Raging and Hoping
I borrowed the title of this post from my friend, Erica Chase-Solerno (Hi Erica!) It perfectly describes the way I’m feeling right now.
Let’s start with hoping.
I’m hoping that Ana continues to do well. Her blood work from yesterday came back good. Dr. Hochberg said, “Her labs are all stable. Her liver tests are near perfect! Her white blood cell count is still high at 24, but not rising. If it doesn’t come down, we can change her medication. Her iron is low although her hemoglobin is not horrible.”
So she’ll need to take an iron supplement every day for the anemia, but otherwise she was CLEARED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL! Ana made this announcement during a Face Time call with the class room this morning and everyone cheered. Here’s a shot of her home schooling set up.
More hopeful things – the first show in the Healing Ana Concert Series is coming together beautifully! You can buy tickets at the door or order them online. Several area radio stations including WDST (Friday morning around 8:30 a.m.), WKZE (tomorrow morning at around 9 a.m.) and WKNY (tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.) will be promoting this event (thank you, all!) So don’t be surprised if you hear me, Jim or Janne (Jim’s mother) if you listen to these stations in the morning. Dean Jones from Dog on Fleas will also be performing live on WKZE to help promote the concert.
Also, sort of hopeful, the CDPHP denial has been escalated to the VP of Transplant at Westchester who called me herself today. Well, actually, Dr. Rosencranz called me and got me on the phone then put me on speaker for this woman. I think she’s his boss! Do doctors have bosses? She was great and will be Ana’s advocate, but…well..the rest of this post falls under the category of…
RAGING!!!! (I am sippping a big glass of wine and trying to resist eating a whole snickers bar as I post this).
So the Transplant VP was outraged at CDPHP’s refusal to return Dr. Wu and Dr. Rosencrantz’s phone calls. She said it was extremely unusual for them to ignore this kind of appeal and she would personally advocate for us. She then gave me her office number, cell phone number AND beeper number. I was tempted to reprimand her for this. I mean, I could be a crazy person! She then confirmed if it was okay if she called me every day to give me an update.
She wasn’t able to tell me if she’d be able to get this ONE stubborn son of a bitch at CDPHP to make an exception for Ana and let her have the transplant at Westchester with Dr. Wu – a surgeon (she went on to explain) that often had ZERO blood loss during liver transplants (this is unheard of – the liver is very vascular…) “They are denying you care!” She insisted.
I said, “That’s not how they put it. They said she could get comparable care from a comparable surgeon that’s in network.”
“No!” she insisted, “They are forcing you to travel further for the same care that is closer. They are denying this care to Ana.” Look, lady…you’re preaching to the choir…
Yes, I love her enthusiasm, but she did go on to ask if it was possible for me to switch insurance companies. Yes, it is possible but there are a few things that are preventing me from doing this.
1) I have no idea if MVP is going to approve everything that CDPHP has already approved
2) MVP costs about $6000 more annually than CDPHP ($16,000 versus $21,000)
3) I shouldn’t have to do that! I could spend that $6000 on the new furnace we desperately need.
I called Ms. VP back at 5 p.m. and she picked up her office line on the first ring. She said, “I was just about to call you. They have not called us back.” WTF? How can a Medical Director at an insurance company just NOT call back? She is having WMC’s lawyers call this ABSOLUTE FUCK HEAD tomorrow. She told me I could call her anytime, day or night…at home even. She has two girls of her own. She also asked my permission to escalate this to the media. The media!
OH HELL YEAH!
How is it possible that the fictional personification of power-hungry, sociopathic Medical Director at a health insurance company actually exists? How is my life suddenly following the plot of The Rainmaker? Because that book seemed a little hokey even to me and I love that kind of crap! But guess what, folks? It’s REAL! This guy exists and he’s not picking up his phone.
I lost the battle with that Snickers bar.