What do you get when you take two people, three doctors, eleven prescriptions, two pharmacies and an insurance company?
No, wait – I’m not finished.
THEN add another person, two banks, a credit card company, a missing check and a disputed charge.
Mix in bipolar disorder, clinical depression, and several months of previous stress.
There is enormous inertia. You make a few calls, get a few responses. Fine, you think. That’s taken care of. Except days later, it isn’t. There are new overdraft notices, rapidly dwindling supplies of psychotropics, and occasional fits of tears.
So you take another swing at it. More phone calls. More revolving phone trees. More dropped calls. More suggestions that you really need to get someone else to call someone other else to resolve it and here’s a handy 1-800 number that takes you to a department that never heard of you, your problem, or the company you’re dealing with.
Yes, they all agree. It’s important that you don’t run out of your psychotropics. It would sure be nice if there were enough money in the account to pay the premium for the crappy insurance. It’s a mystery why no one has any record of the complaint you asked them to file.
Another day. Another no check. Another no drug delivery. By now we’re getting into mixed states: immobilizing depression and nail-biting, catastrophizing anxiety.
You look for possible work-arounds. Maybe the local pharmacy can sell you enough pills to tide you over. But, oopsie! Your bank balance just went from -$53 to -$82. And the insurance won’t pay for drugs at the local pharmacy any more – only through mail order. Which brings us back to D’oh!
This is not hypothetical. This is happening.
What do we do now?
Well, we split up the tasks. I work on the drugs and insurance end, while my husband works on the banking problem. We both hover over the mailbox, waiting for the check.
We take turns. Both of us having a meltdown at the same time is not pretty. I’ve seen it. Trust me on this.
We do all we can do and then stop. For the moment anyway. When the pitch of my voice starts rising to dog whistle range and I start sniffling and tearing up, I know I’m just moments away from becoming incoherent, which may demonstrate the need for the psychotropics, but is not actually any help in getting them.
We try to take care of ourselves. Dan can sleep (I can’t), so he does. He buys my comfort foods (fried rice, mashed potatoes). I decide that this may not be the best time to be reading a new, fast-paced zombie apocalypse thriller and switch to a familiar old standby character study with no crises worse than deciding when to have a child (not a small thing, but on the scale of introspection to pulse-pounding, pretty low).
There’s never a good time for these cosmic pile-ups to happen, but now is unusually bad. The last few months have brought assorted financial and medical troubles (the two being related, of course), plus the death of three elderly pets within a couple of weeks of each other. Dan is dealing with the fact that the house he grew up in is up for sale. I haven’t been getting as much work as usual. Soon, I will have to look into expanding my client base.
After I get the drugs. And after they start to work. Whenever that is.
Sorry I don’t have anything encouraging or amusing or informative to share this week. That’s just the way it is sometimes. And now is one of those times.
Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: being overwhelmed, bipolar disorder, coping mechanisms, depression, husband, mental illness, mutual support, my experiences, psychotropic drugs