The Great King COBRA Rant

I can’t convert my COBRA insurance coverage because Premera BCBS is out of state. I have to apply for individual coverage here in TX. They can’t transfer my existing policy because it’s a group policy. I’m an automatic “deny” on my healthcare app with BCBS because they want you to be seizure-free for 5 years before they’ll touch you. They suggested the High Risk Pool.

On the Federal High Risk Pool, you have to go without any insurance coverage at all (note, COBRA counts as insurance coverage) before they’ll cover you. Texas has a State High Risk Pool but if you’re on COBRA and your plan has a conversion option (which, technically, mine does; I just can’t use it because they’re based up in the northwest part of the country and I’m “out of state”), you have to wait 6 months before they’ll cover you.

This. Is. So. Fucked. Up.

I thought “healthcare reform” was supposed to help people who can’t get insurance. WTF? Am I missing something?

What is this block?

There are days I want to write… I have the urge to write… but nothing comes. It’s like I can feel something inside of me that wants to get out; that needs to be expressed… it just can’t seem to find its way down to my fingertips.

I’ve felt that way for about a week. I don’t know if it’s run-of-the-mill writer’s block, or depression. I’ll eventually sort this out and you’ll see something from me soon. 🙂

My Sneaky Mr. Magick Man

Yesterday was our second wedding anniversary. We’re in the middle of a long-awaited bathroom remodel, and we agreed that this was our anniversary present to each other. I let it go, and thought he did the same. I should know my husband better…

A couple of days before our anniversary, we have this conversation:

Mr. Magick Man: “You don’t have anything on your calendar for Tuesday, right?” I notice he’s on the phone with someone while he’s asking me this question.

Me: “No, not yet, why?”

Mr. Magick Man: “You do now. Keep the entire day open.” And he smiles and says to the person on the phone, “Yes, book her for Tuesday.”

Me: “What are you doing?”

Mr. Magick Man: (Just sits there and smiles at me)

Me: “We said we were doing the bathroom as our anniversary present to each other.” And I give him “the look.”

Mr. Magick Man: “And we are.” And he continues to smile.

Yesterday morning, he took me to Etheria Salon. This was the same salon I used the day of the wedding for my bridal party and me, doing the full mani-pedi, hair and make-up. It was an all-day affair that day, and we had a great time. Yesterday, Mr. Magick Man surprised me with a relaxing massage, mani-pedi, and getting my hair done by the same guy who did my hair the day of my wedding. I got a bit wibbly. 🙂

Oh, and btw, the other guy who did our hair was there, and remembered our entire bridal party from two years ago. We had our squee moment. He wants to see pictures; I need to go back when they aren’t so busy.

Such a romantic, thoughtful, sentimental present. I really am the luckiest woman on earth. 🙂

My surprise this morning

Those of you who follow my blog have probably figured out by now I have epilepsy. In November of last year, my neurologist added the generic form of Keppra to my seizure control meds (Levetiracetam). He did so in order to better control the brief, 2-second, simple partial (or, Absence) seizures I would have. For those unfamiliar with these, a 2-second simple partial seizure appears to someone else as though the individual is momentarily distracted. The person having the seizure is aware, but it’s more like a “blip” on the radar. That’s the only way I can describe it. But I digress…

I should note, prior to adding this medication I was never photosensitive. That is, strobes did not easily trigger seizures for me. Laser tag was out, but I could safely go to a dance club. In February, that changed. I was out with the girls; we were dancing and having a great time. As the music changed, so did the strobes in the club. I could feel that “out of body” sensation. I just stopped dancing in the middle of the song, looked at my best friend and told her, “I need to get out of here.” We were all on a cruise ship that weekend. I made a B-line for the door and just sat on a bench in the hallway. Lyl came out with me. She was asking me the standard questions. I could answer her but I was slow to respond. Everything was slow. It was a simple-partial seizure, but it was longer than the 2-second blip I used to have. This was more of a “train” of simple partial seizures, coming in waves (and no, not the waves under the boat…<g>).

The same thing happened the next night at the dance club, but not as bad.

I told my neurologist about this, and he increased the dosage of the Levetiracetam. In March, I had a full blown generalized seizure. At this point, I can’t drive for 6 months.

My neurologist increased the dosage of the Levetiracetam again. Four weeks later, I had a full day of the simple-partial seizures, where they come in back-to-back trains.

He increased the dosage again. I had another train of simple-partial seizures 3 weeks later.

At my next appointment, he started to suggest increasing the dosage one more time. I told him I didn’t think that was working. I didn’t think the Levetiracetam was working, and pointed out my threshold seems to be lowering as we increase the dosage. This is what I like about my neurologist – he listens to his patients. He reviewed the overall pattern and agreed with me. We discussed weaning off the Levetiracetam, which is exactly what I’ve been doing over the past few weeks. I haven’t had any problems yet (:: knocks on wood ::).

My surprise this morning? Just out of curiosity, I was doing some research on Levetiracetam. I found out there’s a class action lawsuit on the medication. It seems the generic for Keppra isn’t quite as effective as the brand name. Patients who were switched from Keppra to Levetiracetam experienced an increase in their seizures, causing them to lose driving privileges. It is being stated that persons taking the generic “could lose driving privileges due to the fact it can onset more seizures, it will also impair them from employment or school with time lost.” There have been cases indicated of injuries from the drug. It was noted that at least 59% of patients on this medication had more recurring seizures.

Now, that statistic is from an article written in 2010. However, I found other sites indicating the class action is still being pursued. It’s possible my neurologist is unaware of this (and I do plan on asking him on my next visit). Regardless, why is this drug on the market?

I’m floored.