playing, and a sharp decline in the time spent doing so. Down time is for working out, for writing, and for spending time with my children who are growing up too quickly. The farm and the mafia can wait; they’re not going anywhere. 🙂 In fact, I suspect that game-playing time will come to be one of my self-rewards for goals met and routines adhered to.
In short, this year I need to get my shit together, if you’ll pardon the crudity of the expression. 2009 was a year of lost focus, drifting and letting things slide. 2010 needs to be a year of focus, productivity and self-care, just so we can all survive it intact. It’s going to be a year of huge change and only careful navigation will make it easier for me and for all of us.
I’m also going to put a lot of time and energy into making sure the people I’ll be leaving behind know just how much they mean to me and how much I will miss them. More on that later. Time to go spend an hour with a couple of them. 🙂