Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear Medical Community Phone People- Please See Diagnosis: 850.9

Anyone who has been through the process of an accident or medical issue, knows the annoyance of having to deal with insurance companies, lawyers, doctors offices, etc.  The multiple phone calls, run around, etc.  Yeah yeah, they do that to everyone, don't take it personal, etc.

As much as I can admit that this is the case, it doesn't make it any less annoying getting the run around.  As hard as this can be for anyone to deal with, its significantly problematic for those of us with a brain injury. 

When I have to make such a phone call, the anxiety alarm bells are already going off.  Call me rigid, (and yes more so since my head injury), but when I finally have insurance, I expect that I should no longer have to deal with the hassles of begging to get something paid for.  So the fact that I have to make a phone call to begin with, aggitates me.  Then I start to worry about the what ifs... What if this won't be covered?  How will I pay for it?  What if I have to make 10 phone calls after this one to get the answer I need?   What if I get put on hold, eat up my phone minutes and have overages?  (This has happened 4 times, with expensive results). 

Not only is it anxiety producing, but there is a good chance, one phone call of runaround, and my cognitive brain is zapped for the day.  Insurance companies, lawyers, they all talk in circles, with jargon and big words.  And me, I'm anxious and barely able to hang on to the main concepts. 

I wish when having to make these calls I could start with:  "Hi.  My name is Mindy.  These are my diagnoses:  850.9;  310.9; 339.22;  780.4; 723.1;  300.0 & 311.0.   Therefore I would appreciate it, if you would speak to me like a human being, whose thinking may be slightly compromised and if you don't have the information I need, please make a compassionate effort to help me find it.  You help would be greatly appreciated."

Seriously, phone conversations are hard enough for me.  It requires a lot of sustained attention, auditory processing, thinking, being able to respond appropriately and hopefully at a time in the day when I still have some energy left to complete all of these tasks without someone knowing otherwise, such as my speech starting to slur, my leaving long pauses in conversation (it's not that I'm ignoring you or don't think what you have to say is important enough for a response, its that my brain can't process as fast as yours, and if I'm already low in energy resources, I physically can't, so I don't really have a lot to say).   

I'm willing to zap my energy sources for family and friends and attempt a phone conversation..... but it seems really unfair that I am forced to do so, with things that should already be taken care of, such as insurance billing or stupid questions from lawyers, insurance, etc.

 It's such a waste of such a precious resources... stop wasting my spoons... yes, I am Mindy... 850.9.

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