Vignettes: Fifth Sympathetic Nerve Block, Finishing What was Started, and More Ballet

I went back up to New York again last week.

The first order of business was to complete the unmentionable thing that was left unfinished a couple weeks ago. Can’t talk about it…

Next, was another visit to my pain management doctor for my next lumbar sympathetic block. The blocks only last a few days and taper off within a few weeks, leaving my CRPS back at the starting point. Remission from the blocks is starting to look like a very remote possibility.

Before the procedure, I asked my doctor more about the radiofrequency ablasion (RFA) treatment we had discussed several months ago. She said I was a good candidate, but without health insurance, the procedure “would certainly be cost-preventative.” She recommended that I continue having the nerve block injections, as long as they provide relief.

And then the procedure. It went well. “Another one for the Hall Of Fame,” my doctor said.  She told me that there was “just something” about the anatomy of my back and spine that lend themselves to consistently “near perfect” lumbar sympathetic blocks… Uhm… Thank you???

And I also made appearances at two ballet classes! I was able to do most of the barre, and about half of centre. I tapped out after pirouettes. And let’s be honest. I didn’t actually pirouette… but still… Just being in class, being with my favorite teacher, hearing the music, feeling part of something, released a bit of my pent up stress, and renewed my spirits immeasurably.

Then, because my leg was feeling OK from the nerve block, I made my way downtown to see Jordan Matter’s Dancer’s Among Us exhibit. Ironically, I my visit was during the last weekend of the exhibit. And, I was lucky enough to meet one of the “tiny dancers among us” who was visiting the exhibit with her mother.

“And oh, if you knew what it meant to me…”

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What Do You Mean, You Don’t Have Health Insurance?

Well, I mean that I don’t have health insurance.

No, it is not by choice. And, no, I don’t have to pay a penalty.

The simple, absurd, hard to believe truth is that I don’t currently qualify for any form of healthcare.

I continue to be unable to work, so I don’t have access to employer provided health coverage.

It stands to reason that private insurance companies don’t want anything to do with little, old, broke, broken, jobless me.

What about ObamaCare? Yeah, what about it? Did you know that if your state governor did not sign the Medicaid Expansion, then you have to meet a minimum income requirement to qualify for ObamaCare (a.k.a. the Affordable Healthcare Act)? It’s true. One must have an income, a job, which I am not able (but really really want) to have.

So then, what about Medicaid? Here, too, one must qualify in certain states. I must first be approved for Social Security Disability before I can apply for Medicaid. I applied for Social Security Disability benefits almost two years ago. I am awaiting my final hearing date. I did some investigation a couple months ago. At that time, I was still about a year away from being given a hearing date. Then comes the hearing, then the decision, then (if approved…) I am allowed to begin the process to receive Medicare and/or Medicaid.

A video went viral last year about it.

After this video circulated, people made fun of the woman, attacked her political views, and said she was an anarchist. My opinion is that she was a little too inflamed, belligerent, and bordered on being incoherent. But, my opinion of her doesn’t matter. She was right.

Shame on you Rick Scott.

His response about supposedly “creating jobs” is irrelevant to those of us who are physically unable to work, those of us who suffered personal misfortune and are consequently being held hostage by “the system.”

Last year, when trying to apply for “benefits,” the AccessFlorida representative suggested that I should move back to New York if I wanted healthcare. I responded by telling her that I don’t have a place to live in New York. She said, “yeah, you’re in a tough position.”

I could further expand on the ridiculousness of “the system” (a system into which I paid, without questioning, for over 20 years), but it is time for my next dose of coma-inducing nerve slowing medication. For which, I  pay out of pocket ($7 per pill).