Thursday, January 26, 2017

Another day, another doctor

I am slowly working my way through my New Year's goal of getting checkups from my doctors (when you pass 50, the number of doctors multiplies!).  I've seen my dermatologist (history of small skin cancers), my dentist and my endocrinologist - who released me and said I can now be followed by my regular doc so one specialist down - yay!

Yesterday, I went to see the ophthalmologist. I have always just gone to an optician, but wanted a more thorough checkup since glaucoma runs in the family. As I was checking in, the receptionist informed me that my insurance only covers an optician. What?? I asked how much the visit would run and she said a minimum of $200. But I was there, I was tired and I wanted an exam, so I said OK.

Midway through my visit, the doctor tells me I have a bleed in the back of my right eye, which is a sign of early glaucoma. He'll need to see me in 45 days, he says. I tell him that my insurance won't cover it and he tells me I am no longer here for a vision exam - I am now a medical case and my medical will cover it. ... So, good news, bad news!

I'm thankful I decided to stick around and get checked out. And I'm thankful he was able to spot the bleed. He said that had I come in 3 weeks, it would likely have cleared up and he wouldn't have seen anything. I'm told glaucoma usually doesn't show any symptoms, until you start losing your sight.

Next up is my annual with my regular doc. Here's to hoping he doesn't find anything but an aging woman!

On another note, found out this morning that insurance has denied DS a wheelchair - again. Not sure what the next step will be. I am frustrated and angry that his needs aren't being addressed. This should not be this hard.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Hello 2017

Well, 2016 is in the books. Our family marked several milestones and endured several trials. In other words, we experienced life. Hopefully we emerged stronger and smarter. Well, stronger anyway.

On the debt front, we paid off $10,809.29. Not our best year, but a decent number nonetheless. I hope that younger folks who happen upon this blog have a moment where they realize how long it can take to dig out of stupid. Maybe it will keep them from making the same mistakes.

Our family's word for 2017 is hope. The first-ever treatment for DS's disease was approved by the FDA before Christmas. We are anxiously awaiting the drug company and insurers to sort out the numbers (estimated cost for the first year is $750,000). While the drug has not been tested on adults, there is HOPE that it will benefit them as well as the kiddos who have seen such remarkable results in clinical trials. After 23 years of living with a life-threatening disease for which doctors offered NO hope, we are overwhelmed and overjoyed.

DH and I spent the first day of the new year with our week-old granddaughter. If a new baby doesn't inspire hope, I don't know what does.

Time for a fresh start. Happy New Year, everyone!