Attention! Everyone! I have met my goal!
Whew! It was touch-and-go for a there minute, wasn't it? But now I am happy to report that I have met (and somewhat exceeded) my cash goal. This should be enough to get Franny, Camoo, and myself through until the first of November.
Bear hugs and great, heartfelt thanks to all. Love you! xoxo
PRESCRIPT: If you want to send dog food and the amazon.com system says it needs an address (it shouldn't but it might) please just PM me and I will give it to you. Don't give up! It's so impt for me to have food for Frances. Thank you so much for your help!
So, I've been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis--that was in June--and have been living on temporary state disability (SDI) benefits ever since, having no other income. It's not a lot of money, but so far it has been enough to get by on until, I had thought, either my RA goes into remission (it can happen) and I return to work, or I move from temporary state to long term Social Security Disability if it doesn't.
But now, suddenly, SDI has cut me off, and I am still very much in the midst of treatment. A new doctor makes two small but crucial mistakes on my recertification form, and the State Disability Office has unplugged me, leaving me in a lurch, with no income whatsoever.
A brief bit of background.
I was able at long last to get a diagnosis in June when ... well, wait, I'm jumping ahead of my own story. What happened first was, after five months of mounting pain I finally stumbled into the ER one evening after work and bawled at a triage nurse to help me, please, God, help me--whereupon she informed me that joint pain of this sort is not an emergency and thus not treated in the ER. "Go home and make an appointment with your primary provider," she said.
I don't have a primary provider, I told her. I don't have health insurance. My employer doesn't offer it.
You see, in the past, I had rarely been sick--and when I did catch a flu or manifest the odd ear infection, I'd always just made an appointment with my mother's doc--a handy, known quantity--and paid cash. It wasn't that expensive. I never needed blood work. And antibiotics are cheap.
Now, back in May I applied for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid, but I hadn't heard anything from them. (Of course the system was completely overwhelmed.) I tried to explain this to the nurse, and to get across how badly I was hurting. I needed to see a doctor, I said. The pain was clearly abnormal; my body was throbbing from shoulder to heel and my joints were so stiff, it was as if they'd been wrapped up tight in masking tape. I was crying like a little kid, but still she dismissed me, saying there was nothing the ER could do for pain like mine.
So I was about to hobble on back home when, just then, a social worker with
Sacramento Connect tapped my shoulder and--having overheard my exchange with the triage nurse--beckoned me to follow her outside to a portable office in the hospital parking lot. It was truly surreal, the way she appeared as if out of nowhere to deliver me from my misery; it was like an episode of "Touched By An Angel" or something. All that was missing was the rising orchestra and the holy golden glow spilling down from the heavens.
Her name was Rose, and back in her office, this real-life angel (who required no holy glow for me to perceive her as archetypal Goodness embodied!) listened to my story, picked up the phone, got my Medi-Cal situation straightened out on the double (I had been approved months ago, somebody just forgot to send out my card), and got me hooked up with a Medi-Cal clinic where, two days later, I would meet a wonderful Physician's Assistant by the name of G., whom I wish I could have remained a patient of forever, but it was not to be. I'll come back to that in a moment.
Upon my first appointment with this new PA, he took my blood and examined me stem to stern, asked a dozen questions and listened to all of mine, and within a week--one week!--he had diagnosed me with aggressive, seropositive RA. Now, I had asked for and was granted a short leave from work, but I really wasn't in any condition to return. It was at this point G. suggested that, with his help I should apply for temporary state disability, a.k.a., SDI. I agreed and was promptly approved—although it would be another scary three weeks from my last paycheck until the first benefit load appeared upon my dedicated Bank of America/SDI benefit debit card.
I will try to cut to the chase, lol; I realize all this byzantine health insurance stuff makes for less than scintillating reading.
In short, at the end of August, for reasons that are not altogether clear to me (but have to do with the new Medi-Cal expansion laws) Sacramento Connect was obliged to move me from “Straight Medi-Cal” to a Medi-Cal plan called Health Net Medi-Cal, which in my case meant I would have to leave G. the wonderful PA behind and switch to an assigned Health Net doctor in private practice who is so overwhelmed and burned-out that he is making mistakes, not least, failing to properly fill out my SDI recertification form. He's a nice man I'm sure, but his mistakes have resulted in, among other things, my benefits being suspended for what will be the entire month of October. Yes, it will take that long for SDI to elicit from him the required information, do the corrective data entry, and then to flip the switch that makes the bennies I depend upon to live start up again.