Saturday, April 12, 2008

Look into the light, Carol Ann!

Well, it's not quite Poltergeist, but I had my own appointment with bright lights today.

First, before I get to the story, let me say thank you to the folks who left such nice, supportive comments - I really appreciate it. And, for those who asked, yes - Joe was great! I was in so much pain by the time the gig was over, I almost passed out in front of 9:30 and was hyperventilating to the point that the poor Sasquatch said, "Dude, you're really scaring me." That experience aside, Joe rocked. I highly recommend his new CD "Rain", which Joe himself described as "pretty damn good." He's right. Go get it!

Now, as for me... my mule-kick headache post-accident developed into what I've been describing as a "horizontal headache" - as if someone had drawn a thick horizontal line of dull ache across the back of my skull, from ear to ear. When I told this to the doc this morning (hooray for medical professionals with Saturday hours!) he was not surprised. After some x-rays and range of motion tests, he pulled out a pen light and had me try to follow the light with my eyes.

I did not do so well, apparently. I was very slow to follow. My inability to follow the light and the horizonal headache are the obvious signs of a bad occipital concussion. This also explains the freaky fuzzy vision - and later tunnel vision - I had on Thursday night. Lovely!

I bet you're thinking, "Well, jeez, Merujo, it sure is a good thing you have insurance!"

Wellllll... yes and no.

The woman who hit me this time has the same insurance carrier I do. And, to her credit, she didn't run away, she was (over)solicitous and she *did* call our insurance company. However, here's where the problems start. Said insurance company has now informed me three times that, if this new accident has caused additional harm to my already messed up back and neck, they will close my first claim (which was on my PIP coverage, and therefore, up to $10K, NOT out of my pocket initially) and put all new care on this woman's bodily injury insurance.

What does this mean? It means any new appointments/therapy/x-rays/MRIs/etc. would be out of my pocket until all treatment is done, and only then would they make a lump sum payment to me for medical care and pain & suffering. This is not good. As the usual suspects here know, I live paycheck to paycheck. I'm lucky if I have around twenty bucks left at the end of any given pay period. I have $2.77 in savings. Literally. Now, because a second inattentive driver has struck me, I may be screwed out of ANY additional medical care because I can't afford the buckage out of pocket for any treatment before a final lump sum payout. There have been a lot of exhausted, white flag-raising tears in the past 48 hours, trust me.

Unsurprisingly, I find this a singularly unamusing Catch-22 situation. My physical therapy doc gave me the phone number of a good lawyer this morning, and I'm calling him on Monday. The doc also informed me he doesn't want me working for a few days because of the concussion and gave me a slip noting that I am, for work purposes, "totally incapacitated" through the 17th. Ironically, I'd asked for Monday and Tuesday as vacation. I guess I can put those vay-cay days back in the kitty. Sick leave it is, at least for a couple of days.

The whole "totally incapacitated" thing actually freaked me out. I mean, I feel bad and the doc even noted that I looked bad this morning, but I didn't understand how bad the concussion was until he stood back and just looked at me with concern after my slow reaction to light.

I'm starting to think there should be a cheesy trophy for Most Accident Prone Blogger, and, more or less, it should just be handed back and forth between Magazine Man and me. No joke.

I think I'm done with spending any time behind the wheel for the day. Instead, I'm about to enjoy the afternoon getting reacquainted with my wacky Irish pal, Vic O'Din, and his mellow contortionist buddy, Flexerall.

And seriously, I'm not driving anywhere the day Crowded House plays DC. Look for me in the balcony at the 9:30 Club that night - I'll be the one drooling through a prescribed narcotic haze, wrapped in bubble wrap. Snap! Pop! Play "Pineapple Head", please!

The sofa, she calls me...


Heather Meadows said...

*hug* That lawyer better fix things for you, because this is ridiculous! You need to be able to heal!

Anonymous said...

Fucking eh?! Goddamn insurance companies. They suck. They have ruined healthcare in this country for decent, hardworking, lower middle class folks (because there is no middle class in America anymore.) Where is the sense in making you start all over?! Sheesh.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this latest hurdle. I hope the lawyer is a bulldog and goes after your insurance with all guns blazing. You deserve a win in your column for a change!

suze said...

*great big hugs* - I can't believe your insurance company - that is absolutely ridiculous!

Chuck said...

My, insurance companies suck, big time. Some policies make no sense at all. Good luck finding a good lawyer!