A while back, I wrote a rather depressing post about my life getting worse instead of better in sobriety. Among my complaints, were two developments that had significant financial impact: One arm of my insurance company had terminated my disability benefits; another had denied coverage for treatment I had been receiving for my lupus.
As of yesterday, I have received notification that both of my appeals have been received and are now under review.
I would not have considered these appeals anything but necessary, had a friend not pointed out the obvious. She reminded me, while I may lack the skills to stand up for myself in person or on the phone, I can am capable of writing a wicked letter. It’s true. My telephone conversations had gotten me nowhere. I could hardly get past hello without becoming a sniffling weepy mess. The good news is I didn’t give up.
I sat down at the computer and started writing. I wrote a letter of appeal regarding the termination of my disability benefits and compiled a stack of documentation that, together with that letter, cost me over $8 to send certified mail. Then I composed a moving diatribe about the severity of my physical ailments and how surprised and disappointed I was that my insurance company deemed medically unnecessary the only treatment from which I had experienced any relief.
I suppose, in both instances, someone else may have resigned themselves to his or her misfortune. I know if my only option was to make my case over the telephone, I would have surely given up. But, thanks be to God, I have been blessed with the ability to write. And even in those cases where my letters were intercepted and most probably discarded by office staff, I was able to muster the courage to make appointments and deliver copies directly into the hands of my doctors.
It has been a full time job making these two appeals and I have to admit I am rather proud of myself in having done so. I still have work to do. I have one more doctor’s appointment from which I hope to have an additional attending physician’s statement submitted. And, first thing tomorrow morning, I want to call the pharmaceutical company’s copay assistance program and request their testimony in support of my treatment. For the most part, however, my appeals are complete.
Both matters are now in the hands of strangers in office buildings far and away from my home town. I may lose. But I will do so knowing I gave the good fight. Then again, I might just win. In which case, I will experience tremendous relief. It’s a crap shoot. I am, however, certain that my odds in both cases are far better than those of winning Publishers Clearing House’s $7,000 a week for life sweepstakes.
It can probably go without saying that my inability to open my mouth and speak up for myself troubles me deeply. My nature has always been to back down and give up. But I have now proven to myself that I can find the words. Whether or not I will ever be able to translate them orally is a project for another day. For now, however, I am just relieved that both appeals have been received. I guess you do have to fight for everything. I gave it my best shot. No one can take that away from me. Ever.