Days b4 my next refill of Tardive Meds, Silverscript is denying coverage

As many of you know, I have a neurological side effect from the antipsychotics that I’ve been taking all these sixteen years. It’s like severe Parkinson’s.

I take meds for it. Expensive meds.

Silverscript, my medicare part D, has suddenly cut me off, just days before my next refill. Previously, back in January they said I was covered until next Feb in 2017. Legally, you guys, can they do this?

 

The Nami statistics are thus: For those of us who take an antipsychotic, whether it’s a traditional old school Haldol or Thorazine or an ‘atypical’ like Invega, Geodon or Abilify,  for a decade, they say that percentage of us who will get tardive dyskinesia is 30-60%. And that type of drug is not taken temporarily. Its a drug they give you and tell you you’ll be needing it for the rest of your life. So we’ll all be taking these meds for a decade unless we try to go without them, find out that we can, and get off of them. For me, it’s too late.

It’s also referred to as Parkinsonianism. There is no cure, only expensive symptom management.

I’m on a critical medication for this.  My Part D, Silverscript, who is owned by the wonderful folks at CVS  (wouldn’t that be a monopoly a pharmacy chain owning part D Medicare benefits?) who had approved me thru Feb of next year. Sent me a notice, …..ten days before my next refill that they are cutting me off. I have no time to react.

We have a piece of paper saying that I’m covered through Feb of next year, so how can they cut me off at the last minute? Ideas anyone?  Has anyone done an individual appeal process? The doctor says on their end, they are out of options, have appealed this decision twice. Now I hear about it.

Will they still give me my meds while we are appealing this? Is this even legal?

That Stanford college entrance essay….that I wrote way back then

stanford

The Farm. My dorm was Toyon Hall, and John Elway was in the room next door. Yes, co ed dorms.

Ok, now that Stanford accepted absolutely No One, Nobody, Not a soul into the class of 2020, they’ve cemented their reputation as being the most selective institution of higher learning for all eternity.

Recently my father gave me a back handed pat on the back, “Allison, you were clever enough to get into Stanford, I’m sure you can figure your way out of…” this is the first time he told me I was smart, or gave me credit for my determination…anything. Now, again, we are not speaking. See, I’m not the daughter who works at La Perla or Runs the Golf Division of Nike or …..Evan Picone or a leading Del Mar realtor during the hardest times in housing. 

I will say this: I went for my dreams and got more than I even bargained for. I didn’t dare dream I would ever be a rock disc jockey…those ladies were so supercool and composed as they played their Pink Floyd….but it happened and part of it was that I had worked at the Stanford Radio station, KZSU, as a political interviewer, capturing quotes from the likes of Maxine Waters. So after a year of selling advertising at a paper, when I had a drug relapse ending a full year of clean time, I got fired, and ran to the local radio station and told them the truth. They had drug users on staff who were lying about it so they were happy to replace one of them with me. I, at least, wanted to stop, was trying my best. I just had gone to the wrong New Year’s Eve Party.

I’m going to retype most of my college entrance essay. Lately, I’ve been reviewing my notes from my journalism class, a class I truly enjoyed. So I thought I’d dig out the ol’ essay I wrote. Keep in mind though, I had an aunt who graduated from Stanford and I was on a partial (not full) athletic scholarship.

Not for lack of trying……over a grueling, failure-filled four years….. I’d managed to climb to the top of the San Diego All CIF heap as MVP of both my team and San Diego. It was my very first season actually playing (as opposed to riding the bench) on a team that I kept getting cut from. Because of my lack of experience, I didn’t have the instinctive ‘court sense’ possessed by young women from Orange County…i.e.,  Newport Beach or Laguna, who got started playing off season ‘club’ ball at the age of 11. But that’s another story.

 

“The ‘I’ Paper”

I believe I am a well-rounded student, a student who succeeds at athletics, the arts, and probably most important, one who enjoys and adapts well to the new environments and the people within them.

In the second semester of my junior year, I transferred from Torrey Pines High School in Southern California, to Wood River High School in Idaho., (where Sgt Bergdahl is from, Hailey, Idaho, near Sun Valley and Ketchum)

Although my new school was a complete change from my original school, I was able to acclimate myself ot the new surroundings by making friend sand being involved in school activities. I maintained honor’s marks at a more academically demanding school.

 

While at Wood River (which we pranksters called “Weed Reefer” and snow shooed, stamping out and shoveling out the white, revealing those words in black dirt) way up in the mountains overlooking the campus, an eyesore seen from the highway)! I tried out for the musical production of the spring semester (Guys and Dolls….the female lead required dizzying soprano heights I had to stop smoking…altogether)

Although I was not in the drama class at the school, I received both the lead part and the outstanding actress award at the end of the year!

My teachers nominated me for the good citizen award (hehe) and the students elected me to the finals.

Presently I am back at Torrey Pines High School  (this is 1979…right now it’s 2016), where I have been on the honor roll for several semesters and have been elected and served on student congress both my sophomore and junior year. (why can’t I remember that? Did I lie about it)?

I found it exciting to be involved in making decisiojns in student government and to relay them to the student body.

Since elementary school, I have always had a desire to achieve high marks in school (this was to get my Dad’s approval, a very hard thing to obtain, even today) and have enjoyed most of my subjects. Excluding ninth grade, my GPA for A-F (that’s a UC, meaning University of California…like UC David or UCLA classification of a required class for college admission. For example, you had to have two years of a foreign language or advanced math like Calculus..) My gpa for A-F slcasses is a 3.38 (so low compared to most Stanford Applicants!!!! That volleyball skill that Dad said was a ‘beach bum sport’ kinda came in handy after all!!!)

and on the rise. My most favorite classes have been English, History, Composition and Drama. I perceive these areas as my strong points…(even then, using the word ‘strong!’ my real last name is Biszantz…maybe one day I’ll pull it out. My family would be mortified, they beg me to stay anonymous so as not to shame them).

I’m tired. I will finish this essay tomorrow. Simply tagging this first in a series of three…or maybe two, will take all I have left. See ya tomorrow, same time, same place. Bipolar Strength: Rebel With A Cause.

Allison Biszantz

New Year, New Publication

 

Red

There are these ‘publications’ that just ‘show up’ in my reader. Then I read their article and see they have a spot to apply to be a ‘contributor.’ I filled one out for these people and a month later they got back to me. They had a ‘style manual’ that puts Strunk and White to Shame.

Here’s what came out of it with NewLifeOutlook Bipolar

http://bipolar.newlifeoutlook.com/managing-bipolar-without-medication/

Movie Day, Again

ahab

 

 

I’m gonna go see the Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind=” Schizophrenia film?) Adaptation of Moby Dick, called In “The Heart of The Sea.”

A dilettante in  my youth I read Moby Dick’s 1200 page tome twice.

Melville was a devout Christian and all of his books, especially the Martyred “Billy Budd” (who actually died on a cross on a ship) are full of symbolism.

Lately there have been so many television and movie references to the character of “Captain Ahab” and “The White Whale,” you’d think our entire population is obsessed with hunting down their collective nemeses.

“The White Whale” is hipspeak for an unhealthy, unremitting obsession.
“Captain Ahab” is hipspeak for the person bent on vengeance, hunting down the leviathan who bit off his leg, leaving him an amputee.

Kurt, RIP You Meant So Much To Me

 

Heck Montage was released this week. We can see it on HBO Monday Night. Can’t wait.  The director has a good track record documenting enigmatic icons with conflicting swirling stories about them. It’s a documentary during Which Courtney Love and her daughter went to court over rights, etc.  Filming had to be shut down here and there for periods of a year or more.

But the documentary apparently features great images and clips of the band playing live. I’ve heard that he had chronic stomach pain and some sort of depression. Hard to tell,  though with all the drugs in his system. HeWANTED to do it. Somepeople try to commit suicide as a cry for help. He didn’t.  I’ve done some research since posting this on Twitter and am going to do a blog on what I know after watching the documentary.

Manic While Mystery Shopping

So I was mystery shopping after getting my certification and driving from one supermall to another. I was the type of customer that the workers remembered so if I felt I was getting to familiar and and so forth I would tell the mystery shopping people and they would take me off the account.

They always pay you less than you are going to want to spend. For example, I was sent to L’Occitane, a shop with perfums and soaps that start at forty bucks. And for that shop you are given 30 to spend. Yuk, right?

Then I got a string of ‘shops’ that’s what jobs are called at Chanel and Dior cosmetic counters. A total of six. One after another, pretending to be interested, accepting a makeover, fun, right? Not so much, really. I was given 80 to spend, and their eye shadows start at 50.00. And if you get a makeover for free or go to a class, you will have so much pushed on you that it’s hard to stay within budget. The company was called “A Closer Look,” for those of you who want to do this kind of high end sampling.

Then there was the three hour long report with 200 questions on the back end of each shop.
And there was something wrong with their computer system. So I had to do each of these reports twice. That was the end of mystery shopping for me. Because the report was due tomorrow and they didn’t take any responsibility. Plus I had incurred credit card debt on account of being in stores, shopping, while manic. Never a fine idea.

Write On

I am back to writing my book. I was lost for a while and then reread “Haldol and Hyacinths,” because I wanted to see and hear the author’s voice. My book is not a memoir, it’s a trilogy of fiction with a manic depressive character who is still in the workplace. I am feeling like I am hitting my stride. Finding my own voice. It’s actually in rewrite.  I have bipolar disorder and have had it for twenty five years. The first med regime worked really well for ten years. I was actually seeing my GP for my meds. When the meds stopped working, I was lost for another three years and then got back on track and returned to work.

Earlier last week, I went to Lexington to see my father, who is a little up and down himself.  So I didn’t write for five days. I am spending about four hours a day on my book which is making it so that I don’t blog as often. But I did turn in a part one and part two eating disorder exercise bulimia blog to International bipolar foundation. It turns out that as many as 14-20% of patients with bipolar disorder actually have a co-occurring eating disorder. I’d been working on that piece, #no longer a number# for quite some time. I’m cooking right now, taking a few minutes away from the stove and hoping I don’t get burned. (my food, I mean.)

Now that my antipsychotic has pushed me half way to diabetes, I have to be really careful of what I eat and mostly cook for myself …another thing that takes time away from my reading and writing.

myself