Tuesday, August 01, 2006

One of these things is not like the other...

The worst part of getting a shot in the eye?

Hmmm... it's a tie between finding out right beforehand that the monthly cost is actually gonna run around $500 each time, including all photos and such, and the disgusting, horrific sensation of the needle actually puncturing the eyeball. If I could Vulcan mindmeld the sensation for you... oh hell, I wouldn't do it. I almost ralphed when it was over.

BTW, the technical term for what's happened to me is choroidal neovascularization, which mimics the effects of "wet" macular degeneration (AMD.) Oh so exciting to be part of the scientific process! Now, if any of you have any suggestions for how I can make a spare $500 a month (without using a webcam for really grotesque purposes), let me know. I'll have to sell a lot of "Sex Weasel" t-shirts to make up my Fucked-up Eye Deficit, or FED.

Time to return to the sofa...


spocko said...

NO more mindmelds with people in pain for me!
Sex Weasel? You humans.

Sasquatch said...

Look out Marilyn Manson!

Heather Meadows said...

That is one large pupil.

Man, I can't even imagine what it must be like to be conscious as something is poked into your eye. When I saw that scene in Star Trek 8, I about freaked out. You see, I figured they'd cut away, because how could they really stick a drill bit through Patrick Stewart's eye? But they did.

There has got to be something that can be done financially, someone that can help. Like a foundation for health services for people whose insurance doesn't cover everything. You'd think, anyway!

Or hey, don't they have commie healthcare in Canada? You could just, like, move there until you're well.


(Side comment for other commenters: Someone who reads here sent me an email through the contact form on my website, and when I tried to reply, the message bounced. It was a gmail address. If it was you, please email me directly! cosleia AT qx DOT net.)

kob said...

This is just terrible. I'm so sorry you are facing this. And the insurance? What is wrong with this country? Admire your courage to blog about this.

Loracs said...

When I woke up this morning to a local NPR station there was a report on drug companies and their pricing practices (I think that was the main report.) But they were using an example of 2 drugs, both used in cancer treatment, but also used to stop blindness by injecting into the eye. And one costs around $2000 a shot and the other around $50. Hmmm, I thought, this MUST be a good sign for Merujo or so I chose to interpret it as such.

So sorry to hear about the "added" costs. You'd a thunk they would have mentioned this at an earlier point, no? Like there is a real choice not to have this treatment? Maybe we can have "Church of the Big Sky" bake sales all over the country. I'll try my hand at "Death on a Cracker" cupcakes; a fluffy but depressing dessert.

Glad you're up and about enough to pose and blog.

suze said...

If i come up with any good fundraising ideas, I'll let you know.

I'd definately buy a sex weasel t-shirt :)

sucks about the additional costs. I wish you well...

Mary A Brown said...

Ah, Merujo, how very Bowie you look! I'm glad it's over for now and that you managed not to run screaming from the table before they finished.

Cyn said...

Have you discussed a payment plan with the providers? We've done this several times (hospital for childbirth costs, urologist for kidney stone, surgical center & doctors for spinal problems.)

With my kidney stone, I owed thousands after insurance and they accepted $20 a month. I think it took me 6 years to pay it off, but much easier than running up my credit cards for funds (Kids, don't drink a six-pack of coke a day, because the phosphorus in it may cause the calcium in your body to form cute little stones in your ureter and eventually you'll find yourself peeing blood.)

I believe you said your insurance doesn't cover these shots, so it might be harder to work out a deal if the provider is not getting anything upfront from insurance...still, the eye shot billing office might be willing to work with you. It's worth a call anyway.

And if that doesn't work out, there's always the webcam option...

Washington Cube said...

I am sure umpteen people have told you this, but have you approached the pharmacutical company that manufactures the drug to see if they can offer this to you at a reduced rate or hardship rate? It does happen, but not with the frequency it should.

Scholiast said...

You could make a living as a David Bowie double. No, really, he's got an eye like that too! His other eye is blue, but still. Oh, I see now someone else thought of this before me..

BTW, no mindmelding necessary, I totally will not yield to feeling your pain more intensely than I just did reading this!

Such a shame you're not Norwegian, you'd have gotten the medical treatment for free. For as long as it was deemed necessary. Fancy a quick change of nationality?

murison said...

You've probably seen this, but just in case: http://www.emedicine.com/OPH/topic534.htm is a very informative article with LOTS of references. I'd take a printout of it with you next time you see your doc, and make sure doco is doing right by you in terms of treatment. Yikes.

Sudiegirl said...

I'm not sure what to tell you on that one, kid.

Bake sale might be a good idea...or maybe I can convince my big band to do a concert of Thomas Dolby tunes as a fundraiser.

It couldn't hurt!


Merujo said...

Sophie, thank you so much. Unfortunately, the drug being used on me, Avastin, is only FDA-approved for use on colon cancer patients. Lucentis is a derivative of Avastin. It *is* FDA-approved for this condition, but only insurance/Medicare-approved for payment if you are elderly. (The drug is only approved for use in the elderly.) Otherwise, Lucentis is $2000/shot.

Macugen is the drug formerly used for this condition. However, clinical research showed that it had, in actuality, no long-term beneficial effect. Also, it's $1300 a shot.


Unfortunately, I make just enough money that I'm over the limits for any assistance from non-profits or the drug company. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

But I can't tell you how much I appreciate the kind thoughts, research, and support from everyone out here!!