With disability insurance restored, health-insurance pays for a wheel chair.

I’m happy.  Although these last few days have been unproductive, in a writing sense, several good things happened this week.

Yesterday, I cashed the check from my disability insurer.  Cigna has decided to honor my policy, after reviewing my functional capacity evaluation.

There was no explanation from them.  No correspondence.  Just a check, arriving in the mail, the night-before-last.  All the money they owed, since December.  (Here is my last post on this saga.)

Even with high-confidence in my case, I carried a low-grade anxiety into this new-year.  I guess that’s natural when no in-come matches my out-go.  Now, I can dismiss that emotion.

For some reason, I anticipated a letter explaining why they chose to make my life difficult.  But, nothing says, we’re sorry, like a check.  I suppose I could call them, to confirm that this will now be honored for the life of the policy.  I don’t want another, bad, surprise from them, next year, or next month.

I also got fitted for my wheel-chair.  Health-insurance will pay for most of it.  The features on my model will be determined by another type of functional evaluation.  Insurance requires justifications for costs.

I had a couple of choices, between manufacturers.  One is Chinese-built for American overlords.  The other is American-made for Swedish overlords.  I chose the Swedish model.  It was recommended as more reliable, with more apparent-thought behind the engineering.

The Chinese-American model left motors, and other moving parts, exposed.  The Swedish-American model has those things largely hidden inside of casings.  Both chairs share the capability of changing postures and heights.  For instance, the seat can rise, so that I can work at my kitchen counter.

The Swedish-seat lifts directly from the base, on a metal rod.  The Chinese-seat lifts with a scissors-jack.

One looked like it was designed by experienced engineers.  The other resembled a lab-project by engineering students.

Some of the capabilities of the chair might be non-functional, depending on what insurance is willing to pay.  A fully-featured electric-chair could cost something on the order of $22,000.  A less-abled model could be as low as $16,000.  I should have new mobility, in roughly a month.

My motivation for it has more to-do with leaving the house, than living within one.  In-home, I still can cope.  But, leaving the house intimidates me now, on most days.  I don’t have confidence that my strength will hold up for these trips.  Mostly, I shop for groceries, or stop at a coffee shop.

I’ll get around by bus.  Between buses, light-rail, and my chair, I can begin enjoying some public spaces again.  I’m anticipating the opportunity, just to visit a place like Mill Avenue, on a nice day.  Right now, I don’t do this anymore.  My life is mostly spent at home, with brief trips to break the day into logical pieces.

And, this past Monday, I met with a doctor I have never met, because social security is still making a decision on whether I am disabled, or not.  I didn’t choose this doctor.  I received a letter instructing me to see him, at 9:30 AM.

I offered them my functional capacity evaluation.  They declined.  Instead, they had me meet with a doctor, who interviewed me, while performing the most-cursory of physical-evaluations.  I think his task is to determine whether my story makes sense.

He has my diagnosis, and my doctors’ notes.  But, a lot has changed in the last year.

The doctor collects fees from SSI, to determine if my condition is truly disabling.  The entire visit took place in about a half-hour.  Although I could see the necessity for some type of verification, SSI’s procedures seemed lacking in credibility.

The low-point of the visit was when the doctor took apart his pen, and asked me to put it back together.  This was the ‘dexterity test’.  He told me to pretend I didn’t see him take it apart.

I wondered whether seeing the pen being broken-down helps my dexterity.  I have been taking pens apart since the second or third grade.  Visualizing, how a pen should be assembled, is more of a cognitive test.

But, I didn’t argue.  SSI needed the results before they can rule me disabled.  And, somehow, assembling a pen speaks to my ability to earn a living, or not, programming computers.  At least, the doctor seems to think so.

These events served to occupy some of my attention.  The better-part of this week, dictated by insurance.

Good thing, too.  I’m fighting my way through an inspiration-drought.  I blame some of this on my condition.  But, if I didn’t have these moments to anticipate, this week would have left me less to say.

Tempe February

=== 6:52 PM ===

XB  Ooh.  I just snagged the writing table.

I love its suitability.

I’m surprised I am here this late.  But, only as I would have expected this day-to-play.  After a couple of blah-days, I could feel an energy, even as I lay in bed, this morning.  Perfect-days often beckon, in this manner.

And yes, I was achy.  But, not active achy.

Past achy.  On its way out.

And I was mindful again of food.  I squeezed a lemon into water.  Drank that, as my morning quench.

Then I picked some tomatoes from the garden.

These were planted in late September.  They matured into December, setting lots of heavy, green fruit.  And there it stayed, waiting for the days, to warm enough for red.

A few started turning in late January.

But, in a Tempe-February, spring is very apparent.  Weeds and peach blossoms.  In another month, we’ll be in full citrus-bloom.

And the tomatoes know it.  There’s a bunch of big red fruits on those eighteen plants.  Six cherry, six Champion, six Celebrity.  Every day I eat as many as I want.

Wen Ling kept asking me why I planted eighteen?

Because.  Every day I eat as many as I want.  Three, four, even five, big ones.  And another half-dozen cherries, as snacks.

This is the perfect time of year.  I can keep the windows and doors open, with temps so pleasant.  And when I get hungry, I just stroll into the back yard, through weeds, and look for the reddest ones.

A little sea-salt.  Yum.

And, dessert is blood-orange.  Studied, then picked.

I need to eat dinner. But, this reminds me.

Last night, I followed-up, what I wrote in my journal, about where-to-eat-dinner, by eating-dinner at Chillie’s.  Is that what I imagine I wrote?

 

I had the flatbread, a holographic-image of my hunger.  And a beer.

Home before ten.

 

Bed before two.  Just after one.

I thought I had cleared, my belching, before sleep.

But there was this one, final, statement on-dinner.

It haunted my morning.

 

It startled me.  I was choking.

I was awake.  And, I was aware.

I was choking.

 

I have been here before.  Believe me.

It’s annoying, when it happens, now.

 

So I recognized the presence-of-mind I was in.  Gradually, when these things happen.

Usually, after a food-combination, not conducive-to-sleep.

I am calmer, with each, stupid, incident.

 

Today, this morning, just before five.

I had the presence of mind to pray, to Meta-Mind.

For calm.

 

I sat.

Up, in bed.  Eyes closed.

Strange and true.

 

My inability-to-inhale contained a calm.

I just had to wait this out.

I just needed to meditate on the experience.

 

Breathing will resume….  Any minute, now.

 

My fault.

Eating breaded-goodness, with beer, before dreams.

A poetic, yet realistic, statement.

A foundation, for Conscious-Writing.

Conscious-Writing is Conscious-Thinking.

 

The above-two-lines should be written on my blog as, a poetic, yet realistic, statement.

That could be the title.

The words, trailing the first comma, of the first sentence, of this stanza.

 

Realistic, in the sense that.

If Know-One is doing it, someone should.

 

That someone should be me, because.

There seems to be, a need-in-the-field.

Of Conscious-Awareness.

 

But, if Someone is doing it, then I should first join.

Discover what they think.

 

Responses would be welcomed.

A few, brief, thoughts.

I have been quiet the better part of a week.  Possibly, the best week of my life, in many ways.

Since my previous post, I have been in wheel-chair prescription-limbo.

It’s bizarre.  How strange our worlds?

Become, when insurance enters our lives.

It’s not my control.  It’s shared control.

In order to gain control, I have to learn how insurance companies think.  It’s what I imagine before.

The alien, suddenly, in my dreams.

And this has been possibly the best week of my life, because, for the rest of it, I have only been writing, and meditating on my manuscript. I am now in full book-writing mode.

Beam me up, Spock.

To a heavenly place.

Each day, when I begin to type.

Thoughts.  Not my own.

2014-02-07

=== 5:33 PM ===

XB

Writing table.

I’m probably too weak to be here responsibly.  But, I only realized after I was here.  Might as well make use of the trip.

Today I spoke to Aetna, my health-insurer, after speaking to the woman at the wheel-chair store.  Same woman as yesterday.  She’s in a scooter.  She told me.

She also told me my insurance is not accepted at their store.  Only Blue Cross.

My plan does cover some of the costs.  But, there’s a $600 deductible, and some other things I don’t completely recall.  They also only work with specific vendors.  The voice gave me the names of three businesses in Tempe.

I spoke to one of them.  I learned.  I also need a prescription.

So I called my doctor.  The secretary asked the purpose of my call.  After I explained, she turned me over to the physician’s assistant.

Voice mail.

I left a message.  I think she was gone for the afternoon.  I never got a call-back.

Some Thoughts…. I need to get out of my head before I can share my views on God.

I have received multiple invites to watch today’s debate between Bill Nye, The Science Guy, and Ken Ham.

One of the hams on stage is a creationist.  The other will represent evolution.  In a theatrical form.

Symbolically, we get to choose.  Which one is right?

But, I won’t tune in, until it has cured a few weeks, on a hook in the meat closet.  Away from the flies.

Right now I don’t want to watch it at all.  Because, I know which side is right.

Neither!  The reason we have these silly debates is because we aren’t able to move beyond our differences.  I want to talk about how we can.

*****

I have been waiting for the right moment to elevate the content of my blog.  Today seems perfect, for a couple reasons.

One.  I am more lucid to-day, than any other, these past couple weeks.  And when I am lucid, my thoughts drift to the big questions we all struggle with.  God, or no.  Life, and the before-after sandwich we call the spiritual.  And, consciousness.

Also.  Two.

There’s a reason for switching my voice, that allows me to discuss why my voice has changed.  It’s not puberty!  Just so no one is confused.

Voices change with thoughts.

The Ham-Nye debate somehow represents my own thoughts, and my blog.  How opportune!

So onwards from here.   Some days I will share my thoughts about God.  Others, I will think about the mind.  And still others, I will pull lint from my navel.  But, it’s all related.  Trust me.

At least now, hopefully I can launch directly into discussions of my beliefs about God, without feeling self-conscious doing so.

*****

You may have noticed that my writing often seems focused on ordinary things.  The useless riffraff, left from otherwise forgettable days.  And, yet, today, I am switching to the topics of God, and death, and understanding.  Even if, only my own.

But, my ordinary days are always related to the special, now that I pay attention.  I write about the ordinary so that I can draw on those experiences when discussing the extra-ordinary.  So, when you read about my day shopping for a wheel chair, or another spent dealing with the insurance company that cut off my disability payments, it’s because my ordinary experiences have some meaning for me.  And, I want to convey meaning through my writing.  But, I can only do so through the trial and error of everyday attempts.

I want you to see me for who I am.  I am sometimes neurotic.  And, I guess that makes me human.  And if you can see me as human, then you can read my thoughts without being offended.  And believe me.  Some of my thoughts will offend.  It’s why I don’t discuss them lightly.

*****

Here are some rules that might help clarify my posts regarding God, and no gods, and religion.  My first on the topic, but by no means, my last.

  • I reserve the right to offend.  I’m not trying to offend.  It’s just inevitable, if I am to express myself clearly.
  • You reserve the right to be offended.  Just know, I’m not doing it, like a comedian.  Whether you thump a bible, or got rid of yours long ago, my views might offend you.  Or worse, turn you off.  But, I don’t want anyone to think I am making anyone else the butt of a joke.  I may discuss a certain belief, and then tweak it to get a point across.  Once you feel that point, you might get what I am saying.  Sometimes offending each other is the only way we can communicate.
  • You reserve the right to offend me.  If I am wrong, please tell me.  I want to know, because I want to grow.  And I typically have to be dragged, kicking and scratching against the friction of my offended feelings.
  • We respect each other as human beings.  The golden rule doesn’t belong to any one set of beliefs.  I believe religious people can be rational.  I also believe that atheists can be irrational.   But, sanity is our common right.  We will never arrive.  But, it is possible to imagine how we will all be viewed one day by the survivors.

*****

I believe we can only understand properly through other points-of-view.  This is not a place where one of us is right and the others are wrong.  Common understanding comes through mutual understanding.  We each embody something the other needs.  And truth is never perceived directly.  Nor is it claimed as a battlefield prize.

This blog is not where you capitulate to me, or visa versa, unless one of us is seriously wrong.  This blog is where believers and atheists are welcome to commune.  I do believe a common understanding is possible, and that belief vs. non-belief is the wrong way to approach the subject.

Sure, it’s necessary for some people from each persuasion to duke it.  But, that’s only because they symbolize what we all struggle with.  And their fight is the topic of our discussion.  It’s the human way to understand.

The monkey way.  The tribal way.

At least, it’s my way.