It’s been a little over a month since my last update, so I thought I’d let you guys know how things are going.
The search for medical insurance has been completely unsuccessful. Rather than running its own program, the state of Nevada chose to participate in the Federal PCIP (Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan) program, which Congress failed to fund, and thus was only accepting applications until mid-February. I found out about it literally five days after enrollment had closed. The point of the program is to provide insurance at a reasonable cost to anyone with pre-existing conditions who is denied by insurance or offered coverage at exorbitant rates. Normal private individual channels for insurance are closed because I am going to either be denied outright or offered coverage at exorbitant rates, neither of which helps me at all. That means in all likelihood I will not be able to get insurance until 2014, with the rest of the Affordable Care Act kicks in. I am going to keep trying, but for the moment I am focusing my energy elsewhere.
What is looking far more promising is getting on disability through the Social Security Administration. I have hired a lawyer who specializes in helping people with lyme, and we are working on getting all the materials together for my application. Thankfully, I am not out any money unless we win, and then it is a portion of the back-benefits. Applying for disability is a very lengthy process, so I won’t actually be on disability until sometime in 2014, but it should carry with it back benefits for these years I have been disabled and unable to work effectively. That’s excellent news for achieving enough money to pay for the full treatment, but between the lengthy disability process and inability to get on medical insurance, it is very likely I won’t be able to start the antibiotic treatment until sometime in 2014.
In much more delightful news, the symptom management and immune support therapies are making a huge difference in the quality of my day-to-day life. Since starting on the Iberogast, I no longer have any bloating or other minor digestive symptoms that had still been bothering me. I’m still not quite as regular as my doctor would like, but I am improving each week and have no doubt that by the time I have the financial ability to do the antibiotic treatment, I will be physically more than ready.
I have also been on the B-12 shots for about three weeks now, and it has had a huge impact on my energy level. I wouldn’t say my energy level is even remotely normal, but it has been high enough that I’ve been able to take care of myself every day, manage a little bit of house cleaning here and there, and even devote a little time every day or two to working on projects. In the past month I have made a couple bustles, and an Elizabethan corset. In the old days, a plain Elizabethan corset would have taken me two days at the most, and this one took me almost three weeks, but after not having the energy to sew a thing since last October, I’m very happy to have finished it at all. I also attended the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition, and gave a two-hour workshop on bustlemaking at the event.
This week there has also been a test of the efficacy of the immune support therapies. Diana came down with a cold last Friday. Since she’s an asthmatic, it went straight into her chest and she’s still coughing from it a week later. The cats also came down with it, and Ringo in particular (our big, black Maine Coon) felt the need to snuggle me every chance he could get, his little paws and ears warm, and his nose slightly dripping (poor kitty). Even before I had lyme disease, if Diana or I came down with a cold or flu, the other was sure to have it within a day or two. This time I held out for five whole days before getting sick, my symptoms are not nearly as pronounced as they were for Diana, and I’m hopeful of getting over it quickly. Thank goodness for that!
So, overall I am very happy for the small victories and the future prospects. I’m in this for the long haul, whether I like it or not, so I may as well be at peace with that. :)