Excuse me while I rant

Friday, December 21, 2007

I may or may not have mentioned previously about the fact that I'm a little crazy and aware of it. My crazy comes in the variety of anxiety. Lots and lots of it and until a few years ago, it was very very uncontrolled anxiety. Anxiety that caused me to shy away from people and for a while, food (which is not to be confused with the time I intentionally shied away from food. Yes, I have many sage lessons left to teach). Things were bad.

After months upon months of trying things that didn't work or made the anxiety worse, my doctor put me on a wonderdrug called Xanax XR. Any doctor will tell you that that was a horrible decision because Xanax is addictive, but I'm not using it illegally and I could make the same argument (well, okay, not really, but I could go down fighting) about blood pressure medication. If you don't take that bad stuff happens, right? Ditto with my Xanax.

So I noticed that I was out of refills on my Xanax and that I was going to run out over the time I was in Los Angeles- a bad combination. So I put in a call to my new primary care physician in NOLA, who reluctantly agreed to call in the prescription, but added that she'd only do it this once and that perhaps it was time for me to see a psychiatrist. I agreed because I needs mah sanity pills.

Despite the fact that I have no earthly desire to see a psychiatrist, I looked on my insurance's website to find one, because hey, in a month and a half, I'm going to be in the same xanax-less pickle with no doctor to bail me out. And despite the fact that I'm a teacher, I do not receive complementary insurance, I pay out of pocket. And I pay a lot. I won't disclose how much, but of my measly (if I could underline that adjective 3 or 4 times I would) salary, over 20% goes to the insurance, and that's not including all the co-pays and the hospital bills that are piling up.

Imagine my surprise when I looked under my insurance plan and found that I cannot, without paying completely out of pocket, see a psychiatrist. They're not covered. If I had either of the two plans above the one I have I could, but since I cannot afford either of those plans, I can't/don't. I can see a chiropractor, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist and every other doctor under the sun, INCLUDING a sleep disorder specialist, but I can't see a psychiatrist.

Please, someone, anyone, explain this to me. For I do not understand. All I know is that it might be a pretty good idea to contact that sleep specialist because once I am no longer medicated, I suspect I will no longer be doing a whole lot of sleeping.


Anonymous said...

Aha! You have my husband's insurance. Is there a chance though that your program provides an EAP (Employee Assistance Plan)? it's not just for drug and alchohol treament. I used it for marriage counseling, and perhaps if your EAP counselor is creative he can refer you to medication-dispensing doctor. Plus, does you current doctor know your insurance does cover psych? I bet she'd change her tune.

Anonymous said...

Shocking! I left my naaaaaaaaaaame! Pluck out your eyes!

Lanny said...

OUCH! That's ridiculous! I agree with pp, be sure to let your primary care doc know your insurance doesn't cover it.
And I don't know if this is what you were getting at, but did you know many people DO take blood pressure meds to calm down? Lots of people take them before speeches and such so that their heart doesn't pound, and they are able to stay relaxed.
Good luck with it!

On a side note, I know I'm breaking all sorts of blog/internet rules by doing this, but...I wasn't the slightest bit offended by what you said (the comment you erased). I think you brought up valid points that made people think. Thinking is good! :)

kim-d said...

Hey you, my sweet friend. First of all, you NEVER, EVER have to take down anything you put on my blog. NEVER. To be honest Katie, I loved our "discussion"--what I can't stand is someone I CAN'T have a discussion with! And here's the deal with me and anyone that I call a friend. I take you EXACTLY AS YOU ARE--opposing opinions, anxiety and all! I not only take you exactly as you are, but I like you exactly as you are--always have and always will, I suspect. So, don't ever, ever feel that you have to censor yourself; hey, my blog is your blog! Hehehe...

And I also agree with everything already said about your Xanax situation. I think the EAP's are pretty much exactly for this type of situation--we have that at my place of employment. But you're probably just like me in that you'd rather poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick than get your workplace involved in your anxiety issues, right? But, if it gets you the meds you need, I say go with it. Talk to your primary care doc first and see what she says, first. Then you can go from there, if you need to. That's my advice...do whatever you need to do to get the meds. I shudder at the thought of not being able to get my Zoloft.

Have a great weekend KatieKat and feel better!

kim-d said...

Oh, by the way, I've been meaning to ask...have you run into your new neighbor Brad yet? :)

Do you think he will be able to really help and get some things done? That would be great if it really happens...