Friday, October 14, 2011

Kill em with Kindness

Much like anger, annoyance is one of my least favorite feelings.  When I get annoyed, I feel powerless, like it's going to take over me, and I'm going to end up kicking someone in the teeth.  It's an unsettling feeling, especially since I am not one who likes to hurt people or things.  I have never actually given in to the impulse to kick anyone in the teeth while feeling annoyed, or angry, or any other uncomfortable feeling, but still...I have had the urge.
The other day, when I went back to the pharmacy for the fifth time in two weeks, to pick up my prescription, and they told me that my "transitional" insurance wasn't going through, the urge for my foot to be implanted in someone's dental work was overwhelming.  The pharmacist tried explaining that despite having a letter with my group number on it, and the words "proof of coverage" all over the page, the insurance company had "no evidence in the system" that I was covered.  This would mean that one of the medications that I take everyday would cost me $400.  I don't lose my cool very often, but to put it nicely, I lost my shit.  
"So you are telling me that even though I have a letter stating proof of insurance, sent to me BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY, that they don't have me in the system?" I barked.
"Yes, ma'am.  You are going to have to call Medicare and speak with them directly.  You can pay the $400 today, and they might reimburse you." he said calmly.
I lost it. "They MIGHT reimburse me?  Are you EFFING kidding me?  I can't afford to pay $400 for ONE prescription!  That's why I am on Medicare!  That's why I have this letter stating I will only have to pay a MAXIMUM of $6.40 for prescriptions!" Then I really lost any interpersonal effectiveness that I have acquired in the last few years. "No one in this pharmacy thought it would be a good idea to CALL me and let me know this BEFORE I came down here?!  Isn't that part of your JOB? This is an effing shit show."
I grabbed the number for the insurance company and walked out.  My heart was pounding, and I'm pretty sure there was steam coming out of my ears as my head whipped back and forth.  I immediately called the insurance.
"I'm sorry ma'am, we don't have you in the system.  it says here your coverage doesn't start until November 1st.  You will have to pay out of pocket until then.  I'm sorry."
Once more, my potty mouth took over.  I started kicking rocks outside the pharmacy. "What the hell kind of system are you running over there?  You send me a fucking letter, stating proof of transitional insurance, and specific co-pays that I will be responsible for, along with a member ID number AND a group number, and you don't have me in your system?  This is ridiculous.  This is UNACCEPTABLE.  I expect you to rectify this situation IMMEDIATELY, and figure out where the problem is.  If I don't receive a phone call back by tomorrow, my attorney will be calling you and I will sue the ever-loving shit out of the government!"
And then I hung up.  I was furious.  I was fuming. I was ready to blow up at anyone who walked the wrong way in front of me.  And I was in the same boat as when I walked into the pharmacy.  No meds.
I walked to the bus stop with the anger churning, and the urge to hurt someone or something building.  I wasn't thinking clearly.  It wasn't until I told my TB what had happened and she said, "why didn't you just ask to speak to a supervisor?"  that I realized I had let my emotions get the better of me.  I had gone straight out into emotion ocean and left all my coping skills on the shore.  Once I realized this, I knew I had to swim back to shore, letting my negative and uncomfortable emotions roll off my back, so I could collect up my coping skills, and try this again.
Although I haven't heard back from the insurance company, I was able to call them back the next day and explain calmly and politely what seemed to be the trouble.  I explained that I had the letter in hand, and that I would appreciate if they would look into the matter since I was unable to afford the cost of the medication out of pocket, and it is not a medication I can just stop taking.  I made sure to tell them I appreciated them taking the time in the manner, and I said it all with a sickeningly sweet tone in my voice. 
Although I still feel annoyed by this whole situation, I don't feel like causing bodily harm to anyone.  I suppose killing them with kindness is better that killing them with a round house kick to the face.

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