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.